Reporting from a hipster coffee shop, north London…
Hipsterism is real ladies and gents…
Bet Chat Bec and I have spent this morning at a coffee shop called, wait for it, ‘Look Mum, No Hands’; a magical place where the ceiling décor consists of, among other things, disembodied bicycle wheels, pink bunting, and a big old disco ball because, hey, why the hell not?!
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about that, nor the time spent fascinator shopping for Royal Ascot…
Instead, I’m here to give you a perfect example of how it’s often mug money, and not contender ability, that shapes betting markets, and how you can take advantage of that fact.
Separating heart from head
Look, I know that it’s become the ‘in thing’ to slag off England in general and that’s not my intention today – I’m English, I’m an England fan, and I’ll be cartwheeling round the streets of London if we win the thing but…
From a value/probability point of view, England to win the Euros at 5/1 (generally available, but the best price I can find is still only 6s) is a DREADFUL bet.
To put it into context, here are some of the other nations along with the generally available odds and their recent credentials:
France (5/1): Literally the world champions.
Belgium (13/2): The number one ranked national team in the world.
Germany (9/1): Germany.
Portugal (9/1): Current holders of the Euros.
Croatia (33/1): World Cup runners up, knocking out England in the semi-finals.
And then there’s England, possessing a team of players (and manager!) who weren’t even born the last time the country won a major tournament. As you’ll no doubt know, since then, England haven’t so much as reached a final.
So yes, England can the tournament, and I want England to win the tournament, but backing them at the same odds as France is the very definition of a mug bet.
Home advantage (well, sort of) means that they should probably be a shorter price than Croatia, but I’d be hard pushed to back them at even twice their current odds.
So, how has this happened?
This has happened because, against popular non-betting public opinion, the bookies are NOT always right and are NOT unbeatable…
And the main reason that they’re not those things is that their prices are ultimately set by weight of money, rather than their own personal opinions (or indeed the actual ability of the sporting contender).
This means that when the weight of money is ill judged – such as when the majority bet with heart over head – there become value opportunities.
To profit from this, you therefore look out for the value opportunities and bet accordingly. Which in this case could either be a lay bet of England (backing them to NOT win) or a back bet of a rival nation…
This doesn’t guarantee a win of course, but if you keep taking 3/1 on heads to win in heads versus tails, you’ll end up well in front overall.
The easy way to spot value
Of course, not backing England at major tournaments aside, it’s not an especially easy thing to spot value, and so that’s why I recommend looking to experts…
Experts like Adam Cheng, whose bets made 59.2pts profit in the domestic season (just less than TREBLING the recommended 30pts bank) and who has most definitely not tipped England to win Euro 2020!
Or you can use your own noggin’ to come up with selections…
But, whatever you do, make sure that you always consider the odds and not just who you think is going to win or worse, want to win.
Do that and you’ll be well on the way to becoming one of the small percentage of people that is able to make this betting game pay.