Last night I was minding my own business, checking out bet365’s latest ‘boosts’ while I waited for my fellow pool team members to arrive, when I came across this monstrosity:
To unleash my inner Jim Royle for a moment…
Let’s break down exactly why this is such a bad bet…
- First off, Trent Alexander-Arnold to score… In Trent’s entire Liverpool and England career, he has made 279 appearances and scored 16 goals. That equates to around one every 17 matches. Now, last night’s match was on the easier side of the games he’ll have played for Liverpool but, even so, I would have wanted odds of at LEAST 10/1 on him to score.
- Of course, you didn’t just need Trent to score, you also needed the underdogs to score. Given they were away from home against a strong Liverpool line-up, I’d probably want around 1/1 for that occurrence.
- Lastly, you needed Liverpool to win but that was pretty likely, so I’ll give bet365 a pass on that.
What the above means is that a fair price on the bet would have been around 20/1 (10/1 plus 1/1 in a double). A genuinely boosted price would perhaps have been 25/1…
And this is me being generous to the bookies. I’m a Liverpool fan but I likely wouldn’t have touched shorter than 40/1…
Therefore, the fact that bet365 had the cheek to label 10/1 as a boost really is quite something.
How to spot a non-boost boost
I’m perhaps being slightly harsh on bet365 as these non-boost boosts seem to be commonplace with the bookies these days, as free bet bonuses are slowly phased out. Here are a few tips on how to spot one:
- Pay attention to what percentage the odds have actually been boosted by. For example, 1/2 to 1/1 is an excellent boost (your potential profit is doubled) whereas 9/1 to 10/1 is pretty small and the same or better odds will likely be available elsewhere, even if they haven’t been supposedly ‘boosted’.
- If the bet has multiple components, then try and figure out what the price should be. For accumulator bets (like three football teams all to win) this is easy – just go to an odds comparison site like Oddschecker.com and see what the best available odds are for that accumulator. If they aren’t as good as the ‘boost’ then it’s a genuine boost but if they are as good or better, then you know you’re not getting value.
- If the boost doesn’t come with a stake limit, there’s generally a reason why (and that reason is the bookies WANT you to take it!).
- All of which means that, as a general rule, standard boosts are to be avoided but, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great offers to be had…
While it’s been doom and gloom so far, that third point does bring me onto one thing we all like… a happy ending.
All hail the Super Boost
Fortunately, it’s not all bad out there and to be fair to bet365 in particular, there have also been an increased number of ‘Super Boosts’ available in recent weeks and months which offer genuine betting value, albeit usually with a limited stake.
These are generally straightforward bets (not multiples) and at shorter odds but with a bigger percentage boost (so essentially, the reverse of my warning points to watch out for) and might be something like Mo Salah to score or assist, or Alexander Isak to have a shot on target.
These will generally be labelled as a ‘super’ or ‘mega’ boost to make them stand out and bet365 have been putting up in the region of 10 of the smashers each week recently, so there are loads of opportunities. Elsewhere, you can also get some goodies with SkyBet, William Hill and Paddy Power and, if you bet these regularly, you WILL make money.
So, in summary…
Never assume a price is good, just because a bookie has told you it’s boosted.
HOWEVER, if it’s labelled as a ‘super’ boost or similar, give it some serious consideration and, if it ticks the boxes I’ve laid out in this email, get stuck in!