hot list updated

No major surprise that England are out of the World Cup although maybe a bit earlier than expected. This removes Steven Gerrard from the list once and for all.

Chris Froome and Andy Murray’s odds are coming in all the time. I think Murray is still a good wager at 12s given that he is a best priced 4/1 to win Wimbledon, which I also think is a good price. Murray is arguably the best grass court player in the world, assuming he doesn’t have any major injury concerns. These next few weeks will have a significant impact on the SPOTY market.

If neither Froome or Murray wins their respective events then it opens the way somewhat for Mo Farah to maybe have a say or another, as yet unknown, contender at big prices.

Lewis Hamilton 7/4 F1 Champion

Chris Froome 5/1 Tour de France winner

Andy Murray 12/1 Wimbledon / US Open Champion

Mo Farah 50/1 Winning gold(s) at the Commonwealth Games

Rory McIlroy 20/1 Win a major and be a key part of a Ryder Cup win

Gareth Bale 20/1 Won European Cup scoring the winning goal

Jonny Wilkinson 18/1 Retired after a stellar career

Carl Froch 16/1 Super Middleweight Champion

Lizzy Yarnold 25/1 Won Winter Olympic gold medal

selections

I think the markets are set up quite nicely at the moment for us to strike with two selections.

* 10 points back Chris Froome 7/1 (8.0) Paddy Power

(10 points lay Chris Froome Tour De France winner 1.89 Betfair)

* 5 points back Andy Murray 14/1 (15) Bet365 BetVictor

(5 points lay Andy Murray Wimbledon 4.6 Betfair)

I think Lewis Hamilton is setting up the market with some value at the moment. Even if he wins the F1 title I think he is a vulnerable SPOTY favourite. And I have to discount any England footballers getting too involved in the market barring Owen or Gazza type heroics. Could happen but we have to deal in likelihoods in this game.

So come July time I think it is set up for two old faces to be at the forefront of SPOTY thinking – Froome and Murray.

Murray comes first at Wimbledon defending his title. He’s been without a coach for a while now since Ivan Lendl left. But as I write he has put together a determined run at the French Open. He’ll probably lose to Nadal in the semis tomorrow – Nadal is 65-1 at Roland Garros (one of the great records in the history of sport) but importantly he has shown that he is over his back operation. He has a fantastic record at Wimbledon and I expect him to be very hard to beat there.

Murray is not everyone’s cup of tea but he’s one of my favourite sportspeople to watch. Along with Mo Farah I think he is Britain’s best sportsperson. We all know what will happen to his SPOTY price if he goes well at Wimbledon (SPOTY held in Glasgow this year too). I think he represents good value at 14s. You may wish to consider laying off some of your stake on Betfair where he is 4.4 for Wimbledon at the moment but could well go shorter in the next weeks. Murray also has the US Open later in the year.

If Murray doesn’t win Wimbledon then Froome has the opportunity to take centre stage later in July. The Tour starts in Britain this year so I expect there to be a fair amount of hype. Although I am not sure if Froome has the appeal to actually win SPOTY, I am sure he will trade fairly short straight after winning the Tour – at which time we can look to green our books. The beauty of this bet is that we can trade our stake for a short price in the Tour market.

He’s about evens for the Tour so if we back him for SPOTY and lay him for the Tour then we would need him to go shorter than c. 7/2 for SPOTY on winning the Tour for there to be value (i.e 7/1 for SPOTY % 1.89  for Tour) – I think that is very achievable (might expect him to go into 2/1 or shorter, assuming Murray hasn’t gone very short, which would be fine as we would be on!)

hot list updated

It’s been an quite an interesting couple of weeks with some springers in the market.

Jonny Wilkinson retired. He’s had a fantastic career and is a very honourable and admirable individual. An old-fashioned sportsman in many respects. I’d imagine the market is thinking along the lines of Ryan Giggs winning the award back in 2009. I think, though, it’s safe to rule him out of the reckoning – by December I can’t imagine many remembering him bowing out.

Carl Froch won the rematch against George Groves at Wembley Stadium.

Gareth Bale won the European Cup, or Champions League as the kids like to call it these days. He also had an instrumental part to play, scoring the crucial goal in extra time of the final to put Real Madrid 2-1 up. He’s a genuinely wonderful and captivating footballer.

As it stands, Bale, Froch and Lizzy Yarnold, are essentially (bar Rory McIlroy winning the BMW) the only contenders in the list below to have won anything of real note so far. Bale is widely available at 20/1.

I am struggling to ignore this price I have to say. There are many reasons why I think it is a decent each way bet. First and foremost he has been at the forefront of Real Madrid winning one of the biggest prizes in football.

It is entirely feasible that during the next few months no British sportsperson wins much. Andy Murray could easily, indeed is likely to, come away empty handed this season. Lewis Hamilton may not win the F1 title (although is quite likely too, however, as I will mention in another post at some point, I am not convinced one can be too confident about him having a SPOTY winning profile). And it would be surprising if England did anything at the World Cup. Chris Froome must have a very good chance of winning the Tour for a second successive year (is odds-on now) and Mo Farah should win gold at the Commonwealth Games at the end of July. There is of course room for a left field contender. I can’t see cricket capturing the imagination too much this summer though but possibly it could come from the Ryder Cup or Commonwealth Games.

By December there could easily be no stand out performer, at which point Bale’s credentials will seem attractive. Even at this stage it seems he will be shortlisted (usually 10 are on the shortlist). The Welsh will not be afraid to vote for him either as they have proved time and again with their sons. Steven Gerrard in 2005 had a fairly similar profile and came third. That was the year Liverpool won the European Cup. Gerrard also got bronze in that year’s Ballon d’Or in the weeks before SPOTY.

Please, as always, feel free to comment and discuss anything I have posted and the latest in the SPOTY markets.

Lewis Hamilton 7/4 F1 Champion

Chris Froome 7/1 Tour de France winner

Andy Murray 14/1 Wimbledon / US Open Champion

Rory McIlroy 20/1 Win a major and be a key part of a Ryder Cup win

Gareth Bale 20/1 Won European Cup scoring the winning goal

Steven Gerrard 16/1 Captain England to World Cup final

Jonny Wilkinson 20/1 Retired after a stellar career

Mo Farah 50/1 Winning gold(s) at the Commonwealth Games

Carl Froch 20/1 Super middleweight champion

Lizzy Yarnold 25/1 Won Winter Olympic gold medal

my year so far

Although not much has really happened, and there is a long way to go, I have managed to get a decent trade in.

At the start of the year I am always looking to get a large priced contender on side away from those at the head of the market who tend to be too short based on their actual chances.

Essentially that is the key to successful betting – consistently backing that whose chances of winning are greater than their odds imply. If you can consistently back say 5/1 shots who really should be 4/1 shots, you will have a significant edge in the long run and make profits. Finding that edge is the key.. and with a bit of planning (and luck) can be done.

In SPOTY betting (as with all betting really) it’s important to get on before the masses clock on to a lively contender. So at the start of the year looking at the sporting calendar and picking out those who are likely to excel is a good place to start. In this respect I had Mo Farah (who has seemed a mainstay of my SPOTY portfolios for a while now) and, a few weeks into the year, Ronnie O’ Sullivan on board.

Gerrard bets

Around February and March Liverpool were extremely impressive and, on thinking there was a good chance they could win the title, I got stuck into Steven Gerrard. I started backing him at 25s, through 16s, 5s and down to 7/2. In the end I had £88 pounds on to win £1,200.

The key to a good SPOTY bet is your assessment of what you think that person’s odds will come into if they win the main competition that they are in. I was very confident, with all the publicity that Gerrard would get and the large number of Liverpool fans, that if Liverpool won the Premier League then Gerrard would be pretty likely to win SPOTY. At worst I thought he would go evens money for SPOTY maybe shorter on Liverpool winning.

To provide some security and reduce risk I covered my self by simultaneously laying Liverpool for the title – if Liverpool didn’t win it then I did not see Gerrard winning SPOTY (unless England did v well in the World Cup).

Some examples of the differentials in price:

30 March 2014: Gerrard was available at 16/1, Liverpool were available to lay at 2.96 or 2/1 on Betfair.

13 April 2014: Gerrard was available at 7/2, Liverpool around 1.83 or 5/6 to lay.

Given that I had a strong feeling that Gerrard would be evens or shorter for SPOTY if Liverpool won the league then I was satisfied I had a significant edge here. (There was a slight risk that Gerrard could get injured and miss some matches and be less likely to win SPOTY. As it was though, I thought it would take something very special to deny him SPOTY after him lifting the trophy, 20 years on from the Hillsborough disaster.)

So, for example, on 30 March and 13 April I could fairly safely back Gerrard and lay Liverpool without eating much into profit. In fact the edge was so significant here that I layed Liverpool to make a profit either way. I also did similar in the Gerrard SPOTY top three market. My thinking being it would likely be all or nothing for Gerrard – either win SPOTY if Liverpool won the league or not even be nominated if they didn’t.

While my punts didn’t work on Ronnie and Mo, with Stevie I am now in a profitable position by trading  accordingly. Hopefully there will be some similar situations to come this year that we can exploit when they appear.

As ever, please feel free to comment or flag up any potential interesting markets situations.

 

hot list updated

Lewis Hamilton 7/4 F1 Champion

Chris Froome 8/1 Tour de France winner

Andy Murray 16/1 Wimbledon / US Open Champion

Rory McIlroy 21/1 Win a major and be a key part of a Ryder Cup win

Steven Gerrard 16/1 Captain England to World Cup final

Lee Westwood 80/1 Win a major and be a key part of a Ryder Cup win

Graeme McDowell 100/1 Win a major and be a key part of a Ryder Cup win

Lizzy Yarnold 25/1 Won Winter Olympic gold medal

Steven Gerrard and Liverpool

It’s of course very likely that Man City will win the title today (trading at 1.05 on Betfair).

However, it is worth keeping an eye on the SPOTY market just in case something unexpected happens and West Ham take the lead at some point.

In relation to this we have some very useful information about what may happen to Steven Gerrard’s SPOTY price. A couple of weeks ago when Liverpool were long odds on to win the title, Gerrard went down to as short 1.74. So if Liverpool won the title then we should fully expect such a price again, probably even shorter.

It’s unlikely but there is potential for decent trading opportunities if it looks like Liverpool could win the title at any point this afternoon. Liquidity may not be best on Betfair but the bookies may be a bit slower to change their Gerrard SPOTY prices should things start going Liverpool’s way and it would be worth checking their prices (with the potential to lay Liverpool in play to hedge liabilities):

http://www.oddschecker.com/awards/sports-personality-of-the-year/winner

I’ll be posting in more detail at some point soon about how other (more likely) opportunities similar to this can come about during the year and how such opportunities can be traded effectively.

2014 the story so far..

Normally an even numbered year would see the English footballers featuring fairly prominently in the SPOTY betting markets. The last couple of years though has seen a long overdue sense of realism take over about the prospects of the home grown players.

So, at the start of the year, it was left to last year’s landslide winner Andy Murray to head the market at about 5.0. Chris Froome, the impressive 2013 Tour De France winner, was second favourite. Other than that though, the markets suggested that people could not really think of anyone else. And the market leaders would always be vulnerable once the year got underway and British sportspeople started putting top performances in the book.

Lizzy Yarnold was first up in February, winning gold in Russia. She traded as short as 4.2 on Betfair.

She was then followed by ..  well we’re still waiting really. But that’s not to say there hasn’t been plenty of activity in the SPOTY markets..

Mo Farah was originally priced up as the favourite for the London marathon in places before the market corrected. Mo eventually finished in 8th and any prospect of him being SPOTY appeared to vanish.

Last weekend Ronnie O’Sullivan gave up a healthy lead in the world snooker final to foil another SPOTY gamble (traded as big as 500 into 8.4 in Betfair).

By far the biggest story of this SPOTY year so far though has been Steven Gerrard. He was heavily backed into as short as 1.74 (from a high of 150) on the back of Liverpool’s ten game winning streak that took them to within touching distance of their first English title since 1990. The dream now appears to be over and Gerrard has drifted off again as quickly as he came.

Gerrard

The consistent Lewis Hamilton is the solid favourite having got off to a very good start in his shiny fast new F1 car.

The above illustrates just how so much can happen, yet nothing much at all. And how, to my mind, it is one of the most interesting betting markets, providing entertainment and many varied trading opportunities.

Here I aim to dissect and report on the market throughout the year, as well as the different sports and events that shape it. At the same time building up a profitable portfolio trading in the SPOTY market itself and in the sports markets involving the (perceived) potential protagonists.

 

 

 

 

 

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