I Wouldn’t Bet On It 4

The latest instalment of our regular betting for fun column.

Fancy A BetBefore embarking on this week’s column I will recap on the last bet where I placed 1 point on there being exactly 3 goals in the Chelsea v West Ham game last Monday. This fun bet was correct, although I would have preferred that we scored the late goal, not Costa, who I don’t believe should have still been on the field anyway. This brought our balance up to 95.1.

This week I will be concentrating solely on our game against Bournemouth today. Just looking at the Paddy Power website (many other bookmakers are available on-line) there are 138 different markets that you can bet on in this one game of football! But before looking at a selection of the possible bets I’ll look back on the results of the seven Premier League games played yesterday.

Of the three possible results in a game of football, home, away or draw, the favourite result came up four times (wins for Man. City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Everton), whereas the least favourite result was the outcome in the other three (wins for Burnley and Hull, and Leicester drawing with Arsenal). The second favourite result didn’t happen in any of the games.

“I’m massively confident of a victory today so I’ll stake 10 points on a West Ham win at 21/20 (20.5).”

A one point bet on each of the 7 favourite results would have resulted in an overall loss of about half of your total stake despite getting 4 of the 7 correct. A one point bet on each of the second favourite results would have meant a total loss of all your stake money. A one point bet on each of the 7 least fancied results would have resulted in almost doubling your money despite only getting 3 correct results. So on Saturday your best bet was to go for the least predictable results unless you were clever enough to mix and match and correctly predict all seven (very unlikely!).

The point being made is that correctly predicting the outcome of football matches is extremely difficult. That’s why I bet for fun only with modest stakes. I generally do better on horse racing bets and my modest bet yesterday was a fiver on Heartbreak City in the Ebor at York at 12-1. So I had a smile on my face yesterday afternoon, but with just £5 staked it wouldn’t have been heartbreak if I had lost.

So what fun bets will I be making on today’s game? The odds setters at Paddy Power haven’t done their homework properly because there are some stupid / hilarious odds on offer for the first goal scorer in the match. Some selected odds are: Sakho, favourite at 5/1, Ayew and Emenike available at 11/2, Lanzini at 15/2, Diego Poyet at 16/1, Song and Cresswell at 25/1, and you can even bet on Jenkinson or Joey O’Brien at 40/1. I think I’ll steer clear of all those! What nonsense and very poor from Paddy Power to not bring their database up to date.

I’m massively confident of a victory today so I’ll stake 10 points on a West Ham win at 21/20 (20.5). With those odds the bookmakers believe there is a less than 50% chance of us winning but I believe our chances are better than that and therefore think that offers me good value.

Then for pure fun I’ll stake the following:

1 point on West Ham to win and both teams to score at 13/5 (3.6)

1 point on West Ham to score 3 or more goals in the game at 11/4 (3.7)

1 point on West Ham to win 3-1 at 14/1 (15)

1 point on Mark Noble to score the first goal and West Ham to win 3-1 at 100/1 (101)

1 point on West Ham to win and Mark Noble to score anytime at 7/1 (8).

The figures in brackets relate to the return if the bet is successful.

If we win the game then I’ll be in profit just from the win bet alone, even if all the others lose. The five fun bets will give me additional interest when watching the game even though the chances of them winning are less likely. If we don’t win the game then I’ll lose all 15 points staked. But my stakes will be low so it won’t bother me at all. My biggest disappointment will be the fact that we haven’t won the game or collected the three points on offer in a game that I believe we should win.

I start on 95.1 points so the 15 points staked will reduce my balance to 80.1. Not particularly sensible betting perhaps but fun all the same.