Tip for friends: Do betting strategies and risk connect?

If in the last Post in which I updated you about my basic learning course on betting strategies that I am giving to my friends I wore the uniform of a Star Trek starship captain, surely I should now hang the medal of ‘Admiral’. It seems that after many months of banging my head against the wall, I am starting to make this bunch of newbies who started out believing that they were going to get rich in two days with the last $ Cup, understand that sports betting is very complex, and that it takes time, patience, a lot of concentration and ABOVE ALL the ability to swallow your pride and assume mistakes to become a halfway decent online betting regular.

However, it has not been easy to teach them and it is still, in fact, a bit nerve-wracking. Especially because just when you think you have managed to instil some of your basic sports betting tips in your friends and you see that they are listening to you for several weeks in a row with good results, they suddenly become confident and start ‘overdoing it’ in the complete opposite direction. You should neither be extremely cautious when it comes to betting, nor should you be a kamikaze.

And it is precisely this last detail that leads me to share with you the latest update of my logbook. Since our last approach to the subject of betting with friends, some curious things have happened that are worth commenting on and analysing. Especially because, as a result of the surprises that 2017 is bringing, my friends (and I myself) have felt like the crew of the submarine in the famous film Das Boot when they reach the end of their voyage. Something like “so much rowing for nothing”. I would like to think that, at least, it will have helped them to continue learning as I do with them.

If you take risks, always take the best of the best

The first of all possible lessons can be found in the hand of the king of racquet sports and on the courts of Melbourne Park, in Australia. The first Grand Slam of the season left us all open-mouthed. But not because the champion was the incombustible Roger Federer, but because the Swiss played the final of the finals against… Rafa Nadal! Yes, we had long been wary of the Spaniard due to his constant physical problems, and as for the Swiss, the fact that he had accumulated four years and no less than 16 Grand Slams without winning a title seemed to have ruled him out for any tournament of these characteristics, especially given the wild level of the circuit.

Playing at high odds always has its risk and one must think that it is a ‘lost’ bet… but even there, intuition counts, the head, the circumstances of each moment…

In our previous post we talked about going slowly with the risks, playing based on the trajectory of teams or players (and their recent inertia) and varying markets. The Australian Open put Murray as favourite on paper, but it was the first big tournament of the year, therefore, always more open to surprises. In addition, Djokovic arrived with a lot of doubts, and among the huge group of second and third seeds there was always the possibility of ‘sneaking in’ someone who is a legend precisely because of his consistency over many years.

Now we will not say that “we should have bet on Federer”. We ourselves placed him as the fifth or sixth option in our ranking of betting predictions, but if the betting strategies with my friends included gambling a few $s on a candidate with a lot of risk, Roger should have been the chosen one… and he was not. Too bad for my friends, because his win paid no less than 21.00$ per $ bet.

Let miracles have a meaning. They are never ‘just because’

OK, this is a big one. Let’s see… does anyone dare to tell me that they ‘knew’ that Paris Saint-Germain would score four goals against Barça in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16? Please, before you say ‘yes’, really think about it… would you have risked your savings on such a result? Of course, advising such a result in our predictions was beyond all logical reasoning. It was already a moderate but quite possible risk to bet in favour of the French, even with a result that would have put the tie on a more or less level playing field for the home side. So that’s how I put it to my friends. The first result of the tie was one of those that happens once in a while. And I am talking about seasons and seasons. These are things that can never be guessed at, so whoever manages to get it right owes most of it to luck more than anything else.

A two-legged tie means a greater mental calculation on the part of the teams and the players; depending on the result in the first leg, one or the other will be thinking about specific scores, or more relaxed and/or under pressure in the second leg….

This is probably one of the most valuable risk-related betting strategies from now on. For me, for my friends and for you: as I said before, if you’re going to risk a lot, go for the best. In this case, Barça is one of the best teams in the world. But also, if you want to bet on a real miracle never seen before and win the best bet of the year, you have to think that these usually happen when they ‘make sense’, when there is something at stake that makes that impossible result the only possible outcome for victory in the sportsman’s mind.

In this case, in the second leg, Barcelona needed four goals to draw… or five to win, six if PSG scored a goal, which was very likely given the risks the blaugranas had to take. The logical thing to do was to bet on the French going through to the next round, but… we wanted to bet on Barça? Perfect. “Barcelona to qualify” and the 4-0 and 6-1 markets as options… and voila! The greatest comeback in the history of European competitions gave us $8 per $ bet on Barça’s qualification and a 51.00 odds on the exact score. Only a few $s… but very well spent because there was a reason to do so. By the way, the 4-0 win in the first leg gave 67$ per $ played for the visionaries. We were not.

Keep on with the ‘inertia’

However, we should never let go of those betting strategies we talked about in our previous post. If a team has the same way of behaving for a good part of a season, and I’m talking about months, we must follow that inertia even if it sometimes costs us unpleasantness, but also even when our head tells us that following it makes us take risks (moderate ones, of course). In this case, we are talking about Real Madrid and their tendency to turn any game into an exercise in heroism and an agonising comeback, even against teams that are very easy for Los Blancos.

Anyone would say that betting on Betis being able to fight to the end at the Santiago Bernabeu by taking the lead, or on Napoli starting off by winning against Los Blancos twice, is taking risks too many times in a row.

But we’ve already seen that this Real Madrid is the way it is, so the profits we can make every time something like this happens compared to the losses we’re sure to make as well, especially if the direction of the team we’re betting on is as steady as the one Zidane’s side seems to have taken, will always be higher. In the last few games, Madrid started with losses against Betis, Napoli in the Champions League (in the first and second leg) and also against Villarreal at El Madrigal. Odds of 5.50, 4.50, 3.75 and 4.50, respectively. And we take a ‘peak’ in each of them.

Ramos ‘smashes’ any of our betting strategies

We finish our review of the latest goings-on with my friends and online sports betting with the man who, on an individual level, has garnered the most attention in the world of football and in recent weeks. To the question of where Real Madrid would be at the top of La Liga without Sergio Ramos’ goals, we add where we might all be if we were to get our bets right every time the centre-back from Camas popped his head up to give Los Blancos points and last-gasp victories. On the beach is an understatement.

It is Ramos’ best season in terms of goals, with 10 goals so far in all competitions. A defender scoring always brings attractive odds, so it never hurts to take a measured risk in markets of this type. But it’s one thing to do that and another to turn Sergio and his goals into a betting strategy. I won’t say that you should do it because we haven’t done it, but I won’t deny that this is another of those ‘inertias’ that I constantly talk about, and that on more than one occasion has brought joy to me and my friends. Of course, we didn’t manage to get a bet right, which would have been a great one: we gambled that the Sevillian would score in Naples, but it turned out that he scored two goals instead of one. That brace gave no less than $67 per $ bet to those who bet on him scoring two goals or more in that game. Pity… but we take note.