Saturday 30 April 2016


The Los in Los Angeles Clippers turned to Loss last night, as the Portland Trail Blazers won four in a row to take the series 4-2. It's hard not to feel some sympathy for the Clippers, but basketball is very much an individual sport in that prices and fortunes are hugely influenced by one or two star players and to continue in the play-offs, teams need those players to stay healthy. Although I'm happy with the lay at 1.37, I am somewhat kicking myself for not taking a few hundred more that was looking to back the Clippers at 1.5. Opportunities like this don't come along too often these days.

While the BLUnders Sytem is probably done for the season, I saw a post on the Betfair Forum from 'nugget' saying:

92% of the playoff games have gone under the total
With the total varying slightly from book to book, the numbers may be correct for nugget, but my numbers show that of the 84 games played so far, 56 have gone Under. Exclude the 4 pushes and we have 70%, which is still impressive but not quite 92%.

Is this a one season wonder? Here are the numbers for the last five full season, plus the one in progress:
Not convincing evidence that blindly backing playoff unders is a long term profitable strategy, but as I mentioned in this post, BLUnders selections continue to be profitable in the play-offs.

Over the same period as above, i.e. 2010-11 to this season, their record in play-offs is 10 Unders from 16 games, with one Push.

A modified form of BLUnders for play-off use (16 selections in six seasons isn't going to do anyone much good) would have generated 45 selections, with 27 Unders (and 2 Pushes) +9.70 / ROI +21.6% 

Thursday 28 April 2016

Fortunes Clipped

It’s not exactly an example of ‘thinking outside the box’, but in a sport such as basketball where one individual makes such a difference to a team sport, the impact of injury can dramatically change the odds.

A couple of recent examples can be found in the ongoing NBA Play-Offs, where the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers have both lost their star players to injury this week.

The Warriors’ Steph Curry came back from an ankle injury, slipped on a wet spot, and sprained his knee ruling him out for maybe two weeks.

The Clippers’ star Chris Paul broke his hand this week, and Blake Griffin is now out of the play-offs with a left quadriceps injury.

Anyone watching game four of the Clippers Series (v Portland Trail Blazers) would have seen Paul’s reaction, and recognized that the injury was serious.

Add to that the sight of Griffin sitting on the bench clearly in discomfort and you have an opportunity.

There was money waiting to back the Clippers to win the series at 1.37 – but at just 2:1 ahead in games, (three home games won) and about (in my opinion) to lose game four and with major injury concerns, the Clippers were to my mind a value lay at this price. 

I may well have been late to the party as the Clippers had traded all the way down to 1.02 to win the series, presumably after big wins of 20+ points in the first two home games.
Even if you don’t trust a player’s reaction (superstars can be a little dramatic at times), the side-line reporters updates and post-game interviews can be useful sources of information.

With the series down to a best of three, the Trail Blazers were 1.45 favourites to win the series. Now that they are 3:2 ahead, with game six at home, they'll be down to around 1.15.

I was asked by text at the start of the play-offs “Will anybody beat the Warriors?” – my reply was, unfortunately for the Warriors, rather perceptive “Warriors are vulnerable if Curry gets injured”.

I didn’t mean to jinx Mr. Curry, (not that jinxes are real), and the Warriors have more depth than the Clippers, but my comment was to make the point that any team's fortunes can change in an instant with a key injury and that even in a ‘team‘ sport, it can be rewarding to look beyond the immediate event.

Friday 22 April 2016

Blunderful Play-Offs

Given the selection criteria for the BLUnders System, it is hardly surprising that qualifiers during the play-offs are few and far between. The few selections are, however, profitable.

In the 20 completed seasons since 1994, there have been just 25 selections, most during the first round (of sixteen), but a few mismatches were from the Conference Semi-Finals (quarter-finals).

So far this post-season there have been five selections and all have gone unded very comfortably. The closest game was under by 9.5 points, while the others were under by at least 25.5 points. The overall five season record currently reads:

There's also an interesting trend in play-off BLUnders games when it comes to the handicap, a strategy that would be +9.04 from the 30 games of record, an ROI of 30.1%. I'll update this number at the end of the season.

Moving to football and last weekend was kind to the Bundeslayga System with a nice winner in the second division as the widely loathed RasenBallsport Leipzig lost and slipped to second in the table behind Freiburg. I suspect I wasn't the only one cheering that result. 
Finally, thanks to Baz for his comment that:
Having a new granddaughter is far better than winning any bet. Congratulations.
Yes, there are certainly more important things in life than money, something that becomes easier to say as you get older and accumulate more money.

Wednesday 13 April 2016


With an interval between posts of almost four weeks, readers might well be wondering if the author's enthusiasm for this blog is finally waning after 8 full years. Although there is some truth to that suggestion, I'm not quite ready to hang up the keyboard despite advancing another year in age, the arrival of a second granddaughter, and the imminent retirement at the end of this week of one of my oldest (in years known and in years lived) friends which has made me a little restless.

My new granddaughter missed sharing her granddad's birth date by a mere two hours, but at least she's an Aries and I should be able to remember her birthday anniversaries for a few years, at least until dementia / Alzheimer's sets in.

So I can't say that sports or sports investing has been top of my priority list of late. My interest in the Grand National was limited to winning £25 from my local pub's sweepstake as The Last Samuri placed second, but as I was celebrating Crystal Palace's Premier League survival in a crowded and noisy South Norwood pub at race time, I had no idea what I was watching! However, my in-depth knowledge of rowing meant that I was able to predict, not only the finalists, but also the Boat Race winner this year. The Cassini family also managed to leave the Whyteleafe v Herne Bay game with a profit - £9 each for two admissions, £1 for two Golden Goal tickets, and with 6:55 on the clock, my son's 7th minute ticket won him £20! I think I enjoyed that more than bigger wins on Betfair.  Who knew that I had an edge on pulling horse names and goal times out of a hat?

As for the more serious investments, the Bundeslayga System is clinging on to the slenderest of profits this season, with just a few weeks of the season to go:

Also clinging on to a small profit is the BLUnders System, with two more selections tonight as the regular season comes to a close.
Interestingly the 134 selections so far means the season total will be the highest since 1997's 162, in large part due to the dominance of the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs who make up 62 of the selections between them.

I mentioned in my last post that there's a secondary bet which tends to win when the BLUnders selection loses, and this strategy had a great March and April and has improved the combined numbers as shown below:
Early days on the baseball SG3 system, but selections are coming thick and fast with another four today:
Finally, although I'm behind with my blog reading, I did see that Thoughts of a Football Trader wrote the following:
When we take our first steps into this minefield, each of us, without exception, blows a trading bank or ten. When we do so, we are crushed, and for a brief period chastise ourselves for making whatever error created the loss. But something inherent within us accepts that this loss, the others before and those that may come are the very lessons we need. So, we heed them, we reload the bank and begin again.
It's simply not true that "each of us, without exception, blows a trading bank or ten". My trading bank deposited in 2004 was £98.50 (after fees were deducted) and that remains the only deposit I have ever made. I believe the low was around £21.40 but blowing the bank was never an option for me and had it happened, I don't think I would have accepted the loss and re-loaded. Sometimes you need to accept that you simply don't have an edge and stop throwing good money after bad.