LEE, the Asian Handicap Expert
Name: Lee A Jackson
Actual Job: Freelancer
Betting career: half of the life
Preferred bookmaker: William Hill
Aged 36 and born and raised in a small town in South West England, called Cinderford, where I followed the fortunes of Cinderford Town football club. Was involved in sports heavily at school, playing on the school football and rugby teams, as well as being captain of the athletics team. Football however, always took precedence when it came to following sports, and played for a local team for a while until two separate ankle injuries rendered me a bit of a lost cause. My first foray into sports writing was providing coverage for a local Pool League around the Forest of Dean, with it being published in the newspaper at which I worked at the time. Currently enjoying life a freelance writer at the moment, and appreciate the opportunities which have been presented to me in this field. I also enjoy reading literature, playing guitar and writing fiction.
I have been fortunate to travel the world, and to have experienced sights and cultures across Europe, Africa, as well as day-to-day life in North America. The fascination with betting really started with horse racing, and the big meetings like the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National. I was usually the instigator of Sweepstakes at work. However, because of being able to bet online, I discovered the thrills of football betting, and as a novice, never strayed further than outright fixed odds. That really was the stepping stone to greater betting adventures online, and football still remains one of my most popular destinations in the sports book. But, thanks to online betting, I comfortably branched out into other sports betting, and started understanding odds and systems in more detail, as well as a broad spectrum of betting markets. My favourite betting markets are Asian Handicaps, margins and spread betting on football matches. Being a massive sponge for statistical football data, I can spend a lot of time studying form, streaks and trends to put to use in those markets.
My favourite football team is Chelsea, and I’m more of a big critic of, than a passionate fan of England. But maybe it’s because I’m so latently passionate that I’m a critic! When it comes to the national sporting sides though, England Cricket and England Rugby always take precedence over the football team. I enjoy a wide range of sports, and have grown to develop an interest in F1, PGA Tour golf, field hockey and in particular tennis. An interest in those sports have grown from writing about them and getting to know the players involved. There are no particular favourites in Golf (I guess Lee Westwood if I had to pick), and naturally look for the British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in Formula One. For the tennis, Andy Murray would be favourite in the men’s (but admire Nadal and Federer) and Victoria Azarenka would be my favourite in the women’s game (closely followed by Jelena Jankovic and our very own Elena Baltacha of course). As far as North American sports are concerned, I enjoy the rough and tumble action of NHL Ice Hockey immensely and follow the fortunes of the Columbus Blue Jackets there.
I don’t believe there is any real secret to success when betting. My philosophy has always been to win lots of times small, as to going big in search of a large one time payout. It is somewhat of a relaxed approach to it all, and it is more about the challenge of being right after studying statistics than landing a big winner for me.
Cyril, the Bookie
Actual Job: retiree
Betting career: from the first minute till now (since the birth of betting shops)
Preferred bookmaker: Betfair
I don’t remember much about it, ( what’s new), but I first saw the light of day, 4 days before Christmas 1935 in that wonderful city of LIVERPOOL.
I had a fair to middling education, finally at a school a little below Grammar School standard.
After 18 months as a wiring inspector at the then A.T. & E in Liverpool I joined the R.A.F. on a 5 year engagement. A month short of completing my third year I was medically Discharged with Ulcers.
Whilst in the R.A.F. I was introduced to betting. My first bet was on Cawston Tower in a Derby trial. It won! I was hooked.
1961 saw the Betting and Gaming Act come into force. Betting Shops were legal.So I was around at the birth of betting shops.
How could anyone not immediately fall in love with the wonderful facilty-lacking places? And that marvellous fog like atmosphere. I loved it so much that I virtually taught myself to settle.I blagged myself a job as a relief settler/boardmarker. That was in July 1963. Thank God the owner didn’t know a bet from a bat. Fortunately I hit it off with the settler/manager and what I didn’t know he taught me. I WAS IN!!!
The years in between now and then have taught me a lot. Mainly, only bet when the chances of winning are greater than those of losing. Being able to do this takes a lot of hard work and studying.
Although I earned my living accepting bets mainly on horses I myself prefer football for my betting interests. Foinavon in ’67 taught me the error of my ways where horses were concerned.
There are so many markets to bet on in the football field.but since retiring I’ve gravitated towards trading on matches. The returns aren’t as big as from other markets but they are more regular.
I find my games to bet on by using resources available on the internet. Whatever you need is there. Just take time to find it. Of course I do have my own commandments
4. Keep Records..
Each is as important as the other.
Discipline speaks for itself. Never bet for the sake of having a bet. Always know why you’re betting on whatever will carry your money. This ones due to win, isn’t a good enough reason to back it.
Specialise in your selections. When you realise how many horses there are in training, or how many teams in the multitude of leagues available for you to bet on, the mind boggles. Not forgetting Greyhounds, both real and cartoon. Sorry that should be, real and computer generated. Then there’s the various numbers games to entice you. You also need to keep a good grip on your betting wallet. Have a set amount to bet with and divide it between you selections in a way that makes good sense. There are many staking plans available to the punter. The only one I dismiss out of hand is the Martingale. Having said that, if your betting doesn’t pay to level stakes, you’re not trying hard enough.
Always keep a record of EVERY bet you make. Keep it up to date with results. This way you can see where you have gone wrong. Or where you have the Edge".
One thing I always tell anyone who asks. NEVER bet on or against your own team.No matter how you try to be fair minded it NEVER works out right . Believe me.
My team? What else could it be, other than LIVERPOOL. For the last 65 years. I can’t get to see them now but as I live reasonably close, in Widnes, Cheshire.
Paul, the Author
Actual Job: author & journalist
Betting career: 34 years
I’m a child of the Sixties, born in the north-east of England but have lived
in South Yorkshire since I was 5-years-old. Like most who get hooked on the
betting game, my first bet was a sizeable winner (a double on Peterhof in
the Triumph Hurdle and Royal Frolic in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1976) and
it’s been downhill ever since.
I still like a bet on the horses and am also keen on golf and believe
cricket offers punters the best markets for making money. I prefer to watch
football above all else, however, and am a season-ticket holder at Doncaster
Rovers, whom I’ve supported for more than 40 years.
I’m lucky enough to make a living from writing, which is also my passion,
and am a published author as well as a journalist (a new book comes out next
year). I’m married to the beautiful Maria and have grown-up twin sons and if
anyone asked me for advice about betting I’d tell them to always bet on what
they know, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion and never be greedy.
Name: Armchair Punter
Actual Job: Cricket Coach, Sports Agent
Betting career: 10 years
My tipster nickname is Armchair Punter and I’m 41 years old.
I’m English (born in Nuneaton) and have followed Birmingham City since I was 10. I’ve followed English football for over 35 years, and my earliest memories of football was watching Southampton beat Manchester United in the 1976 FA Cup Final with my Dad (he missed the goal as he’d cut his finger just beforehand!), and Sweden’s very, very late equaliser against Brazil in the 1974 World Cup. I wondered if it was a goal if the ball went over the goal line as the whistle blew? I guess everyone at the time was asking themselves the same question.
I’m now based in Sydney and married to my wife Sarah who puts up with my affair with everything to do with soccer on the internet!
I started betting when a work colleague put me onto Betfair about 10 years ago, and showed me how he won money on horse-racing, and introduced me to a betting thesis called Laying To Win. I have been hooked ever since, although not so much horse-racing now, but have used my experience and knowledge around English football to good & profitable effect.
I have read about, and tried, countless betting “strategies”, the ones that the inventor swears by and ‘guarantees’ a certain percentage, and all the get rich quick schemes.
They don’t work. My advice to anyone who bets is to stick with a market they know and can get quick, up-to-date information about that sport on the internet. Google is your friend. I currently use about four different football websites (information, team news, stats, and pricing) is pretty much all you need to be able to make more than an educated guess (or gut feel) regarding a particular match.
I focus on not just the Premiership, but also the Championship, League One, League Two and Conference (& non-league lower) as they are off the radar with a lot of betting companies, and therefore there are lots of opportunities to make money thanks to their ill-educated odds pricing.
I use the following markets; straight win, draw, asian handicap (useful for a good away team playing against, say, a mid-table team), over 2.5, under 2.5, both teams to score.
By following a particular league, you’ll very quickly get to know each team’s strengths and weaknesses, who the high-scoring teams are, who struggles to score but has a tight defence etc.
Watching trends and form fascinates me and over a long period of time, the stats do not lie.
My secrets of success aren’t really a secret – you have to do your research into who’s playing, read the team news & make a note of their stats – does that player usually have a big influence on matches? Liverpool without Steven Gerrard is a classic example. Most of their creativity stems from him in midfield, who else provides as many assists as him if he’s not playing?
When you look at a fixture list and certain matches jump straight out at you and you have an instant gut-feel of what the result will be – stick with that original decision. After time, you’ll learn to trust your gut-feel as you’ll be familiar with each team’s performance & stats.
Aside from sports betting and tipster previews, I am a Level 1 cricket coach through Cricket Australia, and work part-time as a sports agent.
Matthew, the Spring Chicken
Actual Job: Freelance Journalist
Betting career: to keep my local bookmaker out of trouble, 4 years ;-), but really I’ve been betting proper since I was 16.
Compared to most it would seem, I’m a spring chicken here at Online-Betting at the ripe age of just 22. I’ve spent the vast majority of my childhood down in Cornwall, Saltash which is right on the doorstep of Plymouth Argyle FC. However, even though the Pilgrims are just a stone’s throw away, I’ve only ever held a passing interest in Plymouth, despite growing up with several Argyle supporters. My actual one love is Liverpool, something my Dad passed down to me when I was a youngster, although, as strange as it sounds, there was a time when I briefly supported Blackburn Rovers. Alan Shearer was the pin-up in those day, the very first footballer I watched hence the sudden and bizarre fascination with the Lancashire outfit. I soon came to my senses though by the age of about 5, and I’m now expected to continue the family heritage of supporting inarguably the most frustrating football club in the country.
From as young as 12 I’ve had a keen interest in sports betting, starting with my grandparents through horse racing, although I had little knowledge of who I was betting on at the time nor how much I was betting or the actual bet type (Lucky 15). It wasn’t until my final year at secondary school that I made my first official bet with a licensed bookmaker, with my local Dones, also known as BetFred. Once again it was mainly horse racing which was fortunate enough to receive my hard-earned pocket-money, a whole £2 back in the day, but I’ve been doing the now traditional weekend footie bets for some time. It has become something of a social activity more than anything else, with the local bookies littered with young folk over the course of the weekend, looking to turn their five-pounds into thousands with the most ridiculous of bets – But that’s what betting is all about for the majority; the thrill, excitement and hope of turning something meaningless into something really worth celebrating.
A successful recipe for betting to a profitable margin is patience and discipline, and I, unfortunately, lack both which is why I tend to focus on selecting value when highlighting possible bets. For one reason or another, I’ve always been someone who views betting as a bragging opportunity, and for me there’s no greater sense of satisfaction than highlighting a winning bet at not just handsome odds but one few others would dare to back. It is by no means a sure-fire success method, far from it, but it’s how I enjoy betting and that should be the final say in how you use betting to your advantage. At the end of the day, why bet at all if you don’t find the whole process enjoyable? I do also study statistics, form and all that malarkey as it’s so often the basis for a winning bet. But knowing too much background information can often blinker you when searching for the next winning bet.
With regards to how I found my way into freelance journalism, it all started on a website by the name of OLBG (Online-Betting-Guide.co.uk). A fairly simple sports betting portal which allows anyone with an opinion the opportunity to bless others with their knowledge on anything betting related in the sporting world. In my case, football. I’ve always been a huge lover of sports, football in particular having played it all my life, while I’ve followed the Premiership intensely for over a dozen years. But I never thought I’d enjoy writing about the beautiful game as much as I did. I then went in search of opportunities elsewhere, on other websites which focused strongly on football, and was fortunate enough to come across SoccerBetting.info. While others probably wouldn’t have given me the time of day in an age where the majority of bloggers and sports writers are former players, with most handed an opportunity of a lifetime on the basis of their career as a footballer and not actually what they know about the game itself – or writing for that matter, Flo Koerner took me under his wing. That was over three years ago now and I would like to think my work has come on leaps and bounds since, but I’m a long way off being perfect – I know I have a lot to improve on, but I also feel that at just 22-years-of-age I have enough time to grow into the sought-after roles which have been handed to me by the generous folk at Online-Betting and SoccerBetting.
Callum, the "over 2.5 goals" Expert
Actual Job: Fooball Academie Coach & more
Betting career: 8 years
Preferred bookmaker: Bet365
I am 23 years old and I’m from, and reside, in Scotland, half hour outside Glasgow.
I have been interested in sports for as long as I can remember and gambling has been a natural progression, because of this, for the last 8 years or so.
With regards to my favourite betting markets I like the markets on goals, more specifically the over 2.5 goals and both teams to score markets. The reason for this is because your wager always has a chance and gives you an interest in a game for the majority of the match. I also believe bookmakers can price these markets up incorrectly at times and it’s worth shopping around to get the best odds.
I am an avid football fan and support Celtic. As well as football I love watching horse racing and try to attend as many race meets as possible, with my local track Ayr, being my favourite.
I have been involved in coaching football at professional academies whilst I’m currently working within Health Promotion for the Health Service.
With regards to advice for betting, the best bit of advice I could give would be to go with your natural instinct. A lot of research is all well and good but gut instinct is mosti important. Another bit of advice would be to have as many accounts with bookmakers as possible. The fluctuation on odds can be massive if you shop around.
Joe, Horseracing Expert
Actual Job: Sports journalist
Betting career: For as long as I can remember
Born in 1978 and always lived in Ireland, my family were heavily involved in horse racing, so it was inevitable that I follow in their footsteps. A love and deep understanding of betting followed. I love taking money from bookmakers. It started on the racecourses in Ireland, but soccer has always been my first love and gradually I migrated to betting on soccer. I still bet on horseracing, but focus most of investment on the English Premier League. I’m a big Liverpool fan, but have had a soft spot for Barcelona since I very young. I love the football they play these days – proper football. I rarely bet odds-on, and if I have a gut feeling, I go with it. I form an opinion on a match or event, work out the best bet to have, and then move on it – the bigger the price my opinion turns out to be, the more I’ll have on.
I have only once bet against Liverpool. It was at half-time at Anfield against Barcelona in Champions League a few years ago. It was 1-1 at half-time but Barcelona were brilliant and I thought they’d be odds-on to win the game in the in-running betting. They were 5/2 so I lumped on. Hey, at least I got something out of my favourite team being beaten!
Dave, Championship & Top Goalscorer Markets Expert
Name: Dave Higgins
Nationality: England (born in Newcastle, lives in Birmingham)
Actual Job: Journalist
Betting career: 24 years and no end foreseeable!
Preferred bookmaker: Paddy Power
First bet ever placed: West Tip to win the Grand National in 1986. 50p stake – returned £4.50
Favourite betting markets: The Championship and League One Top Goalscorer markets have always been kind. Also like Draw No Bet opportunities on football matches.
Key to being a good gambler: Discipline, discipline and discipline. Bet less frequently but with larger amounts on selections you feel strongly about. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition before striking a bet, not just on the horse / player / team you fancy
Biggest winning bet: Notts County to win League Two in season 2009/10. The Magpies started off at 25/1 in the summer and were favourites when the season began. Thankfully, I was on at 25’s.
Biggest losing bet: Went in way too big on Martin Kaymer to beat Dustin Johnson in the 2010 Ryder Cup. The German was one of the Europeans who played badly on the final day
Bets to steer clear of: I think scorecasts are a bookies dream. In fact, any bet on a player to score first is something of a lottery, although anytime goalscorer lends itself better to form.