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Betting Previews (mixed)

Here you can read our periodical betting previews!

Value-Betting - Recognizing Value

The Inside Wagering Line from Pinnacle Sports Book by Hobbes

Recognizing Value - the Key to Gaining a Gambling Edge

Risk is part of everyday life, more so than most people probably realize. From crossing the road to the more obvious financial decisions such as buying a house, or starting a business, all involve varying amounts of uncertainty which must be considered. Gambling is the purest expression of risk, yet even when presented with a seemingly simple choice of potential outcomes for an unknown event, such as a football match, many bettors display a worrying ignorance of the concept of value and the fundamental mathematical principals involved. In simple terms, if a bettor cannot recognize 'value' they will never be a long term winner.

Take a look at this seemingly simple mathematical puzzle, known as the Monty Hall paradox (named after the host of 'Let's Make a Deal', a popular US show in the 60's & 70's which formed the basis of the poser):

An unbiased game-show host has placed a car behind one of three doors. There is a goat behind each of the other doors. You have no prior knowledge that allows you to distinguish among the doors. 'First you point toward a door,' he says. 'Then I'll open one of the other doors to reveal a goat. After I've shown you the goat, you make your final choice whether to stick with your initial choice of doors, or to switch to the remaining door. You win whatever is behind the door.' You begin by pointing to door number 1. The host shows you that door number 3 has a goat.

Do you gain value and see your chances of winning the car increase by switching to Door 2 or do you stay with Door 1 as it has an equal chance with only two doors left to choose from? When this question was posed in Parade magazine, 10,000 readers complained that the published answer was wrong - including several maths professors.

The assumption of 'equal probability', while being intuitively seductive, is wrong. The simple answer is to always switch doors. The car is behind one of the two closed doors, but you have no way of knowing which. Most contestants intuitively see no advantage in switching and assume that now there are only two doors, each must have an equal probability of revealing a car. In fact, your chances of winning the car actually double by switching to the door the host offers. If you switch, you gain value as theoretically you now have a 2/3 chance of winning the car. If you stayed with your original selection you have just a 1/3 chance of winning.

The principle is underlined by increasing the number of doors to 100. If 99 doors have a goat behind them and only one has a prize, if the player picks a door and then the host opens 98 of the other doors that were all shown to contain goats and then gives the player the opportunity to switch, the intelligent player would switch. The reason being that on average, in 99 out of 100 times the other door will contain the prize, as 99 out of 100 times the player first picked a door with a goat.

The Hole-In-One Gang
An excellent example of how this concept applies to betting was demonstrated by two sharp punters - Paul Simmons and John Carter - the self-styled Hole-In-One-Gang. In the summer of 1991, after studying the form, they calculated the chances of any given golfer in a tournament hitting a hole-in-one at around 50%. So they toured the UK placing maximum bets on the chances of a hole-in-one being scored by any player at a major that year. Lazy bookmakers who didn't take the time to study the statistical likelihood put a finger in the air, and quoted amazing odds with 100-1 not uncommon.

That year, there were hole-in-one's scored at 3 of the 4 majors and the pair's winnings were reputed to be around 1million. Although it is difficult to put exact odds on a hole-in-one, it is clear that it is nowhere near 100/1. Due to the tradition of buying everyone in the clubhouse a drink after a successful hole-in-one, you can now buy insurance against it happening. Most insurers would probably refer to Francis Scheid's (retired chairman of Boston University Maths Dept) 2000 study for Golf Digest. The magazine has kept hole-in-one stats since the 1950's and Scheid put the odds of a Tour player scoring a hole-in-one at 3,000-1. You can make a rough calculation for an average event like this week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

4 (short holes)*156 (players before cut)*2(rounds) PLUS 4*70 (players after the cut) * 2
= (1,248+560) 1,808 attempts against an average frequency of 1 in 3,000.

Probability Yes: 1,808/3,000=0.6026 or a 60% chance of occurring with true odds of 1.66

Probability No: 1,192/3,000=0.3973 or a 39% chance of occurring with true odds of 2.52

The hole-in-one gang were getting exceptional value on their bets playing at odds of 100/1 when in reality the chance of a hole-in-one occurring using Scheid's figures was no more than a 2/3 (1.666) shot at true odds.

Such notions are all too common mistakes in gambling when bettors and bookmakers frequently act against their best interests. It doesn't matter if it's a game show, playing the lottery or sports betting, understanding and finding value is the key to profit. Like the Monty Hall question, successful betting requires the skill to understand whether the odds offered on an event represent the statistical probability of that event occurring - if it doesn't then you will have an edge and gain value.

This very interesting article was brought to you by


US Open Betting, Eurobasket Betting, Golf Betting

The Pinnacle Post from

Can Anyone Break Federer's US Open Stranglehold?
As Roger Federer seeks to become the first player since 'Big Bill' Tilden in 1923 to win four consecutive US Open titles, the question bettors must reasonably ask themselves is - can anyone stop the Federer Express? Facing qualifiers in the early rounds, Roger may not be fully primed when the real business begins, but such is his form, this may be just clutching at straws. Get the best value on all US Open prices at

High Class Golf Field Heads for Thai Coast
Featuring the top players from the European, Asian and Australian tours plus a handful of specially invited guests, the Johnnie Walker Classic on Thursday in Phuket, Thailand, is one of the biggest events in the Asian golf calendar. Played at the Blue Canyon Country Club for the third time in the tournament's history, bettors should note that European players have a poor record, recording just one victory in the last ten years. Bet the Johnnie Walker Classic at the best price with

Continent's Finest Gather in Spain for Eurobasket 07
The 35th European Basketball Championship tips off next week in Spain and features 16 of the continents top basketball nations, including holders, Greece. The two-week event divides the field into four preliminary groups, the best two in each section progressing to an eight-team knock-out stage with the final on September 16th. offer exceptional Basketball pricing with 1.95/1.95 on sides, only 102%. Bet all the EuroBasket action with

Viva la Liga (Spain La Liga start)

Viva La Liga!

To celebrate the start of the La Liga betdirect are going 100% crazy. From 8.30am tomorrow morning they will be betting to 100% on every 90 minute market meaning you will get better odds on EVERY outcome.

To mark the start of La Liga betdirect will be offering 100% markets on the win/draw/win markets for the full La Liga programme this weekend.

Head of PR Charlie McCann said: "We are taking a more aggressive football stance this season and for the first week of La Liga we are giving punters a 100% book. There are some cracking matches including the Madrid Derby tomorrow and the visit of Barcelona to Santander on Sunday. We are also offering 6/1 that the Big 4 in Spain (Real Madrid, Barca, Seville & Valencia) make winning starts or 13/8 that the Big 2 of Real and Barca win their opening fixture. This market has proved popular in the Premiership and we are offering 9/2 that all four of the leading sides in England (Man U, |Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool) win their respective fixtures this weekend."

Prices will be available from 8.30am tomorrow Saturday until midnight and then reissued on Sunday morning through until kick off on Sunday.

As betdirect use fractions the books will be approximately 100% but we guarantee that no win/draw/win market will exceed 101% although prices will be open to fluctuation.

What Differentiates Long-term Winning and Losing Sports Betting Players?

Pinnacle Pulse: Issue 75

The Inside Wagering Line from Pinnacle Sports Book by Hobbes

What Differentiates Long-term Winning and Losing Players?

As a general rule there are two groups of gamblers betting on sports - those who hope to profit, and those who expect to profit. The vast majority of gamblers belong to the first group, and always will, because their actions contradict their intentions. There is no simple secret to attaining long-term profitability in sports betting. All professional players serve a long apprenticeship, but if you aspire to join this elite group, there are some myths that need to be exploded, and some basic concepts that you need to come to grips with, in order to make the transition from 'casual' to 'professional'.

Evolving from Casual to Professional
At we categorise a professional player (or 'sharp') as one who we expect to win over the long-term. How can we tell if any given player will be a consistent winner going forward? The most accurate way is to compare the odds a player received when they placed a bet with the closing price for that particular market.

If a player consistently beats our closing price at, they are likely to be a long-term winner. Interestingly, we have found that this test is more indicative of a player's future winning potential, than their historical win/loss record with the company.

For example, our closing Asian Handicap price on Manchester Utd. versus Man City in the recent Derby was (-1/2) 1.909, so if a customer played (-1/2) 1.962 earlier in the week - that was a sharp bet, regardless of whether the bet won or lost. When a player can anticipate the line movement and does this consistently over a series of 100 bets or more, that player is conclusively sharp, and likely to register substantial profits in the long run if applying the same approach.

What's the quickest way to identify a player that needs to adjust their style of betting? Simple - one who plays at a 'bad' price. If other online bookmakers offered a closing price on Man City at (+1/2) 1.869 and a player bet that price, instead of taking the superior odds of (+1/2) 2.02 available at, he is almost certainly not sharp. Even if he has been winning thus far, that player will probably lose over time.

Line Shopping
You can use this information to your advantage by adopting the process known as "line" or comparison shopping. Not only is it second nature to sharp players, but it is one of the easiest ways for any player to increase their potential winnings by always playing at the best available price. This is achieved by actively seeking best prices through odds comparison sites, and having accounts at multiple online sports books so that you no longer remain a captive to the high margins of traditional bookmakers. Ideally you should hold a portfolio of accounts including a betting exchange, one or two reduced commission bookmakers such as together with a couple of traditional books, where you'll find inflated favourite prices and most likely attractive odds on the underdog.

The objective when comparison shopping is to shrink the margins on both sides of any given event by as much as possible. This will allow you to be in the ideal position to lay 1.962 on the favourite at one bookie and take back better than even money at another book, guaranteeing a profit no matter which team or player wins.

One word of caution when including a betting exchange when line shopping - always remember to compare the price AFTER commission has been deducted. A price offered may look appealing at first, but if 5% commission is deducted it may not be as attractive as you first thought. It's always worth remembering that unlike an exchange, never charges commission on winning bets.

The Pinnacle Challenge
Still not convinced about comparative shopping? If you don't have an account yet at Pinnacle Sports, try taking the "Pinnacle Challenge". Whenever you place a bet, check the odds on that wager at compared to the price you played at.'s Multi-Way Calculator will tell you the exact difference in market percentage which is the edge the bookmaker or exchange holds over you. Don't be surprised at how much money you may be missing out on by not having an account at!

Why is a Bookmaker telling me this?'s philosophy is that if we can improve the sophistication of players everywhere, more bettors will recognize the benefit of our unique pricing model, which offers up to 60% better odds. benefits from educating its players, as it is sharp bettors who firm up our early prices on all markets offered, that allows us to provide the highest limits and most competitive odds around.


Spain La Liga kick-off, Tennis US Open

The Pinnacle Post from

La Liga Kicks-off - Barca Head the Market

Real Madrid might be the defending Spanish champions, but it is Barcelona that head's To Win La Liga market at 1.714. Bettors reacted strongly to Thierry Henry's decision to leave Arsenal for the Catalans, where the Frenchman will spearhead Barca's world class attack. There is quality throughout the Spanish first division but only one place to get up to 60% better La Liga odds -

Tennis - Federer in Ominous Form for US Open

Roger Federer was in ominous form at last week's Cincinnati Masters, where the world no.1 recorded his 50th career title win. The Swiss master goes into next week's US Open at Flushing Meadows as the 1.543 favourite with to defend the title he won 12 months ago against Andy Roddick. With unbeatable pricing on EVERY match played it's game, set and match

Turkish Delight - F1 Race in Istanbul Offers Unique Challenge

Formula One teams will be preparing themselves for a radical change of direction as the F1 circus moves to Istanbul this weekend. The Turkish Grand Prix is one of only two races on the circuit run in an anti-clockwise direction, meaning that the G-forces affect the drivers in a totally different way, exposing any lack of fitness in the cockpit. Get your Formula One betting into shape by taking advantage of's ultra lean pricing.

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Asian Handicaps explained

The Pinnacle Pulse from

Asian Handicaps - An Antidote to One-sided Football
The Inside Line from the Pinnacle Sports book by Hobbes

As the new Premiership takes shape, football bettors might benefit from reassessing their approach to gambling on the English top flight. In recent seasons Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd (more commonly known as 'the big four') have widened the gap between themselves and the rest of the league as their financial strength has allowed them to consolidate their power, particularly at home.

Chelsea, in their last home game against Everton, equalled Liverpool's record of 63 consecutive unbeaten home games. While in the 2003/04 season, Arsenal achieved the Holy Grail of going an entire season unbeaten.

In the past two campaigns Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal have between them lost just eight home games, mostly to each other. What that often means for fans of a traditional 1,X,2 Saturday accumulator, is the hugely unappetising prospect of backing a multiple of the four big-guns at home to lesser opposition for combined odds of something around even-money. A similar scenario applies to Celtic in Scotland, who have a stranglehold on the SPL, and across the continent where last season for example, Inter Milan broke the European record for consecutive home wins (17).

The natural antidote for the increasingly prevalence of one-sided football contests is Asian Handicapping. Asian Handicaps level the playing field via a hypothetical goal bias, giving bettors the opportunity of backing Chelsea at better than even money at home to newly promoted Derby for example.

Asian Handicaps Explained
The Internet's largest online bookmaker,, is a market leader in Asian Handicap betting offering 1.96/1.96 style pricing. An Asian Handicap is a method of betting on soccer that eliminates the possibility of losing if a game ends in a draw after 90 minutes. Teams are 'handicapped' to offset any perceived difference in abilities, using a spread based on goal superiority which eliminates the tie. There are three basic types of Asian Handicaps:

Level Handicap
Where there is no perceived difference in abilities between Team A and Team B, no handicap bias is assigned, and both start off (0) also known as pk, pick'em or scratch. To win a bet on either team, all the bettor must do is identify the team which scores more goals than their opponent; all bets are refunded on the tie.

Single Handicap
Where there is a perceived difference in abilities between Team A and Team B, the superior team will be given an appropriate goal handicap to level the playing field for betting purposes i.e. -0.5 goal, -1 goal, -1.5 goals etc.

For example, if you bet on Team A with a handicap of -1 goal, they must win by more than one goal to cover their handicap and for you to win your bet. If they only win by a goal, the result with the handicap applied is a draw for betting purposes, so your bet is refunded. If Team B draw or win, you will lose your bet on Team A.

Double or Split Handicap
Where the difference in two teams' abilities is slight, split ball Asian Handicaps may be used splitting your stake into two separate bets. For example Team A might be offered (pk & -0.5). If you bet on Team A and they lose, you will lose both bets as they did not cover either handicap. If the match ends in a draw, half of your stake at (pk) will be refunded, and the other half at (-0.5) will lose. If Team A wins, both handicaps will be covered so both bets win.

If you're stuck in the past slavishly following three-way fixed odds betting, the chances are you're not getting a decent return on your outlay, and your gambling might benefit from the fresh perspective that Asian Handicapping provides.


Premiership Preview and Portuguese Superliga kick-off

The Pinnacle Post from

Portuguese League Action Returns
The Portuguese Liga kicks-off this weekend with Porto seeking a hat-trick of titles. The division has provided a spawning ground for future stars of Europe such as Cristiano Ronaldo, joined at Man Utd this season by Nani and Anderson, both poached from the Portuguese first division. Keep an eye out for the next big thing, and take advantage of up to 60% better Portuguese Liga prices at

Premiership Preview
The excitement of the opening weekend of the Premiership lived up to the expectation fuelled by a summer of heavy spending. This Sunday sees the first critical clashes, as Liverpool's title credentials are tested at Anfield by Chelsea, while the Manchester Derby at Eastlands brings together Alex Ferguson's defending Champions with Sven-Goran Eriksson's new look foreign legion. Check out for c.102% pricing on these key games and on all European Soccer fixtures this weekend.

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Pinnacle Launches Live Soccer Betting

The Pinnacle Post from

With the UK Soccer Leagues and German Bundesliga kicking off in just a few days, are adding to the excitement by announcing the launch of live betting on games across the European Soccer leagues. Players can now get the same market-leading 1.95/1.95 style low margin odds in-play, right up until the final whistle. Unlike some other live betting products, offers live betting with high limits and no commission to pay on your winning bets. For a smarter way to bet in-play visit


ATP Masters Series, FA Community Shield

The Pinnacle Post from

Tennis - ATP Masters Series

The ATP Masters continues on Monday, with the Rogers Cup in Montreal, the sixth tournament in the nine event series. Roger Federer is fast approaching Andre Agassi's record of 17 Masters Series' titles, but the defending Champion won't have it all his own way. Federer takes his place in a high-class field, along with Rafael Nadal, for the first time since they battled out a five-set classic at Wimbledon. Check out for c.102% match-ups.

Soccer - FA Community Shield

Last season's Premier League Champions - Man Utd - and FA Cup winners - Chelsea - meet at Wembley on Sunday in the Community Shield, traditional forerunner to the kick-off of the English football season. The game is a rerun of May's FA Cup final when Chelsea won 1-0 in extra time. With each of the last three Community Shield's producing over 2.5 goals, this game could be a lot more exciting. Get 60% better odds on total goals and Asian Handicap markets at

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