Cricket Betting – A bet at last

I waited and I waited and eventually late on Day 4, I had a lay of the draw. I always thought the draw odds would shorten in price, and late on in South Africa’s 2nd innings it did. It had actually shortened during the first session of the day, but I delayed a little and missed the price as a wicket fell.

After that opportunity was missed, I waited for what I believed to be the imminent end of the SA innings. I decided this was after their 7th wicket fell. At this point I placed the majority of my lay with a view to the innings not continuing for much more than half to three quarters of a session, that also would have allowed for an annoying partnership down the order.

I also did this in the belief that England would have to bat late on Day 4, and when they did they would have to go for bust chasing what ever South Africa set them.

All in all, I did three lays of the draw, the majority of the lay was done at 2.58 with top up lays at 2.3 and 2.7. I also had a couple of speculative quid on England at 20.

At the start of Day 5, with England already 2 wickets down, they will surely have to go for it now trying to get these runs. I will be amazed if England are daft enough to bat out for a draw, but given the goings-on in their dressing room lately, nothing would surprise me as common sense seems to be a thing of the past (as does catching).

I’m happy with my position at the moment, and if it doesn’t come off – although I’ll obviously be disappointed – I won’t be too down on myself as I think it is a decent value bet.

On the cricket side of things and the Pietersen row seems to be getting worse and more terminal looking by the day. I believe serious questions have to be asked of England’s management over their handling of this whole Pietersen affair.

We have Strauss who either didn’t notice a serious clique develop in his dressing room, or he turned a blind eye to it. We have the T20 captain involved in the clique, and his ignorance of the parody Twitter account is debatable at best.

What kind of leadership is this from both men?

England’s hold on the World No.1 Test ranking spot is also all but over. It was only a stay of execution at the top of the rankings, as it would have gone in the upcoming tour of India in my opinion. If we couldn’t play on the wickets in UAE against Pakistan earlier this year, I fail to see how we will be able to cope on Indian wickets.

I could be wrong here and sincerely hope I am, let’s see what happens on Day 5 first. At the worst, I hope England at least put up a decent fight. A limp ending on the back of a couple of crappy weeks would be a sad note to end the summer Test matches on.

Cricket Betting – Itchy Trigger Finger

To say I had itchy fingers today would be a serious understatement. I can’t begin to remember how many times I was tempted to get involved in the 3rd Test between England and South Africa and have a bet.
But resist it I did, as I still haven’t had a bet yet.
At the start of Day 2, I had a feeling it would be a struggle for England and was going to lay them, but I resisted. Why? Well for two reasons. 1) I’m trying to only get involved when I’m certain in my own mind of what I think will happen, and 2) For the time being, I don’t want to back against England as I want them to win.
Point 2 there obviously won’t serve me well in the long run if I am looking to make money from cricket betting.
But in all seriousness my reluctance to get involved is on the back of what I can only describe as my hastiness to get involved in the 2nd Test when I went in far too early, only to get my fingers burnt.
Accepted, there is a strong chance that by waiting here I’ll miss out on a good chance, but that’s the way I’m going to try to play it now. I could have had a nice easy win laying the draw (and backing it later in the day) on Day 5 of the 2nd Test if I had been more patient, so being patient is the way I’m going to play it from now on (or for as long as my discipline lasts).
Although I did expect England to struggle today, I still resisted. There was an element of doubt in my mind as the game could have gone either way. And in hindsight that was correct, as it did swing one way and then the other.
I’m banking on the hope that there will come a point in this match where I can see (with more certainty than at present) what might or might not happen, and if the odds look good, only then will I get involved with a back or a lay.
My suspicion with this Test is that it won’t be a draw, this is obviously reflected in the current draw price of 3.85 (to lay). My second suspicion is that England won’t win, which I hope to be wrong.
I do believe that at some stage there will be a big partnership or a passage of play where not a lot happens that could see the draw price shorten, especially going into Day 4, a stage of the match where punters seem to panic and take ridiculously short draw odds.
With this in mind, I am looking to lay the draw, but not until I get a price that I like the look of. My only reluctance here is the fact that a draw would suit the Saffers, but the chances are England will have to go for bust, allowing South Africa to maybe cash in?
So patience is still the game, let’s see how long I manage to resist on Day 3. 

Cricket Betting – Mixed Results

Well, I did write in my last post that someone needed to take my shovel off me, and unfortunately no one did.
The worst thing about it all, is I knew what would happen – as I alluded too in my previous post- and I still let it happen. If I’m going to bet like that, then what’s the point? I may as well pack up now.
To sum up briefly, I won (approximately) 10% of my betting bank on the Test match between West Indies and New Zealand, and lost about 20% of my betting bank on the England V South Africa test match.
I’ll start with West Indies’ match. West Indies were 1.38 to lay towards the end of Day 1, after New Zealand had collapsed to 260 all out. With a price this short, I placed this lay with a view to backing them later in the match for an all round profit when their price drifted out again, which it did.
When West Indies came out to bat, I was of the opinion that one of three things could happen. 1) The WIndies would also collapse for a similar or lower score, ensuring a drift in their price.  2) It might rain (there was a tropical storm in the area), ensuring a drift in their price. 3) They bat way past New Zealand’s score, taking time out of the game, maybe their price would shorten, but I believed that if it did, it wouldn’t shorten by much – maybe to around the 1.25-1.3 mark. Or it may even have drifted, depending on time left in match and weather forecast.
The point is that it was a low risk trade. The worst thing that might have happened was option 3.
Onto EnglandV South Africa. I clearly took a punt on the pitch being a green top, and I clearly got that wrong (as did the Englandhierarchy). I previously stated that I felt if over 350 Overs were bowled, there would be a result. I also got that wrong.
Analysing these two bets and it is clear that I took a wildish punt on the pitch and conditions (with plenty of dodgy weather on the horizon) in the England game, with no factual knowledge of how the pitch might play as a ball had not been bowled before I placed my lay of the draw.
While in the West Indies match, I looked at the match situation and felt that a lay of West Indies(with a view to trading later in the match) looked a value lay of small risk. This was based more on factual evidence of how batting conditions hadn’t looked great on Day 1, West Indies potential to capitulate, and I also had a fairly clear vision in my mind of what way the markets could go.
In hindsight, yes that beautiful thing, I was way too hasty with my lay in the England Test match. And worse still, there were great trading opportunities on Day 5, if I had waited.
In future I think I’m going to have to adopt an approach to staying patient, and if I miss the boat from time to time, then so be it.  
More thought clearly needs to go into my trades/bets. I can’t just pile in before a ball has been bowled in hope rather than expectation. I need to sit tight and wait for an opportunity to arise, as it did in West Indies’ match. This is the way I need to go moving forward.

Cricket Betting – In a bit of a hole at Headingley

Plenty of wickets on Saturday is the order of the day if my lay of the draw in the 2nd test between Englandand South Africaisn’t going to go down the pan fairly quickly.
I think it would be fair to say that I, along with England, badly misread the conditions at Headingley when putting my bet on last Thursday morning.
To leave out Graeme Swann for a fourth seamer shows that Englandexpected the ball to do a bit on the first morning, either because of the pitch, or overhead conditions.
By picking this team, and then inserting South Africa after winning the toss, it’s obvious that England expected conditions to suit bowling, so I’m not going to get too down on myself for laying the draw at 2.56 on Thursday.
In hindsight that now looks a bad call as the draw is now trading at around 1.42, and unless England lose early wickets tomorrow that price won’t be drifting any time soon with bad weather still around.
Anyway, I think I need someone to come and take my shovel off me as I’m still digging myself a bigger hole. I’ve had another lay of the draw, this time at 1.42. I’m basically looking to trade off some of my red, so I really need some early wickets on Saturday in order to claim some losses back.
Unless there is a dramatic collapse by England, it’s hard to now see this game ending in anything other than a draw. I think the Headingley pitch seems to be playing well, and only an inspired spell by someone exploiting overhead conditions can force a result here, I would imagine.
Add to that the fact that there is weather around, South Africa will probably settle for a draw, and even if England get themselves in a position to win and need to bowl South Africa out on Day 5, they have no spinner.
So all in all, damage limitation looks my only option now in this test match.
Onto the 2nd test match between West Indies and New Zealand. Late on Day 1, West Indies were 1.38. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t leave that alone, it was a must lay.
In my view the worst case scenario from there was the Windies batting for a couple of days and gaining a lead of around 200 runs. If this had happened, West Indies wouldn’t have shortened much below 1.38 – maybe to around the 1.25 mark?
With the possibility of West Indiescollapsing – not out of the question, and the possibility of a storm (apparently tropical storm Ernesto is in the region at the moment) – not out of the question, a lay at 1.38 was the only sensible bet.
I’ve now covered my Windies lay after they duly collapsed. I’ve also had a small lay of New Zealandafter they bowled West Indies out. As a result I have a smallish green on West Indies, with an average green on New Zealand and a fairly decent sized green on the draw.  
So come on Ernesto, where are you? By the way, don’t forget to tell you mates in the rain clouds to stay away from Headingley.

Cricket Betting – A Mixed Bag

The last two test matches I have had bets on have both produced wins, but I made bloody hard work of how to make money on them both and ended up taking risks way beyond what I ever intended to, and in hindsight they were both unnecessary risks.
Starting with England V South Africa, in the few days pre match I thought the draw looked a bit short online. I believe this was down to concerns with the weather, so with this in mind and the weather forecast improving I laid the draw with a view to it drifting with the weather situation starting to improve.
By Thursday morning what I expected had happened and I was in a position to green out and take a small profit before a ball was bowled. I instead chose to partially hedge out and leave myself with basically an even money lay of the draw.
I was happy with this as I fancied a result, don’t know why given the wicket, but it was just a hunch I had.
But come Saturday morning and instead of just leaving my bet to run I started trading, trying to be a smart arse and anticipate market swings and an England fight back. All I succeeded in doing was getting my book in to a bit of a mess.
By Sunday I had built up a bit of a loss. I decided to spread my potential loss 50/50 on SA and the draw. I expected that England might crumble though, so with this in mind I switched my losses onto the draw later in the day, leaving a scratch on SA.
Then as England wickets started to fall, I topped my SA bet up to win a couple of percent of betting bank, only problem was that by this stage about 30% of my betting bank was liable if the match ended up a draw.
In the end I got out of it with a small win, but with hindsight I could have made things a lot easier for myself. I could have actually pocketed the amount I ended up winning, risk free from my initial pre match trade.  
The other game I traded was West Indies V New Zealand. Now I know the Sir Viv Richards Stadium hasn’t much of a history and so is a hard pitch to judge, but I did expect that with Narine in West Indies side that there could be a late collapse if New Zealand ended up batting on Day 5.
As it turned out, NZ did collapse on Day 5, but it was more down to the bowling of Kemer Roach instead. Anyway, my match plan was to wait until Day’s 4 and 5 and see how things stood.
At the end of (I think it was) Day 2, I did back the draw as I believed it would shorten during the night with the prospect of rain, and it did, so I got out first thing in the morning.
This bit of green I had on the draw should have been my funds used to lay the draw late on Day 4 and early on Day 5, when the market seemed to completely over react to a couple of NZ partnerships.
But due to my impatience, I had already had a couple more dabbles in the market and had left my self with a massive red on the draw. So when the draw shortened I found myself digging my hole a bit deeper, until eventually I ended up with about 60% of my bank liable if the game ended in stalemate.
Luckily a couple of quick NZ wickets fell just before lunch on Day 5, allowing me to get back most of my red on the draw and leave me with again an even money lay of the draw, which I was more than happy with as I expected Windies to win from this position.
Again, more risk than needed was taken trading this game. It is a bit of a dilemma when to pull the trigger and get involved, but in hindsight patience was the key in this test match and I always expected it could be profitable to wait until Day’s 4 and 5, so why I got involved before I’ll never know.
With regard to England V SA, I think I tried to be too smart. But again, it is hard to know when to get in and when to get out. Maybe more caution is needed, or maybe I need to operate with smaller stakes while I try to learn to read markets better.
It is pretty easy to make 2-3% (of betting bank) profits on test matches, maybe I need to lower my expectations and take more modest profits, instead of going for bigger wins? That is a blog post in itself for another day.  
Onto the 2nd test between England and SA, and history tells us that Headingley is a result wicket, with no draw on this ground since 1996.
There is some weather about, so caution is needed, but I do think that if anything in the region of 350 plus, overs get bowled, that it should be a result here. Conditions are likely to suit seam bowlers, and both sides are strong in this department.    
The draw is already on the drift as I write this, 2.70 is currently just disappearing in the lay column. I do believe the draw will come in at some stage during this match, so patience could be rewarded, but waiting could result in missing the boat as an overcast day on Thursday could result in carnage if there is a full-ish days play.

So I either lay the draw now, or I sit tight and risk seeing someone maybe get bowled out on Thursday and the draw price disappear in smoke.

I’m going to sit on my hands in the West Indies test and see how the game develops.