VG TIPS NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2014
Fresh off the back of my memorable winning of the World Cup (well, OK, the Germans played their part!), the new UK football season beckons. Games outside of the Premier League begin on the weekend of August 9th. As ever, I shall deliver my football tips to members a day or two before the games kick off. Football betting provided members of VG Tips with further profitable punting last season. This coming season there will be single bet tips and a weekly accumulator bet. And, of course, there will be midweek football tips when those are taking place. I’ve been missing the World Cup since it finished. I enjoyed it on all fronts. And it is always nice when a bet you are confident about 18 months prior to the event taking place, pays off. I’m pleased to hear so many people followed me in and took pre-tournament odds on Germany to win the World Cup. Some did so as early as me, back in the winter of 2013.
Well, we shall have to wait and watch the first few games to see which clubs have bought well. Chelsea look strong. Jose Mourinho has work to do if Diego Costa (above) is to justify his transfer fee. But, if any manager can take that player to the next level, it is Jose. Costa scored plenty of goals last season for Atletico Madrid in what was the weakest La Liga season in a decade. He will face better defenders in the Premier League.
Liverpool have lost Luis Suarez and, with it I believe, any chance of coming as close to winning the title this season as they did last. Brendan Rodgers has spent plenty of the Suarez money. Time will tell us if the money has been well spent. Liverpool will do well to finish in the top four this coming season.
Louis Van Gaal will refresh the parts of Manchester United that his predecessor could not. He has a major job to do if Man Utd are to win the title this season, but he will surely make them a tougher side to beat and a top four finish is more likely than not.
Manchester City will continue to strengthen the squad (they are about to unveil Frank Lampard as a part time squad member). It is not just the quality of their players, the size of their cheque book, or the class act that is their manager that makes City a force to reckon with. It is the depth of their squad.
Arsenal have bought well and bought for the future. One day the grumbling Arsenal fans will look back and realise just what good Arsene Wenger did for their club. But, in the meantime, no doubt the season ticket holders will win the title for champion moaners. The signing of defender Calum Chambers (left) has attracted much attention because of the reported fee of between £12 and £16 million. This is a long term investment (until they sell another good full back to Chelsea, that is). Chambers will be the regular full back for England in years to come. If he avoids serious injury, I happen to think Arsenal have got a bargain buy (as much as that is possible in the crazy world that is the transfer market).
One club has been selling as frantically as someone with a stall at a car boot sale who doesn’t want to take their goods home with them. Southampton have had a fire sale. I guess manager Ronald Koeman knew that the best Saints would be marching out of the door before he agreed to take the job. Were I a Southampton fan, I’d be worried right now. Southampton are 11/2 with Coral to be relegated. I’ll have a bit of that.
In the Championship, Blackpool are now odds on to be relegated. As they don’t appear to have enough players to field a team for their first game of the season; it is hard to see Blackpool staying up next season. A club ravaged by its convicted rapist of an owner. Again, I feel for the fans. When owners buy football clubs for reasons that have nothing to do with success on the pitch, be afraid. Blackpool to be relegated at 7/10.
You’d have to think that promoted Brentford will struggle to stay up. The Bees are best price 19/4 to go down (and widely 9/2 and 4/1 elsewhere). I’ll be taking that price for Brentford to be relegated.
In League 1 it looks as though Sheffield United will take back their former striker Ched Evans. The convicted rapist will be out of prison in October and has joined them on a day release basis in an effort to be match fit before Christmas. If he achieves match fitness his goals will greatly improve the chances of the Blades being promoted. I fancy Sheffield United to be promoted. But the current price of 7/4 is too short. I would wait for them to have a bad run of results and then, when the price is bigger, be on them to go up come May.
A club that knows all about suffering from financial difficulties off the field, Coventry City, are best price 9/1 to be promoted out of League 1. I’d fancy that.
My real flyer in League 1 is for Leyton Orient to be relegated at current odds of 25/1. The O’s were so unlucky not to be promoted last season. Leading their play off final 2-0 at half time, they lost the game to Rotherham. Barry Hearn has left Orient. His 20 year reign as Chairman is over and the O’s join the legion of clubs now owned by a foreigner. The early signs are positive. They have made a couple of good signings. So why am I am having a tenner on Orient to go down? Because I think getting over the disappointment of last season will be very hard for the players. So often a club that just misses out on promotion one season suffers a hangover the following one. I hope I am wrong. Personally, I hope the O’s go up. But, from a betting perspective, I cannot resist the 25/1 on offer for Leyton Orient to be relegated.
My pre-season bet in League 2 will be for York City to be promoted. Manager Nigel Worthington turned around the fortunes of the Minstermen last season and they only just missed out on the chance for promotion. If they can start next season as they finished the last, York City to go up looks a bet to me at odds of 4/1. My first tips on individual matches will be sent to members next Thursday/Friday. So come sign up for a month before then. Just £10 to receive unlimited football and racing tips.
This meeting is always one at which I enjoy some profitable punting.
While Goodwood is often anything but glorious for me, racing on the Knavesmire at York is much more my cup of tea when it comes to bashing the bookies. Races such as the Juddmonte International, the Nunthorpe Stakes and the Ebor itself will be attracting my money.
September brings us the Irish Champions Stakes and the St. Leger at Doncaster. Then we have the QEII Stakes, which may allow us to watch Kingman in action once more.
How I wish we had more quality thoroughbreds like Kingman plying their trade. Many of you know my opinion on the quality of much of the flat racing fixtures this past couple of seasons. It’s not been good.
There is simply too much racing and way too much of it is low grade.
This is not good for racing and not good for us as punters. So I am considering making radical changes to my selection policy for the first time since 1998. There have always been class 6 sellers and class 5 handicaps containing horses that will never win a race. But the sheer quantity of such races (especially between Monday and Thursday) is a negative for profitable punting.
Why? Because in races that are one up from donkey derbies on Cleethorpes beach, anything can win. Form is rarely reliable. Neither are the horses in those races. The quantity of 3 and 4 horse races has never been higher than it is today. Again, they are of no interest to me as a punter.
Over many years I have studied all racecards, on 6 or 7 days of each and every week. I take up around 90 minutes to study each race meeting and, as you will know, there can be several race meetings, especially on a Saturday. Now I don’t mind devoting such time to studying form. After all, it is what has led to me making a profit from betting on horses since 1998. But what I do mind is wasting my life trawling through terrible race meetings.
And I am going to stop doing that.
How can it be in your interests or mine to make selections in class 4 handicaps with fewer than 8 runners? Or low class races with horses carrying handicap marks of 0-45? In truth, it cannot. What I have noticed this past couple of years is this.
My policy of studying all races in an effort to find the winner is now negated by the sheer poor quality of the horses running in such races. My mission has always been to share with you my method of profitable punting.
To join me, if you so wish, in making an annual profit through betting on racing and football. That mission is endangered by my offering you selections in races which are there to make up the numbers at meetings I would not pay to attend with stolen money.
So I am working on a new schedule of selections. A more targeted, customised service whereby you may well receive fewer in number selections but, crucially, the selections in which I have most confidence. The bets I believe are much more likely than not to return us win or placed profit.
Because members have been so loyal to me over decades, I have felt the need to offer selections even on days when I don’t like the look of the racing. I have resisted this temptation on many days, but I have also been guilty of falling victim to my honest belief that members paying for a service (albeit only £10 a month) should receive tips between 5 and 7 days of the week.
But nowadays, as most racing people know, there are often days when there is simply nothing worth betting on.
Knowing when not to bet is as important as knowing when to.
I keep banging on about how racing should concentrate on offering us quality and not quantity. Perhaps I should practice what I preach and offer you fewer, but more select racing selections.
That may mean successive days of no tips. Or it may result in one tip of the day. It may be a case that on one day there are several tips, but none at all the next day. Would that be acceptable to you? I ask existing members and would be newcomers. My method of profitable punting has always been about making profit much more often than not. It is about not losing, as much as it is about winning.
That’s why I may hedge my bets and have a couple of each way selections in big field handicaps. That is why I may sometimes offer an each way selection that is priced under 10/1. I am interested in the bottom line. That, come the end of a year, we have made money overall. If that means being each way on a horse at 8/1 that only comes second, then that’s fine by me.
Why? That way our stake money remains in our pocket and not that of the bookie. We live to fight another day. Winning on 33/1 or 20/1shots is what we all love doing and have done each season since 1998. Picking a double figure priced winner of a good class handicap is something I enjoy.
I relish the challenge. And I enjoy making profit on a horse that is placed at 14/1 or 25/ as much, if not more so, than winning on an 11/4 shot. There are several ways of skinning a bookie and I like to explore different options when it comes to making profit from punting.
But what I think I and other punters are in danger of doing is betting in races that exist only for the bookie. Of falling into the trap of saying: “Well, that’s the racing they are serving up to us, so we’ll find a bet in such races.” The truth is, we do not have to. Indeed, we must not do. I will continue to look at what racing is on 7 days of the week. But I will not continue to spend hours leafing through low grade racecards trying to find a jewel in a heap of manure.
I will concentrate more on the higher class races and the high profile meetings. Frankly, it’s where I do best. I will continue to keep my eyes peeled for a good priced newcomer racing in a maiden from a stable that can deliver first time out winners. But I will not be looking at claimers, sellers, class 5 or 6 dross or races with only a handful of runners.
The VG TIPS way of profitable punting has always been a collaborative approach. We help each other out. I delight in the exchanges I have with members via e-mail or Twitter (@betonsportstips) But it is you the member that pays your money and takes your choice. Let me know what you think.
Would you rather I now offer a more select, targeted service that sees me offer you selections only when I am most confident about them?
Would you be content to receive from me a notification that says “No Tips today” even if that happened some weeks on three or four days? If my selections on racing were only for the feature meetings (jumps and flat) and, outside of those high profile meets, you received selections only on days when I believe there to be horses worth betting on… would you be content with that?
As stated, I really think all punters – even experienced ones such as I – are being lulled into tipping in races that do not deserve our attention. That cannot be good for us.
I am not a racing snob. I believe a good priced winner is good news for us whether it races at Thirsk or Ascot, Aintree or Ayr. Location doesn’t matter to me.
Profitable punting year on year does. The British Horseracing Authority, in conjunction with the big bookmakers, moved the goalposts on us. They offer us more and more low grade racing and more all weather racing. We have to react accordingly.
Once I have heard back from my treasured and dedicated members, I will get back to them personally with what I plan to do week on week. There will always be racing selections and there will always be football tips.
And, from the next jumps season, members will also receive regular video diaries from me with betting advice, opinions, reviews and previews and the benefit of my many years as a profitable punter. £10 a month remains the membership fee.
Come join what will be a refreshed selections service, more tailored to your needs and mine. The overall mission remains the same. Bash the bookie. Make an annual profit from punting. That much will never change.