I have a confession make. At the time of writing I have just won big and done so backing against my own football team. Should I feel guilty? Should I attend confession?
Not a bit of it.
While I have been a Sheffield Wednesday supporter since 1968, I have been a profitable punter since 1998. And I know which pays the bills.
When you know your club as well as I know mine, you tend to know when to back them to win, and when to back their opponents. I expect that, over many years of profitable punting on football and racing, I’ve won more when backing the Owls to lose.
And I’m willing to bet you know your team as well as I know mine. Players come and go and yet, for some inexplicable reason, clubs have characteristics that often don’t change regardless of the personnel.
With an hour remaining in the match at Manchester City, the Owls led. But I’ve been there and seen it when it comes to how Wednesday can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And, anyway, what sane person would expect us to beat the richest club in the land? They beat us 7-0 in the League Cup earlier this season – and it was 0-0 at half time that day.
So I had reason to doubt Wednesday would hold on to the lead, even with only half an hour remaining.The moment I heard Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini was calling up the cavalry, bringing on the in form David Silva and Samir Nari as substitutes, I logged on the betting in running market.
I first alerted all punters by tweeting the odds (via @betonsportstips) At that time City were 13/8 to come from behind and win the tie. Within seconds that price had drifted to 2/1 and 21/10. I quickly took the latter price and just got the bet placed in time. Seconds later, literally, Manchester City equalised courtesy of David Silva feeding goalscorer James Milner.
Then, in the very last minute, Milner scored again to ensure Manchester City progressed in the FA Cup, and that the large and ever vocal following of Wednesdayites had their collective hearts broken.
But we’re used to losing games in injury time. It goes with the territory of supporting Sheffield Wednesday. I knew that. So, while I am sorry my club missed out on a lucrative home replay, the punter in me says what he always says at these times: GET IN!
What do you think? Is it acceptable to bet against your own football team? Have you backed your own team to lose a football match? Let me know what you have to say on the matter.