Sunday, 1 December 2013


The hits count on this blog has now broken through the 600,000 StatCounter milestone,

although according to Blogger, the total page views all time is actually somewhat higher than that.
More technical types than myself can probably explain the difference - I think someone in the past suggested that certain page views are not recorded by StatCounter - but if the Queen can celebrate two birthdays, I don't see why this King of the betting blogs shouldn't celebrate two counting milestones! Stand by for the PATH 750k celebration.

It's also a new month today, and while I don't do detailed P&Ls because I don't want my readers to fall asleep, November was the second best month of 2013 for me. November is usually a good month, although 2012 was a small disaster. The NFL and NBA are usually solid, and the football last month has been good, if not spectacular. The XX Draws were up slightly, the Unders was up slightly more, and the Cassini Value Selections were up even more. 

Speaking, as I was earlier, of P&L blogs, I don't see so many of these around these days. Admittedly after almost six years of doing this, I don't search for blogs as actively now as I used to, but I don't trip over them like I used to. 

Some of you will be aware that at the end of the last NBA season, I stumbled across the NBA Tips blog, and although as soon as I started following them, their results went downhill, I made a note to keep an eye on them for this season. It was play-off time and those matches can be challenging.

Sadly, a litany of errors in their record-keeping has called their accuracy and attention to detail into question, and their reluctance or failure to correct their errors calls their integrity into question. Some of you may have seen the Twitter exchange as I try to keep them honest, but here is some more background for anyone interested in the details. 

Leaving aside subjective concerns such as the concern over recommending bets in pre-season games, the silliness of 1/4 point bets, or the often immature nature of the Tweets, here are some of the proven and indisputable errors or inaccuracies.

The number of games played each season was incorrect
A 2 unit loss was recorded as a 1 unit loss

Try writing the below on your betting slip and getting paid out - the Pacers won by 15 (97-82)
Clearly a loser, and no bookmaker would pay out on the above, but the NBA Tips boys then suggest the bet was for the Half-Time result, a rather important detail that was "missed by accident"
"Full time line was around +12.5 at 1.95"? I did indeed check the lines, and here's a screenshot of my Betfair investment from that game:
That Boylesports would have 12.5 as their line seems unlikely. Using the traditional mathematics that I prefer, I make this claimed line of 12.5 further away from the actual line of 7.5 than the 4.5 point line on the bet was! Bet is a clear loser one might say.

I rest my case, but one final point before I go is that cherry-picking the best price listed is one thing, but not many serious or successful investors can keep accounts with the likes of Bet365. Creative mathematics such as the examples shown above might well turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, but hopefully anyone following their 'results' will maintain a healthy scepticism. Their reluctance to correct the above bet to a loss is one serious concern, but their claim to have resolved the other issues I found (at least nine) seems unlikely as they never asked me where the errors were, is another! These 'errors' are all the more puzzling given that there are two people involved, and another set of eyes should be able to catch all, or at least most, unintentional errors. 

On the other side of the integrity scale, credit goes to FTL entrant Jamie A, who noticed that a game where he had two (both losing) selections was only recorded as a one point loss, and pointed the mistake out to me. Yes, we all make mistakes, but sadly not everyone takes responsibility for them and corrects them.

I'm not sure if I have told this story before or not, but the mother of a good friend of mine back in the 1980s used to enjoy a Saturday flutter on the horses at her local bookmaker in Coulsdon. Back in those days, winnings would be paid out in a small sealed brown envelope, and on one occasion she arrived home after collecting her winnings only to find on opening it that she had been paid out too much. 

She returned to the shop to complain.

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