Learning the art of sports betting with Voltbet.com #5

Incredibly this is already our fifth columb about learning the art of sports betting with Voltbet.com.

Some of the ideas and explanations can get a little in-depth at times and tricky to explain so this week I’ve decided to take a little break from explaining any new things in order for us to have a bit of fun and put what we’ve learned into practice.

The reason I’m doing this is that I’ve discovered the most exciting thing I’ve ever had a bet on: Sevens Rugby. The Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens takes place this weekend in Port Elizabeth with lots of interest and eyes on the rugby this weekend it’s a perfect time to try your hand at some Sevens punting. The IRB Sevens circuit takes a break until February after this tournament so there’s no time to waste.

There are a number of reasons why betting on Sevens is exciting. The most powerful of those is pace. The games are only priced up shortly before kick-off and everything is done and dusted inside of fifteen minutes (including half time).

And for every single one of those minutes you’re on the edge of your seat. If you’ve gone for a side on the PLUS (check here if you missed last week’s explanation of the handicap) every tackle or time your side chew up on attack or defence is vital and cheered accordingly. If you’ve gone on the minus you’ll be willing them to score tries and, vitally, to slot their tricky drop goal conversions.

You don’t need to bet big money to get the endorphins pumping. Put a cheeky R20 on a game and watch how it changes the nature of watching Sevens. You learn to love the easy going class of Fiji, the plucky Argentinians, the mercurial French… I guarantee you that when you watch Portugal scrapping it out against the odds you’ll love their never say die attitude. Even though they might be losing by 20 points they will fight to the very end and protect your plus handicap.

I’m heading off to Port Elizabeth today to watch the rugby so make sure you follow me on Twitter (@GarethRosslee) for Sevens banter and some tips throughout the weekend.

Next week we’ll be getting right back into the nuts and bolts of sports betting and be looking at the multiple – so what I recommend is to try to include a little double or treble in your betting on the Sevens this weekend. We’ll catch up next week and see how we do – one thing’s for certain you’ll have fun!

Recommended betting strategy:

You’ll normally find prices for the three upcoming games – so add your fancies for three games to your BETCARD.

When you open up your bet card then put your wager down on each individual result. This is whatever you’re comfortable with there.

Underneath you’ll see the Treble and the doubles advertised. If you’ve never heard of it and are unsure what to do then it’s probably best to wait till I explain how it works next week. If you’ve figured it out have a little tickle at the multipliers and see if you can hit all three picks!

My recommendation with Sevens betting is just to put down small amounts that you’re comfortable with, but then to watch the games and feel the rush of excitement. There are lots of games so once you start finding some form and confidence then you can start increasing the size of your bets.

See you next week when we’ll look at the multiplier in a bit more depth.

Learning the art of sports betting with Voltbet.com #4

Last week I learned a valuable lesson and I hope watching me stuff up has illustrated the point for all of us so that we don’t fall headlong into the same trap too often.

In last week’s column I explained how bookmakers arrive at odds and how we, the punters, should be on the lookout for odds that we find attractive and that we feel there’s more of a probability of coming through than the bookies have priced up.  That was all good and well, but when I went looking for a bet that showed brilliant value I picked…

The Barbarians @3.00 (if you need a recap on the difference between decimal and fractional odds then click here) looked like lovely juicy odds to me and I went charging in to make it my bet of the weekend. [I was happy when I subsequently saw that Voltbet Ambassador Joffers made the same mistake in his Joffers Double, but that didn’t take all the sting out of it]

I’ve said before that I love the rush of having a bet on a sporting result and being hooked to see if it’ll come off or not… Well this was the opposite of that. The Barbarians played a horrific game of rugby and the money I had riding on it and my frustration at not seeing it coming made it an incredibly long 80 minutes. Torture in fact!

I took a fully justified amount of flak over Twitter and messages from my mates asking what I was thinking and for falling in love with the odds and there was little to do but take it squarely on the chin.

If we’re going to mistakes along the way in this betting education then it’s best that we learn from them. I’m fortunate to have a few serious punters watching my columns for me and giving advice and advising me where I’ve understood something and explained it well and they are also quick to point out where I’ve slipped up. These are the guys I’m going to be leaning on and picking their brains over the next couple of months so it’s best to listen and learn.

Here’s a message I received from one of these semi-pros soon after the final whistle on Saturday. I kept it as I thought it summed things up quite well.

“Gareth my boy! Hard lines on the Baabaas. Something you need to note and focus on for your articles is that bookies are professionals doing it as a full time job. You’re not going to beat them in the long term based simply on gut feels and attractive odds.”

“There’s more to it if you’re going to perform over time and lots more to learn, but this little lesson is that if it looks to good to be true, then the bet probably is!”

I’m prepared to take that lesson to heart and roll up my sleeves and continue the education. To do that I think the next fundemental aspect of sports betting we should look at is the handicap and how it works.

The Handicap

When talking sports betting to newbies they normally get a little confused with two things. The first is how the actual odds work, but we’ve covered that already. Next up is getting their heads around what the handicap is and how it works. Handicap betting is absolutely crucial when it comes to betting on rugby and as that’s my strongest suite it’s important for us to understand it early.

The reason for handicap betting in rugby is fairly obvious. Unlike soccer where the draw is a real option and a lucky goal can see a minnow topple a giant (any Man United fans out there still feeling the pain after the Palace result?) in rugby it’s often the stronger team that wins. With the draw a serious rarity, if there wasn’t a handicap it would simply be betting on team A or team B and this would lead to seriously short odds on the favourite and bigger odds on the underdog.

That’s where the handicap comes in. It takes the overall result of the match out of the picture and places the emphasis on winning margin. The handicap will give the underdog an advantage in terms of points and set a new line which either the favourites need to overcome or the underdog team needs to keep within.

Put it this way if the Springboks were playing Namibia and there wasn’t a handicap option you’d get tiny tiny odds on the Boks winning and wouldn’t waste your bucks either backing them or going for Namibia who you know aren’t going to win.

However if someone bets you that the Springboks are going to win by 65 points (this handicap is obviously set by the bookmaker and they use their research, stats and their right to move the handicap using the money coming in as an indicator) you might either say YES the Boks will definitely win by more than 65 or be skeptical that they can put so many past a minnow side.

You’ll hear people quoting the handicap as either a PLUS or a MINUS and this indicates to which side the handicap will move.

In this instance the Springboks (- 65) @2.00 vs Namibia (+ 65) @2.00 would play each other. The Springboks effectively give Namibia a 65 point start or are handicapped by 65 points.

When talking about these bets you would either take the Boks at “MINUS 65” or back Namibia at “PLUS 65”. If you’re on the Springboks they would need to win by 66 points or more for you to collect and Namibia would need to just lose by 64 or less (or draw or win the game) for you to win.

I’ve tried my best to explain something in words that gets easier the more you see it graphically represented and actually lay down some handicap bets. I’m going to pick this up again next week and recap – so don’t get too stressed if you’re still feeling a little confused. Once you get this concept you’re well on the way to enjoying betting on rugby!

If you haven’t already – head over to Voltbet.com and open an account.  It’s definitely the best way to crank up your enjoyment of sport this weekend.

fugard festival of comedy

I’ve just arrived back from the Fugard Festival of Comedy night and while I’m on a high and before I hit the sack just want to let you know that this is something you quite simply need to see over the next three weeks.

I was lucky enough to act quickly yesterday to win a pair of tickets which funny man Rob van Vuuren was giving away in a Twitter competition. I was quick on the draw and there was completely no catch so the next thing I knew there were a two tickets with my name on at the door. As the little Twitter conversation on the link below will illustrate.

View the story “Tickets to the Fugard Fest of Comedy” on Storify]

Now this was a funny prize to win as I didn’t know the show was on, knew absolutely nothing about who was in the show or what it was and had never been to the Fugard Theatre before. Simply on the strength of van Vuuren’s comedy did I decide to go along.

You’ll think I’m making this up, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Alan Committie running proceedings and amazed that Mark Banks was headlining. Two of my favourite South African comedians and I didn’t even know. Stupid idiot didn’t even see a poster on the way in.

What followed was two hours of great entertainment and fun. As it was the opening night in a three week run there were a few small glitches with the sound and that sort of thing, but nothing that took away from the enjoyment.

Committie and Banks really stole the show and if you’re in Cape Town you have to read more by CLICKING HERE and get your lazy ‘Capetonians commit to nothing’ asses down to see this.

On a night of pleasant surprises I was also blown away by the Fugard Theatre. Right now I don’t have the time nor the inclination to look it up, but it’s modern and swanky and seriously nice. A far cry from where you feel like an exhibit in a museum at the Baxter or some kind of minority terrorism cell when you go to Theatre on the Bay. This is styling hard.

Lee Byrne To Stormers?

Rugby in South Africa wouldn’t be the same without little birds whispering all sorts of rumours on a regular basis. Depending on who you believe the next Springbok coach will DEFINITELY be Allister Coetzee, Rassie Erasmus, Peter de Villiers or Gert Smal. I’ve heard all four mentioned in hushed tones – from people very close to being in the know – with assurances that a/b/c or d will definitely get the job.

You learn to take these rumours with more than a liberal pinch of salt, but you also know it’ll be foolish to completely ignore them as they sometimes to come to fruition.

This morning I heard that the Stormers were looking at signing Wales fullback Lee Byrne regarding a move to Cape Town. Personally I rate Byrne highly as a world class fullback and think he’d be a great signing for the Stormers, but when I chucked it out on Twitter it met with less than unanimous backing.

I’ve always viewed fullback as an absolutely vital position on the rugby field and have my own preferences for who I like in the 15 jumper. I like someone big, strong, safe at the back and conservative. Put it this way – I was much more Percy Montgomery than Chris Latham.

Monty had his seriously dire spells, but if you ignore those he was safe at the back and read the game well. A big boot and willingness to kick the ball back in doubt made him a favourite. Joining the line became less and less of a feature of his game over the years, but I didn’t mind that.

I’m thoroughly expecting many dissenting voices here. All you Chris Latham, Christian Cullen lovers out there… Hell throw Carlos Spencer in as I’m sure he’s your best flyhalf ever. Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

Byne is a big strong fullback who runs and kicks well – and I’d love to see him in the 15 jersey for the Stormers.

Among the questions raised on Twitter are his love for the nightlife and why the Stormers are looking to sign another back when they are so short on forwards. Both reasonable questions.

With Conrad Jantjes moving on to Biarritz and only the incoming Joe Pietersen and Gerhard van der Heever looking like fullbacks in the squad I must admit I’d much rather see Byrne in there.

the man drawer

My youngest brother Matthew is the cryptic one in the family. He enjoys nothing more than a play on words and some agile mental gymnastics get him giggling.

While I’m more Billy Connolly he’s more Michael McIntyre. I limit my DSTV watching to sport so haven’t seen to much of the guy, but have to admit he’s pretty bloody funny.

I was put onto the man drawer by my boet and it’s flipping hilarious. Obviously the best comedy hits close to home – and I’ve only got man drawers and they are all filled with leads, batteries and old cell phones.

It’s a curse!