Weekend Racing Reviews – May 23rd

by darryn on May 25, 2015

Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Victorian Carbine Club Plate (1400m)

1st Dynamic Day – Dean Yendall
2nd Manhattan Light – Stephen Baster
3rd Top Ravine – Michael Dee

Manhattan Light found the lead easily from Splash Of Cristal over racing and Tigra in the box seat. Hands Up moved to fourth early around Sogno D’Oro and Dynamic Day in the clear. Kryptonian found himself second last. Manhattan Light led to the 300m but Dynamic Day sprinted very quickly to head her. Tigra couldn’t match them and Splash Of Cristal dropped off. Sogno D’Oro started to run on with Top Ravine out wider.Freedoms was looking for runs through the field with mixed success and Kryptonian had nothing to offer. Dynamic Day sprinted away late and scored easing up over a game Manhattan Light, a much improved run from her, and Top Ravine tipped Sogno D’Oro out of third in a nice effort too. Kryptonian just battled home and Freedoms was in the bunch with him. Winner too good here but you have to question the form a little.

Follow: Top Ravine backed up a very good effort at his previous start here. Stick with him. (Click to continue reading…)

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Back on the podcast this week is Dan Weston for a betting preview of the 2015 French Open.

Dan is the founder of Tennis Ratings, a UK-based website with a stack of good information for tennis fans and especially those trading in-play. He is also an expert contributor to the Pinnacle Sports website.

Punting Insights:

  • How to get a decent edge when betting the French Open
  • Why Djokovic shouldn’t be such a hot favourite (while Nadal should be more fancied)
  • Why Dan is very happy to oppose players such as Federer, Cilic and Raonic
  • The best value bets in the Women’s tournament
  • An early look at this year’s Wimbledon tournament

The popularity of multi’s has exploded in recent years and the bookies are focusing a lot of their advertising on pushing punters towards this bet type.

A key reason for that is the bookies advantage is so strong on multi’s and to explain why we have maths whiz and former actuary Nick Aubrey on the podcast this week.

Today’s Guest:
Dan Weston

Get the Transcript:

>> Click here to read the transcript

David Duffield: Good to speak to you again Dan and I want to talk about the French Open obviously and I know you are doing some work with Pinnacle so we have got a bit of background there, but we will start with the men’s side of things and Nadal’s always the focus there, but Djokovic is the in-form player, how do you see it?

Dan Weston: It’s a tough one really because this is definitely one of the most interesting French Opens potentially in a decade. Obviously you have got the historical record of Nadal and the form of Djokovic and in some people’s perceptions a lack of form of Nadal, and it’s kind of … well for me it’s more balanced but a lot of people are making Djokovic a very heavy favourite at the moment, so there’s definitely an interesting dynamic that’s very different to previous years.

David Duffield: And so with Djokovic what is he, somewhere around $1.60 at the moment, how do you see his form? Because obviously he has plenty of wins already this year, and then again relative to that price would you want to be on him or opposing him?

Dan Weston: Can’t take Djokovic at that price. Basically before Rome he was $1.9 and obviously he’s moved in 30 ticks since Rome. He just seems too short for me, everyone’s obviously reacting to his form which is relatively logical in a lot of ways, but I am someone who doesn’t react a lot on form and the short term effects of it, and I’d rather look at something over a longer period like 6 months or 12 months, because players do have variance, players do lose key points, and players go through peaks and troughs, and it’s not an absolute measure for sure form.
And obviously Djokovic is a major major major player, but I have it a lot more even than these two. Maybe you could give Djokovic a slight edge on form, but definitely not like a $1.60 price, no way.

David Duffield: So just tell us about Nadal this year, because a few people are quick to write him off, but you say that maybe that’s a little bit hasty?

Dan Weston: Yes I think that’s the nature of social media is that people do have a very short-term’ist view and are quick to write players off, and conversely boost them up if they are in form as well, and that’s something that I try to avoid like I just said.
Nadal he has lost matches that he should have won, there is absolutely no doubt about that, and I can highlight four of them immediately for you. So you have got two defeats against Fognini one in the semi-finals of Rio and one in Barcelona. The first one against Fognini in Rio he had the same amount of break points as Fognini and lost which is obviously fairly negative variance but that’s nothing compared to the one in Barcelona where he actually had 14 break points to Fognini’s 8 and still lost in straight sets! Which just never happens, it just doesn’t happen.
Against Raonic in the March Masters events, he was trading at $1.01 and if I recall correctly he was only broken once by Raonic which is something that I want to get onto later when we discuss the Canadian. Again he was a very very negative variance defeat for Nadal, and then we have got the one by Verdasco as well last month, and again he had more break points than Verdasco and lost the match.
And these things just don’t happen on a regular basis for the same player, and actually Nadal this season he has created more break point opportunities than last year but he is not taking the key points, he is not winning the key points, and again that was illustrated against Wawrinka last week, where he was 6-2 up in the tie breaker in the first set and lost 9-7, and he lost the break lead twice in the first set as well.
So Nadal is not playing the key points well, but over five sets he is going to be a fitter player than most, and I do think he needs to be respected at a pretty much even level to Djokovic really.

David Duffield: So Djokovic around $1.60, Nadal $4.80, you are saying they should be a lot closer together?

Dan Weston: Yes very much so yes. And that’s even without discussing the venue record of Nadal as well. This guy is borderline unbeatable at Roland-Garros. He’s lost one match in his career against Robin Soderling and he is 66 wins out of 67 matches, that’s just unparalleled in any tennis tournament of all time.

David Duffield: Okay so you are making a good case for Nadal there to be a lot closer in the market. You’ve called it the Elite 3 and there is a lesser known player amongst what you’d call the Elite 3, do you want to tell us about Nishikori?

Dan Weston: Yes sure. I mean looking at the whole break stats for clay in the last 18 months, there’s a kind of a three player tier at the top. So overall adding them together, before the Rome tournament my stats was 124.5% combined for Nadal, 122.8% for Djokovic and then Nishikori had 120% exactly, and that’s quite a bit more than the bracket below them for Murray and Federer, and Nishikori is just a great player and people are really starting to realize this now, and he has got a great record also when he is an underdog, so he is not overall against the top elite players either. So he has actually broken 36% on clay in the last 18 months and held almost 84%. Those are elite level stats and he has to be respected in the draw and one thing’s for sure Djokovic or Federer or Murray who are going to probably be the top three seeds, they are not going to want to have him in the their part of the draw, there is absolutely no doubt about that.

David Duffield: So speaking of Andy Murray, where does he sit amongst those three that we have already talked about?

Dan Weston: Well he is third favourite. Over the last 18 months on clay I have him in fifth place on his stats, so $9 looks a tad short, and again probably, like Djokovic a bit of an overreaction on his form. His clay results this year are unparalleled and he doesn’t usually thrive on clay so that was a surprise to me. He has taken a Masters event which is very very unlikely probably prior to the season starting, but he’s only held 80.7% on clay in the last 18 months, broken 34%, so you can see he is about 5% below even Nishikori who is actually available at a slightly bigger price.
So I couldn’t have Murray at the moment and obviously from the UK as well we have probably got quite a bit of patriotic money going on him too. So I’d take Nishikori over Murray prior to the draw for sure.

David Duffield: And what about Roger Federer?

Dan Weston: I can’t have him in five set events. For me against the top players he is going to struggle fitness-wise. So even against the likes of Nishikori who has got a really great record in long matches, I think he would struggle in the fourth and fifth set. As Federer has kind of matured shall we say, his stats have gone more towards a serve-orientated style, so he is holding around 89% on clay in the last 18 months, breaking 25% which is the biggest difference apart from Raonic in the top ten between the hold and break percentages, so this indicates someone who is very serve orientated. These players also can thrive less in grand slams because they are reliant on winning key points, tie breaks, one break sets et cetera, and by definition obviously as well they are going to be playing longer matches because they are going to be longer matches because they are going to be winning sets 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 type sets, playing more games in a set than someone who is winning by double break for example, and fatigue will creep in quicker, and obviously he’s the oldest player out of the top players as well, so these aren’t beneficial to him at all. And that’s without even discussing the fact that clay is probably not his best surface. Well there is no probably about it, it’s not his best surface.

David Duffield: Would it also surprise you if Ferrer won?

Dan Weston: Ferrer? Good outsider, and I am interested to see his draw for sure. If he can have a half decent draw I think that he has definitely got some potential. I’d be interested to see if he could maybe nick a spot in Federer’s quarter or even Murray’s that would be a good draw for him, and I think he is definitely capable of beating either of those, especially in a long match, because obviously we know Ferrer – his fitness is one of his major assets. He has a slight issue I would say against the real elite players, so he won’t be wanting to play against Nadal or Djokovic, he has got an awful record against those sort of type players.

David Duffield: And you briefly touched on Milos Raonic before, how do you assess his chances?

Dan Weston: I can’t have him. Again, he breaks less than 20% on clay in the last 18 months, and those stats are just not going to get the job done in Grand Slams which is why I have got reservations long-term about Kyrgios in Grand Slams as well, because you just don’t see players who break less than 20% of the time win Slams, even Andy Roddick – I think he won one Slam and he was just over 20%. These players just don’t do it in Grand Slams when it’s best of five sets.
Raonic, also he has a really woeful stat when he breaks less than 6% of the time against top ten players in the last couple of years, and he just won’t win enough tie breaks to get the results against top players. I can see him maybe getting to the quarter finals, he can work a routine against poor players, but against someone good he is going to fall short I think.

David Duffield: That’s not good to hear about Kyrgios, there is plenty of hype for him Down Under.

Dan Weston: I am sure! [laughs]

David Duffield: No it’s all right, I like your honesty. What about Thomas Berdych is he one of the lesser ranked players in the top ten that might be a chance?

Dan Weston: He is in reasonable form. He’s got a better break percentage than the likes of Federer and Raonic. Again a bit like Ferrer I have reservations against decent players for Berdych, he has a poor head to head record against most of them, and like Ferrer he is going to be looking to get to the quarter finals and then hope that it opens up for him really. Against a top player in the quarter finals or semi-finals I can’t see him making a major impact, but he should be a staple around the second week of Grand Slams and if the door opens up for him why not? He will get to the semi finals at least but he’d need to try and swerve the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, probably even Federer because I don’t think that match up wise it’s that good for Berdych against Federer.

David Duffield: Is there any other player outside of the top ten that you’d want to mention as one that you want to keep your eye on?

Dan Weston: Well when I’m looking at longshots, I am going to be looking at players who have got a good record on the surface as in their hold percentage and break percentage, and also their record against top players and as a heavy underdog. I think if we can find players with both of those assets then that’s something that we are going to be looking at from an outright perspective.
So three players that I highlighted for Pinnacle was Bautista-Agut, Fognini and Kyrgios, because all of those three players have got hold/break percentages over 100% and in Kyrgios and Bautista’s case, quite a bit over. Kyrgios is about 105% and Bautista’s getting along on towards 110%, so they’re statistically as good probably as some of the lower players in the top ten, the likes of Wawrinka, Cilic, etc. Not far off those sort of levels, and they have got an excellent record of underdogs against top ten players as well, so they are the ones that I think could cause a shock.
Fognini his hold percentage and break percentage are not as good as Bautista-Agut or Kyrgios but this is a guy who can play against top players and beat them. We have seen he beat Nadal twice this year. He beat Murray last year as well, so he doesn’t have any fear against the top players at all, and I think that those are the players who I’d look at to cause a shock as opposed to the likes of Wawrinka and Cilic who I just can’t have at all. Cilic in particular just hasn’t looked fit since his injury, and Wawrinka he has obviously got the personal problems that have been well documented on social media, but his stats aren’t great and he is just too inconsistent for me, and the odds for Wawrinka are at currently which I think make him about sixth favorite, I just can’t have him either.
So I would be looking at that trio of Bautista-Agut, Fognini and Kyrgios as a long shot. The likes of Dimitrov and Gasquet, they have got half decent stats on the surface but they just don’t have a good record against top players and that makes it difficult for me to want to back them against a top ten player really. You’d want to see their draw before you really commit to someone like that.

David Duffield: So we will switch to the women’s then. Serena Williams is around about $3.70 at the moment, at that price would you want to be backing her or laying her?

Dan Weston: I would take Williams at that price over Halep and Sharapova who are both going to be a slightly bigger price, but Williams is still the most dominant player on tour. There is absolutely no doubt about that. She is both 4.4% over Halep on combined hold and break play stats, and about 9% on Sharapova and for me it’s more than justified her price and I thought maybe she might be $3 or shorter maybe even, so for me Williams is still the clear favourite.

David Duffield: And you mentioned Simona Halep there, so she is second favourite at around $5.30 with Sharapova, so based on … I know you don’t like to read too much into it … but based on that head-to-head record it has you fairly wary for Halep’s chances?

Dan Weston: Well head to head record I can clarify that a little bit more… I don’t read a lot into the 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, but when it starts to become a lot more dominant and it’s more recent then I do a problem with it, and that’s a big problem that I have with Halep. Since she’s 1-10 combined against Williams and Sharapova, and that is a big problem for me. A really really big problem, because you can’t have any faith in her against those opponents when they routinely beat her, so the only way I can really see Halep winning it is if she … the draw could up open for her, if those players got eliminated by somebody else. I’d probably take her more over Sharapova than I would Williams, because Sharapova’s matches against Halep have been close and she has lost a lot of key points, Halep, to lose those matches, whereas apart from the match in the tour finals last year I haven’t really been impressed with her against Williams. So if Halep ended up playing Sharapova as opposed to Williams, maybe in a final, I would give her more chance than against Williams.

David Duffield: Okay what about Petkovic and Wozniacki?

Dan Weston: I have got reservations against top players, again, Wozniacki I never really rated that highly on clay but she has really broken through this year, so I don’t know whether she is making adjustments to her game or whether she’s just benefited from positive variance I don’t know, but stats-wise both of them are quite a bit off the top three and Petkovic in particular, well she got injured on Monday anyway, so for me that’s a big question mark over her. I don’t know if many of your listeners know, she was 5-0 down in the first set against Putintseva which is some insult to start with, because I don’t rate Putintseva at all! But Petkovic would be a big worry with injury. Wozniacki, those top players and the fact that she has not had a great career on clay, no she would be quite a bit back for me.

David Duffield: Is there an outsider with a chance that you’d like to keep an eye on?

Dan Weston: Yes definitely. There is a few outside the top ten I like. I like Azarenka, she is not really an outsider but from a ranking perspective she is. Her stats are decent on clay and probably against Williams she probably boasts a better record against Williams than anybody. It’s not a great record by any stretch of the imagination but no one really has a great record against Williams.
Out of the other players, Muguruza I think she has a lot of upside. She is very solid on serve and has decent stats overall and obviously she is quite young so she is going to have potential to improve. Apart from that it is going to be a tough one. Maybe you’d look at a couple of the big servers like Keys and Pliskova to try and produce something from a big price, but I think overall they’d fall short if they were to get to say a semi final.
So I know that the women’s tournament has got a history of more upsets and shock finalists than others, but it’s tough to see something like that happen unless the draw really opens up. Maybe another strong server like Safarova but she has not been in great form recently. I would be looking at someone like that as opposed to someone like Errani who is going to have a weak serve and a strong return who has got to the final before but doesn’t seem to be quite at that level that she was a couple of years ago.

David Duffield: We will leave it there for now for the French Open. I just have one other question though because we may not speak to you before Wimbledon, is there a standout right now either men’s or women’s that you would be keen to … maybe not back yourself but if the guys are having a bet already this far out on Wimbledon, are there a couple of players that stand out?

Dan Weston: It’s a tough one really because Wimbledon obviously no one’s played any matches on grass this year so it’s hard to gauge that from a warm-up match’s perspective.
I think that it is probably Djokovic’s weakest surface and therefore if he is under that $1.8/$1.9 price he could probably be taken on. Murray probably will fancy his chances more against Djokovic on grass than any other surface, so I’d be keen to see his price. Federer, again grass is his best price but like I said earlier I have reservations in five sets.
Maybe someone like Berdych could cause an impact, and also if there is going to be one surface Kyrgios will threaten on I think that grass will probably be it, as opposed to something like a hard court surface, but I think that he is going to fall short. But yes maybe he will get to the quarter finals or even the semi finals as a long shot.
And the women’s side of things, this is the tournament I’d be really keen to see a big server push through, so someone like Madison Keys, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see her get to the latter stages, so I would be interested to see what sort of price she opens at, because she has been in decent form and her serve is really really improving and she is going to be tough to break on grass and I think if I recall correctly she won an event last year on grass, so she would be someone that I would look at from an outsider perspective on grass definitely.

David Duffield: Sounds good. Well we will leave it there for now, we will make sure we link out to your site as well because although we can’t do a lot in-play there is plenty of information on your site. I really appreciate your time, thanks for coming on the show.

Dan Weston: Cheers Dave, appreciate that, take care.

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No spine backups for NSW

by David on May 21, 2015

By Scott Woodward

I get it that NSW coach Laurie Daley has never been in charge of an NRL team, but how on earth has he come up with this 17 to take on Queensland next Wednesday night in Sydney?

Let’s take it from the top; what happens if skipper and only hooker Robbie Farah gets hurt?

Answer: There is no hooker to come in which means either forward Beau Scott or Josh Jackson will have to tackle and pass the ball. They certainly will not be running from dummy half and creating any try assists.

That brings us to the all-important half’s duo of Mitch Pearce and Trent Hodkinson, and surprise, there is no alternative should an injury occur. Robbie Farah would likely come into the half’s simply because there is no one else.

This is total incompetence by the Blues coach and his selectors and sends out the message to the Maroons that they probably cannot score 22 points, so they will try and restrict what Queensland can post with big forwards.

The Maroons initially intended to start Daly Cherry-Evans from the bench, but he is out injured and they also will likely have four forwards on the bench, but the major difference is they have the great Greg Inglis who can fill in at both pivot and fullback. NSW do not have anyone as versatile as GI (or as good).
NSW had several options but have elected to take a high risk strategy.

Brilliant teenager Sione Mata’utia could have been selected at centre in place of Joss Morris, which would have also covered the fullback spot.

I would have selected Josh Dugan at right centre as he is a big body and would have looked after GI well, or as well as anyone can. This would have allowed Matt Moylan to debut at fullback, and unlike Dugan, he is a ball player and has brilliant pace. This combination creates points which are what NSW needs if they are to beat the Maroons. Dugan is a brilliant runner but has a poor passing game.

The other advantage in playing Moylan is that he was a pivot five years ago and could have slotted in to the halfs should an injury occur and Dugan drops in to fullback. This would give NSW some contingencies.

Souths Dylan Walker could have also been the right centre, and he also can play 6 if required.

The home advantage for NSW is about just under a converted try so if they adopt the defensive approach they certainly have a shot of success in a low scoring game, but if the Maroons get out to an early lead then creating the points to take the lead back will be almost impossible.
Also, if anything happens to the Blues 9, 7 or 6 in the run then get on the phone and ring your bookie because it will be all one way Maroon traffic.
Punters should not only back the Maroons to win the match, but also to win the series as NSW best chance of winning one of the three Origins is game one next week.

NSW team: Josh Dugan; Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Will Hopoate; Mitchell Pearce, Trent Hodkinson; Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), James Tamou, Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott, Josh Jackson. Interchange: Trent Merrin, Boyd Cordner, David Klemmer, Andrew Fifita.

Queensland team: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Will Chambers, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Nate Myles, Cameron Smith, Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday, Aidan Guerra, Corey Parker. Interchange: Josh McGuire, Jacob Lillyman, Matt Gillett, Dylan Napa.

NRL betting tips and previews.

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Weekend Racing reviews – May 16th

by darryn on May 18, 2015

Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1400m)

1st Fast Approaching – Patrick Moloney
2nd Easy Flyer – Michael Walker
3rd Go Jennio – Brad Rawiller

After a short battle for the lead Fast Approaching held them out with the inside running from Shacarde and Avanti just easing. Testability landed fourth around Easy Flyer. Go Jennio and Boundary were a couple of lengths back. Fast Approaching snuck away in the mid stages and coming to the 600m Easy Flyer improved quickly and came around her heels, pushing Shacarde wider. Avanti was asked to go and Go Jennio got up inside Testability who was also pushed along. On the turn Fast Approaching was joined by Easy Flyer but she gave a kick. Shacarde was paddling and Testability looked to wind up down the outside. Easy Flyer appeared to have Fast Approaching covered but the leader wouldn’t lie down and kicked back for a narrow win. Game effort and no excuses for anything behind her. Easy Flyer had her chance and Go Jennio just cut Testability out of third place. Don’t be too hard on Testability as she had missed some work in the week leading up. Shacarde battled on fairly to be just behind them.

Follow: the form should hold up from this race but none in particular. (Click to continue reading…)

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2015 Preakness Stakes Preview

by Admin on May 15, 2015

By Anthony Kelzenberg

Recapping the 2015 Kentucky Derby

The race video is on YouTube, and for the Aussies that have not watched the race it may be worth watching. After setting a slow 800m tempo (for American dirt racing) of 47.34 seconds, eventual winner American Pharoah, runner-up Firing Line and third finisher Dortmund was opened up a gap on the field, and not one of the ralliers was able to muster a challenge in the last half mile, even though the closing fraction for that half mile was an achingly slow 51.73 seconds. Dortmund’s conditioning gave out first, but I think it was noteworthy that Firing Line was fairly strong to the line, even as he yielded in the last 80m to American Pharoah.

How to bet the 2015 Preakness?

The Kentucky Derby over its long history has been a tough handicapping puzzle – horses have preps not over one or two racing centers, but up to five racing centers (New York, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and California), and the top contenders rarely face each other, if at all, prior to the Kentucky Derby. After the Kentucky Derby is run, the crowd can easily decipher who were the best runners are. The Preakness, always run 2 weeks after the Derby, is basically a recasting of the Kentucky Derby with a smaller field (a maximum of 14, compared to up to 20 Kentucky Derby starters. Only 8 runners are entered this year’s Preakness) and the occasional “new shooter” that did not run in the Kentucky Derby. Given these constraints of extremely current form and a 2-week backup, prices on winners are very low.

Here are the range of Preakness winning odds for the last 25 years:

Odds on: 3 winners

Between Evens to 7/2: 14 winners

Over 7/2 but less than 10/1: 5 winners

Over 10/1: 3 winners

Note horses on the top three lines have betting have won the Preakness 17 of the last 25 years.

Here are the Post Positions/Bet Numbers and Morning Line odds for the 2015 Preakness (In North America post position and betting number are the same 95% of the time):

  • American Pharoah 4/5 (odds on)
  • Dortmund – 7/2
  • Z – 20/1
  • Danzig Moon – 15/1
  • Tale of Verve – 30/1
  • Bodhisattva – 20/1
  • Divining Rod – 12/1
  • Firing Line – 4/1

On the cold dope American Pharoah, Dortmund and Firing Line are the only realistic chances. Judging by the odds history ‘Pharoah and Dortmund will be in the “sweet spot” of being in the range of Evens to 7/2. I think Firing Line will also get some significant support. So who to play?

I can’t support #2 Dortmund off his last run. In the States, and at Woodbine and at Meydan in Dubai, there is a computer system that measures ground traveled to the nearest foot. Dortmund covered 70 less feet than American Pharoah. That is approximately 9 lengths, plus ‘Pharoah beat him on the square another 2 lengths – 11 lengths overall! I also think Dortmund will get significant pace pressure from Mr. Z on Saturday. Mr. Z is basically a Group 3 animal but he can put in a decent turn of foot for a mile. If Dortmund was 10/1 he might have some appeal, but the mediocre run in Louisville leaves me a bit cold.

#1 American Pharoah won’t be able to get on anyone’s back with an inside draw. This horse has a lot of talent but he has never demonstrated a large turn of foot on the dirt – he’s more like an extremely fast grinder. The opportunity for ‘Pharoah to “box seat” is certainly there, but that would be something new for ‘Pharoah to try in a big race and I expect him to try to use the rail into the first turn if he can. Just on raw ability I will use ‘Pharoah in my Quaddie but his rail draw really hurts his chances, especially if the pace is more in the 46 second range for the 800m, which is what I expect.

#8 Firing Line, in a swiftly run race, drew very well in Post 8. IF the field goes quickly early, Firing Line and all-world jockey Gary Stevens will have the horse in the right spot, quite possibly keeping American Pharoah in a pocket until they turn for home. The 100m shorter distance also plays into Firing Line’s hands as he is more a pure “1600m” horse. I have also heard a lot of noise that Firing Line is training extremely well for Saturday. Firing Line will be the key to my Quaddie and trifecta and a possible win bet also.

Other Horses to Watch for Exacta and Trifecta

#4 Danzig Moon, #7 Diving Rod , and #5 Tale of Verve are all horses that do not have the sheer brilliance to win the race but if the race is run extremely hard early they can all get in the trifecta at good odds.

Summary:

Horses at 7/2 or lower odds have won the Preakness 17 of the last 25 years (68%). This is because the Preakness very often just reconfirms the form of the Kentucky Derby.

Selections:
#8 Firing Line is my top selection because he’s fair value at 4/1 and the favorite might get a poor trip.
#1 American Pharoah will be in my Quaddie somehow. He has the risk of being unders.
#2 Dortmund just didn’t show enough in the Kentucky Derby. I think at 7/2 he’s heavily unders.
#4 Danzig Moon, #7 Diving Rod , and #5 Tale of Verve can all get into the trifecta at good odds.

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The popularity of multi’s has exploded in recent years and the bookies are focusing a lot of their advertising on pushing punters towards this bet type.

A key reason for that is the bookies advantage is so strong on multi’s and to explain why we have maths whiz and former actuary Nick Aubrey on the podcast this week.

Punting Insights:

  • Why the odds are not in your favour when taking multi’s
  • Why those odds get worse as the number of multi legs increase
  • What you can do to minimise the bookies margin
  • What to consider before taking the early cash out option

Today’s Guest:
Nick Aubrey
Quaddies Betting
Punt For Profit

Get the Transcript:

>> Click here to read the transcript

David Duffield: Hi Nick. We’ve had you on the podcast a couple of times and you’ve contributed to the website, but for the new listeners to the show can you give us a bit of a rundown on your background?

Nick Aubrey: Yes, as a few people will be aware I’m an actuary by trade, an actuary is like the bookmakers of life insurance and super funds. We love to deal with odds. My byline is Anomaly Nick and I like to explore all those possibilities were there’s a bit of an edge to be made. I’ve actually just recently launched a website called puntforprofit.com and it’s a not-for-loss organisation. Wherever there’s a possibility of money to be made by the punt, then I like to be there.

David Duffield: I wanted to get you on today to talk about multi’s because punters love them. Their market share is growing all the time. I think a lot of the reasons for that is, that they are looking for a big collect and an interest across multiple games or multiple races. The downside is the odds are probably not in your favour. Can you just explain, hopefully in layman’s terms, the bookies margin on these bets?

Nick Aubrey: The main reason behind bookies offering multi’s is to try and lock you in to the odds, through them at the earliest possible stage. I liken it to each multi leg is like a cherry. The trouble with the multi’s is that the bookies take a bite of the cherry, each of the legs.
Whereas if you were to look at all of those cherries that you cook up in a pot, make a cherry pie, an example of that would be perhaps, if you’re betting at the line on the NRL, you can certainly get square with most bookmakers or get set with most bookies on a Wednesday at the line $1.90 each of two.
Each time they’re taking the 5% margin in each of those 8 legs. Whereas if you were to take an equivalent one, for instance, through the Footytab, Pick the Margins, then what Footytab are doing is taking out one bite of the cherry pie, and that’s it.
Whereas the bookmakers love to be able to take out that 5% on each of the legs. If you do the maths for instance, just calculated the odds for an eight leg multi, where you’re just taking the bet at the line.
If the bookies were very generous and they decided to give you $2.00 for about each of the bets, then the all up bet would be worth $256 for each dollar you invested.
However, by taking $1.90 and the bookie taking a bite of that cherry for each of the eight bets, your all up bet would only be worth $170. That’s a big difference between 256 and 170.
On one single bet it represents only 5%, so a $1.90 is a 5% margin but across eight legs all up, the margin instead of being 5% is a pretty big 33%. That’s the main detriment in regard to the multi’s. The more legs you have in the multi, the worse that detriment becomes.

David Duffield: So I think people are fairly familiar with the concept of compound interest. When it come to multi’s it’s basically compound bookies margin?

Nick Aubrey: That’s right. A compound discount, yes there’s interest and there’s discount, so it’s in the bookies favour, it’s not in your favour.
The other mistake that a lot of punters make when betting multi’s is that, you can’t take multi’s through a number of bookmakers, you’ve got to stick to the one bookmaker. It’s not always the fact that a bookmaker is going to give you the best odds about every one of your legs. If you were to shop around, you would bet for each of those legs where the odds were the best. Often by having a multi, but you organising it, by basically waiting for that first leg to be won before you put the all up bet on the next leg. Although it is rather a frustrating thing to do so many people just throw in a multi and see how it goes.
If you’re really after the value for money, then you really are shooting yourself in the foot a lot of the time, by betting on those multi’s. However there are some circumstances where a multi can be of advantage. Of course, if you see that the bookmaker has got one of your teams or one of the horses that you’re interested in, it seems to be better odds and it might be a week ahead or something, the race or the game is being conducted, if you take it now and put it in a multi, you can get much better odds than if you wait to just before the game.
I’m reminded there of an interesting case, where a trainer had two horses that he thought he’d have a chance in a major race, I think it was from memory, the Melbourne Cup, but I might be wrong. He let it be known that his A horse was definitely the horse that had the best chance, so all the touts got up and they backed it into being a short price favourite. But the day of the race he scratched his A horse and let his B horse run. He had backed his B horse with a lot of bookmakers and of course, his B horse saluted.
If there are circumstances where you can see that there’s a bit of an anomaly, that there’s horses or teams that the odds being shown are better than they should, by taking a multi you can lock that in. Where in fact, if you wait until close to the time, you might not get those odds.
Another example of that is, often when they’re betting on feature doubles some bookies will say, right, if you want to back say, Think Big to win both the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup then you get reduced odds on the second leg. Sometimes other bookmakers don’t put that restriction on you. The idea is to shop around and always go where the best odds are available even on the multi’s.

David Duffield: So the actual take out in isolation can be misleading because if you see 5% margin to each of two in some of these sports bets, that sounds okay. You can be better off with some of those other ones like, where it’s more of an all in pool like the Pick your Margin. If that’s a 25% take out, if you’re doing all 8 legs, you’re better off with the 25% take out than the 5% on each game.

Nick Aubrey: Absolutely. If you look at any of the quaddies or big 6’s every Saturday if you do a comparison between the all up price based on on tote odds or SP odds, best bookie odds, compare that to the actual payout. Nine times out of ten, probably 99 times out of a 100, the tote dividend on that is always better than the all up. That’s because of this deleterious effect of them taking a bite out of each of the legs.

David Duffield: Yeah, we’ll link to the podcast we did on quaddies so if people want more information on that. I suppose the quaddie is the four-legged multi, what would encourage you or make you want to get involved in multi’s? I see some bookmakers offer, if you’re doing a five league multi and you get four up, it’s money back. How much of a promotion or incentive like that would there need to be for you to be interested, considering your only looking at positive EV bets?

Nick Aubrey: I guess you’ve just got to do the maths. If they’re offering you, if you get three of your four legs, and if your last one, does it have to run second or can it just lose, you get your money back anyway?

David Duffield: I’ve seen that promoted, yes. I haven’t done it myself but it’s five-legged multi, get four home and then you get your money back if the last one fails.

Nick Aubrey: Again, look at what the odds of your last leg failing, you add that as an increment based on your first four legs. Maybe if you’re betting the shorter prices favourites in the first four legs, then it could sway the odds in your favour. The odds have got to be fairly short, basically for that to be of significant benefit because if you look at what the odds would be of getting your first four up.
Let’s say the odds were 200/1, then that’s only an improvement of about half of 1%. It needs to be quite a significant bonus before it sways the odds in your favour. Bookies aren’t around to line your pockets, they want to line theirs. I’ve yet to see one where it’s enough to swing the odds in your favour.

David Duffield: So just related to that are those cash out options? You mentioned just before I clicked record that there’s a retrospective and a prospective evaluation or criteria that goes in to accessing what price you get, if you want to cash out early. Do you want to explain that to everyone listening?

Nick Aubrey: Yes. The records give a valuation, basically they look at what your successful bets are until that point. Let’s say you’ve had an eight leg multi and you’ve got seven of your legs in, then what they do is, they work out what would have been paid had your first seven legs won. Then they take an exit fee of say, 10% and pay you out that dividend. The other way they look at it is to look at your original final pay out and then discount that total pay out by using the estimated market odds of your last leg.
It sounds pretty good on some of the ads they have on TV now, it looks as if everybody’s ejecting before the last leg. They say we don’t take this lightly but I think you can’t take it lightly at all because the bookies, they’ll do it in two bases.
They’ll say, right, well, let’s say for instance, you had an all up on the Pick the Margins and coming in to the last leg, let’s say, it’s tonight, I think Souths are playing St George in the last leg and you got $1.90 at the line for Souths but now they’re a $1.60 then you’d be mad to take the cash out because that will effectively give you back the odds that Souths are now and not what they were when you had the bet.
My advice to any serious punter, by all means get a quote from your bookie in regards to what the pay-out will be. But open up a Betfair account. Betfair allows you to lay the odds rather than to back the odds. In that way you can do a quick calculation and say, right, well my bookie is going to give me x dollars of my original y dollars if I cash out now. That’s the difference between what I expect to do and what they’re going to pay me, would I be better off in laying that last leg with that money, so no matter what the outcome, compare the two outcomes and whatever gives you a better financial return, then go with it. Don’t glibly accept what the bookie is offering for a cash out because they’re in there to make the money. It’s the old buyer beware. Make sure you know the terms of that cash out option.

David Duffield: For sure. One of our very earliest podcast guests, he’s a professional punter and calls himself in social circles ‘an applied mathematician’ his quote was, use math or die. It sounds like most the same applies for multi’s betting. You’ve got to understand the maths behind it if you’ve got any chance of winning.

Nick Aubrey: Yes, for sure. A lot of people think that punting is about backing winners. Well, it’s not actually, it’s about getting the best price of those winners. The winner will come when they’re good and ready but you’ve got to make sure that when they do come, you’re on for the best possible price. With the margins against you, if you’re taking bad odds about your bets, then in the long term, as sure ask night follows day then unfortunately you’ll lose. It’s all about getting the best odds and often multi’s do not represent very good odds.

David Duffield: Most definitely. All right Nick, thanks for coming on the show again. I’m sure we’ll have you on later on in the year.

Nick Aubrey: Okay. Thanks Dave.

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Weekend Racing Reviews – May 9th

by darryn on May 11, 2015

Flemington Review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Phar Lap Club Plate (1100m)

1st Bel Chandon – Damien Thornton
2nd Minetti – James Winks
3rd Tiz My View – Glen Boss

In the centre of the track Conspicuous Maid and Ring Of Heaven disputed the lead a length or so ahead of Minetti outside them. For A Song and Band On The Run were closer to the inside. Codebreak andCoolidge were next in a line of six or seven with Nadawaat one of the widest and niggled at a fair way out. Conspicuous Maid beat off Ring Of Heaven but Minetti claimed her by the 300m and For A Song made a dash on the fence. Tiz My View was behind them trying to run on and out wide Nadawaat started to wind up with Bel Chandon. Minetti had no answer to a big finish from Bel Chandon who edged clear late for a strong win. Tiz My View got through to grab third from Nadawaat who ran a patchy race and Conspicuous Maid held on okay after leading. Decent gap to the remainder.

Follow: none in particular though the winner was impressive. (Click to continue reading…)

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We hope you enjoyed our previous write-up in Round 2 where we found a winner in Adelaide who covered the spread in a dominant win away against Collingwood. This week we thought it would be interesting to look at a game where the final team announcements had a significant impact on our projected line.

The Western Bulldogs have been the surprise packet of the season to date, notching very strong wins against West Coast, Richmond, Adelaide and most recently Sydney at the SCG no less. After a tumultuous off season where they lost some of their best and most experienced players to other clubs and injuries (Cooney, Griffen and Liberatore), we, like many, were quite low on the Dog’s prospects at the start of the year. Credit must be given to the young playing group and their new coach however, as they are playing an exciting brand of footy that has the AFL world talking.

St Kilda have been up and down so far this season, and having their two most experienced players in Riewoldt and Montagna on the sidelines the past few weeks has not helped their cause. They are in a rebuild phase looking to develop their next generation, and there have definitely been some promising signs for Saints fans. They had an impressive win in round 2 this year, albeit against a club in turmoil in the Gold Coast, and last week they pushed Essendon all the way in a Sunday thriller.

This weekend St Kilda welcome their two sidelined veterans back into their line-up, while the Bulldogs exciting young midfielder Lin Jong and seasoned veteran Matthew Boyd will be forced to miss due to injury. These line-up changes have a significant impact on the player ratings of these two squads, which is illustrated in the graph below.

SaintsDogs Graph

You can see that from a raw player ratings perspective, the Bulldogs ratings plummet and St Kilda’s aggressively rise, basically to be the reverse of what they were in Round 5. It is worth noting that the Bulldogs rating is right on the rating of the team that was destroyed by Hawthorn in Round 3. Coincidentally, our biggest bet of the year to date was against the Bulldogs that day on Hawthorn (-42.5).

As you can guess, these personnel changes have a significant impact on our pricing of the game, as the player ratings side of things is one part of a two component pricing model we use. The following should provide some colour on how the game is priced once final teams are announced:

Initially, we run our statistical team based model, which crunches team based data from a selection of past matches (mainly from 2014 and the first 5 rounds of 2015) to come up with a team based line projection. We run this model multiple times, tweaking how much weighting each historic game gets. We focus on weighting previous matches between the two teams, and games where teams have a similar player rating to their named line-up for the weekend (if possible). Our team based model’s projection for this game was Western Bulldogs by 22 points.

Next, we run the player based component of the model. We take the weighted average aggregate player rating of each team, based on the weightings we gave to each of their historic games that were inputs into the model. We then look at the relative strength of each team for the coming weekend compared to their weighted average strength input into the model, and make a mathematical line adjustment based on any differences.

Western Bulldogs player rating adjustment: As highlighted by the graph above, the Bulldogs team is well below strength, and therefore the weighted average of their previous games’ player ratings input into the model are higher than their aggregate player rating heading into this weekend. Therefore they attract a negative adjustment, moving our line back towards St Kilda.

St Kilda player rating adjustment: As highlighted by the graph above, the Saints team is the strongest they have been to date in 2015, and therefore the weighted average of their previous games’ player ratings input into the model are lower than their aggregate player rating heading into this weekend. Therefore they attract a positive adjustment, moving our line further towards the Saints.

Final Line = (Team based model projection) + (Home team adjustment) – (Away team adjustment) = Western Bulldogs -8.7

Despite St Kilda having a higher aggregate player rating this weekend, AFL is still a team game and we still price the Western Bulldogs as favourites. Our model is about relative strength, and the adjustments are calculated based on the magnitude of the difference in player ratings to the weighted average input into the model, rather than just the raw difference between two teams, as that would ignore team based factors such as coaching and team play.

Prediction: Western Bulldogs by 9 points.

Bet 1: St Kilda +18.5 @ $1.925 (Pinnacle)
Rated price = $1.65, expected ROI = 16.8%

Bet 2: St Kilda h2h @ $3.05 (Pinnacle)
Rated price = $2.47, expected ROI = 23.5%

For 6-10 bets each week check out our AFL betting tips.

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William Hill Australia will allow its customers to by-pass country restrictions on in-play betting by releasing its ‘Click to Call’ feature for Australian sports betting customers. The feature will allow customers to connect to live betting markets by activating their computer microphones with the operators live markets team.

Current Australian online gambling laws prohibit licensed operators from offering in-play (live) sports markets to consumers. However wagers on live sports are allowed to be processed over the phone. William Hill believes that its ‘Click to Call’ feature does not breach in-play gambling laws.

William Hill customers will be able to pre-select in-play betting markets via the ‘live betting’ selection tab. In order to finalise their selections William Hill customers will have to connect with the operator’s ‘live team’, who will prompt the customer to confirm or cancel their in-play selections.

The ‘Click to Call’ feature has been released on William Hill and Tom Waterhouse web portals and can be activated through Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer and Safari web browsers. Rhe operator stated that it plans to further roll-out the device on mobile android and IOS devices.
Further details and information on William Hill ‘Click to Call’ can be viewed on the following page

Story courtesy of SBC News.

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Caulfield Review – May 2nd

by Admin on May 4, 2015

Race 1: Ern Jensen Handicap (1100m)

1st Hazard – Tom Sadler
2nd Miss Promiscuity – Steven King
3rd Jessy Belle – Michael Dee

Miss Promiscuity had little trouble in leading and crossed Hazard while Pathways improved along the fence. Danestroem found herself three wide up there. Elle Excite wanted to pull in midfield. Miss Promiscuity was allowed to stride along without any pressure applied but when she cornered Hazard had moved alongside. Danestroem tried to come on but the wide run told on her and Pathways had plenty of room to run on. Behind her Jessy Belle was looking for a run and Judicial Rock loomed as a place hope getting home down the outside. Hazard stuck the head in front about 100m out and held Miss Promiscuity to the line. Decent gap to Jessy Belle getting through and hitting the line nicely. Pathways and Danestroem had their chance and Judicial Rock’s run ended.

Follow: nice return from Jessy Belle and she’s better over a little more ground too. (Click to continue reading…)

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