Lay to the Bank – New Review

Today we are starting a new trial of a service called Lay to the Bank. 


goal being scored

First Half Goals Strategy

When it comes to betting on football, sometimes it can pay to focus on a particular aspect of the game. For example, an increasingly popular way to bet on football is to focus on first half goals.

There are a number of different markets to bet on in terms of first half goals and a variety strategies you can use. 

Below we’ll take a look at those markets, the stats regarding goals in the first half and then the best strategies you can use.


First Half Goal Markets

There are a number of different markets you can utilise if betting on first half goals. The main ones are:-

  • Over/under 0.5 first half goals
  • Over/under 1.5 first half goals
  • Over/under 2.5 first half goals
  • Half-time result
  • Half-time score

The first two markets listed above are usually fairly liquid and can be good for trading. The half-time result and half-time score are a little more variable in terms of liquidity. Generally they are okay to trade in the big games like Premier League, Champions League matches etc, but can be a little more tricky on smaller leagues. 

Therefore it is probably best to focus on the 0.5 and 1.5 first half goal markets for most betting and trading strategies on first half goals. 


Stats on First Half Goals

Before you start betting on first half goals, it is important to firstly have an idea of the stats. How often are goals scored in the first half? How long does it normally take to score a goal? Is there an optimal time to enter the market?

Knowing the answers to these questions will give you a better chance of success in the long run.

In general terms, just under 70% of football matches have a goal in the first half, meaning just over 30% finish 0-0 at half-time.

Equally, 44% of all goals are scored in the first half, so although they tend to be cagier than second halves, there is still normally a good chance of a first half goal in most games.

On average there are around 1.3 goals scored in the first half of games, although this varies greatly by league, with the Singapore Premier League having over 1.8 goals scored in the first half for example, whereas the English Premier League tends to have closer to 1.2 goals scored in the first half on average. 

Whichever way you look at the stats however, in general terms there is more likely to be a goal in the first half of a football match than not, on average. 

It is then a case of breaking things down by league, team, time and market to find the value and build your strategies.


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Things to Watch Out For When Betting on First Half Goals

Before we get into the strategies themselves, it is worth bearing a few things in mind before betting on first half goals.

There are certain advantages to getting involved in first half goals – for one there are a variety of markets for you to choose from and most of them have good liquidity. As you are only focusing on one half, there is also less of a game for you monitor and only 45 minutes of your time is taken up per game. 

If you are backing the overs, it can also be fun to cheer on goals and to see teams press forward and create chances, hopefully leading to a winning bet for you.

On the flip side, it can be quite frustrating if the teams are playing defensively or creating chances but not putting them away. And of course you only have one half for your bet to land –  if it doesn’t it can be tough to then see the teams score a hat-full of goals in the second half.  

When looking at the first half markets, it is also important to be aware of issues like team news – if a key striker or playmaker is due to be out for one of the teams, the chances of there being goals could diminish quite significantly. Or perhaps the coach is setting the side up in a defensive formation, limiting their attacking options. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when betting or trading on the first half markets.

Anyway, now let’s get on with having a look at some strategies for betting during the first half. 


First Half Goal Strategies

Here we take a look at some first half goal strategies, including both before the game kicks off and in-play. 


1. Focus on Team Stats and Styles

One way to bet on the first half is to look at individual team records for those sides who tend to score more goals in the first half. 

The basis of this strategy is that some sides tend to come out of the blocks fast and try to get ahead early in the game, meaning a higher likelihood of first half goals.

For example, Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp have tended to come flying out the blocks and put teams under pressure early on in games, in an effort to establish an early lead and put the game to bed by half-time. That has particularly been the case at Anfield, with the crowd behind them and using a high-press strategy.

Using a site like Soccerstats, you can firstly look at which sides have strong first half records. Here is an example from the English Premier League. 

Despite finishing seventh in the table overall, Tottenham were second in the first half table, leading 18 times at half-time out of 38 games and scoring 37 first half goals and conceding just 19. 

At the same time, you could look for sides towards the bottom of the table who concede a lot of first half goals. For example West Brom conceded 39 first half goals, the highest in the Premier League. 

If you have a match-up of a team that tends to score a lot of first-half goals against a side that tends to concede a lot, that could be an ideal situation for backing first half goals.

Whether you choose to back over 0.5 or over 1.5 first half (FH) goals depends on your appetite to risk and the specific scenario you are faced with. Some sides have a tendency to score multiple goals in the first half, in which case backing over 1.5 goals might be preferable.

On the other hand, some sides consistently score or concede just one goal, in which case it is probably to better to just back over 0.5 first half goals.

Of course the odds on over 0.5 FH goals will be much lower, often around the 1.3-1.5 mark, whereas for over 1.5 FH goals they can often be 2.5-3.5, so how much risk you want to take and the amount you are aiming to win will also affect which market you choose to enter. 

Another approach is to look at time bands for when teams tend to score and concede in the first half. 

Again, using Soccerstats we can see a breakdown for each team:

You may wish therefore to wait until a game has gone in-play and then focus on a particular time period in the first half when a team tends to score or concede. 

Liverpool for example see a lot of goals in the 30-45 time period, so you may wish to wait until around 25-30 minutes in the half before placing your bet in one of their games. The odds will be substantially higher if there hasn’t been a goal by that stage, or if there has been one goal you can select the over 1.5 FH goals market.

In summary there are lots of ways to approach the first half goals market, but using team-specific stats and looking at teams’ playing styles can give you an edge over other gamblers.


2. Using In-play Stats

Another approach to the first half goals markets is to monitor how games are progressing in-running before placing your bets.

Despite doing all the pre-game research in the world, some football matches end up very different to what you were expecting once they go live. Two very defensive sides can end up in an open, attacking game with lots of goals and vice versa.

As mentioned above, you can also get much better odds if there are no goals after say 15-20 minutes. The stats show that the first 15 minutes of games are the most cagey, with the last 15 minutes of a half having significantly more goals.

Here are the stats from the Premier League for the 2019-20 season via soccerstats:

As you can see, the first 15 minutes has the fewest goals, with just 115, versus 202 goals for the 31-45 minute time period. This may be due to teams starting off games in a cagey fashion as they size each other up, but opening up more as the half goes on and then pouring forward towards the end of the half to try and get a lead before the break. 

So it can be a good idea to delay entering the markets and see how a game is progressing before entering any trades. If you are going to do this, it is a good idea to use a site like Goal Profits to assist you. 

In addition to a wealth of stats on teams and leagues, they also have an in-play Live Stats Module which provides in-running stats on games including shots, corners, possession etc and even alerts when it’s a good time to enter a trade based on the stats. 

They also have a live chat room where their professional football traders, Kevin Laverick and Steve Brown trade matches live, so you can follow along with their trades if you wish. They trade a variety of different markets, but some of these will be first half markets, giving you the chance to profit along with them on the opening 45 minutes. 

To get an edge over other punters it is well worth using a top trading site like Goal Profits, where you use all the stats and tools on offer as well as learn from pro traders. You can check out our full review of the site here for more info about it. 

We would also say in general if you are going to trade a game in-play it is a good idea to watch it live, as you will get a better idea of the flow of a game than from the stats alone. If you are seeing lots of chances being created and a particularly open game, it could be a good time to enter the first half goals market. 

Waiting for a game to go in-play and seeing how it develops can be a good way then to approach the first half goal markets. 



3. Two early goals 

Another first half strategy is one that looks specifically for games with early goals and comes from the excellent trading service Trade on Sports.

This strategy focuses solely on games that have gone 1-1 early in the first half and is dubbed the “Quick Response” strategy – or QR for short. 

A game is a potential qualifier for the strategy if a goal is scored in the first 20 minutes, then another quick goal is scored within 10 minutes of the first, taking the score to 1-1.

The idea behind the strategy is that it identifies instances where the chances of a draw (or the game staying 1-1) is much lower than the odds suggest, based on past data from the teams and leagues involved. It has over 90% success rate and has remained a key part of the Trade on Sports portfolio of strategies for a number of years now. 

Members receive an alert via the Telegram app when a relevant game is identified by the bot, and can choose to either lay the draw or back another first half goal. At the time of writing the strategy has made 29 points profit when backing over 2.5 first half goals after 25 minutes.

So if you are looking for a specific first half strategy with a long track record of success, this one could be well worth checking out. You can also check out our full review of Trade on Sports here.


Conclusion – Getting an Edge on First Half Goals

These days there a wide variety of ways you can bet on a football match and focusing on the first half has become increasingly popular. 

There are a number of different markets you can choose from, but the over 0.5 and over 1.5 first half goals are generally the main ones to target. 

If you are going to bet or trade on first half goals, it is important to give yourself the best chance of succeeding. That means using stats, watching games and using all the tools available to you. 

It is also a good idea to follow a set strategy. We have laid out three strategies above to give you some guidance, but of course you may wish to develop your own approach. 

Whether you follow one of the strategies set out above or follow your own one though, please remember to always gamble responsibly – and good luck with your betting on first half goals! 





horse race fall

Laying Horses For a Living

The idea of laying horses for a living seems like a very attractive proposition. After all, if the bookies can do it, then why shouldn’t we? It feels like it should be easy to pick horses to lose – a lot easier than picking winners at least.

However, the reality of it is that making any money from laying horses is tough, let alone making a living from it. There are only a small number of elite bettors who manage to do it successfully and it takes a great deal of skill.

Below we delve into exactly why that is and then look at some strategies for potentially making a profit from laying.


Why is it so Hard to Make Money from Laying Horses?

When betting exchanges like Betfair came on the scene it gave us punters the chance to pick horses to lose (by laying them), whereas previously it had just been the bookies who could lay horses (by taking bets on them). 

Only one horse can win a race, so it seems like your chances of success are pretty good. Plus there are always a few out-of-form types, those who always seem to finish second or third but never win, or horses that have unsuitable conditions for them in today’s race.

The cold hard truth though is that making a profit from laying is in fact very tough. 

One of the reasons for this is that when laying at BSP, you are typically laying at around 20% above industry starting price (ISP), which is what bookies are laying at – or close to it when taking bets earlier in the day. Bookies have an over-round which in simple terms means they can offer worse odds than the true chances of a horse winning, knowing that punters will take the bet regardless.

You do not have that luxury though so in reality have to be considerably better than them at predicting which horses are likely to lose and represent poor value. 

That is difficult – but not impossible – to overcome, as we will see below.


A Few Pointers on Lay Betting 

Before we get into looking at some successful strategies for lay betting, it is worth covering a few fundamentals of the art of laying that are important to bear in mind if you are going to be doing it seriously.

  • Staking – one of the key parts of lay betting is making sure you get the staking right. Obviously if you are laying a horse at odds of 11.0, you are risking ten times your stake so liabilities are much higher than with back betting. It goes without saying that you need to therefore think about how much you can afford to lose should the horse you are laying win – and stake accordingly.
  • At the same time, you are likely to have a much higher strike rate than with back betting, so laying does have its upsides to compensate. 
  • In terms of a betting bank, this will depend very much on what prices you are laying at, but we would always advise planning for adverse scenarios when selecting a starting bank.  So for example if you were laying at average odds of 5.0 and your starting bank was £1,000, it might be worth laying with a stake of £10, so the most you could lose on that selection would be £40, which would be 4% of your bank. 
  • It is a good idea to decide which form of staking you want to use – a fixed liability or a fixed stake. A fixed liability means you lose the same amount whatever the odds are. So if you decide the most you want to lose on a bet is £10 and the odds are 5.0, you would stake £2.50 but if the odds were 3.0 you would stake £5. Fixed staking is where you stake the same amount even if the odds are different, so you could lose differing amounts but will always win the same. For example if the odds are 5.0 and you stake £3, you could lose £12, but if you staked £3 at odds of 7.0, you could lose £18. In both cases you would win £3 (minus commission) if the lays are successful. 
  • It is important to remember to take commission into account. Betfair have the option of 2% commission which is a reasonable level given it was previously 5%. But your laying activity will need to overcome that 2% commission, so in effect you need to have an edge of at least 3% over the market.

Okay, so that covers some of the fundamentals of lay betting. Let’s get on to looking at some ideas for laying for profit.


Do Some People Really Lay Horses for a Living?

As we discussed above, making money from laying is tough, so you may be wondering if there really are people out there who make a living from laying horses.

Well there are certainly fewer of them than those who make a living from backing horses, that’s for sure. If you read books about pro punters like Alex Bird, Partick Veitch and Dave Nevison, you will see they are very much focused on finding long-shot value picks at odds of 20/1 and above for example. 

Professional gambler Patrick Veitch

That doesn’t mean the possibility doesn’t exist though and there are a few elite individuals who make a regular profit from laying, as we will discover below. Understanding the intricacies of picking losers at value prices is key, as well as the kind of bank management and staking we have discussed above. 

And of course in a literal sense there are people who lay horses for a living – the bookies! Whether this is the huge online platforms like Bet365 or the guy you see at the racecourse with his odds board and wads of notes, they tend to do very nicely out of it thank you very much. 

However, it is the professional punter using betting exchanges we are focused on here and the kind of strategies they use to make a living from laying.


The Expert Strategies for Laying Horses 

Okay, so let’s take a look at some expert strategies for laying horses on Betfair. These are the best ones we have found through years of research and testing strategies here at Honest Betting Reviews and are the kinds of approaches that professional layers take.


Low Liability Laying

One of the most successful horse racing laying systems we have come across is a low-liability strategy called Little Acorns. This is an approach that has proven its worth over a period of more than ten years. We often say the ultimate test of the robustness of a strategy is its longevity and Little Acorns has certainly passed that examination, with flying colours.

The system is based on four simple rules and involves laying horses at odds-on (less than 2.0 on Betfair). It was released in 2009 and has made a healthy profit every year since. We conducted our own review of Little Acorns and it made a solid 189 points profit, receiving a clear passed rating from us.

Little Acorns has also received numerous awards over the years, including our very own Best Horse Racing Service 2020, as voted for by our members.

There are options available in terms of the staking: either a higher risk loss-recovery form of staking known as Fibonacci, or a level stakes approach, which is safer but doesn’t deliver as much profit in the long run. 

Although we can’t give away the secrets of how Little Acorns works, essentially it identifies hot favourites who have certain marks against them, making them poor value to back – or good value to lay. As we say, it has stood the test of time and has a legion of loyal followers who use the system on a daily basis, many of whom have gradually built their stakes up over the course of years to the point where they can bet substantial amounts to achieve notable profits. 

That is very much the idea behind the system, as the name suggests: “From little acorns do mighty oaks grow.” In this case the mighty oaks being a healthy amount of regular profit. And the nice thing is that laying at odds-on means there is huge liquidity so there are no issues around lots of members laying the same horse and affecting the price.

As a tried and tested expert strategy for laying horses like a professional, there can be few better than Little Acorns.


Exponential Bet

The tools available to bettors in this day and age are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Back in the pre-internet days, a budding punter would only have a copy of the Racing Post, a racecard and maybe some “stable tips” to go on when trying to make their selections. 

Nowadays there is a wealth of information available online at the click of a mouse and all kinds of online tools to assist bettors. In particular there are now betting bots and automated systems that you can use to execute sophisticated betting strategies for you. 

One such suite of tools, which has a special focus on laying systems, is from the Exponential Bet team. Working in partnership with renowned bot developer Nigel Dove of Levelsoftware, they have developed laying systems that place bets automatically for you on Betfair. This happens through their Cloud Bet Bot software, which (as the name suggests) runs remotely on the cloud so doesn’t even need a VPS or leaving your computer on day and night to operate. Once set up, it just runs automatically in the background.

It is quite amazing to see this kind of technology available now and it opens up so many possibilities in the world of betting. Exponential Bet have a range of systems available. Their original approach was built around dutching and in-play betting, which we reviewed here, but they have evolved to develop laying systems including their “Lay Dutching” and “Racing Lays” strategies and are constantly testing out new strategies.

With this kind of technology available – in addition to trading software like Bet Angel and Fairbot that have options for automation – there are possibilities for developing sophisticated laying strategies that take advantage of factors like movements in the market, perceived value and other indicators to cream off small but regular profits. 

We see services like Exponential Bet as the future of betting and expect more tools like this to be released, giving users a potential edge over the market in their laying.


Over-Hyped Favourites

One of the most simple and effective laying strategies used by professionals is to take on over-hyped favourites. This happens quite often and particularly in the big meetings and festivals which get a lot of TV coverage and attention from the average punter. 

Many of these “hot favourites” will be tipped up heavily in the Racing Post and by popular tipsters, which forces the price down to a level often below what it should be. Often this can become a snowball effect – as punters hear TV pundits say things like “this horse is being backed heavily,” and “a lot of money has some come in for this one,” they think it must be a good thing and so jump on, pushing the price down further. This causes more punters to see the price crashing, leading them to jump on, and so on. 

The most extreme examples of this tend to be on so-called “betting coups” or “stable gambles.” One such example occurred recently, when three horses from separate yards were lined up for a gamble on the same day. Multiple bets were placed the night before on the three horses: Fire Away at 20/1, Blowing Dixie at 13/2 and Gallahers Cross at 33/1.

The bookies noted that a string of bets had been placed across various accounts to win hundreds of thousands of pounds each. Their liabilities were considerable and the bookies were clearly a little concerned, even though the horses were all relative long-shots:

The bookmakers probably started to worry a little more when 20/1 shot Fire Away won its race, getting the treble off to a successful start.

Then they no doubt really started to panic when Blowing Dixie also won its race just over an hour later. Clearly something was up. 

By this time word of the coup was all across social media and people were sharing pictures of betslips showing huge potential winnings should the last horse, Gallahers Cross, win its race. 

The story was even picked up by the mainstream media and was being talked about on TV as news spread, stoking the flames even more. 

As the race approached, Gallahers Cross, which had been a massive 33/1 the night before, was now being backed at odds-on.

This was a horse who had finished last, or next to last, in four out of its last five races (in the other race it finished 8th out of 10 horses). 

Yet the thought of this incredible treble landing was driving people to think it must be pre-destined, or a set up. The bookies had to slash their odds because they were sitting on huge liabilities, even though they knew the chances of it winning were not anything like better-than-even. 

However, this set up a great laying opportunity as although the horse in question clearly had a better than 33/1 chance of winning (as it had been aimed at this race in particular), it was still not exactly a “sure thing” and all rational behaviour had gone out the window.

Low and behold, despite travelling well early in the race, Gallahers Cross was well beaten into fourth in the end by over six lengths. 

This is a great example of exuberance and hype getting out of all proportion to a horse’s true chances of winning a race. It may have been aimed at that race specifically, but Gallahers Cross still had to overcome difficult conditions, some decent other horses and the jumps obstacles in the race, any of which it could have fallen over. The odds were great value to lay and those who were clear-eyed enough to see that had the potential to do very well, for low liabilities.

Whilst this kind of example is fairly extreme and doesn’t happen very often, it illustrates a wider point about how hype and media attention can skew odds considerably. 

Less extreme examples happen all the time, particularly with popular jockeys like Frankie Dettori when he has a couple of early winners in a day at major festivals like Royal Ascot. Even at smaller meetings though you will regularly get plunges on hyped-up favourites and those considered to have “everything in their favour” on a given day. 

Indeed, Betfair commissioned their own study which showed that contrary to popular belief, backing “steamers” – horses that have been backed heavily in the market – was actually unprofitable over a large sample size of bets. 

So learning to ignore the buzz around horses who have been backed and focusing instead on a horse’s true chances of winning a race is a key tool used by laying experts to generate a profit.



Place Laying

Another potential laying strategy is to focus on the place market on Betfair rather than the win market. 

The advantages of this are that in general you will be laying at much lower odds than on the win market, thus limiting your liabilities and that whilst the focus of most punters is on the win market, little attention is paid to the place market leaving opportunities for the shrewd bettor.

The place markets are usually tied to the win markets but sometimes discrepancies do occur. Horse racing site flatstats have a “Win / Place Price Disparity” tool which can be useful for spotting such opportunities. The trick is to determine when such discrepancies are valid and when they are genuine errors in the market, which only time and practice, and a keen eye, can spot. 

There are also some horses who are ripe for laying in the place market due to being “all or nothing” types. These are the horses that tend to either win a race or crash out, but rarely place. They are the inconsistent sorts who can be ideal for place laying due to the way the place market tends to be priced up in relation to the win market rather than on its own merits.



Finally we have a strategy that involves both laying and backing and that is a practice known as “dobbing” (which might sound like something rude but in betting terms at least is not). We explain in more detail how it works here, but in short the acronym DOB stands for “double or bust” betting.

It involves finding those horses that are likely to shorten in price in-play. A DOB better would back such horses before a race and then lay them off in-play. Typically it would be at half the odds, so if backing at 4.0, they would lay at odds of 2.0, but that is not a hard-and-fast rule and can be adapted to the individual circumstances of the horse and race.

There are certain horses who are ideal for dobbing strategies including front runners and those who tend to go close in a high proportion of their races.

horse race

Front runner horses are ideal for dobbing.

There are now tools like Hedger Pro that can help identify such horses and provide back-to-lay trading opportunities.

It is surprising how often some horses shorten in price in-play and learning to spot such opportunities can be a lucrative endeavour for those shrewd enough to do it.


Conclusion – Laying Horses for a Living

Unless you happen to be a bookie, laying horses for a living is a tough task. There are a relatively small proportion of professional punters who make their income from laying as opposed to those who do so from backing horses.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be done however and there are increasingly sophisticated tools available now to aid punters in their quest to find successful lay bets.

We have outlined some of the best tools and strategies for laying above, to give a sense of how the experts do it and to hopefully aid you in your own lay betting.

As ever, whether you use one of the strategies set out above or your own laying system, please always gamble responsibly and only risk what you can afford to lose.





social gaming

The Rise Of Social Gaming

Can online card games ever match the social element of playing with friends?

The traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ casino experience has always been a highly social one. For many players, a night at the casino is as much about the glitz and glamour as it is about the cards and dice.

For some, it is the opportunity to see and be seen, to mingle and network, while for others it is simply a great place to enjoy a night out with friends. While online casinos can recreate many of the games of their real-life counterparts, from slots to table games like poker and blackjack, they have often struggled to recreate the atmosphere and the social aspects of a casino visit.

However, this is slowly changing, as more and more online casinos start to consider their players’ whole casino experience, rather than just their individual gaming needs. With features like live dealers, football roulette, and social gaming, online casinos, such as 888 Casino, are becoming much more like the real thing and that authenticity is what’s driving a huge surge in online gaming.

Live dealers and croupiers
One of the major ways in which online casinos are seeking to emulate the real casino experience is through the use of live dealers and croupiers. These games deliver the best of both worlds, with the convenience of being able to play from home, or anywhere else for that matter, combined with the presence of a human face.

Instead of playing a computerized version of your favorite games, with digital cards and a simulated roulette wheel, you get to see a real game unfold, with actual playing cards and a real ball bobbling around the roulette wheel, all backed by the charm and chat of your dealer.

Live dealers add a touch of glamour and social interaction to the online casino experience

Live dealer casino games feel more like the real thing because they offer interaction with a friendly face rather than a faceless computer. For many players this also makes the games feel fairer. Seeing genuine playing cards being dealt, rather than an electronic card appearing on screen, can appear more authentic, even though the electronic version is every bit as random and as fair as a real pack.

Football roulette
Football roulette takes this live dealer concept to a new level, by integrating live soccer updates on match days. A screen behind the croupier shows live-action, while players can also choose to access a range of match and player statistics within their gaming screen.

This not only allows fans to multi-task, keeping up with the action while still enjoying a spin at the roulette table, it also significantly adds to the social side of gaming. Players can share their thoughts on the matches via message board, and the croupiers are always well informed about the sport and can join in the football conversation.

Social gaming
This kind of social interaction with fellow players is an important part of online gaming for many people. Games with message boards allow players to chat while they play and feel part of the crowd around the table, rather than just another anonymous participant.

Some sites, such as Big Fish, even allow players to invite their friends to join them at the online casino, so they can play against each other. The sheer size of most online casinos would make finding a friend at the same table virtually impossible, so this feature is handy for anyone who wants to share their experience as a group.

You can take social gaming further by playing through sites like Facebook. These games are usually free and put the social side first, with leader boards and group interaction the focus, rather than cash winnings. Although they are free to play, the industry is still worth $2.7bn thanks to in-app purchases.

The future of social gaming
Perhaps the biggest step forward in social gaming will be the rise of virtual reality casinos. There are already several early examples on the market, and as these become more mainstream, they will provide the closest thing to being at a real casino, including the opportunity for vastly increased social interaction, albeit via artificial avatars.

We may still be a long way from the virtual world of the OASIS, as featured in Steven Spielberg’s movie, Ready Player One, but technology is certainly heading in that direction. Until then, we will just have to make do with message board chats with our fellow players or get dressed up and head out to the real thing to meet real people.




horse racing

Precision Value – New Review

One of the very first reviews we did here at Honest Betting Reviews way back in 2015 (remember those days?!), was for a betting system called the Morning Value Service. 

We followed it for a full eight months and in that time it made an excellent 330 points profit and therefore warranted a definite PASSED rating, with bells on!

Since then it has continued to churn out steady profits, having now made nearly 5000 points profit in total since starting up in 2012. That’s an insane £100,000 profit to £20 stakes. 

Needless to say, those are some of the very best results achieved anywhere and are pretty phenomenal by any possible measurement. 

Understandably though, with such incredible results Kieran had to restrict the number of new members in order to protect prices. 

However, Kieran started crunching the numbers a few months ago and noticed that there was a performance ‘sweet spot’ on those bets priced between 7/4 and 5/1.

He dug a little deeper and they looked better and better. The number of bets each day was dramatically reduced while still having a reasonable turnover, the strike rate improved massively and it became a much more user-friendly, manageable service.

He started trialling this new ‘pared down’ service with a small group of clients over the summer. The results were phenomenal – almost everybody who trialled the service has apparently now signed up for the long term.

The new pared down service – which has been named Precision Value” – produced a fantastic 1900 points profit at a strike rate of 25% and an ROI of 11%

That equates to over £38,000 profit to just £20 stakes – pretty amazing stuff! And the workload was considerably reduced with just 5 bets per day on average compared to 10-15. 

Betting on all the selections as doubles also produced a profit of £13,420 to just £5 stakes as well. 

We have proofed the main service extensively in the past, both on this website with our aforementioned eight month review and also in a personal capacity. However, given the launch of this new “pared down” service focusing on selections at between 7/4 and 5/1, we thought it would be worth taking a look again and running a review specifically for these selections. So that is what we will do today!

It’s worth pointing out that you will need bookies accounts if following this as it doesn’t tend to work very well on Betfair. 

Anyway, let’s get things cracking and get a review underway. We will update results here as we go along.

In the meantime you can check out Precision Value here.





Half Time Method Review

Today we are going to take a look at a new football betting system called the Half-Time Method.


Football betting pic

Asian Handicap Explained

Asian handicap is a football betting market in which teams receive a handicap that reflects their previous performance. Like most sporting handicaps, its aim is to level the playing field when teams are mismatched in terms of ability.

The stronger team receives a negative handicap, meaning they must score more goals than they otherwise would in order to win; while the weaker team receives a positive handicap. The handicap can vary from a fraction of a goal through to several goals.

Effectively, the Asian handicap is a way to remove the draw as a possible outcome and reduce betting to just two potential outcomes.

For beginners to can be a little confusing, as a bet on the team that wins in the actual game may lose. However, if you read the rest of the article and study the examples given in the payout table, all should become clear. 

Note that it is called an Asian handicap as the system originated in Indonesia. It can be applied to any football game, not just those taking place in Asia. Originally called “hang cheng,” it remains the most popular kind of betting in the Far East. Today it is popular in all football betting markets in the UK, Europe, and the US.

Elimination of draws

The most significant difference between normal football betting and the Asian handicap is that there are no draws. With football betting, you can bet on a win, a loss, and a draw, but with the Asian handicap, you can only bet on a win or loss.

In the case of perfect handicapping, the odds for either of these results is 50-50, however, handicapping is rarely perfect. The challenge is to beat the handicappers by understanding more about the teams and other factors affecting the match than they do.

As there is a roughly equal chance of either side winning, odds tend to be low; typically ranging from 1.9 to 2.0.

Other points

The score is the result after 90 minutes including any stoppage and injury time. Penalty shootouts and goals scored in extra time are excluded from the bet results.


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Some examples

Here we will look at some practical examples. There are three types of handicaps:

  • – Level Asian Handicap: When there is no perceived difference between the teams, neither carry a handicap, but unlike usual football betting if the match is a draw the bets are voided.
  • – Single Asian Handicap: When there is a perceived difference between the teams, the playing field will be leveled by handicapping the better team. The stronger side will receive a negative handicap of -0.5, -1, -1.5 or -2 goals and the weaker team with a balancing positive score of 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 goals. Thus, if the game is drawn, bets placed on the weaker team will win.
  • – Split Asian Handicap: This is used when the difference between the two teams is uncertain. Effectively you are betting on two different handicaps at the same time, and half your stake is placed on one and a half on the other.

Pay-out table

This is an abbreviated pay-out table. Once you can understand this, it is easy to work out the pay-outs for other fractional handicaps. It is a good exercise to ensure you understand exactly what’s going on, so we recommend you do it.


Handicap Game result Your bet Handicap Game result Your bet


Win Win  


Win Win
Draw Voided bet Draw Voided bet
Lose Lose Lose Lose


Win Win  


Win Win
Draw Lose half stake Draw Win half stake
Lose Lose Lose lose


Win Win  


Win Win
Draw Lose Draw Win
Lose Lose Lose Lose


Win by 2+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 1 goal Stake returned Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 goal Stake returned
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ goals Lose


Win by 2+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 1 goal Lose half stake Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 goal Win 50%
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ goals Lose


Win by 2+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 1 goal Lose Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 goal Win
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ goals lose


Win by 3+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 2 goals Stake returned Draw Win
Win by 1 goal Lose Lose by 1 goal Win
Draw Lose Lose by 2 goals Stake returned
Lose Lose Lose by 3+ goals Lose



Although Asian Handicap betting is more complex than ordinary football betting, there are many occasions when it is likely to provide a closer match to your thoughts on the game. For instance, if you think that your team will win, but there is a reasonable possibility that it could end in a draw, then you could select bet on a handicap that would pay out on both eventualities, in other words keeping the draw on your side.

For instance, if you selected a +0.25 handicap, if your team wins then you win at the stated odds, and if there is a draw, then half your stake will be returned.

Certainly, understanding the Asian handicap is another string to your betting bow, even if you use it just occasionally. At the very least, it’s a fun way to bet. 

Double your betting bank and win up to 90% of your bets with this top betting system.






Match fixing

Are Football Matches Still Fixed and Can You Profit From Them?

Across the top leagues in Europe, investigators maintain that up to 300 games are fixed every season. In fact, football match-fixing is a global problem that may penetrate all corners of the game, even the Premiership.

We will look briefly at some of the more notorious examples and examine how we might be able to identify potentially fixed games; it’s all in the betting patterns. Touching briefly on the ethics of betting on fixed games, we will look at the possibility of making a profit and how to avoid some of the football betting scams that you might come across on social media.

Famous Football Betting Scandals

Over the years, many football scandals have been exposed; here are some of the most infamous and the most recent:

  • – One of the most notorious British football betting scandals was uncovered in the 1960s. It was organised by the late Jimmy Gauld, a football player who turned to match-fixing after his career ended prematurely after he broke a leg. After several lucrative years, he eventually came clean and, in the process, incriminated several other football players. Sentenced to four years imprisonment and a huge fine, he was immortalised in a movie called “The Fix.”
  • – The most recent British scandal emerged in 2013. Revealed following various press investigations, six people were arrested for conspiracy to commit bribery, five of whom were found guilty. It emerged at the trial that it cost around £70,000 to fix a match.
  • – In the same year operation VETO investigated Asian organised crime syndicates which influenced 380 football matches globally. The scam raised around €8,000,000. Fifty people were arrested.
  • – The latest scandal was revealed in July 2018 and resulted in Emanuele Calaiò, a Parma forward, receiving a two-year ban for match-fixing.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There is little doubt that football match-fixing is at least as prevalent today as it ever has been. Last year the football manager Joey Barton received an 18-month ban after placing 1,260 football bets. Following his ban, he revealed to the newspapers that match-fixing is rife and the FA is incapable of dealing with the problem.

Making money from fixed football matches

If it were possible to know in advance if a match had been fixed, then there is a clear opportunity to profit from this knowledge. This brings in a big ethical dilemma. For those of us who love football, match-fixing is a huge threat to the integrity of the sport. In fact, following the 2013 scandal mentioned above, sentiment analysis of the resulting social media posts and tweets demonstrated that overall the public was outraged, with disgust, fear and anger being the most common responses.

Of course, not everyone feels that way. What would you do should you find a £20 note on a deserted street? In the final analysis it’s your decision, but next, we will look at how some people might go about trying to identify potentially fixed matches. The answer is in the betting patterns. 

How to identify a fixed football match

The only realistic way to identify fixed football matches is to adopt the same approach as the authorities and organisations such as Sportradar who gather and analyse sports data on behalf of bookmakers.

Don’t underestimate the sophistication of seasoned match-fixers. Their aim is to place bets on outcomes they can readily influence and that are hard to detect. The large football betting markets are match odds and over/under 2.5 goals. However, exact score markets and over/under 1.5 and 0.5 goals markets are relatively small, so any high-volume bets placed on these are easy to spot and will ring alarms.

Thus, a favourite target for match fixers is over/under 2.5 goals. In a league where the number of goals is close to 2.5 it would need only a small influence by players and match officials to force the result one way or the other, and the activity would be very difficult to detect. Sophisticated statistical analysis of betting patterns in these markets can reveal anomalies in betting volumes that suggest match-fixing. The analysis can also highlight the potential influence of specific match referees.

However, doing this requires access to massive amounts of betting data, which is simply not available to the public. It also requires a deep understanding of sophisticated data analysis techniques. While organisations such as Sportradar do all this on a routine basis, for the ordinary punter identifying fixed football matches isn’t feasible.

What about the adverts that claim to identify fixed games?

It is sad that given our current degree of internet savvy people are still taken in by the most basic of scams. Such websites are simply a variant of getting rich quick scams that will leave you high and dry. Don’t be taken in; if they really knew which matches are fixed, why would they go to the effort of telling you?


Sports betting is the one area of gambling that rewards detailed sports knowledge with value bets which over time will provide a profit. Your time will be far better spent developing your football betting techniques that chasing rainbows such as fixed football matches.

Probably the best thing you could do is join a matched betting service like Profit Maximiser, or a top tipster like the Football Guru.