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Cleeve Racing Cheltenham 2021

Get Your Free Cheltenham Yankee

The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner and we’ve got an excellent freebie today for you from the highly respected Cleeve Racing.

In fact, it’s so good it could see you win nearly £80,000 from just a £22 bet!

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Cleeve’s award-winning tipster panel have combined their very best tips for this year’s festival into one bookie-busting Yankee bet.

They have gone close in recent years with this bet so hopefully this year is the year…

Even if all the selections don’t win you can still make a nice profit from combining the selections into a multiple like this and it adds a bit of fun to the festival experience.

Each tip is thoroughly researched with a full write-up in the PDF.

The odds of these selections are likely to drop pretty quickly as the festival approaches so we’d advise grabbing this now if you want to get on.

Check out Cleeve Racing’s FREE Cheltenham Yankee here.




horse running

How to pick a winner in the 2021 Grand National

Image source: Photo

Finding a winning horse in the Grand National is one of the hardest tasks as a horse racing punter. This iconic National Hunt race is world-renowned for being one of the most grueling races on the planet, with 40 guaranteed runners and riders, 30 fences to negotiate, and a stiff test of stamina over four miles and two furlongs.

It’s very much “survival of the fittest” stuff. Both Red Rum and Tiger Roll have made history through the years by being the only horses to win successive Grand Nationals, so it’s easy to see why it’s so difficult to pick a winner.

You’ve only got to look back to the 2013 Grand National to understand that upsets can happen at Aintree. Most horse racing enthusiasts won’t forget the shock of a 100/1 winner in the shape of Aurora’s Encore.

The horse had received little airtime from pundits and analysts alike. It was low rated by the handicappers and had a lengthy history of falling over fences. This, combined with a jockey who was inexperienced around Aintree, meant that very few punters were prepared to touch this horse with a bargepole.

The rest, as they say, is history. Aurora’s Encore romped home to victory, in what was a monstrous victory for the bookmakers. Although there are anomalies like Aurora’s Encore, there are ways to drill down through the pre-race data and narrow your possible selections in the build-up to the Grand National.

Look out for entrants carrying heavy weights

How much weight a horse carries around Aintree is a major consideration for anyone wanting to pick a winner in the 2021 Grand National. Typically, punters should avoid any horse carrying more than 11st 03lbs as this historically proves too much for horses to carry for the full four miles and two furlongs. Although Tiger Roll, Don’t Push It and Neptune Collonges have defied the top weight in recent years, they are certainly exceptions to the rule.

Don’t rule out horses that have previously failed at Aintree

When you look back at the racing form, don’t discount a horse just because it’s been pulled up or fallen before in the Grand National. This is one of the most unique jump races in the world. These things happen. It could have been something as simple as unsuitable ground which prevented your selection from making headway. There are plenty of recent National winners that have failed to finish in the years beforehand, notably Amberleigh House, Silver Birch and Hedgehunter.

Avoid backing seven-year-old runners

Aside from weight, age is another influential factor when it comes to hand-picking potential Grand National winners. Based on historical data, horses aged between eight and 11 are most likely to be contenders. In fact, it’s been more than three quarters of a century since a seven-year-old horse won the Grand National.

In the last 50 years of the race, 15 were won by nine-year-olds, followed by a dozen ten-year-olds. Beginners to betting on jump horse racing might think that betting on a ten-year-old would seem like betting on an ageing veteran, but older horses tend to have the stamina and know-how in the tank to prevail at Aintree.

There’s rarely such a thing as a ‘value’ pre-race favorite (take advantage of enhanced offers)


It’s true that the pre-race favorites rarely turn up and meet the expectations on race day at Aintree. Don’t Push It was one of the few favorites to win in 2010 and, of course, Tiger Roll surpassed bookmakers’ expectations in 2019. The reality is that pre-race favorites at low odds in the Grand National are rarely value plays.

Just because a runner’s price shortens in the morning of the race, doesn’t mean he’s more likely to win, especially given the huge variables involved with running in the National. The only way to find better value on pre-race favorites is to seek out enhanced odds promotions listed at sites like Oddschecker, which can give you more bang for your buck.

Most former winners are race-sharp ahead of the Grand National

Horse racing is like most professional sports; the more you play the better you get. It’s the same analogy with winners at the Grand National. Most winners at Aintree are incredibly fresh and have benefited from a previous run within 50 days of the National. In fact, eight-in-ten of the previous ten winners had run a race within 50 days of crossing the finish post first at Aintree.

It’s very difficult for a horse to be lightly raced and be thrown straight in at the deep end in the Grand National. Horses like Tiger Roll have their pre-National schedule mapped out months in advance, with regular races at Navan and Cheltenham booked in before Aintree.

Only consider horses that have won at three miles or longer

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has recently stipulated that a horse can only be entered into the Grand National providing it has finished at least fourth in a steeplechase of three miles or longer.

Most successful punters at the Grand National go one further than this and home in on stayers that have won a steeplechase at three miles or longer. That’s because only one horse since 1970 – Rule the World in 2016 – has managed to win the National despite not winning a steeplechase at three miles or further.

Find bookmakers that offer more each-way places to cover your bets

If you are someone that prefers to bet each-way on the Grand National to hedge your bets, make sure you bet with a bookmaker that offers the maximum number of each-way places. Although most bookies will cover four or five places each-way in the Grand National, it has been known for some operators to expand that to six places on occasion. This greatly increases your chances of making a profit from your bet, with six places capable of paying out at least 25% of your potential winnings on first place.

Hopefully this seven-point roadmap gives you some food for thought before checking out the racecard for the 2021 Grand National. Keep these pointers firmly in mind when narrowing down your selections and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.




matched betting

Best In-Play Betting Tips for 2021

Instead of backing in pre-match betting markets, punters are increasingly being drawn to in-play betting. There is certainly value to be found in in-play markets with odds shifting as the play unfolds. Naturally, these changes in odds can be quite volatile and can change at the drop of the hat. This presents plenty of opportunities for savvy bettors to turn a profit.

Most bookmakers will offer some form of in-play betting across a range of sports but how do you take advantage of this? The following article will detail some of the best in-play betting tips to give you the best chance of raking in the profits.

Also, if you want to find some of the best in-play bookmakers, then take a look at Aussie Bets.

Back the Favourite When They’re Behind

Waiting for your event to start can give you much-improved odds in markets you would like to back. An example of this that can be very profitable is backing the favourite in-play.

Let’s say you are confident that Team A will win but they fall behind early on. Backing them in-play will obviously give you far better odds when they’re behind. This can turn backing a favourite into a good value bet.

There are a lot of different circumstances at play here, so it is important to weigh them up. If the heavy favourites in a football game concede in the first five minutes, there is more than enough time for their quality to shine through and turn the result around. However, backing a team that goes behind in the final five minutes is far riskier and will be reflected in the odds.

Backing a Favourite When Things Are Level Late On

This doesn’t apply to all sports but in events where draws are possible, this is a viable in-play tactic. Games that are level in the closing stages can become a valuable hunting ground for those who back the pre-match favourite. The longer the game goes on, the shorter the odds will become a for a draw, and the longer the odds will become for the original favourite.

In-Play betting also allows you to assess how the event is unfolding. You have a lot more information to go off during an event than you do before. If a team is looking likely to win based on proceedings but has yet to make that count in the scoring, the odds are likely to present some value.

Look Out for Vastly Different Odds

Betting in-play can open lots of doors. Once an event begins the odds in some specific markets can change tremendously and not just become of the score or result of a game.

A good example of this is goalscorer odds in football. Once players are named as substitutes their odds to score become much longer. This is because they will have limited minutes on the pitch compared to starting players. Nevertheless, you can use the match situation to your advantage to make informed bets.

If a side is 1-0 down in the final 25 minutes, they are likely to bring on an attacking player sooner rather than later. What’s more, they are going to be brought on with an emphasis to score goals rather than run down the clock. With that information, you may be able to spot good value bets with high odds and turn a profit from relatively small wagers.

Take Advantage of Cash-Out Offers

The vast majority of sportsbooks that offer in-play betting will have some form of cash-out available and it is well worth using this on occasion. The cash-out feature isn’t just available for pre-match bets and can be used wisely with in-play bets too.

Don’t be scared to use the cash-out feature if you have reason to believe that your bet is no longer a likely winner. A lot of people view cash-outs as admitting defeat but on some occasions, it can land you a profit where ordinarily there would be no profit to be made.

Cashing out in-play gives you the chance to see events unfold in real-time and act accordingly. There are scenarios where you cannot cash-out but if you see that the team you backed is on the backfoot or the player you backed isn’t looking up to par, consider cashing out and taking a smaller profit or reduced loss.

The Bottom Line

Betting in-play can be a very nice way to add a bit of extra profit and can uncover some truly great odds. Have a browse around and see what catches your eye as events unfold. If you’re interested in furthering your betting skills, make sure to take a look at Aussie Bets for all the best sports betting sites in Australia.




hidden winners

Doors Reopening…Until Tomorrow

We are currently reviewing the Hidden Winners horse racing service and it has just reopened its doors to a strictly limited number of new members…

And they’re offering you 7 days free access when you sign up.* Today’s selections are already up and ready to bet, so…

CLICK HERE To Get Free Access For The Next 7 Days

Since the doors reopened earlier this month, the service has already produced…

21 Selections, 9 Wins
42.86% Strike Rate
+21.58 points profit (at Betfair SP!)
51.38% ROI

With approx. £216 profit in the bag at just £10/point, the majority of new members have already covered their annual membership fee with profit left on top…

And that’s on top of the 84 points profit made for our review to date if backing win-only or 17 points if backing to the advised each-way staking.

CLICK HERE To Grab Your Free Trial Before Doors Close

As usual, this offer is proving very popular so it will close this weekend at the latest.


*credit card details required







pick a winning horse

How to Choose Your Winning Horse

Source: Pixabay

While everyone would love to know the magic formula for choosing a horse guaranteed to win, the beauty of the sport is that there is no definitive. Choosing your winning horse doesn’t mean selecting the horse each race that you think will win, it means choosing one you will support and follow through its career. So, how do you choose the right horse to invest in?

Check Track Record

One of the most important aspects of choosing a horse is to see how it performs. Some do well at smaller races but do badly at larger meets. Others do well on specific courses or in other climates. Some are bred for speed, while others are bred for stamina. Checking the track record of each horse can help you decide which one you want to support.

As the list of all Cheltenham results shows, there are a variety of races from France to New Zealand, South Africa to the Middle East, as well as those based at Cheltenham. This helps keep track of the odds on each horse, which tell us how likely they are to win. It also helps show progression and horses which may be on the decline. Track records can be useful to see which horses are statistically likely – and experienced enough – to win.

Check the Breeder

Selecting a horse based on its record is one thing, but its racing pedigree must be present. Some horses are bred to win. For example, Northern Dancer, a winning racehorse from the 1960s has left quite the legacy. His bloodline has been so strong that his descendants have also succeeded.

Indeed, since 1994, the male side of every winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe tracks back to Northern Dancer. He wasn’t particularly tall – just 15.2 hands high – but possessed stamina that was carefully cultivated in his offspring and beyond. Selecting a horse with a strong bloodline and a good breeder could help you choose a horse with the capacity to win.

Source: Pixabay

Check the Rider

While even Ruby Walsh couldn’t make a bad horse a victor, the rider does have an impact on the result of a horse race. Norway’s Tromsø University conducted research that established a cognitive connection between horse and rider. The study found that the jockey and horse must both be working to the same goal to create a sense of ‘co-being.’

Finding riders who have not just succeeded in the past but have longstanding relationships and proven connections with their horses is important. A cognitive connection can benefit the rider and horse in the race and their track record as they progress to the same goal together.

Choosing the winning horse in a horse race takes some skill. Some people like to play the odds and change who they support each time, while others follow horses, riders, and even bloodlines through their careers. No matter how you choose the winning horse for you, there is a wealth of information to make a decision you can stand by.




casino young people

Edge Sorting – How One Player Took Millions Off The Casinos

Phil Ivey, the renowned poker player, was very good at a certain technique, that is until he had to repay the £7.7 million he won playing Punto Banco at Crockfords Club in Mayfair while using it to great effect.

Not that he was accused of dishonesty; it was just that he shifted the odds in his favour contrary to the spirit of the high rolling Punto Banco community. The game is supposed to be 100% pure chance, and according to the judges, Ivey had operated a carefully planned sting.

The technique he applied was “Edge Sorting”; a way of exploiting the minor differences in the backs of playing cards to determine whether they are high or low-value cards.   

You need 20 20 vision

You need keen sight to spot them, but the backs of even the best playing cards have irregularities. These can occur in various ways. Sometimes there is a noticeable difference between the width of the margins around the print on the longer sides of the cards; diamond-patterned backs that cover the entire surface may display slight asymmetries at the edges, for instance, there might be complete diamonds along one edge and partial diamonds along the other.

A Compliant Dealer

Any asymmetry in the pattern that allows the player to differentiate between cards rotated at 180 degrees to each other will do the trick. But spotting the asymmetry is just half the trick; the other and possibly harder part is persuading the dealer to rotate high or low-value cards.

In the Punto Banco session mentioned above, Ivy asked the dealer to rotate all the cards valued 7 to 9, the most valuable cards in Punto Banco. The dealer, apparently naively, obliged. Dealers like to indulge players, especially high rollers; doing so presumably leads to bigger tips.

Then Adjust Your Bets

With the shoe set up to his specification, he was able to identify the rotated cards in the shoe before they were dealt, and adjust his bets accordingly giving himself a significant advantage.

Edge sorting can be used in many different games. Some have reportedly regularly used it to great effect in Three Card Brag and claimed to almost guarantee walking away with a handsome profit on every occasion, before it stopped working. It is easy for casinos to prevent it happening, for instance by combining two decks rotated at 180 degrees to each other in the riffle. It is one of the reasons touching your cards at casino Blackjack is almost a capital offense.  

No Longer Legal in the UK

Following the High Court ruling on Phil Ivey, in the UK calling on the dealer to fix the cards to give the player an advantage is no longer legal. The situation in the US is a little different. Ivey pulled a similar stunt there playing Pai Gow at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City and had to repay around $10 million. The courts ruled that Ivy had not cheated nor committed fraud, but the casino was entitled to retain the money.

His technique at Borgata was somewhat different. He took along a guest, Cheng Yin Sun, and insisted on using purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards. Sun had spent many hundreds of hours studying minuscule flaws in that particular brand of cards and so was well placed to help Ivy win a fortune.

Don’t Try This at Home

Can an ordinary player take advantage of the technique? In informal games where players handle and deal the cards edge sorting may be possible, but it’s unlikely to work in a casino. We recommend that you don’t try it, but if you do then don’t get caught – it is illegal in the UK.

These days there are online casinos catering to people all over the world in every jurisdiction, so it is important to check out the rules and offers for each game in your country/area. For example you can check out a list of the top casinos and sports betting options in New Zealand, including all the details and info you will need for that jurisdiction.






football crowd

Time of First Goal Strategy

The time of the first goal is a crucial part of a football match. When the first goal is scored can change how the rest of a game is played. An early goal can lead to a much more open game than expected, whilst a goal just before half-time can change the dynamics between the teams in the second half. 

There are specific markets based around the time of the first goal, which differ by bookmaker and exchange and it is important to understand how these work and the differences between them.

The time of the first goal can also give rise to various trading strategies, which we will discuss further below. 


Time of First Goal Market

Before looking at strategies based around the time of first goal, it is important first to understand the market itself. The market tends to be priced up differently by various bookies, with different time bands being used. 

Let’s look at the time of first goal market on Oddschecker for this match between Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga:

As you can see there are different time bands used by the bookies, with Bet365 using ten-minute bands of 0-10, 11-20, 21-30 and so on whilst the likes of Betway and Genting Bet use fifteen minute bands of 0-15, 16-30 and 31-HT for this market. 

On the other hand, if we have a look at the Betfair market for this game:

You will see they use ten minute bands. However, as you will also note the liquidity is poor for this market with £0 matched so far. 

Even taking the poor liquidity into account though, the Betfair prices are still better on the back side for the first three time bands than the corresponding bookies’ markets. 

Typically there will be some more liquidity before kick-off but even then this is certainly not one of the most liquid markets so caution should be used if operating in the time of first goal market. For the biggest games like Premier League, Champions League, Euros/World Cup etc there will normally be decent liquidity but on other matches it is a little hit and miss.


Time of First Goal Stats

If you are going to bet or trade around the time of the first goal, it is important to know the stats on when the opening goal tends to be scored. 

So when exactly is the first goal normally scored in a football match? Well, as a broad average it is typically after half an hour, or around the 30-minute mark.

It does vary by league of course. Here are the stats for the main European leagues for the 2019-20 season in terms of the average of when the first goal was scored in a game:

  • – Bundesliga: 28 minutes
  • – Premier League: 31 minutes
  • – La Liga: 34 minutes
  • – Serie A: 29 minutes
  • – Ligue 1: 31 minutes

So as you can see, a pretty narrow range of timings there, all clustering around the 30 minute mark with the Bundesliga, the highest-scoring league, having the earliest average first goal time at 28 minutes whilst La Liga has the latest at 34 minutes.

In addition to the average first goal time, it is worth also taking into account the likelihood of goals per time segment. Here is a visualisation for the Premier League from the 2019-20 season via soccerstats:

If we take the first segment, 0-15 minutes, there were 115 goals scored in this timeframe. That equals roughly a 30% chance of goals in this period, although some games would have had more than one goal so the chances of there being at least one goal would be slightly lower. 

As you can see, there are more goals later in both halves, partly because there is injury time to account for, but also because sides tend to push forward more in the latter parts of the half.

Overall though from these stats we can see that the early part of a game tends to be the lowest-scoring, with teams perhaps settling down into a rhythm before pressing forward in search of a goal. 

Of course there is some variation by club, with some teams tending to start games on the front foot and scoring a higher proportion of early goals than the average, so it is important to keep that in mind for your betting/trading strategy.


Check out our number recommended football trading service here.


Time of First Goal Strategies

Okay, so now we’ve taken a look at the market and stats, let’s get stuck into the actual strategies you can use around the time of the first goal.

Firstly, you might want to consider a trading strategy based around the time of the first goal. As established above, the first goal isn’t scored on average until around the half-hour mark and the first fifteen minutes of a game are the lowest scoring. 

As we mentioned, this is likely to be because teams start off a game in a cagey fashion, feeling each other out and getting a measure of their opponent. Players may be more wary of taking risks early on in a game. Whatever the exact reasons, we can capitalize on the fact that games often start slowly by focusing on the over-under goal markets.


Strategy One – Combine Over/Under 2.5 goals + Time of First Goal

One approach to trading around the first goal is to combine the under 2.5 goals market with the time of the first goal. Often the under 2.5 goal market will drop very quickly during the early part of a game, particularly if the match starts slowly with few clear-cut chances. 

So you could back the first 10 or 15 minute segment in the time of first goal market, at odds of around 5.0 for the first 10 minutes (or around 3.5 for the first fifteen minutes).

Here is an example from the Roma v Young Boys match in the Europa League:

As you can see we have backed the 1-10 minute goal band at 5.0 for £10. 

Then we have backed under 2.5 goals at around 2.24 before the start of the game:

By the time the game reached around the 10 minute mark without a goal, the odds of under 2.5 goals dropped to 1.95, giving a profit of £13 to cash out:

If there is an early goal, obviously the odds on under 2.5 goals will spike upwards, usually leaving a loss of around £40 if you cash out at that point. 

However, having backed the time of first goal to be 0-10 minutes @ 5.0 for £10, you have covered this loss.

If there isn’t a goal, then you will have made £13 from the unders trade, minus £10 from the time of first goal bet, leaving you with £3 profit. 

This is just an example, but sometimes the under 2.5 goals market will move by more than that, giving you a bigger profit. This is a simple strategy for producing small but regular profits.

It is important to filter out teams who tend to score early goals though. You can use a site like soccerstats for this. 

As you can see from the table above, Arsenal had a total of 13 goals scored/conceded in the first 15 minutes, where as Sheff Utd had just 5. So it would be best to stay away from teams with stats like Arsenal’s for this strategy. 


Strategy Two – Use Over/Under Goal Markets in Opposition

Another way to benefit from the stats on the time of the first goal is to use different over/under markets in opposition to each other. 

So taking this example of OB v AaB, we back the under 2.5 goals @ 2.04 for £100

We also lay under 3.5 goals for £80 (i.e. a liability of £34.40):

If there is no goal in the early part of the game, you can cash out your under 2.5 goals bet for a guaranteed profit. In this example it was a fairly quiet start to the game so we let it run until 30 minutes, when we were able to cash out the under 2.5 goals for £35.

We then let over 3.5 goals bet run, knowing we were in a no-lose position. There were actually three more goals in the game, so plenty of chances to cash out the over 3.5 goals bet:

Hopefully if you are able to pick games with a high expectation of goals, both bets will come in and you will have a handsome profit. 

If there does happen to be an early goal, then you will be in a position where the under 2.5 goals trade is underwater but the over 3.5 goals trade is in healthy profit, although the overall position will be a loss. That is okay, and if you like you can back an early goal in the time of first goal market for say £5 to reduce your liabilities if you wish. 

It is usually best to trade both positions out if there is an early goal, as you don’t want to be left in a situation where you could lose both trades! This can happen if the game finishes with exactly three goals, although that eventuality can be covered by backing the 3-0, 0-3, 2-1 and 1-2 scorelines in the correct score markets, for more advanced traders.


Strategy Three – Understanding How Early Goals Affect a Game

The third strategy is to take into account how the time of the first goal affects how a game may unfold. A service that has compiled very detailed stats on this from a database of thousands of matches is Trade On Sports

For example, an early goal can significantly affect how the rest of a game pans out. It may force a side who had been planning to come out and defend to be much more attacking. The game could really open up. Alternatively a goal just before half-time might shake up a manager’s team talk during the break and force a side to bring on substitutes for the second half. 

How exactly the dynamics of goal times affects games has been studied in great detail by Trade On Sports and they have built strategies based on these dynamics. One strategy they use is to back the unders at Half-Time depending on what time of the first goal was scored. That made 23 points profit (or £2300 profit to £100 stakes) during our live trial

They have other strategies backing the overs at HT, which also performed strongly during our trial and another one backing two goals ahead at HT that is showing a lot of promise. 

So we recommend checking out Trade On Sports for some high quality strategies based on the time of the first goal. These are available with their Silver Football membership. 


Conclusion – Profiting from the Time of First Goal

When the opening goal is scored is an important – but often neglected – part of soccer betting. It is more of a niche market but offers opportunities if you study the stats and use relevant markets to take advantage of your knowledge of goal times. 

The first fifteen minutes are normally the most quiet in terms of goals and this can be used to a trader’s advantage. There are a variety of markets you can use, whether it’s the under/over markets, or the time of first goal market itself – or a number of these markets in combination. 

We have detailed some strategies for betting and trading on the time of the first goal above. We hope you found these useful and they give you some ideas for developing your own strategies. 

Good luck with your trading and please remember to always gamble responsibly. 

Want more top football trading strategies? Well check out our number one recommended football trading service, the multi-award winning Goal Profits.





Cheltenham festival

Are the Defending Champions the Ones to Beat at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest meeting of the year in National Hunt racing. The week at Prestbury Park often defines how a season goes for jockeys, trainers, and horses.

Given how unique the track is in Gloucestershire, with the hill catching out many talented runners at the end of the race, course and distance form are important. We have taken a look at the four latest winners of the Championship races to see if they will be a good bet to repeat their success in March.

Epatante – Champion Hurdle

Epatante became the fifth mare in history to win the Champion Hurdle when she prevailed at 2/1 back in March. Nicky Henderson’s runner capped off a fine campaign with success in the premier hurdle contest.

The defending champion will be seven years old when she lines up in the race in 2021, therefore, there may even be more to come from the talented mare. She certainly sets the standard for the rest of the runners in the field.

Epatante is the 7/2 favourite in the horse racing betting odds for the 2021 Champion Hurdle. Those odds are likely to get much shorter if she impresses in the early stages of the season.

Verdict: A good bet

Politologue – Queen Mother Champion Chase

With no Altior and Chacun Pour Soi, last season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase was missing two of the biggest stars of the division. That said, Politologue was a worthy winner so his victory should not be devalued in any way.

Politologue has been a consistent performer in the 2m division over the last few years. Although he may find the defence of his crown much tougher next March, as Altior and Chacun Pour Soi are expected to be back.

Altior remains one of the highest-rated horses in training today and a third Queen Mother Champion Chase is well within his reach.

Verdict: Others appeal more

Lisnagar Oscar – Stayers’ Hurdle

Arguably the biggest surprise of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival was Lisnagar Oscar’s victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle. He went off at 50/1, one of the biggest priced winners of a Championship contest in the history of the meeting.

His win at Cheltenham was his first of the season in 2019/20. It was difficult to fancy Rebecca Curtis’ runner in the race on the basis of his form.

A repeat success looks unlikely. However, as he is only seven years old, further improvement can’t be ruled out.

Verdict: Others appeal more

Al Boum Photo – Cheltenham Gold Cup

Al Boum Photo became the first back-to-back winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup since Best Mate in 2004, when he got the better of Santini in a tight finish earlier this year.

Willie Mullins’ chaser is a tough horse who relishes the test of the 3m2½f trip that the Gold Cup presents. He deserves his place at the top of the betting again as, unlike many of his rivals, he has proven on more than one occasion that he ticks all the right boxes for the race.

There are some exciting chasers who are stepping out of novice company this season, which makes the Gold Cup a fascinating contest. Yet, it is Al Boum Photo who remains the one they all have to beat.

Verdict: A Good bet

Next year’s Cheltenham Festival takes place between 16-19 March in what should be another fantastic four days of National Hunt racing.





football players celebrating

How to Bet and Win in Soccer

Betting on the footy is a favoured pastime of millions around the globe, with huge amounts wagered on the sport each year. Of all the money that is gambled on soccer however, very few punters actually make a profit on the game. Winning is very hard and only an elite few actually manage to do it. Is there a way you can join them? 

Potentially, yes. We will set out some strategies below showing how you can bet on soccer and win over the long run. It isn’t easy so we don’t want to give any illusions but with hard work, discipline and the right tools it can be done. 


Getting the Basics Right

Before we get into the specific strategies, it’s important to make sure you get the basics right. Without a firm foundation in issues like bank management, staking and proper record keeping you will be doomed to fail. It would be like tying one hand behind your back before you started. 

The cold hard stats reveal that less than 2% of footy bettors actually make a profit, so in order to succeed you want to give yourself every advantage. Use every tool you can to help you, benefit from the knowledge of others and stick to a plan. 

These are the fundamental ground rules we would advise you to follow if you want to be a winning football gambler:

  1. 1. Set a staking plan – it is crucial to have a clear staking plan at the outset. For example if you have $1,000 to bet with, you could divide that into $10 units and bet 1 or 2 units per match. That way you are only risking 1-2% of you bankroll on each occasion, which is easily manageable and isn’t exposing you to undue risk. Whatever staking plan you choose, it is important to stick to it and not go changing your stakes erratically based on a whim or short-term fluctuations.
  2. 2. Keep records of all your bets – no successful bettor would expect to not keep a record of their bets. First and foremost it will help you to establish if you are making a profit or a loss. On a more granular level though it will enable you to analyse where you are going wrong – and what you are getting right. Perhaps you make a profit in certain leagues but not others – or on certain markets like both teams to score, over/under etc. From there you can look to improve the things that aren’t working and build on those that are working. 
  3. 3. Use “sharp bookies” as well as “soft” ones – these days there’s quite a difference to how bookmakers operate. The traditional bookmakers are typically referred to as “soft,” which means they are often slow to update their odds. The “sharps” are typically bookies like Pinnacle and those based in Asia who are quicker to change their odds and don’t tend to restrict their customers. They see huge amounts of money come in on various matches, which then causes them to adjust their odds. Although access to these sharp bookies varies depending on where you live, if you can access them you will often get better odds, as well as being able to place larger bets. Here is the excellent Trademate Sports explaining the difference between the two types of bookie:

  1. 4. Use odds comparison sites – it should go without saying, but it’s amazing that some punters still don’t use odds comparison sites like Oddschecker, Oddsportal or Easyodds. Your chances of making a long-term profit will be virtually non-existent if you don’t ensure you’re getting the best value on your bets. That difference between odds of 2.2 and 2.1 might not seem much, but it really adds up over time and could well make a difference between you making a profit and a loss. Using an odds comparison site doesn’t take long – just a couple of minutes to find the relevant match and market. Definitely worth doing.
  2. 5. Make use of the exchanges – in addition to using the bookies, it should also go without saying that you should use the exchanges if you have access to them, particularly if you are betting in-running where the odds on the exchanges tends to be significantly better than with the bookies. Of course it is important to take into account the commission you have to pay the exchanges like Betfair and Smarkets, but even taking that into account you will normally beat the the returns at the bookies.
  3. 6. Stay disciplined – it sounds obvious but it’s amazing how hard it can be to stay disciplined at times. We’ve all probably been there at one time or another – had a long losing run, a lot of bad luck and just feel like we need to win it all back. Chasing losses is the fastest way to the poor house though. Stick to that staking plan and the strategies you have selected, giving them a chance to play out. If changing strategy, it should only come after careful thought and analysis and enough results to warrant it. 
  4. 7. Adopt a long-term mindset – we talk a lot here at HBR about adopting a long-term mindset but it really can’t be overstated. Most punters have such a short-term approach, jumping from system to system as soon as they hit even a modest losing run. This kind of short-termism is guaranteed to fail and is the exact opposite of the professional gambler, who looks at results over long timeframes of a year or more and hundreds or even thousands of bets. They understand natural variance and that ups and downs are part of the game. If you want to join them, this is the kind of mindset you need to adopt too. 
  5. 8. Only risk what you can afford to lose – this final rule is the golden one. Never risk more than you can afford to lose. Set aside some funds that you would be happy to lose the entire lot. Hopefully that won’t happen of course and you’ll end up in profit, but the key thing is to ensure that it wouldn’t cause you any problems if you did lose it all.

OK, so following these ground rules should stand you in good stead and put you ahead of the vast majority of punters who don’t follow these rules. It is like trying to build a house without a foundation – you just won’t get anywhere. You need a solid base to work from and then you can look to build something special. 


Top Five Tips for How to Bet and Win in Soccer

Right, it’s time to get on with looking at those strategies that can help you win more of your football bets. These are some approaches that have proven themselves to be effective under live test conditions here at Honest Betting Reviews so you can sure they will put you ahead of the game.

Here are our top five tips for how you can bet and win in soccer:


1. Concentrate on niche leagues and markets

Making a profit on the major European leagues – the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga and Ligue 1 – can be tough. Huge amounts of money are wagered on these markets and finding an edge is very difficult.The prices by the time of kick-off are highly accurate over the long-term, meaning that betting on them at the final prices is likely to lead to losses overall. 

An alternative approach is to look at more niche leagues and markets. There is so much attention given to the Premier League for example, with countless column inches devoted to discussing the top players, their injuries, form and so on that gaining an advantage in terms of having extra information is pretty tough. All the info, stats and analysis is already out there for punters at the click of a mouse. On smaller leagues however this isn’t necessarily the case.

Take a service like Scottish Football Income Booster for example. It focuses solely on Scottish football, including the lower divisions which don’t tend to get much coverage. Learning about team news and such information in these lesser-known leagues, as well as knowing the form of the teams and their relative strengths and weaknesses, can leave you with a distinct advantage. This is exactly what Scottish Income Booster has done, racking up  over £18,000 profit to £100 per point stakes or £3,600 to more modest £20 per point stakes by betting solely on football north of Hadrian’s Wall.


The long term return on investment stands at more than 11%, which is excellent in football betting terms. The win rate is nearly 50% as well which means a high proportion of winning bets. It is run a guy who worked at an investment syndicate and hedge fund, who clearly knows what he is doing. 

You could decide to follow this service if you wanted to benefit from their in-depth knowledge and skills, or you could select your own niche leagues and markets to focus on. Either way though you are likely to do better than betting in the big leagues. 


2.  Make Use of Statistics

You don’t have to be a stats whiz to make use of the host of football statistics that are available online these days. In fact if you aren’t using some stats to at least guide or assist you in your betting, you are probably missing a trick. 

Even just using a simple stats site like Soccerstats or Flashscores can give you valuable information on things like home/away form, number of games over/under 2.5 goals, the times teams score their goals, records vs top sides and bottom sides and so on. Even just utilizing these stats at their basic level can give you some valuable insights if you are betting on markets like HT/FT, both teams to score, over/unders etc. There may be a side that scores the vast majority of its goals in the second half – or very late on in games. By studying these stats, you can find the best time to place your bet, which could be at half time or the last 15 minutes for example.

If you don’t have the time to pour over stats in that way, you could make use of a site like Goal Profits. It has a vast stats database of over 200,000 matches that provides vital info for betting and trading on football. There are team stats that cover things like:

– Percentage of games for each team with over 0.5 goals, over 1.5 goals, over 2.5 goals etc
– Matches where the teams scored at least one goal
– Average goals scored and conceded per match
– Goals per half
– Matches ending with a chosen target score 
– And much more

They also have league tables that let you see form based on factors like how teams have done when going 1-0 up or 0-1 down, results vs bottom half, home attack v away defence, when level at HT and much more. You can analyse almost any feature of form using their tools and there is even a live stats module. 

With all this it’s not hard to see why Goal Profits is so popular and has won so many awards, including our very own Best Football Service 2019! A number of their members have gone on to become professional football traders as a result of Goal Profits’ tools, which are second to none. Here’s one member with their own testimonial: 

To improve your footy betting and win more of your wagers, Goal Profits is an excellent resource.


3. Find In-Play Opportunities

Most punters tend to concentrate on betting before a match kicks off. That’s fair enough as this is where the majority of media attention is focused. However, some of the best opportunities to profit come from betting in-play. The reason for this is that a game can unfold in a very different way from expected, for example with a game expected to be very defensive actually being quite open and vice versa. Or a team playing much better than had been expected. 

Often in the in-play markets won’t adapt at all to these in-play dynamics or will only make slight adjustments. This presents an opportunity for sharp minds out there to exploit these situations and generate a profit. One such system to do this is Trade on Sports, which we have reviewed extensively here at Honest Betting Reviews. They have developed a number of strategies that use a Bot to crunch the stats across various leagues and teams and work out where there is good value to be had on in-play under and over goals markets.

The best of these is their HT Overs Bot, which made over £5,000 to £100 stakes during our live trial. Basically the Bot looks at games at half-time where there is likely to be at least one more goal – normally in the over 1.5 goals market. The best time to place your bet is after 70 mins, as this is where there the odds start to rise significantly and the Bot finds games with a high proportion of late goals. 

Here’s an explanation of what it’s all about and how it works:

Another Bot looks at the unders markets in the same way, looking for games where there is value to be had in backing the unders (but two goals ahead – e.g. backing under 3.5 goals when a game is 1-1 at half-time). This Bot is newer than the HT Overs Bot but has produced promising results so far. 

Trade on Sports is not the only service to focus on in-running opportunities. The aforementioned Goal Profits, also has a live trading forum run by professional traders Kevin and Steve where you can follow along with their live bets and trades. 


4.  Follow a Professional Tipster

One way to win more of your footy bets is to follow a professional tipster. After all, if you don’t have the time to study stats and form, monitor team news, watch loads of matches and do all the other hard work that goes into finding value bets, why not let someone else do all that for you? 

There are a number of very good tipsters out there who have passed live trials here at Honest Betting Reviews, demonstrating their ability to beat the bookies and make their members some extra tax-free cash. Some of these include:-

  • Bookie Insiders Football – a long-running service having been in operation since 2013 and having made over 400 units profit in total, which equates to £20,000 at the advised £50/unit stakes. A very respected and successful service with a loyal following and with those results you can see why. 
  • Football Advisor Lays – as the name suggests, this is a service that provides lay bets to be placed on the exchanges (or you can use Double Chance and Asian Handicap markets if you don’t have access to exchanges). In our two live trials of the service they made a combined profit of 44 points, which is very good going. 
  • Banker Bets –  a service we have been following right since the early days of Honest Betting Reviews way back in 2015. Their original accumulators made a total of 410% profit between 2014 and 2018. They now have a variety of strategies including Value Bets and Draw Bets, in addition to the original Banker Bets.   

Some good options to choose from there and there are plenty more we are testing all the time to try and find other high quality tipsters. 


5. Bet on the Draw

An underappreciated aspect of soccer betting is the potential to profit from betting on the draw. After all, nearly a third of matches finish in a draw. This proportion is greater in low-scoring leagues like France, Greece and a number of the South American leagues. The reason for this is that a game is more like to finish in a draw if it is low-scoring, particularly with the 0-0 and 1-1 scorelines. 

There are now a number of betting services focusing on backing the draw in football matches, but the original and best in our opinion is still JK Diego’s Draw Betting System. We ran an extended 15 month review of it and the service generated over 100 points profit at level stakes, which would be $10,000 profit at $100 per match stakes. It’s a service for high-rollers only though with subscription costs being substantial. 

Alternatively you could try studying draw trends yourself and hope to find some profitable angles. As we say, it is probably best to focus on the low-scoring leagues and teams who tend to draw a lot of matches. Not a lot of money is normally wagered on the draw meaning there is value to be found in it. Backing the draw can definitely be a way to win more of your soccer bets.


Conclusion – Many Ways to Win at Soccer Betting

The bottom line is there are many ways to win at soccer betting. We have highlighted some of the major ones above but no doubt there are others and sharp bettors will never stop innovating in their attempts to find an edge over the market. We haven’t even mentioned matched betting, which for those in the UK and Ireland offers another way to win their footy bets – with very low risk. 

The key to success is to adopt a strategy you are confident has an edge over the market and to follow the ground rules we set out at the start like remaining disciplined and following a clear staking plan. If you can do that you will be well ahead of most other punters. 

We hope you have found this guide useful and it helps you to win more of your soccer bets. If you are going to bet on the beautiful game, please gamble responsibly and only risk money you can afford to lose. 






Are Cheltenham Festival Bankers a Thing of the Past?

Altior” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06

At the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, few of the so-called bankers throughout the meeting delivered on their status. It serves as a timely reminder that there are no certainties in horse racing or betting.

Popular National Hunt horses including the likes of Paisley Park, Tiger Roll and Altior didn’t turn up. The latter didn’t even make it to his hat-trick bid in the Queen Mother Champion Chase as lameness prevented him from taking part.

One of the most anticipated Cheltenham Festival races of all-time between Altior, Irish challenger Chacun Pour Soi and Defi Du Seuil vanished. With Chacun Pour Soi also missing out, the race was set up for Defi Du Seuil but he ran no short of race at all.

In the Cross Country Chase, meanwhile, dual winner Tiger Roll didn’t look the force of old who went on capture consecutive Grand National triumphs at Aintree. The young French pretender Easysland, bought by leading Irish owner JP McManus in the course of the season, turned him over as younger equine legs prevailed.

Paisley Park was known for hitting flat spots in his staying hurdle races, but never got his second wind at all back at Cheltenham. The defence of his Stayers’ Hurdle crown was left in tatters as 50/1 chance Lisnagar Oscar led home a procession of outsiders that left punters puzzled.

Even the mighty Willie Mullins, who has farmed the races for mares at the Festival, was left with a rare defeat. The Mares’ Hurdle went to an Irish trainer, but not him as Henry De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle left previous winner Benie Des Dieux beaten.

After all that happened, you could be forgiven for treating the bankers for next year with some suspicion. What Cheltenham in 2020 may have told us is we were witnessing a changing of the guard. Old favourites can’t go on winning at the highest level forever and new faces emerged in their place.

Racehorses over jumps tend to have longer careers than their Flat counterparts. You can’t breed from a gelding after all, so they stay in training for more time in the National Hunt game.

Envoi Allen was perhaps the exception to the rule with Cheltenham bankers as he took the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. His trainer, Gordon Elliott, has the Gold Cup as a long-term career aim for this horse too.

The path to that goes through his novice chase season first. Envoi Allen needs more experience of fences, but is already the 2/1 favourite in the ante post horse racing betting on the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the 2021 Festival.

He is already a banker for third consecutive year at Cheltenham, then, if the market is any indicator after landing the Champion Bumper in 2019. While Envoi Allen remains unbeaten, he will always be a short price with bookmakers as they fear horses on winning streaks.

Shishkin, of the Nicky Henderson stable, who as of the time of writing has yet to jump a fence in public, looks another apparent banker for the Arkle Challenge Trophy. That novice chase is over a shorter distance than the Marsh and he’s already 3/1 favourite for it.

Taking a cautious approach to banker bets is the key lesson from the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, but don’t surprised if some of the ante-post market leaders straighten the record next year.