April was a fine month to get us back on track after a poor March, although our last pick did leave a bitter taste in my mouth if I'm being honest. Milano at their worst performance of the season while at the same time Pesaro were simply flawless. In fact the result provoked plenty of rumours in Italy that maybe Milano simply gave the game away to Pesaro and while everything remains speculation at this point, there was definitely something strange in the way Milano approached the game both mentally and tactically. Anyway no need to cry over spilt milk. We move on. It goes without saying that we will not be backing Milano again anytime soon.
Our long-term bet unfortunately didn't pay off. Practically every chance Baskonia had of eliminating Fenerbahce was ruined by Jayson Granger's injury just before the start of the series considering he is simply irreplaceable for this team for what he brings at both ends of the floor. Obviously I would have never backed Baskonia had I known they would have to play all the crucial playoff games without him. A pity but this is one of the risks involved with every long-term bet.
May is already upon us and with the schedule getting thinner with every passing day, I don't expect a very busy month. Most of the times the bookies price late season and playoff games quite accurately but you never know. In any case we will be here to take advantage of any market inefficiencies. I will talk to you soon guys!
A poor month obviously but a bad schedule as well. Once or twice every year there are these periods when either the match-ups or the odds are simply inadequate for betting and in these cases my tactic has always been that of restraint and limited activity. No sense in taking unnecessary risks.
March marks also our first negative month since May of last year and it was to be expected at some point after a very successful and profitable period that lasted 6 months and earned us a little over 47 units. We would all want every month to end in green of course but sports betting, like many other things in life, works in circles. Bad runs follow good runs and vice versa. The only thing that matters ultimately is making a long-term profit and we should never lose sight of that goal.
Luckily the fantastic February we have had means we are still left with a healthy 14 units of profit for 2018 and will be looking to build on that. The key now is limiting losses as much as possible while the negative streak lasts and have no doubt that better days will return.
On a positive note regarding our long-term bet, Baskonia defeated Maccabi in a crucial game last week which means the spanish team has now secured a place in the playoffs and are waiting to find out their opponent. Still with a good chance of grabbing 6th place and avoiding both CSKA and Fenerbahce in the quarter finals but we will see how the last round of the Euroleague plays out this week.
Take care guys and I will keep you updated.
Well, an amazing month for us obviously with 17 units of profit and a good base to build upon for the rest of 2018. While bets in the higher odds range produced only a tiny 0,33 units with 1 out of 4 landing, the handicap bets were a totally different story. In fact we had a perfect 7/7 in February which produced almost all of our profit for the month.
The FIBA World Cup Qualifiers at the end of the month provided us again with two excellent value bets with Germany and Iceland and in truth we could have had another couple with Romania vs Italy and Finland vs Bulgaria (backing the visitors in both cases) but odds were very sensitive for Bulgaria's win crashing very quickly from the initial 3.42 at Pinnacle when liquidity was really limited while in Italy's case I was a little hesitant after Romania's huge wins over Netherlands and especially Croatia. In the end Bulgaria lost, Italy won comfortably, so luckily we didn't miss out on a huge profit eventually. There were will be another window of World Cup Qualifiers in the summer with Euroleague and NBA players probably joining their national teams this time, creating new balances yet again but looking forward to it and we will see if we can find a few bets then as well.
Have a great month guys and I will talk to you soon!
A solid if unremarkable month to start 2018. As you may have guessed by the small number of picks, January has been quite rough to find enough value bets. A couple of picks I was considering were discarded at the last moment because of incomplete or conflicting information regarding the health status of some key players and ultimately it was the right move. No point taking unnecessary risks.
We have had a couple of more bets from the italian Serie A2 last month and it seems we will have more coming especially after the summer and the start of the season 2018/19. Unfortunately Ferrara was a no-show against Fortitudo Bologna while Forli have practically thrown away a game they controlled from the start taking a big lead of 16 points early (28-44), then seeing the lead slowly evaporate and entering the final minutes tied when a few poor decisions cost them dearly in the end. A pity.
Not much else to report. Hopefully February will present more betting opportunities for us.
Here we are then for the 2017 review. Overall it was clearly an excellent year exceeding 2016 in all aspects.
A biggest profit made with 51,44 units to 36,31 in 2016, a better yield 25,03% to 20,23% and a highest number of picks 97 to 85, which is a step in the right direction if you ask me, but more on this subject shortly.
MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM 2017
We had just one negative month in 2017 back in May with 5 units lost but the lack of betting opportunities due to the light schedule certainly played a part to this outcome as there were just 3 picks that month. More importantly though, looking at the profit chart in the stats tab, the biggest drawdown in our bankroll at any point during 2017 (but also if we include 2016) was a little more than 10 units while the longest losing streak was just 5 bets. Not going over those 10 units at any point during the last 2 years considering also that we are dealing mostly with longer odds is a remarkable achievement in my opinion. It is also not a fluke or at the very least not entirely. The point of being extremely selective with my picks is to secure as big a value as possible with every single one of them and have absolutely no doubt about them. The end result is that we simply have much higher probabilities of winning these bets than the odds suggest.
Having said that, we also have to be realistic. At some point in the future, maybe next month, maybe later in 2018 or perhaps next year we will go lower than that. It is inevitable, although if I prove myself wrong I wouldn't mind too much! How much lower in term of units you may ask. Tough to tell with confidence really. While I have been keeping a detailed personal record of my bets for the last several years, my strategy and selection process have changed significantly over time and were eventually refined to the point that they are today, so I'm afraid looking at past results wouldn't provide much help now.
This very small drawdown will probably have some of you wondering about the optimal staking system for this service and we will get into that part in a moment.
It cannot be denied that the bookies are sharper now than they were 5-10 years ago. They have really upped their game especially in the most famous leagues like the NBA which attract the most interest and obviously huge amounts of money. Value bets are getting really hard to find nowadays and it's not a coincidence I have posted just 13 NBA picks in the last 2 years! They still made a profit of around 5,5 units during this period despite only 4 of those landing but considering the extremely small number of bets I was wondering whether it's still worth the investment in time, studying and researching this league for bets or not. For sure I will be monitoring the situation very carefully until the end of the current season in June and dropping the NBA from the list of the competitions I am betting on for the season 2018-19 is not to be excluded at this point.
Handicap bets performance
Just a clarification really. If you notice in the statistics tab, the handicap bets seem to be underachieving and not so profitable as the other bets but this is a little misleading actually for one simple reason. The straight win bets in the same range of odds (typically around 1.70-2.15) are not included in the Asian Handicap results because they are not accounted as -0.5 handicap bets which they actually are. It's exactly the same as football if you are familiar. The straight win bet and the asian handicap -0.5 bet is practically the same thing. That creates the whole confusion.
So probably you could get a more accurate reading of the handicaps performance by looking at the odds range or stake size (2.00-3.00) statistics instead.
Staking system and alternatives for a bigger profit
Okay, time to talk about stakes. Let me just say right away that I will be keeping the same stakes for 2018 and beyond, so what I have written in my Biography tab right from the start, still stands:
'' I will be using 1 to 1,5 units most of the times when betting on odds over 3.00 and 2 to 3 units on handicaps and I would suggest sticking to these stakes especially if you are risk-averse".
There are 2 reasons for this.
The first one is that I want to maintain a consistent approach and absolute transparency so that it can easy for everyone to compare one year with another. So for example if I decided to double my stakes for this year I could have a worse year than 2016 or 2017 as far as results are concerned and still make a bigger profit and it is this kind of confusion that I want to avoid.
The second reason is that this is a relatively conservative staking system that everyone can follow without having to worry too much about losing streaks and risks.
Now having said that, if you want to maximise profit you can certainly go more aggressive with your stakes while accepting at the same time the bigger risk involved with this. How much more aggressive? If you ask me, you could easily go 50% more both on the handicap and straight win bets. So assuming you have a bankroll of 100 units, instead of 3 units/pick for the handicap bets you can use 4,5 units/pick and instead of 1-1,5 units/pick for longer odds bets, you can use 1,5-2,25 units/pick respectively. That's entirely up to you and what percentage of your betting bank you are comfortable risking during the inevitable losing streaks. So for example would losing 30 or 40 units during a bad period affect you in any way when placing your next bet? Personally I prefer to have some peace of mind and avoid any dramas despite consciously "sacrificing" some profit in the process. But as I said, it really depends on your risk profile and it's a decision you have to make for yourself ultimately.
CHANGES FOR 2018:
Number of picks
We have had 97 picks for 2017 in comparison to 85 in 2016 and my intention is to at least match that number in 2018 but preferably to go a little higher. So something around 100-120 would be ideal in my opinion. Considering there are seldom any international competitions in summer this means that we would average around 13-14 picks/month.
Make no mistake though. My betting philosophy remains the same. My selection process also. So you can rest assured that I am not going to force anything just to increase the number of picks. If there are no value bets to take, well, a resounding "no bet" from me is always a choice even if it means taking less bets than planned. Securing good value with every single pick is non-negotiable as far as I am concerned.
The reasoning behind my intention of slightly increasing the number of picks? Well, 2 reasons actually:
1. Some changes in my personal life will permit me to have more time available for researching and hopefully finding even more quality bets.
2. In theory more bets means more profit but ONLY IF we maintain the same quality of bets. So that is clearly the key here.
It remains to be seen whether reaching around 100-120 picks/year is doable or not. Time will tell I guess.
Italian Serie A2
You may remember I advised a Serie A2 pick a couple of weeks ago. Truth is I have been thinking for a while introducing the italian second division among the competitions we are betting on but the lack of time to thoroughly research the league and being somewhat concerned about the liquidity of the market, I have avoided it so far. The latest developments in the NBA that I mentioned earlier though which may force me to drop it from the competitions we are betting on, means that I could reconsider about the Serie A2.
Now let me tell you right from the start that while the stability and the limits of this market cannot obviously be compared to the NBA, it's still more liquid than what one might have expected, but let's take things from the start.
Opening odds appear just 24 hours before the games usually and while limits are low initially, they go up after a few hours. At Pinnacle on matchday (usually on Sunday) one can place almost 1000 Euros on the handicap bets and over 400 Euros on straight win bets (moneyline) even when odds are quite high like 4.00 or 5.00 for example, so I believe those limits will satisfy almost all of you.
The challenge will be finding a good compromise between placing our bets relatively early when value is usually bigger and easier to find and waiting until the market has enough liquidity to at least put 3 digit bets. Now it's a question of how volatile the market is, as I wouldn't want the odds to crash after a couple of sizable bets and that's what I will be evaluating over the next weeks. If I am convinced by what I see, you may expect some more bets from the Serie A2 very soon and then possibly introduce it full time after the summer with the start of the season 2018-19 depending also on what happens with the NBA.
That's all I guess! If you have any feedback or questions you can contact the admin at any time and I'm sure he will pass them along to me to respond.
Last but not least, a special thank you to all my subscribers! I really appreciate your trust. Those of you who have been with me right from the start have predictably made the most out of the service's profits and that's always the key. I have said it before and I will say it again. Patience and a long term approach are necessary to reap the benefits of any sports betting service and any investment in general for that matter. There is simply no substitute.
The new year is already upon us and there is no point in making any promises other than hard work and quality picks. The rest will take care of itself hopefully! Take care guys and have a great year!
Nothing looks good for a bet this weekend in the remaining schedule of 2017, so it appears Trento's pick was also the last bet of the year.
December was clearly a month of streaks. First, 4 straight winning picks which extended into November marked a 7 game winning streak, followed then by 5 consecutive lost bets and finally one win to put us in a small profit for the month. Nothing spectacular but obviously it's not possible to have double digit profit every month.
Maccabi's game was by far the most disappointing of December not for the manner of the loss but simply because there were really all the prerequisites for a surprise result here. In the end, Panathinaikos played arguably their best game of the season without their MVP Calathes at the helm and undoubtedly their most consistent one, dominating from start to finish a Maccabi team that frankly were nowhere to be found in this match. Annoyingly they went on to comfortably beat high-flying Fenerbahce just two later later and to make things worse, Panathinaikos returned to their usual inconsistent performances right away, barely grabbing victory against a poor Crvena Zvezda team and losing to a depleted by injuries Valencia who were on a 10 game losing streak! But that's sports betting...
Don't forget my 2017 review coming up next week (on Wednesday in all probability) and Happy New Year everybody!
In the end November was great for us with over 10 units of profit and it was like a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs with so many games decided literally in the last moments. Some went our way (Turkey, Rosa Radom, Milano's and Torino's handicaps) some others didn't (Trikala, Varese, Bologna) but in the end it was enough for another green month. A real pity both Bologna and Cremona played their worst games by far this season just when we decided to back them.
Instead of going over last month's action in more detail allow me to just copy and paste what I was writing back in September in my Eurobasket review:
'' Fortunately not everything was bad. The big wins of Hungary and Russia against Czech Republic and Croatia respectively, allowed us to stay afloat and avoid any losses. And that's the biggest win for us. I know it may not look this way now but trust me. If in times like these when all the small details seem to be going against us we avoid going in red, rest assured we have nothing to fear going forward. As long as we keep taking good value with our bets and have the probabilities in our favour, it's not a question of if but when the results will start going our way.
The new season starts soon with some Super Cup matches in Spain and Italy in about a week and beginning from October all of the competitions we are involved in get underway. Both October and November have always been very profitable to me probably because the bookmakers are still a step back in terms of proper evaluation of the teams' capabilities. ''
I am no prophet obviously and I most certainly cannot predict the future! I simply have been around the world of sports betting long enough to know that these cycles are inevitable. Good luck will follow after a period of bad luck, a winning streak will come after a losing streak and so on. No way around it. It's just a matter of picking the right bets and remaining calm and composed regardless of the results. In the long run patience always pays off.
December is already here and needless to say I am going to be trying my best to end the year with another green month. Come January, I will obviously have the December review and finally a few days later the whole 2017 review with considerations, thoughts, conclusions as well as plans and changes for the year 2018. So stay tuned guys!
October was a bittersweet month for us. On one hand a month with over 12 units of profit cannot be described as anything less than excellent. On the other hand if I'm being totally honest I feel we could and should have earned more.
It wasn't just the suicidal attitude of Banvit against Venezia during the last few seconds in an incredible game that was decided after 3 overtimes! After missing the free throw that would have sealed the victory, Banvit failed to foul Venezia early and send them for 2 free throws and instead chose to risk (why???) and let them take a 3 pointer that eventually sent the game to overtime!
But the most frustrating part of the month was actually the two lost bets in which Reggiana was involved. After finishing October winless in the Italian league with a disappointing 0-5 record and an alarming lack of identity and cohesion, Reggiana managed to somehow pull two miraculous performances and wins in the Eurocup against arguably the strongest opponents they have faced all season (Galatasaray and Lietkabelis)!! Very poor timing indeed for us but absolutely no regrets for taking these bets, although I was left wondering where did these performances actually came from...
On a positive note the highlights of October have to be the Limoges and Partizan victories both on the road against Bilbao. Especially for Partizan I really hope you managed to take an even bigger price than the one advised (8.00), as odds were comfortably over 10.00 at several bookies.
A takeaway from October? It all just goes to show how unpredictable sports betting can be in the short term if a remainder was ever needed.
Now let's see if can keep up the momentum for November. Take care guys!
Not much to report since the end of the Eurobasket. Just one game we got involved in for the Champions League and rightfully so as the odds were completely wrong there, but unfortunately we lost the win bet by just a basket. After a poor first part, Orlandina recovered well in the second half and even had the ball in their hands to take the win in the last seconds but a cheap turnover condemned them in the end. A pity really as this would have meant a good profit but at least the handicap bet landed and we squeezed a unit of profit for the month. Not good enough of course but considering all the unfortunate and peculiar circumstances that got in our way, I'm still glad we avoided going in red.
We should have plenty of opportunities starting from October so let's see if results will start going in our favour again.
Despite breaking even for the Eurobasket in terms of units balance and avoiding any losses, I can't help but feel a bitter taste in my mouth noticing just how unfortunate circumstances penalised us repeatedly during the tournament. This is a quick recap of our losing bets:
Serbia-Latvia 92-82 (Latvia +7.5)
An entirely misleading final score considering it was a very contested game and Latvia was actually leading 73-75 entering the final 3 minutes! So what happened? An improbable sequence of events in those last seconds lead to Latvia "managing" to lose by a 10-point deficit. Hard to believe but true.
Russia-Belgium 76-67 (Belgium Win and +8.5)
While Russia had control of the situation for most of the match, Belgium remained competitive throughout, keeping the deficit in single digits for the entire game. In fact the final +9 for Russia was also the biggest lead they had ever had and was the result of a pointless foul by Tabu when the game was already lost for Belgium. Frustrating.
Lithuania-Greece 64-77 (Lithuania -4,5)
I reckon nobody could have predicted this kind of dominant performance by Greece considering how poor they had played throughout the tournament. It was also by far their best performance in this Eurobasket. Simply a really bad timing for us. The Lithuanians seemed like hypnotized for most of the game as they probably thought it was enough to simply show up to claim victory.
Slovenia-Latvia 103-97 (Latvia Win)
I think it's safe to say no one expected Slovenia to outgun Latvia in this encounter. Despite being one of the worst teams in 3 point shooting, Slovenia shot an improbable 11/28 from the arc (almost 40%) and that was the key to their victory.
Doncic's three pointer almost at the buzzer in a really crucial phase of the game pretty much sums up the kind of night it has been for Slovenia.
Fortunately not everything was bad. The big wins of Hungary and Russia against Czech Republic and Croatia respectively, allowed us to stay afloat and avoid any losses. And that's the biggest win for us. I know it may not look this way now but trust me. If in times like these when all the small details seem to be going against us we avoid going in red, rest assured we have nothing to fear going forward. As long as we keep taking good value with our bets and have the probabilities in our favour, it's not a question of if but when the results will start going our way.
The new season starts soon with some Super Cup matches in Spain and Italy in a few days and beginning from October all of the competitions we are involved in get underway. Both October and November have always been very profitable to me probably because the bookmakers are still a step back in terms of proper evaluation of the teams' capabilities. This is a high risk-high reward kind of period as the margin of error is bigger from both parts (punters and bookmakers) with small or no sample of official games yet and no statistical database. One thing is certain though. One has to tread very carefully as this can become a double-edged sword in some cases. Hopefully we will be able to start the season with some profit.
Putting the betting aspect aside, Slovenia completed one of the biggest recent surprises to win the Eurobasket 2017 for the first time in their history. Although I had tipped them to fight for a medal, I simply considered their lack of consistent 3-point shooting and frontcourt depth were going to be exposed sooner or later but they proved me wrong. Incredibly they shot an almost unnatural 25/53 (47%) from the arc in the quarterfinal and semifinal games including 4 shots that went in off the glass(!), proving that besides skills you simply need some luck as well to achieve greatness. In any case, hats off to Slovenia!
I will talk to you guys soon!