Thursday, 14 September 2017

nine and a half years

It will be ten years of proofing my bets to Secret Betting Club in March next year, which is another nice milestone (so feel free to expect a follow-up post in half a year). The SBC have just published their latest Tipster Profit Report - here's how my service is currently rated:


Here's how my service was rated in SBC's very first Tipster Profit Report, back in May 2011:


I've stumbled upon an excellent interview with Cassini over at @statsbet. There's been a lot of talk about tipsters' affiliate deals with bookmakers lately and I can only quote Cassini on the topic: "not interested in affiliate links". As simple as that.

Btw the Skeeve Picks membership is now closed for the remainder of the year, but if you want to be on the 2018 waiting list, feel free to drop me an e-mail (

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Vorp and the primitive source of an edge

I've been meaning to comment on a couple of Cassini's blog posts since I've read them four weeks ago, but August is unfortunately quite a lot to handle as National League teams will have played as many as seven games in 24 days and I obviously need to spend a bit more time analyzing a 1st round game than, for example, a 28th round game. I've also traditionally implemented a few new elements into my match analysis and, as always, I'm wondering how on earth have I managed to stay ahead of the industry for so many years without those elements. I may have just been lucky for the past eleven years.

Anyway, in the first of the two posts over at Green All Over, Cassini wrote:

Miguel referenced an old post of mine from almost 18 months ago, which highlighted the challenges of finding an edge in the top leagues where you are competing with the likes of Starlizard... As it's the eve of a new season, and most readers will forget this as soon as they've read it, I thought I might share a thought I had regarding the lower leagues. Back in May I mentioned that: "If you go too far down the football pyramid, you run into problems not only of liquidity, but also the problem where the VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) of certain key players becomes critical". Many of you will be familiar with Skeeve, who has been profitable in the National League since forever. How does he do it? By studying the teams in great detail. See this post for an example. Since there are so few people studying this league to the extent that Skeeve does, he gets himself an edge. Most of us don't have the time for this level of research and analysis however. 

I wouldn't say that VORP (it kind of sounds like a name for a baby dragon - look at little Vorp burning those daisies; I may have analyzed a few games too many today) is the only thing that gives me an edge, but it's surely an important element. As far as the time for this level of research and analysis is concerned, well it's what I do for a living.

Miguel Rodrigues commented:

Skeeve example is the perfect example for the ones with a exclusively mathematical based approach who look at subjective analysis as a primitive source of an edge. I agree that the likelihood (and I experienced this myself in the early phase of my betting journey in La Liga) for that type of approach (subjective) working in the main European Leagues in the long haul is slim to none (insane market competition and know-how, better resources employed by the bookies in the opening lines, less average deviation between openers and closers, etc.) However, if you understand the sport, the league and teams, particular characteristics and most importantly are willing to work harder researching for more information than anyone or the majority, you can be one of the market leaders and earners in a medium / lower level league. You just have to ensure that: a) you have information that is not included in the line and / or b) you process the current information available and recognise market over /under reactions better than anyone else. Football teams are "stock prices" and although the odds efficiency in the main leagues is so strong that is difficult for the experienced bettor to see if the price is currently 5% off with subjective analysis, that is very doable in lower level leagues and I can not emphasise the example of Skeeve too much. In betting there will always exist spots for the guy who is willing to outwork and out-learn the competition, at least in the next 5 years. The problem with subjective analysis is it's usually a low volume approach and difficult to use great staking methods like Kelly, but should not be viewed as a primitive source of an edge. I will end this long comment with a quote from Joseph Buchdal: "There is no right or wrong approach to seeking a betting edge. Ultimately, the best one is the one that works for you, one that returns a profit. However, what each approach has in common is a shared aim of finding "value" in the odds, where the true chance of a win is greater than that estimated by the bookmaker".

I can only agree with Miguel - very well put, sir. Personally, I need to see a price that's at least 10% off to get involved nowadays and I obviously think it's possible to stay ahead for a bit longer than five years (have I ever mentioned my eleven consecutive... I have?), but still - an excellent comment.

In the second of the two blog posts, Cassini added:

Unfortunately I have little to disagree with Miguel about regarding his thoughts. One thing I would say is that regarding the line "football teams are 'stock prices'", I think Miguel means that publicly traded companies are like football clubs (some clubs are indeed publicly traded companies) while stock prices are like betting prices in that they are the opinion of the market based on all "relevant" information. Relevant here is a combination of past public information, breaking new public information, and private (insider) information. Knowing along with everyone else that City beat United 2:0 three years ago isn't a lot of use to you. Knowing that a star player for Barrow (assuming they have one) slipped in the shower this morning, suffered a concussion and will miss tomorrow's game is useful. Installing hidden cameras in the bathrooms of non-league stars is not practical, or legal, but plenty of people have contacts who can provide information before it becomes public.

"Assuming they have one"?! After all that Byron Harrison's been through with his ankle in the last seven months, jokes about him slipping in the shower and suffering concussion in addition to a recent surgery seem particularly cruel. Sorry Byron. As for Cassini, shame on you, mate. Shame on you.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

2017/18 pre-season research preview: Barrow AFC


official website:
local newspaper:
fans' forum:

manager: Paul Cox (since November 23, 2015)

current team (as of July 25, 2017):

Audel/Parry - Diarra - Dunne - Jones
Fitzpatrick/Hughes - Harvey - Hall/Gomis - Bauress
Bennett/Panayiotou - White/Harrison

currently out injured: Parry (mid/def, October), Dixon (keeper, October), Harrison (striker, top scorer, 22 goals last season, September)

transfers in: White (striker, Wrexham), Bauress (left winger/back, Witton), Jones (left/centre-back, Grimsby), Hall (mid, Cheltenham), Gomis (mid, Sutton), Fitzpatrick (winger, Wimbledon), Moore (keeper, Reading), Dunne (centre-back, Burnley, half-season loan), Audel (right/centre-back, Notts County)

transfers out: Coughlin (keeper, Airbus), Beeley (right-back, Warrington), Meikle (winger, Kettering), Effiong (striker, Woking), Livesey (centre-back, skipper, Salford), Hannah (striker, Chester), Turnbull (mid, Chester), Williams (winger, Rochdale), Newby (winger, Telford), Anderton (left-back, Blackpool)

returned to parent clubs at the end of last season: Flatt (keeper, Wolves), Platt (def, Blackburn), Wright (mid, Fleetwood)


10/5 keeper Coughlin, first-choice right-back Beeley, winger Meikle and striker Effiong have all been released; young winger Newby has been offered a new deal (which he refused and subsequently signed for Telford in late June); key centre-back Diarra stays for another season, while midfielders Harvey and Turnbull have had their contracts automatically extended after they both reached 25 appearances last season

19/5 skipper and first-choice centre-back Livesey wasn't offered a new deal, so he subsequently signs for Salford

24/5 striker White joins from rivals Wrexham on a one-year deal with an appearance-based second-year option

3/6 left-sided midfielder Bauress who can play both in attack and in defence joins on a one-year deal from Evo-Stik Premier outfit Witton

7/6 first-choice midfielder Turnbull joins rivals Chester after all

8/6 star winger Williams (ten goals last season) joins League One outfit Rochdale

21/6 versatile left/centre-back Jones signs following his release from League Two outfit Grimsby

22/6 experienced midfielder Hall signs from League Two outfit Cheltenham

23/6 versatile midfielder Gomis joins from rivals Sutton

26/6 first-choice left-back Anderton joins League One newcomers Blackpool

28/6 winger Fitzpatrick joins from League One outfit Wimbledon

1/7 keeper Moore joins on a one-year deal from Championship outfit Reading

5/7 centre-back Dunne joins on a half-season loan deal from Premier League outfit Burnley

6/7 first-choice right-back Beeley signs for Warrington following his release in mid-May

14/7 versatile right/centre-back Audel joins from League Two outfit Notts County on a one-year deal with a performance-based second-year option

pre-season friendlies:

8/7 Barrow - Blackburn 1:2

11/7 Barrow - Motherwell 1:0

15/7 Boston - Barrow 1:1

18/7 Barrow - Crewe Alexandra 0:0

22/7 Barrow - Nottingham Forest 1:1

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Skeeve Picks 2016/17 season review + stats update

The 2016/17 season here at Skeeve Picks is now officially over and it's been an excellent one - if you'd like to read the 2016/17 season review, feel free to send me an e-mail ( and I'll be glad to send you the five-page pdf file. Let me know if you want to be on the waiting list for the 2017/18 season as well.

Also, when I was double-checking all of the numbers during the work on the season review, I've noticed a couple of mistakes (nothing recent, but from a few years ago), so mea culpa for that. I've now updated all of the numbers both on the official website and here on the blog (for instance, I've advised 1517 official picks so far instead of 1510 after all and my all-time ROC is a bit better than I though it was - it's actually 753.4%).

And now - a vacation. :)

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

April 2017 review


1/4 NL: Wrexham - (-0.25) TRANMERE  (1.55 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:1 (+2.2)
1/4 NL: (-0.5) LINCOLN - Bromley  (1.39 @12bet/Dafabet) 4 points  FT 1:0 (+1.56)
1/4 NL: Solihull - (0) ALDERSHOT  (1.49 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:2 (+1.96)
1/4 NL: Southport - GUISELEY  (2.76 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 0:1 (+1.76)
8/4 NL: Chester - (0) YORK  (1.56 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:2 (+2.24)
8/4 NL: (-0.75) SUTTON - Southport  (1.51 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 2:2 (-4)
8/4 NL: Macclesfield - DAG & RED  (3.55 @12bet/Dafabet) 1 point  FT 1:4 (+2.55)
14/4 NL: (-0.5) DOVER - Southport  (1.36 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 3:0 (+1.44)
22/4 NL: (-0.5) LINCOLN - Macclesfield  (1.40 @12bet/Dafabet) 4 points  FT 2:1 (+1.6)
22/4 NL: Wrexham - (0) DAG & RED  (1.51 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:1 (+2.04)

10 picks
34 points staked
+13.35 points profit
39.2% ROI
22.2% ROC
(advised bank: 60 points)

April was a near-perfect month with as many as nine of the ten official bets landing - can't get much better than that. April was also my 6th consecutive profitable month and my 15th profitable month out of the last 16 active months. Seven of the eight (four-point) asian handicap bets landed for a +9.04 point profit at a 28.3% ROI, while both (one-point) bets on outsiders landed as well for an additional +4.31 point profit at a 215.5% ROI.


1/4 NL: (-2) FOREST GREEN - North Ferriby  (1.85 @SBO) 1 point  FT 0:1 (-1)
29/4 NL: Dag & Red - (+0.5) WOKING  (1.60 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:1 (+0.6)

2 picks
2 points staked
-0.40 point loss
-20.0% ROI

There was a couple of unofficial bets based on late team news in April, one of which failed miserably on the first day of the month, while the other landed on the closing day of the regular season - to be honest, I didn't think I'd advise another unofficial last-minute pick this season after the April 1 fiasco (it's the biggest shock result of the season by far), but then Dag & Red who had confirmed their play-off spot in a previous game decided to go with the reserve team, while full-strength, in-form strugglers Woking needed a point to be safe.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

unofficial long-term pick update + SBC 100

As Dagenham & Redbridge have now mathematically confirmed their play-off spot, I thought I'd share a few updated thoughts about my unofficial (as the bet isn't available with Pinnacle) long-term bet on Dag & Red to be promoted, advised way back in mid-September. Even though the odds did shorten to 4.00 (or even less) at one point of the season, 6.00 is now once again available with Marathon (5.50 with the likes of Bet365 and 188bet), so if you've failed to take the bet then, here's your chance. Do I still think it's a good bet? Absolutely. Dag & Red have the best record against the top-five out of all four play-off teams (it's hard to see Dover sneaking into the top-five after losing at home to struggling Torquay on Saturday - and Dag & Red have already beaten them twice this season anyway) - they did lose away at Aldershot (and champions Lincoln) who they can only face in the play-off final at Wembley (if Aldershot beat well fancied Tranmere over two semi-final legs), but they've beaten them (and Lincoln as well) at home and they're unbeaten against the other two, Tranmere (0:0 at home, 2:0 away) and the team they're facing in the play-off semi-finals, Forest Green (2:1 at home, 1:1 away), who are both bookies' promotion favorites (while Dag & Red and Aldershot are both outsiders). Forest Green have recently lost at home to already relegated North Ferriby (which was the biggest shock result of the season by far), away at already relegated Southport eight days ago and have only shared points with mid-table Maidstone after being 2:0 up on Saturday, so it's fair to say they aren't exactly at the top of their game at the moment. If Dag & Red do beat Forest Green in the semi-finals and if Tranmere beat Aldershot, they'll only be one Wembley game (against a team they haven't conceded a single goal to in two games) away from bouncing straight back to League Two. All things considered, anything better than 4.00 for Dag & Red to be promoted still looks great to me.

Congrats to the superb Secret Betting Club on their 100th magazine! I've been proofing my bets to the SBC since March 2008 and I can only thank them once again for providing a neutral perspective on this often chaotic world of tipsters and so-called tipsters. Here's to another 100!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

April Fools' Day odds

I haven't had such a perfect April Fools' Day in a long time - I've advised four official bets to Skeeve Picks clients and all four teams won their respective games without conceding a single goal. Officially, my clients made +7.48 points profit at a 57.5% ROI, which obviously means it was a great day at the office, but let me explain why I tend to describe my recorded odds as those "recorded with a fair delay, when they're usually at their worst" and why I think you can easily beat the official results - and show you how most other services would record these bets/odds.

NL: Wrexham - (-0.25) TRANMERE  (min. odds: 1.45) 4 points;2;0.25;0

Wrexham haven't really been doing that great since they've hit the fifty-point mark (which means they'll be playing their football in the National League next season - they can't get relegated nor promoted to League Two) - they're now without a win in the last four, two of which were defeats (0:2 to Gateshead, 0:3 at Forest Green, 1:1 at Barrow, 1:1 vs Torquay), the only two goals they've managed to score in the last 400 minutes of football were a 94th minute goal at Barrow after the home team's keeper completely missed the ball and then a goal from a controversial penalty that shouldn't have been a penalty against struggling Torquay who had later equalised from a penalty of their own last weekend, they have the fourth worst home attack in the league (only 22 goals scored in their twenty home games so far - only North Ferriby, Braintree and Boreham Wood have scored less at home), they have a terrible record against top-ten teams, both home (a win against Forest Green back in November, draws with Dover and Barrow in August and October respectively and defeats to Lincoln in October, Macclesfield in December, Aldershot in February and Gateshead in March; six goals scored, twelve goals conceded) and away (draws at Gateshead, Dover and Barrow and defeats at Aldershot, Dag & Red, Macclesfield, Tranmere, Lincoln and Forest Green; four goals scored, eighteen goals conceded), they're once again without their key centre-back Tilt (switched to Forest Green for the remainder of the season), key attacking midfielder and set-piece specialist Rooney (loaned to Guiseley for the remainder of the season) and first-choice left-back Jennings (suspended), which means they're once again going to have to field some youngsters and, even though there are far worse teams in the National League than their expected line-up (Dunn between the sticks; Carrington, Riley, youngster Marx and out-of-position midfielder Shenton at the back; Rutherford, Barry, Penn and Smith/Evans in their midfield diamond; McLeod/White and Harry/Massanka up front), they're a bit overrated here if you ask me.

Tranmere are the second best away team in the league with as many as ten wins and only five defeats in their twenty away games so far, they have the best defence (only 32 goals conceded in their 38 National League games so far) and the best away defence in the league (only nineteen goals conceded in their twenty away games so far), they also have the third best away attack in the National League (as many as 32 goals scored in twenty away games - only Forest Green and Dag & Red have scored more on the road so far), they've now won three consecutive games (4:1 at North Ferriby, 1:0 vs Braintree, 1:0 vs Dover) and only lost one of their last six away games, four of which were wins (3:0 at Woking, 2:0 at Eastleigh, 3:2 at Chester, 1:2 at play-off chasing Barrow, an unlucky 0:0 draw at Torquay and, finally, 4:1 at doomed North Ferriby ten days ago), they've already managed to beat Wrexham twice this season without conceding a single goal (2:0 at home back in October, 1:0 away at Wrexham in the FA Trophy in December), they have an excellent away record at teams outside the top-nine or, if you want, at teams who can't reach the play-offs (a narrow 0:1 defeat at one of the best home teams in the league Sutton on their 3G pitch back in mid-September, draws at Southport, York and Torquay in August, September and March respectively and wins at Bromley, Boreham Wood, Solihull, Braintree, Woking, Eastleigh, Chester and North Ferriby, so eight wins, three draws and one defeat; twenty goals scored, only five goals conceded) and, even though they're still missing a few injured players, their expected line-up (Davies between the sticks; McNulty, Ihiekwe and Buxton/Sutton in their three-man defence; Vaughan and Ridehalgh as wing-backs; Harris, Hughes and Jennings/Wallace in the middle of the park; Cook and Norwood/Stockton up front) should be bigger favorites away at mid-table Wrexham (who are missing two of their standard back four) at this moment in time if you ask me. All things considered, anything better than 1.45 for the (-0.25) asian handicap (we only lose two points in case of a draw) looks great to me.

pre-mail odds: 

1.62 with StanJames...
1.61 with Pinnacle, Unibet...
1.60 with Bet365...

(my odds: 1.45)
(best opening odds: 1.73 @Bet365)
(best opening odds with official bookmakers: 1.71 @Pinnacle)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM: 1.62 @StanJames)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM with official bookmakers: 1.61 @Pinnacle)
(recorded odds: 1.55 @Pinnacle)
(best closing odds: 1.52 @Unibet)
(best closing odds with official bookmakers: 1.50 @Pinnacle)

First of all, we have the so-called "min. odds" or, if you want, my own odds - if I were an odds compiler, I would've had the (-0.25) asian handicap odds on Tranmere at 1.45. The best opening odds were 1.71 with Pinnacle (and 1.73 with Bet365), after which the odds even drifted out to 1.72 with Pinnacle at one point, but I'm sending all official picks, one pick at a time, on Saturdays, at 10:30 AM UK time, so I have to wait until then to see if there's at least 10% difference between the available odds and my own odds. As the best odds on Saturday at 10:30 AM were 1.61 with Pinnacle (and 1.62 with StanJames), the bet qualified for the official bet, so I've sent the pick & preview to my clients. I'm only recording odds with three bookmakers - Pinnacle, SBO and 12bet/Dafabet - and the best odds with those three sixty seconds after I've sent the e-mail were 1.55 with Pinnacle, so that's how I officially recorded the bet/odds. After that, the odds shortened a bit more, then bounced back to 1.55 half an hour before the kick-off, then shortened again and were 1.50 with Pinnacle (and 1.52 with Unibet) just before the kick-off. As I've recorded the odds at 1.55 with Pinnacle, the official profit was +2.2 points. From my experience, most or all other services would've officially made more profit with this bet - either by sharing it with their clients at some random point, maybe days before the game, when the market is much weaker (up to +2.92 points profit instead of the +2.2) or recording the best odds without the delay (up to +2.48 points profit instead of the +2.2). The difference in profit may not seem huge, but this is just one bet - and I'll advise more than fifty over the course of the season, most of which will land.

NL: (-0.5) LINCOLN - Bromley  (min. odds: 1.30) 4 points

League leaders and FA Cup heroes Lincoln are now unbeaten at home since mid-September of, if you want, in as many as eighteen (!) games in all three (National League, FA Cup, FA Trophy) competitions, fourteen of which were wins (3:0 vs Braintree, 0:0 vs Guiseley in the FA Cup, 0:0 vs Eastleigh, 2:0 vs Boreham Wood, 2:1 vs Altrincham in the FA Cup, 3:3 vs Aldershot, 2:0 vs Maidstone, 1:0 vs Wrexham, 3:2 vs Oldham in the FA Cup, 2:1 vs Tranmere, 3:1 vs Guiseley, 1:0 vs Ipswich in the FA Cup, 2:0 vs Dover, 3:1 vs Brighton in the FA Cup, 3:2 vs Woking, 1:1 vs very much improved York, 1:0 vs the very same York in the FA Trophy and, finally, 3:1 vs title rivals Forest Green last weekend), they've scored as many as 35 and only conceded thirteen in these eighteen home games, they've won eleven of their last twelve (!) home games and shared point with very much improved York in the remaining one, they've scored as many as 40 and only conceded fifteen in their eighteen home games in the National League so far, they've been brilliant in their key home games (and I guess every home game will be a key game for them in April) and, if you ask me, their well settled (I guess we could see Wood instead of Long at right-back, Whitehouse instead of Power in the middle of the park and Anderson instead of Hawkridge on the right flank compared to the midweek 1:1 draw away at one of the best home teams in the league Sutton who are excellent on their 3G pitch, which is an even better starting line-up if you ask me) team (Farman between the sticks; Wood/Long, Raggett, Waterfall and Habergham at the back; Whitehouse/Power and Woodyard in the middle of the park; Anderson/Hawkridge and Arnold on the flanks; Rhead and Angol up front) should be even bigger favorites at home against mediocre Bromley.

Bromley have only won one of their last nine games, they've lost six of their last eight (0:1 to Solihull, 1:2 at Dag & Red, 0:4 at Aldershot, 0:5 to Braintree, 0:0 at Boreham Wood, 3:0 vs North Ferriby, 0:1 at Dover, 0:1 to Chester), only one of which was a win (at home against doomed North Ferriby who had their left-back Hare sent off in the 18th minute), they're without a single away win in 2017 (0:2 at Sutton, 2:2 at Tranmere which was really lucky as Tranmere had a 2:0 lead in the 15th minute, but first lost key centre-back McNulty to an injury on the half-mark and then another defender Buxton to a red card before the hour mark, after which Bromley scored twice to grab an unlikely point, 1:2 at Dag & Red, 0:4 at Aldershot, 0:0 at mediocre Boreham Wood who would've won that game on most days and finally, 0:1 at Dover who were without the league's top scorer Miller due to his suspension a fortnight ago, so four defeats and two lucky draws on the road so far in 2017), they've recently lost more than a couple of key players in centre-back Swaine, keeper Julian and striker Hanlan, can't get relegated nor promoted to League Two and I really can't see their expected team (Flitney between the sticks; Dunne, Holland, Chorley and Anderson at the back; Higgs/Dymond and Minshull in the middle of the park; Turgott and Dennis/Hall on the flanks; Goldberg/Porter and Sho-Silva up front) doing much away at a team as good, fit and full of confidence as Lincoln. Anything better than 1.30 for the home win looks great to me.

pre-mail odds:

1.48 with Marathon...
1.47 with 5Dimes...
1.45 with Pinnacle...
1.44 with Coral, Will Hill...
1.42 with 188bet...
1.40 with 12bet/Dafabet, Bet365, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Unibet...
1.38 with SBO...

(my odds: 1.30)
(best opening odds: 1.43 @Marathon)
(best opening odds with official bookmakers: 1.40 @Pinnacle)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM: 1.48 @Marathon)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM with official bookmakers: 1.45 @Pinnacle)
(recorded odds: 1.39 @12bet/Dafabet)
(best closing odds: 1.40 @Coral)
(best closing odds with official bookmakers: 1.37 @Pinnacle)

I would've had the odds on Lincoln at 1.30. The best opening odds were 1.40 with Pinnacle (and 1.43 with Marathon), after which the odds drifted out to 1.48 with Pinnacle at one point, and the odds on Saturday at 10:30 AM were 1.45 with Pinnacle (and 1.48 with Marathon), so the bet qualified for the official bet. The best odds with official bookmakers sixty seconds after I've sent the e-mail were 1.39 with 12bet/Dafabet, then they've shortened a bit more, then bounced back a bit and were 1.37 with Pinnacle (and 1.40 with Coral) just before the kick-off. As I've recorded the odds at 1.39 with 12bet/Dafabet, the official profit was +1.56 point. Most other services would've officially made more profit with this bet (up to +1.92 point profit instead of +1.56).

NL: Solihull - (0) ALDERSHOT  (min. odds: 1.40) 4 points;2;0.00;0

Solihull have a horrifying home record against top-ten teams (nine games - which means this is their only remaining home game against a top-ten team - all defeats, eight goals scored, as many as 23 goals conceded - 2:3 to Macclesfield, 2:5 to Dagenham, 0:3 to Tranmere, 0:1 to Forest Green, 2:3 to Dover, 0:2 to Gateshead, 0:1 to Lincoln, 0:1 to Wrexham and, finally, 2:4 to Barrow last weekend), they're without a single win in their seventeen (!) games against top-ten teams so far, both home and away, they've now lost three consecutive games (1:2 at Forest Green, 2:4 to Barrow, 0:1 to Torquay) and are without a win in their last four home games, three of which were defeats (0:1 to Wrexham, 3:3 vs Braintree, 2:4 to Barrow, 0:1 to Torquay), they've only won one of their last seven games, four of which were defeats (0:1 to Wrexham, 0:0 at Dover, 3:3 vs Braintree, 4:1 at poor North Ferriby, 1:2 at Forest Green, 2:4 to Barrow, 0:1 to Torquay), they're the fifth worst home team in the league with seven wins and as many as ten defeats in their twenty home game so far (only North Ferriby and Braintree have lost more home games so far), they have the third worst home defence in the National League (as many as 34 goals conceded in twenty home games - only Southport and Maidstone have conceded more at home so far), they've already lost 0:2 away at the very same Aldershot back in October (they've only had one shot on target in the whole game), they'll be missing their key winger Charles-Cook (on loan from Charlton) due to suspension (he was sent off late in the 0:1 defeat to struggling Torquay on Tuesday), while the likes of left-back Flanagan, midfielders Nortey and Beswick, key winger/right-back Murombedzi and top scorer White are all still out injured and, if you ask me, they're significantly overrated here. There's nothing wrong with their expected line-up (Baxter between the sticks; Green, Daly, Kettle/Sanusi and Franklin at the back; Byrne, Sammons and Maye in the middle of the park; Carline and Sterling-James on the flanks; Brown/Afolayan up front), but Aldershot should be bigger favorites away at Solihull at this moment in time if you ask me.

Aldershot have now only lost one of their last fifteen (!) games (4:0 vs Woking, 2:1 at Woking, 2:1 vs Southport, 1:1 at play-off chasing Gateshead, 0:0 vs very much improved York, 2:0 at Maidstone, 2:2 vs play-off chasing Barrow, 2:0 at Wrexham, 4:0 vs Bromley, 1:1 at improved Eastleigh, 0:0 vs league leaders and FA Cup heroes Lincoln, 0:1 at very much improved Guiseley which was rather unlucky as Aldershot hit the woodwork twice, 2:0 vs Sutton, 3:1 vs promotion hopefuls Dag & Red and, finally, 2:0 at play-off chasing Macclesfield last weekend) and only one of their last seven away games, four of which were wins (2:1 at Woking, 1:1 at Gateshead, 2:0 at Maidstone, 2:0 at Wrexham, 1:1 at Eastleigh, 0:1 at Guiseley, 2:0 at Macclesfield), they've bounced back in style after their first defeat in twelve games by winning three in a row (2:0 vs Sutton, 3:1 vs Dag & Red, 2:0 at Macclesfield), they tend to win games even when they aren't at their best, which could be crucial in their play-off hunt, they have the fifth best away defence in the league (they've only conceded 22 goals in their twenty away games so far - Tranmere have conceded nineteen, Macclesfield have conceded twenty, both Lincoln and Dag & Red have conceded 21, but all other teams have conceded more or much more than Aldershot's 22 on the road so far), they're at full-strength (they've now extended their key midfielder Benyu's loan from Ipswich until the end of the season) and, if you ask me, their expected line-up (Cole between the sticks; Alexander/Arnold, Reynolds, Evans and Arnold/Straker at the back; Gallagher and Benyu in the middle of the park; Kanu and Kellerman/Mensah on the flanks; Rendell and Fenelon/McClure up front) should be bigger favorites away at Solihull. Anything better than 1.40 for this draw-no-bet (we get our money back in case of a draw) looks great to me.

pre-mail odds:

1.57 with Marathon...
1.56 with Pinnacle...
1.55 with Bet365, Sportingbet (dnb)...
1.53 with BetVictor (dnb), Coral (dnb), Ladbrokes (dnb)...
1.52 with Unibet...
1.50 with Will Hill (dnb)...

(my odds: 1.40)
(best opening odds: 1.65 @Marathon)
(best opening odds with official bookmakers: 1.55 @Pinnacle)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM: 1.57 @Marathon)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM with official bookmakers: 1.56 @Pinnacle)
(recorded odds: 1.49 @Pinnacle)
(best closing odds: 1.55 @Sportingbet)
(best closing odds with official bookmakers: 1.48 @Pinnacle)

I would've had the draw-no-bet odds on Aldershot at 1.40. The best opening odds were 1.55 with Pinnacle (and 1.65 with Marathon) and the best odds on Saturday at 10:30 AM were 1.56 with Pinnacle (and 1.57 with Marathon), so the bet qualified for the official bet. The best odds sixty seconds after I've sent the e-mail were 1.49 with Pinnacle, then they've shortened a bit more, then bounced back to 1.50 with Pinnacle twenty minutes before the kick-off and were 1.48 with Pinnacle (and 1.55 with Sportingbet) just before the kick-off. As I've recorded the odds at 1.49 with Pinnacle, the official profit was +1.96 point. Most other services would've officially made more profit with this bet (up to +2.6 points profit instead of +1.96).

NL: Southport - GUISELEY  (min. odds: 2.50) 1 point

Southport don't look like they'll survive the relegation battle - they're second to bottom, as many as nine points off safety, they have the worst defence in the league by far (as many as 84 (!) goals conceded in their 39 National League games so far - the second worst defence is Woking's with their 73 goals conceded in fourty games) and also the joint worst home defence (as many as 37 goals conceded in their nineteen home games so far), they've now lost ten of their last twelve games, only one of which was a win (1:2 to Wealdstone in the FA Trophy, 2:4 to North Ferriby, 1:3 at Bromley, 0:3 at Gateshead, 1:4 to Dag & Red, 0:0 at Woking, 0:1 to Chester, 2:4 at Maidstone, 1:2 to Torquay, 0:2 at Braintree, 3:5 at York and, finally, 1:0 vs tired, mid-table Boreham Wood last weekend), they've lost five consecutive home games before the Boreham Wood win (1:2 to Wealdstone in the FA Trophy, 2:4 to bottom-of-the-table North Ferriby 1:4 to Dag & Red, 0:1 to mid-table Chester, 1:2 to fellow strugglers Torquay), they're still missing the likes of skipper/key centre-back Thompson, first-choice midfielder Lussey (both are still out injured) and possibly top scorer Allen (who is supposedly back in training after missing the last four games, but could be some way off full fitness, as is the other candidate for the second slot up front Brodie), while first-choice keeper Norman and first-choice winger Meikle have both recently returned to their parent clubs, Fulham and rivals Barrow respectively, which means we'll probably see King between the sticks, Jack Higgins, Murray and White in their three-man defence, Ryan Higgins and McKeown as wing-backs, Stevenson, Nolan and Weeks in the middle of the park and Almond and unfit Brodie/Allen up front. That eleven don't really deserve to be favorites against much improved Guiseley at this moment in time if you ask me.

Guiseley have now only lost one of their last six or, if you want, two of their last ten (1:1 vs Eastleigh, 2:1 vs Sutton, 2:1 at promotion hopefuls Dag & Red, 1:2 to North Ferriby, 1:0 vs play-off chasing Barrow, 2:1 at Torquay, 1:0 vs play-off chasing Aldershot, 0:0 at Boreham Wood, 1:1 at play-off chasing Gateshead and, finally, 0:4 to play-off chasing Dover in a one-off horror show last weekend, which obviously helped making them industry's outsiders in this game), they're unbeaten in four away games, two of which were wins, they've won three of their last six away from home, only one of which was a defeat (2:1 at Macclesfield, 1:3 at Wrexham, 2:1 at Dag & Red, 2:1 at Torquay, 0:0 at Boreham Wood, 1:1 at Gateshead), they've already managed to beat Southport 2:1 at home back in October (it could've been a bigger win, but Southport keeper Norman who is now back with his parent club Fulham saved Rankine's late penalty) and, if you ask me, their expected team (Maxted between the sticks; Brown, Lawlor/Palmer, Lowe and Williams at the back; Walton/Lawlor, Hatfield and Purver in the middle of the park; Hurst/Asamoah and Preston on the flanks; Cassidy/Rankine up front) should be favorites away at Southport at this moment in time and not the other way around. Anything better than 2.50 for the away win looks great to me.

pre-mail odds:

2.90 with Bet365...
2.89 with 5Dimes...
2.88 with SBO, BetVictor, Coral...
2.85 with Pinnacle, Marathon...
2.81 with 188bet...
2.80 with Will Hill...
2.75 with Ladbrokes, Unibet...
2.74 with 12bet/Dafabet...

(my odds: 2.50)
(best opening odds: 2.88 @Pinnacle)
(best opening odds with official bookmakers: 2.88 @Pinnacle)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM: 2.90 @Bet365)
(best odds at Saturday 10:30 AM with official bookmakers: 2.88 @SBO)
(recorded odds: 2.76 @Pinnacle, SBO)
(best closing odds: 3.40 @BetVictor)
(best closing odds with official bookmakers: 3.24 @Pinnacle)

I would've had the odds on Guiseley at 2.50. The best opening odds were 2.88 with Pinnacle and the best odds on Saturday at 10:30 AM were 2.88 with SBO (and 2.90 with Bet365), so the bet qualified for the official bet. The best odds sixty seconds after I've sent the e-mail were 2.76 with both Pinnacle and SBO, then they've shortened a bit more, then drifted out to 3.33 with Pinnacle half an hour before the kick-off and were 3.24 with Pinnacle (and 3.40 with BetVictor) just before the kick-off. This is why my results based on closing/kick-off odds are now outperforming my results based on recorded odds for the fourth consecutive season - I really am recording the odds when they're at their worst and it only takes a few cases of odds (mostly on outsiders) drifting out and respective bets landing for the results based on closing odds to beat the results based on recorded odds in the long run.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

March 2017 review


4/3 NL: Aldershot - (0) LINCOLN  (1.71 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:0 (+/-0)
4/3 NL: Gateshead - DAG & RED  (3.05 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:0 (-1)
4/3 NL: Torquay - GUISELEY  (3.02 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:2 (+2.02)
11/3 NL: (0) WOKING - Boreham Wood  (1.64 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:0 (+/-0)
11/3 NL: Bromley - NORTH FERRIBY  (4.97 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 3:0 (-1)
18/3 NL: (0) ALDERSHOT - Sutton  (1.44 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 2:0 (+1.76)
18/3 NL: (-0.75) GATESHEAD - Woking  (1.79 @12bet/Dafabet) 4 points  FT 2:1 (+1.58)
25/3 NL: (0) LINCOLN - Forest Green  (1.63 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 3:1 (+2.52)

25/3 NL: GUISELEY - Dover  (3.01 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 0:4 (-1)
25/3 NL: Wrexham - TORQUAY  (4.59 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:1 (-1)

10 picks
25 points staked
+3.88 point profit
15.5% ROI
6.4% ROC
(advised bank: 60 points)

March 2017 was my fifth consecutive profitable month and my 14th profitable month in the last 15 active months. Only one of the five one-point bets on outsiders landed for a -1.98 point loss with the bets on outsiders, but none of the five four-point asian handicap bets was a losing one (two were void) for a +5.86 points profit with the asian handicap bets. You won't get a complaint from me after a 15% ROI second-half-of-the-season month.


18/3 NL: Barrow - (0) DAG & RED  (2.60 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 2:1 (-1)

1 pick
1 point staked
-1.00 point loss
-100% ROI

A disappointing run with the unofficial last-minute picks continues. There was only one unofficial last-minute bet in March and it failed miserably for a one-point loss with these unofficial picks based on late team news.

Thursday, 23 March 2017


This is going to be a quick one (could it be the first step towards joining twitter? Doubt it). I've noticed a huge increase in visits to this blog from the USA. In the last month, this blog was visited by less than 300 people from the UK and by less than 100 people from any other country. However, it was visited by more than 3000 people from the USA. In the last seven days, the blog was visited by a bit less than 700 people from the USA and by less than 50 people from any other country. Could some of the USA-based visitors shed a light on this, please? Am I big in the USA, but don't even know it? :)

Up next on the blog: the March 2017 review (next week); closing/kick-off odds: part two (next month).

24 picks
63 points staked
+8.47 points profit
13.4% ROI
14.1% ROC

49 picks
121 points staked
+19.49 points profit
16.1% ROI
32.4% ROC

110 picks
299 points staked
+58.1 points profit
19.4% ROI
96.8% ROC

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February 2017 review


4/2 NL: (0) BROMLEY - Torquay  (1.42 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 1:0 (+1.68)
4/2 NL: Maidstone - (0) ALDERSHOT  (1.67 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:2 (+2.68)
11/2 NL: Southport - (0) DAG & RED  (1.51 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 1:4 (+2.04)
11/2 NL: Braintree - NORTH FERRIBY  (6.53 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:0 (-1)
11/2 NL: GUISELEY - Eastleigh  (3.00 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:1 (-1)
11/2 NL: SOLIHULL - Sutton  (2.88 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 3:0 (+1.88)
18/2 NL: Eastleigh - (0) TRANMERE  (1.55 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:2 (+2.2)
18/2 NL: (0) WREXHAM - Aldershot  (1.59 @Pinnacle) 4 points  FT 0:2 (-4)
18/2 NL: Boreham Wood - YORK  (3.58 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:1 (-1)
25/2 NL: SOUTHPORT - Chester  (2.60 @SBO) 1 point  FT 0:1 (-1)
25/2 NL: TORQUAY - Sutton  (2.87 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 2:3 (-1)

11 picks
26 points staked
+1.48 point profit
5.6% ROI
2.4% ROC
(advised bank: 60 points)

A disappointing ending to another profitable month (this was my 13th profitable month out of last 14 "active" months). After they've produced a +7.83 point profit (at a 391% (!) ROI) in January, the one-point bets on outsiders produced a -3.12 point loss in February, which is why the monthly profit was rather modest in the end (+1.48 point profit at a 5.6% ROI based on recorded odds, which - as I suppose most of you know by now - are the odds recorded with a fair delay, when they're usually at their worst) - the four-point asian handicap bets had a very good February with four out of five bets landing for a +4.6 point profit.


11/2 NL: (-0.75) LINCOLN - Woking  (1.58 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 3:2 (+0.29)
11/2 NL: (-0.25) YORK - Maidstone  (1.60 @Pinnacle) 1 point  FT 1:1 (-0.5)

2 picks
2 points staked
-0.21 point loss
-10.5% ROI

A small loss with the unofficial last-minute picks, but there was once again only a couple of bets. I have to admit I expected more from the unofficial last-minute picks based on late team news, but the season is far from over - there's nine more weekends + play-offs to go.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

the "outstanding contribution to tipping" award + Pinnacle on their way back to the UK market

I'm proud to announce that I've just won the SBC "outstanding contribution to tipping" award, which is a "lifetime achievement honour chosen by the SBC team" (along with being voted the third best sports tipster in 2016 by the SBC members, but now I'm just bragging). To quote the SBC team,

"the SBC ‘Lifetime Achievement’ honour is designed to recognize those who have provided outstanding services to punters through tipping and is chosen by the Secret Betting Club team. This year’s very worthy award recipient is the football tipster, Skeeve, who since 2006 has been posting his lower-league football tips to great acclaim. Making a profit over the course of 1 football season is difficult enough but to do it over 10 consecutive seasons as Skeeve has done is a phenomenal achievement. Over the lifetime of his service, Skeeve has posted just under 1500 tips and made 674 points profit at 12.2% Return on Investment. It is not just his profit but the quality of customer service and his odds-settlement policy that also deserves merit as Skeeve has always played extremely fair by his members. Ensuring that you can often match, if not beat the advised profits he records on his website – a huge deal when you consider today’s betting markets and how they react to sharp money. Skeeve is well on course to enjoy his 11th consecutive profitable season and we can’t think of a worthier recipient for this honour. Here is to another decade of profit!"

17 picks
44 points staked
+5.11 points profit
11.6% ROI
8.5% ROC

49 picks
121 points staked
+19.49 points profit
16.1% ROI
32.4% ROC

172 picks
511 points staked
+66.37 points profit
12.9% ROI
97.7% ROC

Anonymous posted a comment about Pinnacle and their continued absence from the UK market. I hope he's satisfied with my answer and I also hope Joseph Buchdahl isn't wrong about Pinnacle returning to the UK market as soon as next month!

Last but not least, congrats to Cassini - one of, if not THE, best bloggers around - on his 2259th blog post. It's not a typo - that's 2259 (update: 2261) blog posts.