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 and you're not a Skeeve Picks client at the moment (I've already sent the review to all current clients), feel free to send me an e-mail (skeevepicks@gmail.com) 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. :)

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

free pick & preview for May 3

NL: (0) ALDERSHOT - Tranmere (min. odds: 1.80) 1 point
http://www.oddsportal.com/soccer/england/vanarama-national-league/aldershot-tranmere-GGAb9YnK/#ah;2;0.00;0

If you ask me, the home team should be clear favorites here - the Aldershot odds did already shorten quite a bit, but there's still some value left as the opening odds were just ridiculous. Aldershot are the third best home team in the league with fifteen wins and only three defeats in their 23 home games (they've lost to Forest Green back in October and then to a couple of mid-table teams, Macclesfield and Eastleigh, a month later, but haven't lost a single home game since), they have the best defence in the league with only 37 goals conceded in 46 games and also the best home defence by far with only thirteen (!) goals conceded in 23 home games, they're without a single defeat at home since November or, if you want, in as many as thirteen games (2:0 vs Boreham Wood, 3:3 vs East Thurrock in the FA Trophy with a reserve team and long-gone centre-back Saville sent off before the break, 4:0 vs Woking, 2:1 vs Southport, 0:0 vs York, 2:2 vs Barrow, 4:0 vs Bromley, 0:0 vs Lincoln, 2:0 vs Sutton, 3:1 vs Dag & Red, 1:1 vs Torquay, 1:0 vs Dover and, finally, 2:0 vs Braintree on the closing day of the regular season last weekend), they have an excellent home record against top-five teams (3:1 vs the very same Tranmere in September, 0:4 to Forest Green, when they were without their joint top scorer Rendell, still hadn't signed the likes of key winger Kanu and key midfielder Benyu and had key centre-back Evans sent off after only sixteen minutes, 0:0 vs champions Lincoln in early March and, finally, 3:1 vs Dag & Red in late March - exclude the four goals conceded in a freak game with Forest Green and you get only nine goals conceded in the remaining 22 home games) and, last but not least, they were excellent against Tranmere this season, both home (3:1 in September, when they took an early 3rd minute lead, conceded an equaliser before the break, but retook the lead from a 79th minute penalty and added another in 82nd thanks to centre-back Evans' great volley; they had six shots on target - and scored thrice - and additional three shots off target, while Tranmere had three shots on target - and scored once - and additional two shots off target) and away (2:2 in mid-April, when they once again took an early 3rd minute lead, after which Tranmere scored twice and Aldershot scored their second, all before the break; they had five shots on target - and scored twice - and additional three shots off target, while Tranmere had six shots on target - and scored twice - and three additional shots off target, which means they've scored five goals from eleven shots on target in two games, while conceding three from Tranmere's nine shots on target). As far as their expected team is concerned, they're once again at full-strength, so Cole between the sticks (three consecutive clean sheets, five clean sheets in the last seven, eleven clean sheets in the last seventeen), Alexander/Arnold, Reynolds, Evans (who's scored more than a couple of important goals after that 82nd minute match-deciding volley for a two-goal lead at home against the very same Tranmere) and Arnold/Straker at the back, Gallagher, Kellerman/Oyeleke and Benyu in the middle of the park, Kanu and Mensah on the flanks and Rendell/McClure up front. They could obviously go with a 442 as well, but I think they'll go with a couple of pacy wingers Kanu and Mensah on the flanks and either Rendell or McClure up front.

I'm not saying Tranmere shouldn't be favorites over the two legs - they've finished the regular part of the season with only four points less than champions and FA Cup heroes Lincoln (and thirteen more than Aldershot), they're the joint (with Lincoln) best away team in the league with thirteen wins and only five defeats in 23 away games, they have the best away defence with only twenty goals conceded in 23 away games and also the second best defence in the league with 39 goals conceded in 43 games and they've only lost one of their last eleven away games, eight of which were wins (3:0 at Woking, 4:1 at Chelmsford in the FA Trophy, 2:0 at Eastleigh, 3:2 at Chester, 1:2 at Barrow, 1:1 at Macclesfield in the FA Trophy, 0:0 at Torquay, 4:1 at North Ferriby, 1:0 at Wrexham, 2:1 at Guiseley and, finally, 1:0 with a reserve team at Maidstone last Saturday). It was a nice, to say the least, away schedule though - only one of those nine league games was at a top-half team and they've deservedly lost that one 1:2 away at depleted Barrow who finished the season 7th and seven points off the play-off zone. And now we get to the really interesting part - Tranmere have failed to win a single one of their eight games against top-five teams this season. They've lost 1:3 away at the very same Aldershot back in early September for starters, then lost 0:1 at home to Lincoln the following weekend, then shared points in a goalless draw away at Dag & Red in early October, then shared points in a 2:2 draw away at Forest Green in mid-November, then lost 1:2 away at Lincoln in mid-December, 0:2 at home to Dag & Red in late January and 0:1 at home to Forest Green in mid-April and finally shared points in a 2:2 draw at home with Aldershot in mid-April. Unfortunately, I don't have the shots on/off target for the Forest Green games, but they've had 24 shots on target and scored four goals in the other six games (1:3 at Aldershot, 0:1 to Lincoln, 0:0 at Dag & Red, 1:2 at Lincoln, 0:2 to Dag & Red, 2:2 vs Aldershot), while their opponents had 33 shots on target and scored ten. As far as their expected team is concerned, they're far from being at full strength, unlike Aldershot (they do have an advantage of resting all first-choice players on Saturday). The likes of key winger Tollitt, key midfielder Harris, key right-back/wing-back Vaughan, first-choice centre-back Sutton, striker Stephenson and another winger Kirby are all out injured and the likes of midfielders Maynard and Wallace aren't exactly at 100% after being out injured for a couple of months. With first-choice right-back/wing-back Vaughan added to the injury list on the punultimate weekend of the regular season, I'm not sure if Mellon will stick to the three-man central defence of Buxton, Steve 'Sumo' McNulty and Ihiekwe as Buxton is their only remaining senior player who's played at right wing-back so far this season (when Mellon finally gave Vaughan a bit of rest in the FA Trophy in mid-March, only to introduce him before the hour mark after all). I suppose Buxton could be switched to right wing-back and Maynard could be one of the three central defenders as he plays in central defence for the St Kitts and Nevis National Team. Buxton could also keep his spot in their three-man central defence and versatile Maynard (or one of the more attacking wide players who aren't out injured, so Dunn or, less likely, Mekki) could be switched to right wing-back. Mellon could also decide to switch to 442 for the first time since February (in which case there aren't many doubts - McNulty and Ihiekwe would be centre-backs, Buxton would be right-back and Ridehalgh would be left-back). With that many selection problems at Tranmere, I doubt I'll get it right, but I suppose we could see Davies between the sticks, McNulty, Ihiekwe and Buxton/Maynard in central defence, Maynard/Buxton/Dunn and Ridehalgh as wing-backs, Hughes and Wallace/Maynard in the middle of the park and Connor Jennings behind Norwood and Cook/Stockton up front. That's still an excellent team, but the likes of key midfielder Harris, key winger Tollitt, key right-back/wing-back Vaughan and first-choice centre-back Sutton will be missed and, as I've explained, Tranmere are still without a single win against a top-five team this season. All things considered, anything better 1.80 for this draw-no-bet (we get our money back in case of a draw) looks great to me.

pre-mail odds: 2.00 with Pinnacle
recorded odds (sixty-second delay): 1.93 with Pinnacle
best available odds at the moment: 1.83 with Pinnacle (1.86 with Marathon)
min. odds / my odds: 1.80

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

April 2017 review








OFFICIAL PICKS:

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
9-0-1
+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.


UNOFFICIAL LAST-MINUTE PICKS:

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
1-0-1
-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
http://www.oddsportal.com/soccer/england/vanarama-national-league/wrexham-tranmere-Q5AwW6tO/#ah;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
http://www.oddsportal.com/soccer/england/vanarama-national-league/lincoln-city-bromley-UF6xpHro/

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
http://www.oddsportal.com/soccer/england/vanarama-national-league/solihull-aldershot-M9gO7Kzh/#ah;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
http://www.oddsportal.com/soccer/england/vanarama-national-league/southport-guiseley-volT6vjb/

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

OFFICIAL PICKS:

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
4-2-4
+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.


UNOFFICIAL LAST-MINUTE PICKS:

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

1 pick
1 point staked
0-0-1
-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

USA

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).

Thinking about (re)joining Skeeve Picks? You can now do so for only 150 EUR for the remainder of the season (six weekends + play-offs).

2017 RESULTS SO FAR:
24 picks
63 points staked
+8.47 points profit
13.4% ROI
14.1% ROC

2016 RESULTS:
49 picks
121 points staked
+19.49 points profit
16.1% ROI
32.4% ROC

LAST TWO YEARS (APRIL 2015 - MARCH 2017):
110 picks
299 points staked
+58.1 points profit
19.4% ROI
96.8% ROC

ALL-TIME RESULTS (DECEMBER 2006 - MARCH 2017):
1496 picks
5530 points staked
+675.74 points profit
12.2% ROI
715.1% ROC

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February 2017 review

OFFICIAL PICKS:

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
5-0-6
+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.


UNOFFICIAL LAST-MINUTE PICKS:

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
1-0-1
-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 and the consequent special offer + 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!"

Not only that I feel humbled and honored, but I've decided to mark the occasion with a special offer - you can now join the Skeeve Picks service for the remainder of the season (March, April and May) for only 200 EUR instead of the usual 250 EUR. If you're reading this, you're eligible for the special discount. If you're interested, please send an e-mail to skeevepicks at gmail dot com.

2017 RESULTS SO FAR:
17 picks
44 points staked
+5.11 points profit
11.6% ROI
8.5% ROC

2016 RESULTS:
49 picks
121 points staked
+19.49 points profit
16.1% ROI
32.4% ROC

LAST THREE YEARS (MARCH 2014 - FEBRUARY 2017):
172 picks
511 points staked
+66.37 points profit
12.9% ROI
97.7% ROC

ALL-TIME RESULTS (DECEMBER 2006 - FEBRUARY 2017):
1489 picks
5511 points staked
+672.38 points profit
12.2% ROI
709.5% 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.