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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.