Tuesday 13 December 2016

Lincoln City 2016/17

Instead of redesigning the old website, joining twitter or at least getting drunk, I've decided to analyze twenty FA Trophy games for the Skeeve Picks service's 10th birthday yesterday, so I thought I'd take a break from that and share a sample of my work in the form of everything there is to know about the only National League team that wasn't in FA Trophy action this weekend (their match away at Shaw Lane was postponed after the Northern Premier League Division One South - which is three tiers down the pyramid - outfit allegedly fielded a suspended player in the last (qualifying) round of the competition, which was followed by an FA investigation), Lincoln City. Here's to the next ten! :)



Wood/Beevers – Raggett/McCombe/Fixter – Waterfall/Howe/Weatherell – Habergham
Hawkridge/Anderson – Power/Whitehouse/Everington Woodyard/Miles/Wright Arnold/Muldoon/Hodge
Robinson/McMenemy/Acar  Rhead/Marriott/Simmons

Latest managerial changes:
1/5/2016 Moyses out
14/5/2016 Cowley in

Currently injured:
Beevers (right-back, long-term)

Currently suspended: 

Raggett (centre-back, two more games)

Transfers in: 
11/6 Woodyard (mid, Braintree)
21/6 Miles (mid, Braintree)
23/6 Habergham (left-back, Braintree)
27/6 Marriott (striker, Stevenage)
20/7 Margetts (striker, Tranmere) 
27/7 Arnold (winger, Grimsby)
3/8 Raggett (centre back, Dover) 
15/8 Anderson (winger, Peterborough, loan until Jan 1) 
1/9 Bonne (striker, Colchester, loan until Oct 26, recalled early on Oct 13) 
13/9 Champion (mid, Barnet, loan until Dec 14, recalled early on Oct 19) 
8/10 Robinson (striker, Port Vale)
21/10 Whitehouse (mid, Nuneaton)

Transfers out: 
23/5 Brown (def, Boston)
23/5 Diagne (def, Hemel Hempstead) 
23/5 Grant (keeper, Corby)
23/5 Sparrow (mid, Sorrento) 
23/5 Hearn (striker, Alfreton) 
9/6 Tempest (mid, Nuneaton) 
15/6 C.Robinson (striker, North Ferriby) 
26/6 Bush (def, Chelmsford)
31/8 Margetts (striker, joint top scorer, 5 goals, Scunthorpe) 
26/9 Stanley (mid)

Currently out on loan:

Everington (mid, Buxton)
Wright (mid, Grantham)
Acar (striker, Spalding)
Simmons (striker, Halifax)
Miles (mid, Boston Utd)
Hodge (mid, Telford)

Recently returned from loan:

Howe (def, Southport, loan until Nov 25, returned, FA Cup-tied)


14.5. manager Cowley switches from Braintree along with his brother and assistant

23.5. Brown, Diagne, Grant, Sparrow and Hearn are all released / Farman, Beevers, Hawkridge, McCombe, Power, Rhead, Waterfall, Wood, Bush, Muldoon and Stanley are already under contract / Everington, Hodge, Howe, Simmons and Wright are offered new terms / youngsters Acar and Walton are offered their first professional terms / Robinson and Tempest are invited to pre-season training

30.5. top scorer Rhead's transfer request was accepted

11.6. Braintree's midfielder Woodyard signs a one-year deal

21.6. now attacking midfielder Miles also follows Cowley from Braintree and signs a one-year deal

23.6. and now left-back Habergham also follows Cowley and signs a two-year deal

26.6. versatile first-choice centre/right-back Bush leaves to sign for National League South outift Chelmsford

27.6. striker Marriott signs a one-year deal after a season dogged with injuries with Stevenage

20.7. striker Margetts signs a one-year deal after being at rivals Tranmere last season

27.7. winger Arnold signs a two-year deal after leaving League Two newcomers Grimsby

2.8. top scorer Rhead signs a new two-year deal, even though the club initially accepted his transfer request in late May

3.8. centre-back Raggett joins on a two-year deal from rivals Dover

15.8. winger Anderson joins from League One outfit Peterborough on loan until January

31.8. joint top scorer with five goals so far Margetts joins League One outfit Scunthorpe on transfer deadline day

1.9. striker Bonne joins on loan from League Two outfit Colchester until October 26

13.9. experienced midfielder Champion joins on a 93-day loan from League Two outfit Barnet

8.10. former Premier League striker Robinson joins after leaving League One outfit Port Vale in the summer

21.10. midfielder Whitehouse joins from National League North outfit Nuneaton on a deal until the end of next season

Thursday 1 December 2016

November 2016 review

There were six official picks in November, three of which landed for a modest +0.42 point profit (4.6% ROI). If nothing else, it was my 6th profitable month (of the seven active months so far) in 2016. As far as the 2016/17 season is concerned, it's still very early days - and I'm still waiting for the first outsider bet to land. As last season, we'll be switching back to full stakes (four points per asian handicap bet, one point per outsider bet) in January.


5/11 NL: North Ferriby - (-0.5) WREXHAM  (1.83 @SBO) 2 points  FT 0:0 (-2)
12/11 NL: Macclesfield - (0) FOREST GREEN  (1.70 @Pinnacle) 2 points FT 0:1 (+1.4)
12/11 NL: Sutton - BARROW  (3.02 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 0:0 (-0.5)
19/11 NL: Braintree - (-0.25) TRANMERE  (1.61 @Pinnacle) 2 points  FT 0:1 (+1.22)
19/11 NL: Boreham Wood - SOUTHPORT  (5.01 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 2:0 (-0.5)
26/11 NL: (-0.5) TRANMERE - Torquay  (1.40 @Pinnacle) 2 points  FT 2:1 (+0.8)

6 picks
9 points staked
+0.42 point profit
4.6% ROI
0.7% ROC
(advised bank: 60 points)

Fun fact: even though the official picks are officially still -0.32 point down for the season so far, the results based on kick-off odds are already in green (+0.57). It seems like the results based on kick-off odds might outperform the results based on recorded odds for the fourth consecutive season, but as I record the odds sixty seconds after I send the pick (and with three bookmakers only, which is how I record the kick-off odds as well), that's not really breaking news anymore. Conclusion: you should definitely be able to beat the official results.


12/11 NL: (-0.75) TRANMERE - Chester  (1.70 @12bet/Dafabet) 0.5 point  FT 2:2 (-0.5)
12/11 NL: (-0.25) WREXHAM - Braintree  (1.72 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 0:1 (-0.5)

19/11 NL: (-0.75) BARROW - Solihull  (1.84 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 2:1 (+0.21)
19/11 NL: North Ferriby - (-0.5) SUTTON  (1.65 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 2:1 (-0.5)
26/11 NL: (-0.75) LINCOLN - Maidstone  (1.60 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 2:0 (+0.3)
26/11 NL: (0) SOUTHPORT - Braintree  (1.78 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point  FT 4:5 (-0.5)

6 picks
3 points staked
-1.49 point profit
-49.7% ROI

Not a good month with the unofficial last-minute picks, which are based on late team news and sent at least ten minutes before the kick-off, but as I said, it's very early days and I'm confident this set of picks will be profitable in the long run. These picks are currently -1.05 point down for the season so far - not exactly a disaster and, as with the official picks, we'll be switching to full stakes in January (one point per unofficial last-minute pick). Non-fun fact: it's not an error, Southport have indeed lost 4:5 to Braintree (who were without both first-choice centre-backs Elokobi (who was their key defensive player lately, but returned to parent club Colchester) and Goodman (out injured) and the first-choice replacement centre-back Ashton who was also out injured) after being 3:1 up.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

twitter: appendix

People are still talking about Skeeve Picks over at twitter and, as much as I'd love to talk to Darran directly, I don't have the bloke's e-mail address (mine is skeevepicks at gmail dot com), so here's another post (hopefully the last one) on the topic.

Here's what's been said in the meantime:

Darran: the best non league tipster there has ever been posted their tips for free on the punters lounge forum which he should know well as I am told he started off their. If he was making enough money to make a living out of it then he wouldn't need to sell tips in my view. 10 seasons profit is very good but I still don't believe this is his only job as he doesn't to my eye make enough of a profit to sustain a living. I never said I was better than him more the point that I would be much better value for money. For 500 euros I would be expecting tips all season long and way more profit than he is making. As for putting coral up I just state whoever has the best price. The companies he uses are small firms who I suspect no one who follows me has an account for so utter pointless

SBC: you need to speak with him about this not me.

Darran: if he was so good he would struggle to get on anywhere especially on such a niche market. fair play he is well researched and just being in profit is a fine achievement

SBC: What I would suggest is you speak with him directly about this. I am merely passing on his blog post as requested

Darran: no doubt he will read the tweets as someone clearly tipped him off.

Charlie: Such a bitter man, Darren. So unsubtle too...

Darran: not bitter at all. He is welcome to his say as I am mine. Not sure why you are getting involved though

Charlie: You're always sniping at others involved in same field. You don't own the non-league niche so don't know why you act like it.

Darran: I don't think that at all. Only people I question are ones I don't think are telling the whole truth

Charlie: Sure, you're tone on here suggests otherwise. Where's your results anyway?

Darran: don't keep results. People can either follow me or not. If I felt writing previews were a waste of time I wouldnt do them

Charlie: You've the temerity to question a professional when you don't even bother keeping results? Hello amateur hour
Darran: I'm not questioning his results more what he offers for a very large amount of money.

Charlie: "I'd be much better value for money" - how? You don't even know how good or bad you are. It's basics. Christ.

Darran: being free helps. No one would follow me of I lost and the fact I end up with money in my betting accounts come the end of the season tells me I'm in profit. If I lost money I wouldn't even bother writing the previews as I wouldn't want people to follow me and it would be a waste of time writing them. I only do it to help people make money

Charlie: You're not getting it. If you'd tracked results, I'd follow you. To even brand yourself a tipster w/out results in laughable. You're just a bloke who writes a blog with bets, you're not a tipster.

Darran: fair enough your welcome to your opinion. Like I say I am free so don't go chasing readers. also racing post have tipsters yet they never publish their stats either

Charlie: They do, annually.

Darran: no they don't. Never seen any profit or loss from any racing or sport tipsters in the paper.

Charlie: They do.

As much fun as this has been, it's taken way too much time already, so I'll just comment on the key bits:

Darran: the best non league tipster there has ever been posted their tips for free on the punters lounge forum which he should know well as I am told he started off their

I'm familiar with the Punters Lounge, but have never posted there. I was a resident tipster on the ex-Punters Paradise forum back in 2007 though.

Darran: If he was making enough money to make a living out of it then he wouldn't need to sell tips in my view. 10 seasons profit is very good but I still don't believe this is his only job as he doesn't to my eye make enough of a profit to sustain a living.

And there's the good old "why would you sell tips if you're a good tipster?" gem of a question again. Well done.

Darran: As for putting coral up I just state whoever has the best price. The companies he uses are small firms who I suspect no one who follows me has an account for so utter pointless

Here's a new slogan for Pinnacle - winners welcome, so utter pointless.

Darran: if he was so good he would struggle to get on anywhere especially on such a niche market.

Has Darran ever heard of winners-welcome bookmakers?

And all this from a fellow "indie music lover, especially Blur". Modern life is rubbish. :(

Charlie: Where's your results anyway?

Darran: don't keep results. People can either follow me or not.


First of all, I have nothing against twitter. I get that we now live in a fast and furious world and that we sometimes don't even have the time for those 140 characters, but as Skeeve Picks clients know, I probably wouldn't even be able to say "hi everybody" in less than 140 characters, so I think I'll stay away from twitter for the time being.

Anyway, the guys from the Secret Betting Club have just tweeted about my service's upcoming 10th birthday (December 12) and a free trial I've decided to offer to their members (and my ex-clients) to celebrate the birthday and their tweets have caught some attention. One of the people who felt the need to comment was my non-league tipping colleague Darran who is apparently sharing his non-league picks for free and struggling to understand why on earth would I charge for my hard work. Here's how that conversation went:

SBC: Great news just in - SBC members can enjoy a free trial with non league tipster Skeeve FREE for the whole of December. Details on site soon

Darran: is he any good? Very rare to see a non-league tipster you have to pay for

SBC: Indeed, he is good, no doubt due to the hard work and study he puts in. This is his 10th year of tipping

Darran: strange I haven't come across him before then if he has been tipping for so long. Is he on here?

SBC: We have been tracking and reporting on him for several years. Not active on social media

Darran: so where has he posted his tips previously? Just interested as I tip on non-league for free so interested to hear about others

SBC: Tips posted via email. His website is and also featured by @12Xpert

Darran: cheers will have a closer look when I get chance. Prob better to describe him as a national league tipster as only covers 1 league

SBC: Yes probably - most people are more familiar with the term non-league rather than 'national league' . Force of habit

Darran: Must admit I think the guy is a rip off. Yes he makes a profit, but he costs a fortune for what he offers. Also I struggle to believe he is a full time punter just punting on the National League especially given he doesn't do the whole season

SBC: would have to respectfully disagree having proofed and verified his record for several years. Several reviews om SBC site

Darran: 500Euros is a hell of a lot of money to be paying in my view esp when I am free. He clearly puts in a lot of work though

Charlie: Quite cute that you're not even tactical about your jealousy that others successfully tip and punt the non-league

Darran: I know bullshit when I see it though & he would not be able to make a full time living just punting on the national league

Charlie: The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Appreciate there's many more with outstanding expertise in the same field, fella.

Darran: would you pay 500 euros for what he offers.?

Charlie: Dude, just accept it's a competitive area of expertise and some are probably better at what they do than you. No shame in that

Darran: It isnt that competitive an area as very few focus on non league. Given I am free and he costs a small fortune it isnt really a competition anyway. If I charged then it would be a competition but I never would

Charlie: Just because you don't know them or aren't aware of them, doesn't mean they dont exist. What's your P&L/results like?

I don't know Charlie, but I really like his comments and questions and, like Charlie, I am still waiting for Darran to answer Charlie's question about his past results.

If I'm not wrong, Darran is currently sharing his non-league tips for free over at Fighting Tips. As the page dedicated to his non-league picks is basically wiped clean each time he advises new bets so that you can only see the current picks and not a single past result, it really is a good question. Here's what will be on the page until Darran advises the weekend picks:

Maidstone v Eastleigh

I see no reason not to carry on opposing Maidstone who were easily beaten by Lincoln on Saturday and with teams below them winning they are now only 2 points clear of the relegation zone. Eastleigh put in a stinker themselves at the weekend when losing 3-0 at home to Chester. It was a case of lots of possession but a lack of quality in front of goal which cost Eastleigh dear. It was a lack of goals which cost them at times last season as well and I am surprised that it isn’t an area Ronnie Moore has tried to strengthen as he must know it is a weak point. Maidstone are there for the taking though and Moore will be desperate to get a reaction and if they are to play a part in the title race they have to get 3 points here. Eastleigh have only lost twice on their travels although the fact they have drawn 6 is a minor concern, but I think the 3G pitch will suit their style of play and Maidstone have only won twice at home all season. Coral’s 6/5 looks a nice price.

York City v Guiseley

After putting Guiseley up a couple of weeks ago to win at Dover I made a mental note not to back them away from home again as they struggled against a side who had played less than 48 hours previously. Rules are made to be broken though and I have to back them here to beat a York side who look in a right state. I was certainly glad I put Bromley up on Saturday and York were terrible in a 3-0 defeat. Obviously there is still plenty of time for them to get out of the mess they are in, but I am not sure how Gary Mills is going to get in the players he needs given their is clearly little money available to strengthen. The fact they are odds on for a bottom four finish tells you that the bookies don’t expect them to get out of it. Guiseley are also odds on for the drop, but they certainly look more capable of survival than York do at the minute. Their home form is solid enough and they had a cracking 3-1 win over in form Boreham Wood on Saturday. The issue is their away form and no wins, 1 draw, 10 defeats with just 6 goals scored tells its own story. I would imagine though that they are putting their focus into their home games and this match offers a rare chance of actually gaining an away 3 points. I put Guiseley up when they won the reverse of this fixture and that was their first win of the season and at Coral’s 5/2 it is well worth a bet of lightening striking twice. York look so bad at the moment and Guiseley look the better side.


Eastleigh 2.5pts
Guiseley 1pt

Darran's lost both of these bets, which obviously happens sometimes (I'm traditionally staying away from the midweek games, but that's another story), but that's far from being the point I'll try and make. First of all, there's the stake - two and a half points on Eastleigh (who have subsequently lost the game 1:2) and one point on Guiseley (who have subsequently only managed to share points in a 1:1 draw). That's absolutely fine as Darran probably saw more value in the Eastleigh bet and I'm sure 2.5 and 1 aren't just random numbers thrown in here. However, if you're advising a particular stake for one bet and a particular stake for the other, people who are reading your picks and previews should know why those numbers and not some other. A table with past results would be helpful, as would the recommended betting bank.

Then there's the bookmaker. Believe it or not, but Darran quoted the Coral odds for both of his midweek bets and I wouldn't be surprised if he sometimes quotes the StanJames odds or the BetVictor odds. All of these are fine if you're a mug punter or, in other words, bookies' wet dream, but if you're beating bookmakers on a regular basis (have I mentioned my ten consecutive profitable seasons yet?), surely you won't be welcome at the likes of Coral, StanJames or BetVictor for long. Skeeve Picks clients definitely aren't able to bet with those bookmakers.

Anyway, there's plenty of things Darran wrote I would like to comment on, so let me try and go step by step.

Darran: is he any good? Very rare to see a non-league tipster you have to pay for

The best things in life may be free, but the most profitable and hard-working tipsters shouldn't be.

Darran: 500Euros is a hell of a lot of money to be paying in my view esp when I am free. He clearly puts in a lot of work though

Thanks Darran! I do. And if it's too much money, there's always plenty of free tipsters around.

Darran: I know bullshit when I see it though & he would not be able to make a full time living just punting on the national league

Well, you can obviously choose not to believe me, but I've been doing this for ten years and only this for the last eight. Have I mentioned my ten consecutive profitable seasons yet? :)

Darran: would you pay 500 euros for what he offers.?

I certainly would. As I wrote many times, find me a football tipster with a 12% ROI after ten consecutive profitable seasons and I'm in.

Darran: It isnt that competitive an area as very few focus on non league. Given I am free and he costs a small fortune it isnt really a competition anyway. If I charged then it would be a competition but I never would

I get that. If you want to make money with your tips on a regular basis, you have to spend as much time on research/analysis as you would on your 8 to 4 job, if not more.

I've visited Darran's twitter account a found a very indicative exchange of thoughts between him and a guy named Craig:

Craig: Eastleigh solid bet as you say. Guiseley value in dogfight, ill follow you in. Is miller back for Dover? If so, value @ 2/1!

Darran: I would imagine so although wouldn't know for certain

Miller wasn't just back for Dover's game at Sutton yesterday - he was in the starting eleven on Saturday at Macclesfield, but the game was abandoned shortly after the break due to fog, which is probably why Darran wasn't sure about it. And that's the key if you ask me - as this is my full-time job, I can't afford not to be sure about bits of team news like that (after all, Miller's the National League top scorer). I can't afford not to analyse every single game both a priori and a posteriori. This is my job and I can't do it any other way but the best it could be done to my understanding. Here's an example of my preview.

Anyway, I'm glad the service has caught some attention at twitter, but I really don't think I should join that social network. If I can't say half of what I wanted in more than 2000 characters, imagine how frustrated I'd be trying to say something in less than 140.


Charlie: Just because you don't know them or aren't aware of them, doesn't mean they dont exist. What's your P&L/results like?

Saturday 12 November 2016

unofficial last-minute pick for November 12

NL: (-0.75) TRANMERE - Chester  (min. odds: 1.55) 0.5 point

Tranmere have been doing great since Mellon took over as manager earlier this month - they've won all four league games (2:0 vs Wrexham, 3:0 at Solihull, 1:0 vs North Ferriby and, finally, 4:1 at Dover a fortnight ago), scored ten and only conceded one goal in these four games, they're the third best home team in the league, they have the second best home defence (only five goals conceded in nine home games so far), a perfect home record against teams outside the top-ten (five games, all wins - 2:1 vs Maidstone, 1:0 vs Guiseley, 3:1 vs Woking, 2:0 vs Wrexham, 1:0 vs North Ferriby - nine goals scored and only two goals conceded) and they've just re-signed winger Dawson from rivals Eastleigh and striker Mangan who will once again be excellent at this level of football (he follows manager Mellon from League One outift Shrewsbury). However, they're also missing a few important players (striker Connor Jennings and midfielder Steve Jennings are both still out injured, striker/winger Norwood is suspended and key midfielder Maynard is away on international duty with St. Kitts & Nevis) and they've only scored a 93rd minute winner against poor North Ferriby in their last home game, which is why this is only a possible unofficial half-a-point bet rather than an official two-point bet - I want to see the Chester line-up before I pull the trigger here.

Chester were on an amazing clean-sheet run not so long ago (they'd kept as many as seven consecutive clean sheets - 0:0 at Aldershot, 2:0 vs Guiseley, 1:0 vs Braintree, 0:0 at Wrexham, 5:0 vs Dover, 1:0 at North Ferriby, 1:0 vs Torquay), but they're now without a win in the last four (0:1 at Southport in the FA Cup which was a deserved home win, 1:1 at York thanks to  92nd minute equaliser, 0:0 at Macclesfield which would've been a home win on most days as Macclesfield hit the woodwork thrice and, finally, 2:5 to Lincoln which was a proper kick in the teeth after that run of clean sheets), they've only managed to beat arguably the worst team in the league North Ferriby away from home so far (truth be told, most of their away games were draws and not defeats), they have the third worst away attack in the league with only six goals scored in nine away games so far and they have more than a couple of players unavailable or doubtful - midfielder George is definitely out suspended (and both centre-back Killock and left-back Horwood should still be out injured), but I hope they'll also still be withouth their first-choice keeper Roberts and first-choice right-back Vassell. If George (who is definitely out due to his lengthy ban), Roberts (who is most probably out after picking up a knock a few weeks ago which apparently isn't as bad as it seemed) and Vassell (who's only missed three games so far this season, all of which Chester lost, conceding ten goals in the process) are all out, I'm in!

verdict: Chester first-choice right-back Vassell is indeed still out injured, along with first-choice keeper Roberts and suspended midfielder George, so I'm in!

current best odds:

1.70 with 12bet/Dafabet...
1.67 with SBO...
1.63 with Pinnacle, Bet365...

free unofficial last-minute pick coming between 2:40 and 2:50 PM UK time

As I have more than a couple of bets on my last-minute shortlist for today, it's fair to assume that I'm going to take and advise at least one unofficial bet based on late team news, in which case I'll share it here on the blog ten to twenty minutes before the 3 PM UK time kick-off, so between 2:40 and 2:50 PM UK time.

Friday 4 November 2016

October 2016 review

There weren't that many bets in October - only three official picks and four unofficial last-minute picks - so there's really not much to write about, but at least we're off. Fun fact: it turns out I was one goal away from ten consecutive profitable months, which would've been a new record - this way I've only equalled the nine-month run that went on between December 2006 and November 2007.


22/10 NL: (-0.25) DAG & RED - Macclesfield (1.57 @Pinnacle) 2 points FT 1:1 (-1)
22/10 NL: Lincoln - EASTLEIGH (3.45 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point FT 0:0 (-0.5)
29/10 NL: (-0.75) ALDERSHOT - Guiseley (1.76 @Pinnacle) 2 points FT 1:0 (+0.76)

3 picks
4.5 points staked
-0.74 point loss
-16.5% ROI
-1.2% ROC
(advised bank: 60 points)

Of the two asian handicap bets, one was half-lost while the other was half-won - both were half-void. The only outsider bet was close, but not close enough. Those clients who are taking the bets just before the kick-off are only -0.53 point down as the (-0.75) Aldershot odds drifted to 1.97 with Pinnacle by the 3 PM kick-off.


22/10 NL: (-0.75) DOVER - Braintree (2.04 @SBO) 0.5 point FT 6:1 (+0.52)
22/10 NL: Woking - (0) BARROW (1.78 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point FT 1:1 (+/-0)
29/10 NL: Maidstone - (0) MACCLESFIELD (1.79 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point FT 2:1 (-0.5)
29/10 NL: North Ferriby - (-0.25) BROMLEY (1.85 @Pinnacle) 0.5 point FT 1:2 (+0.42)

4 picks
2 points staked
+0.44 point profit
22.0% ROI

A good start (but very early days) with the unofficial last-minute picks, which I expect a lot from in the years to come. The last-minute market is even stronger as Pinnacle limits get a lot (more than twice) bigger closer to kick-off and I've noticed that there's practically no odds movement - at least not yet. You do have to be able to take the bets ten minutes before the 3 PM Saturday kick-off on a regular basis.


7 picks
6.5 points staked
-0.30 point loss
-4.7% ROI
-0.5% ROC
(advised bank: 60 points)


NL: DAG & RED to be promoted to League Two (6.00 @Marathon) 1 point

The current best price is 4.33 with Bet365. Unfortunately, these unofficial long-term bets aren't available with the likes of Pinnacle and SBO.

Btw I'll most probably share an unofficial last-minute pick here on the blog next Saturday (there won't be much action this weekend due to the FA Cup), ten to twenty minutes before the 3 PM kick-off, but I'll also try and publish an unrelated article before that.

Thursday 20 October 2016

the first official 2016/17 picks coming on Saturday

And so it begins - again. The wait is finally over and I'll be sending the first official 2016/17 picks & previews on Saturday.

Maybe not on this first "official" Saturday, but I do plan to share some of my unofficial last-minute picks based on late team news here on the blog, so stay tuned if you might be interested in those. As far as my unofficial long-term bet on Dag & Red to bounce straight back to League Two either via winning the league or via promotion which was taken @6.00 more than a month ago, it's going very well, thank you. The best odds currently available are as short as @3.75 with the likes of Bet365 and Marathon.

Btw I'm working on another article which I'll publish here on the blog next week and I'm also considering doing a weekly round-up of betting news each week. There's always plenty of things going on in this crazy betting world and, except for some well respected twitter accounts, I can't seem to find a location with all the most important and most interesting news in one place.

For starters, I'll do my best to make October 2016 my 10th consecutive profitable month and, obviously, to make the 2016/17 season my 11th consecutive profitable campaign.

Thursday 6 October 2016

unofficial picks update

Last weekend's unofficial bet was void as the game finished goalless, but I might have another unofficial bet or two this week, so if you're interested, tune back in before the Saturday kick-off.

As far as my staking plan for the 2016/17 season is concerned, I forgot to mention the unofficial last-minute picks last time, so here's the full and final staking plan for the 2016/17 season:

advised bank: 60 points

official asian handicap bets (Oct-Dec): 2 points
official outsider bets (Oct-Dec): 0.5 point
official asian handicap bets (Jan-May): 4 points
official outsider bets (Jan-May): 1 point

unofficial long-term bets: 1 point
unofficial asian handicap bets: 1 point
unofficial outsider bets: 0.25 point

unofficial last-minute bets (Oct-Dec): 0.5 point
unofficial last-minute bets (Jan-May): 1 point

Friday 30 September 2016

unofficial pick & preview for October 1

Hi everybody,

As announced, here's the unofficial pick for tomorrow - I'll be taking the bet for one point, so for as much as I take the outsider bets for during the 2nd half of the season. Here's the full staking list:

advised bank: 60 points

unofficial long-term bets: 1 point
unofficial asian handicap bets*: 1 point (*such as this one)
unofficial outsider bets: 0.25 point

official asian handicap bets (Oct-Dec): 2 points
official outsider bets (Oct-Dec): 0.5 point
official asian handicap bets (Jan-May): 4 points
official outsider bets (Jan-May): 1 point


1 October 2016

National League: (0) DAG & RED - Tranmere (min. odds: 1.65) 1 point

No, not every bet I take and advise this season will be on John Still's Daggers, but if you ask me, they're significantly underrated by the bookmakers ahead of their home clash with fellow promotion hopefuls Tranmere. Daggers are the second best home team in the league with five wins (and a one-off 0:2 defeat to Boreham Wood earlier this month) in six home games so far (only Aldershot have a better home record at the moment with five wins and a draw), they've scored as many as eleven and conceded only two goals in these six home games and, as they've conceded both goals in the same game, each one of their five home wins was also coupled with a clean sheet (3:0 vs Southport, 1:0 vs Lincoln, 3:0 vs Wrexham, 2:0 vs Dover, 2:0 vs North Ferriby), they've won both home games against top-nine teams so far (1:0 vs 5th Lincoln in mid-August, 2:0 vs 8th Dover in mid-September) and also all four games since that shock 0:2 home defeat to Boreham Wood (5:2 at Solihull, 2:0 vs Dover, 2:0 vs North Ferriby, 3:1 at Bromley). I've written quite a lot about them in the unofficial long-term bet preview. I don't think Still is going to mess with the winning team, which means we'll probably see Justham between the sticks; Widdowson, Doe, Staunton and Raymond at the back; Robinson and Boucaud in the middle of the park and an excellent trio of Maguire-Drew, Whitely and Okenabirhie behind the league's top scorer Hawkins (ten goals so far) who's scored at least once (and up to three) in each of the last four games, with the likes of Benson, Howell and Assombalonga waiting for their respective chance from the bench. That's a very good team and, let's not forget, a great manager in legendary John Still who's proved many times so far he knows what he's doing - especially at this level.

Tranmere are currently managed by caretaker boss Carden and the new manager most probably won't be in charge of the team even if he is announced before-kick off (which is very unlikely). Carden's won his only game in charge so far (3:1 at home vs Woking) using a new formation (442 instead of the 433 which was what Brabin prefered), but the away game at Dag & Red should prove to be a much tougher task than the home game with Woking. Tranmere have only won two away games so far (2:0 at 20th Bromley on the opening day of the season, 1:0 at 10th Boreham Wood ten days after that, so a month and a half ago), they're now without a win in their last four away games (1:1 at Southport, 1:3 at Aldershot, 0:0 at York, 0:1 at Sutton), failed to score in the last two, they actually have one of the worst away attacks in the league at the moment with only five goals scored in six away games so far, they've lost their only away game played at a top-nine team so far (1:3 at 7th Aldershot earlier this month) and will be missing three key players (striker Connor Jennings who was Wrexham's top scorer last season and midfielder Harris who's only missed a few games since joining last summer are both still injured, while versatile midfielder/left-back Hughes is still suspended) and a couple of very important wingers, Mekki and Kirby, who are both still out injured as well (of these five players, only Kirby has a chance of making it). They did sign midfielder Osborne on loan from Fleetwood earlier today and that's still an excellent team for this level of football (Carden will most probably go with last weekend's winning team, so Davies between the sticks; Sutton, McNulty, Ihiekwe and Ridehalgh at the back; Steve Jennings and Maynard in the middle of the park; new signings Tollitt and Almond on the flanks; Cook and Norwood up front), especially in the final third, but Tranmere did fail to score in three consecutive games prior to the Woking home win, two of which were on the road, and those unavailable players, three of which are key first-choice players, will definitely be missed. All things considered, anything better than 1.65 for this draw-no-bet (we get our money back in case of a draw) looks great to me.

current best odds:

1.82 with Marathon...
1.80 with Coral (dnb)...
1.75 with Betfair (dnb), Sportingbet (dnb)...
1.73 with Pinnacle, Bet365, Ladbrokes (dnb), Skybet (dnb), Unibet, Will Hill (dnb)...

Thursday 29 September 2016

another unofficial pick coming soon

As things stand, I'll most probably have an unofficial pick for one of the upcoming weekend games, so tune back in before the Saturday 3 PM kick-off if you're interested.

I've mentioned less mistakes in the PA National League data reports lately. Scratch that. I've now analyzed all weekend (and one midweek) games and there's plenty of subs and yellow cards missing - again. They've even sent off the wrong guy - it wasn't Jones who was sent off for Woking away at Tranmere in injury time on Saturday. Jones was only yellow carded early in the opening half, which naturally isn't mentioned in the PA data report at all, while Ralph's the one who was sent off (after which Poke saved Norwood's penalty). The report on Woking's official website says so. The report on Tranmere's official website says so. The FA list of National League suspensions says so. You can even watch the challenge and the subsequent (saved) penalty on YouTube. I don't know that much about the Press Association, but surely they'd prefer to have the correct data in their reports, wouldn't they?

Monday 26 September 2016

the good guys

One of my all-time favorite bloggers Cassini is back after a short break.

I hope there were many of us who took the bet on Dag & Red to be promoted when they were @6.00 with Marathon and @5.50 with Bet365. To quote Cassini, "the best available now is 4.0 with Betway or BetVictor who may let you have 50p on if you're lucky".

Although according to some sources, well maybe one source, I run a global betting empire and am behind multiple web sites, I actually have no business relationship with Skeeve so when I say that he has a stellar record over ten years, and that I have no concerns about his integrity, that is my unbiased and honest assessment. 

If you're somehow not familiar with Cassini, you're probably not interested in betting or trading, but you should know that he's one of the good guys in this chaotic betting world, along with the likes of Joseph Buchdahl, Peter Ling, Rowan Day, Greg Gordon and Stewboss, to mention some of the very few. As you can see, he also has a fine sense of humor, which is probably much more important to yours truly than to your average gambler, but I'm not your average gambler - and neither is Cassini if I may try and observe. Anyway, thanks for the mention, Cassini, and welcome back from the Granddad duty!

Speaking of Joseph Buchdahl, I've recently stumbled upon a horrifying Betting Advice forum thread dedicated to a certain (so-called) verification service which was exposed thanks to Joseph and a few other guys. If you ask me, there's definitely a need for a trusted, publicly available verification service (you have to be subscribed to the SBC to receive their profit reports and other publications) since Joseph decided to hang up his boots, but those who I trust the most are already busy with other projects, so I guess we'll have to do with the good old SBC for now and possibly the likes of BetRush who I plan to take a closer look at in the next few days.

Btw I've noticed significantly less mistakes in the PA data reports lately (even though I'm yet to analyze most of this weekend's games). Long may it continue.

Last but not least, there were no unofficial picks last week, but we'll most probably have one (or more) later this week, so stay tuned.

Friday 16 September 2016

unofficial long-term pick

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE to be promoted  (min. odds: 4.00) 1 point

The Daggers have been doing great lately considering all of their injury woes. They're still without a couple of important, but injury prone players - first-choice right-back Williams (hamstring) and first-choice midfielder Guttridge (knee) - but now that the first-choice defensive midfielder Boucaud, first-choice centre-back Robson (who's failed a fitness test on Tuesday, but should be back in the team for either tomorrow's or next weekend's game) and versatile midfielder Howell are all back from their respective injuries, Dagenham & Redbridge shouldn't be @6.00 to bounce back to League Two straight away. Even with first-choice right-back Williams and first-choice centre-back Robson both sidelined (along with midfielder Guttridge), Dagenham managed to thrash Solihull 5:2 away from home on Saturday and then score twice and keep a clean sheet at home against a very solid Dover outfit who had just beaten bookies' favorites Forest Green a few days earlier. Versatile defender/midfielder Staunton who had started three consecutive games following Williams' injury at right-back moved to centre-back, first-choice left-back Widdowson moved to right-back, central midfielder Raymond moved to left-back and there you have a completely unexpected, but very organized back four that even keeps a clean sheet against Dover (btw it was Justham's fifth clean sheet in ten games so far) who had scored at least once (and up to four - on two occasions) in each game since the opening day. Anyway, with first-choice centre-back Robson back from his injury, Staunton will probably return to right-back and Widdowson will probably return to left-back, but it's good to know the Daggers can improvise very well when defensive injuries kick in, even when they find themselves with only one of the four defenders playing in his usual position like in the last couple of games, both wins (update: Daggers have now also signed versatile full-back/midfielder Ling until New Year, just in case). Then we have the two defensive midfielders, Robinson (who Still signed from Luton, which was the club he managed before his return to Dagenham) and Boucaud, who have both been excellent at anchoring the midfield so far this season, with Howell and Raymond ready to fill in if necessary. And finally, behind the league's top scorer Hawkins (eight goals in nine games he's played so far, including two hattricks), we have an excellent trio of Maguire-Drew (on loan from Brighton & Hove at least until January) who's already scored four goals this season, Whitely (who's only recently signed from Ishtmian Premier outfit Enfield where he scored 57 goals in 144 games) and Okenabirhie (who's already scored thrice after joining from Harrow Borough in the summer), with the likes of veteran striker Benson (who's scored 70 goals during his previous spell with the Daggers) and versatile forward Assombalonga waiting for their respective chance from the bench. And, last but not least, you have a legendary manager in John Still, who's already won this league with Maidstone (1989), the very same Dagenham & Redbridge (2007) and Luton (2014). He's also won more than a couple of lower-league promotions, made more than a couple of League Two play-offs (twice with Barnet and once with the Daggers) and holds the record for most games in all competitions (more than 1700) managed by an Englishman. He got his first managerial job more than 40 years ago. If there wasn't for the neverending takeover saga (Dave Bennett has now stepped down as Chairman as he's involved with one of the consortiums bidding to invest in the club), this bet would look even better (the min. odds would be even shorter), but even though the likes of Forest Green, Tranmere, Lincoln and Eastleigh all look like excellent teams this season, these odds are simply too big - anything better than 4.00 for the Daggers to bounce back to League Two straight away, either by winning the league or through play-offs, looks great to me.

current odds:

6.00 with Marathon...
5.50 with Bet365, Betway...
5.00 with 188bet, Skybet...
4.50 with BetVictor, Coral...

Thursday 15 September 2016

more PA mistakes + unofficial pick coming soon

I'm not sure if it's the PA (provider's) mistake or the BBC (client's) mistake, but right after I wrote my latest blog post, I've discovered an absolute champion as far as wrong National League data reports are concerned. I'm talking about a match day eight game between York and Solihull, which turned out to be a very comfortable 4:0 home win. According to the PA data report over at the BBC, the game finished 1:0, there were no substitutions and no yellow cards for York players. In reality, York did score four goals and kept a clean sheet, all six substitutions were made and there were two yellow yards for York players (along with the two yellow cards for Solihull players). You can take a look at the correct data report here. All things considered, please be careful with the PA data reports as far as the National League is concerned.

In other news, we should have an unofficial National League pick very soon and, as I announced, I'll be publishing all unofficial picks in the next five weeks on this blog.

Monday 12 September 2016

the Press Association and the National League


I suppose some of you know that the Press Association stopped providing shots on/off target data for the National League (Conference). As Joseph Buchdahl recently quoted on twitter, "PA has amended its collection agreement with the National League this season to a live goals, cards, corners and subs service. We are not collecting other match stats". In Joseph's one words, "Opta don't collect the data so that's the end of the match stats from the National League".

To those who don't know what Opta is, you can always check them out on Wikipedia, Google or whatever you use these days to check something out and go from there. In a few words, they analyze, store and distribute live sports data - for over 60,000 fixtures across 30 sports in 70 countries according to Wikipedia. Opta appointed the Press Association as the sole UK re-seller of rights to official soccer data from the English and Scottish leagues back in 2013 and, now that the original three-year agreement has come to an end, even though a new deal has been signed as soon as last summer, the things have obviously changed as far as non-league football is concerned.

Anyway, many clients have asked if the whole thing affects my work in any way. The truth is that it doesn't - as I'm focused on the National League only, I'm manually analyzing every single game myself. I've got nothing against publicly available numbers if they're the right ones, but I strongly believe that my edge comes from the data not visible at the first glance. A weak shot on target which would never in a million years fool the keeper simply can't be as important as a wonderful shot that goes inches away from the post, let alone more important.

I've noticed many mistakes in the PA National League data over the last few years and, even though they aren't providing shots on/off target data anymore, they're still making plenty of mistakes with their other National League data. The beginning of the season proved to be particularly challenging as there were mistakes in at least six of the twelve opening round data reports and, even though there were match days with a bit less mistakes, there's still way too many. Let's take match day six game between Macclesfield and Lincoln, for example. Macclesfield centre-back Byrne replaced fellow defender McCombe at half-time. Not mentioned in the PA report. There were actually three yellow cards for Macclesfield players and two for Lincoln players. Not a single yellow card according to the PA report. That happens from time to time unfortunately - the PA data report simply ignoring all yellow cards. Sometimes, though, it ignores some of the yellow cards and reports others, like in match day seven game between Wrexham and York. The PA reported no Wrexham cards and two yellow cards for York players. In reality, there were as many as six yellow cards - two for Wrexham players and four for York players - and one substitution has been ignored as well (McDonagh for Harrad in 86th minute).

If you're still looking for the shots on/off target data for the National League, you can always try and trust The Non-League Paper (which you'd have to subscribe to or buy to access the data), but I've noticed plenty of wrong numbers there as well - and they don't cover the midweek games as far as shots on/off target data is concerned, so you're back where you've started if you're looking for a consistent data source and not just an occasional one, for weekend games only. Also, there are some teams for which you can find shots on/off target data on a regular basis, midweek games included, but if you can get all the numbers for York and only some, recorded by The Non-League Paper reporter, for Braintree, you're once again right back where you've started - forced to either drop the National League from your betting/trading portfolio or quit your job(s) and focus on the National League only.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

is blogging still a thing?

Hi everybody!

It doesn't feel like it's been more than a year and a half since my last blog post, to be honest. I guess time just goes by more quickly as you're getting older. Not fair, but I'm afraid there's not much I can do about it, can I?

What I am going to do is get back to blogging. As I won't be advising official picks before October 22, this blog seems like a perfect place for a few unofficial picks I plan to advise in the next month and a half, some of which might be ante-post bets and those, as far as the National League (Conference) is concerned, unfortunately aren't available with the likes of Pinnacle and SBO - and also for some articles on betting. I can't promise these will be constructive or even interesting, but I can promise I'll do my best.

The first article will be about the Press Association decision to stop collecting some of the National League match data - they're still providing some data, but in a much lesser format (for instance, they're not providing the shots on/off target data anymore), which is why services based on the number of shots will/have probably have/had to drop National League altogether. I think it's an interesting subject and I'll try and get some of my colleagues to join the conversation. The post should be online in a couple of days.

So is blogging still a thing? I'm not sure. Either way, It's good to be back.