Aston Villa and West Ham to score less than 2.5 goals

Aston Villa welcomes West Ham in a match of the 25th round of the English Premier League. Like almost every match in this so close championship this one will also be crucial for the future of both clubs.

Aston Villa is five points ahead of West Ham, which stands on 18th place in the current standings and an eventual victory will allow them to open up a comfortable gap of 8 points ahead of the relegation zone.

This almost certainly means that Villa will remain among the best teams in England for the next season, something that would hardly be said about West Ham if they lose.

West Ham’s manager Sam Allardyce knows that better than anyone else and certainly is already trying hard to arrange his team in the best possible way in order not to lose this match. We all know that when against Aston Villa plays a team led by the the big Sam this surely means a dull, gray match with pounding of the ball and low performance by both teams.

This is why the first thing a bettor should do is to look on the proposals of the bookmakers for Under 2.5 goals scored by both teams in this match.

Bet365 gives good value for this prediction, as they offer 1.8. Bet-at-home offers 1.75 and William Hill only 1.73. The best offers are for 1.9 with the bookmakers BetVictor, SBOBET and Stan James.

However, we should have in mind that the statistics of the last ten matches between the two teams at Villa Park show that only four games have ended under 2.5 goals. Also important is the fact that in their last five home matches Aston Villa has scored 6 goals while West Ham in their last 5 away matches – 5 goals.

However, the proposal for Under 2.5 goals at odds of 1.8 with bet365 seems to me good enough to be taken and I am going to do it.

Betting tips for Australia v Spain: Predicted line-ups & essential facts and stats

Predicted line-ups:

Australia: Ryan, Spiranovic, McGowan, Wilkinson, Davidson, Bresciano, Jedinak, McKay, Leckie, Oar & Halloran.

With Australian World Cup hero Tim Cahill suspended, coach Ange Postecoglou will choose between Matthew Leckie or Adam Taggart.

Spain: Reina, Alba, Ramos, Martinez, Juanfran, Alonso, Xabi Alonso, Iniesta, Koke & Villa & Torres.

Predicting the Spain starting XI is almost impossible. Will Vicente Del Bosque hand the youngsters (e.g. Koke) a chance or will it be the last hurrah for the old guard (Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Xavi)? What seems certain is that Gerard Pique is out injured and Cesc Fabregas brought the wrath of Del Bosque down on himself for a poor attitude in training.

Betting Tip:

Both Australia and Spain come into their final games at the World Cup with differing feelings despite the fact both sides have tasted defeat in every game played so far in Brazil.

For Australia, two losses was not unexpected and the fact the Socceroos pushed both Chile and Holland to the final whistle with almost a completely unheralded squad has been celebrated.

La Furia Roja meanwhile have experienced the tournament from hell as the second favourites to win the World Cup crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. Conceding more goals in two games than they did in the last three tournaments.

So, what to expect in Curitiba?

Well, the pressure is off, and this match plays serious second fiddle to the other game in Group B between Holland and Chile which will decide the winners of the group.

Australia are without Tim Cahill who has undoubtedly been their star of the show in Brazil and his volley versus Holland will live long in the memory.

The Socceroos will try hard but it would be a surprise were they to get anything out the game.

Vicente Del Bosque looks set to carry on as Spain boss and this game will likely be a farewell to some old stars, who have won everything and the youngsters who a different team can be built around.

At his pre-match press conference, Del Bosque confirmed Pepe Reina would play in goal whilst Xavi was unlikely to make it. Andres Iniesta will win his 100th cap.

Either way, Spain should have way too much even if the game is played at the pace of a glorified pre-season friendly.

Prediction: Australia 1 – Spain 3.

Some essential facts and stats to help with online betting on Australia v Spain:

The last time Spain lost both their opening games at a World Cup was in 1950, also on Brazilian soil.

Australia have lost four out of their last five matches.

Up until Mile Jedinak scored a penalty against Holland, the only Australian in the squad to score a World Cup goal was Tim Cahill.

If Xavi plays for Spain in what will be his final appearance, it will be the Barcelona schemer’s 134th national team game. Up until now, Xavi has played in 100 victories.

Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets – 2014 NBA Playoffs Round 2 Series – Betting Preview and Prediction

Series Scores & Schedule

Game 1 – May 6, 7:00 PM ET Brooklyn (+7) at Miami (-7); total 193.5 – view all NBA lines

Game 2 – May 8, 7:00 PM ET, Brooklyn at Miami

Game 3 – May 10, 8:00 PM ET, Miami at Brooklyn

Game 4 – May 12, 8:00 PM ET, Miami at Brooklyn

Game 5 (if necessary) – May 14, 7:00 PM ET, Brooklyn at Miami

Game 6 (if necessary) – May 16, Miami at Brooklyn

Game 7 (if necessary) – May 18, Brooklyn at Miami

Betting on the Miami Heat

As expected, the Miami Heat coasted through their first round series assignment, sending the Charlotte Bobcats out of the Playoffs in four games.

In the next round, the Heat will face a more daunting opponent in the Brooklyn Nets, a team that has arguably given the defending champions the most trouble in the regular season. The Heat lost all four regular season match ups between the teams this year, but all were one-point games. The Heat are still heavily favored in this round, at -550.

Of paramount importance for the Heat is finding a way to clamp down on Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. The duo averaged 19.5 PPG and 21.3 PPG, respectively, in the two teams’ four meetings this season.

Another key point for the Heat in the series is rebounding. Already beaten by the Bobcats in the rebounding department in the first round (159 to 147), Miami’s big men could be in for another stiff battle beneath the boards as the Nets had outrebounded them in their regular season matchup, 40.3 RPG to 34 RPG.

The Heat are 3-1 ATS in last four games.

Betting on the Brooklyn Nets

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Brooklyn Nets

The Nets four wins over the Heat were big this season. They plan to add four more in the playoffs, but it is a tall order to be sure. The Nets are priced at a valuable +425 to make it to win the series and make it to the Conference Finals.

Unlike Miami, the Nets needed to pass through the eye of the needle to reach the second round of the Playoffs. They took the full route in the first round, beating the pesky Toronto Raptors in seven nerve-wracking games.

The Nets survived the first round series with Deron Williams playing inconsistent basketball, and they’ll need more from its starting point guard against the defending champions. In three losses to the Raptors, Williams averaged only 12 PPG, while he put up 20.5 PPG in wins.

With Pierce and Johnson certainly the top priorities of the Heat’s defense, the Nets’ supporting pieces should step up to lessen the pressure on the two shooters.

Kevin Garnett found another level in Game 7 of the series against Toronto, as the grizzled veteran came up with his best performance in the playoffs thus far, tallying his first postseason double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The over is 5-1 in the Nets’ last six road games.

Writer’s Prediction

A well-rested Miami team will strike first in the series, beating the Nets in convincing fashion. Take the Heat to cover the -7, too.

Calculating Sports Betting ROI (Return on Investment)

Return on investment is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. To calculate ROI, the return of an investment (or in this case, the profit earned from your sports betting system) is divided by the cost of the investment with the result typically being expressed on this website as a percentage.

ROI is perhaps the best way to analyze the success of a betting system and, for this example, we will assume a risk of $100 on each bet. We will start by taking your net profit and dividing it by the total risk. For example, if you created a system that had 500 games played and you won 25 units off of it, your sports betting ROI would be calculated thusly: (25 units X $100) / (500 games X $100) = .05. This number is typically viewed as a percentage, so this system would have a return on investment of 5%. Essentially we have taken the gains from our bets and then divided that by the total cost of investment — or the amount of money we have put at risk.

One of the reasons this number is so important is that is helps us determine if a system is truly profitable. In baseball, there are often systems with losing records because we take to many underdogs with plus money. This means that we can not use winning percentage as a metric of success, but we can determine our return on investment by dividing our units earned by the number of games we have wagered on.

We noticed you’ve been spending some time at the Sports Insights Betting Academy lately, and you seem A LOT smarter than you were before, so we’d like to remind you to try Sports Insights today for just $49. Put your now-superior sports betting skills to work winning some cold hard cash.

The advantage of being a value bettor

Most of the bettors around the world assess the strength of the teams based on their own understanding of which of the two teams is stronger. Then they bet if the proposed by the bookmakers like bet365, William Hill and bet-at-home odds satisfy them.

These players generally bet on the favorites in a match and rarely back the underdog, because the weaker team generally rarely wins. However in betting this is a wrong approach, which leads to losses for all who use it.

Where is the catch? The bookies (bet365, William Hill, bet-at-home, etc.) know that most of the players will bet on the stronger of the two teams and to get equal distribution of the made by the players bets on the proposed rates, they place a higher margin of these teams. So the chances of the favorite to win a match are seriously overvalued, while those of the outsider are underestimated.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we all should start betting for the underdogs, because it will not bring us profit in the long term. However, it means carefully to estimate and calculate the odds offered by the bookmakers. We need to convert them into a percentage probability and based on it to assess whether it is worthwhile to make a bet or not.

Note that betting on the underdog if the probabilities are good in the long run is not a bad bet. If after a number of bets we are still at a profit, what can be better than that? Of course, the same applies to bet for the favourite. If after making a certain number of bets we find ourselves at a profit, that’s great.

This is a method for betting which is called value betting and it is something that a punter has to learn if he or she wants to be successful.

Back Manchester United to beat Newcastle at 2.02

It has been a Premier League season to forget for Manchester United, with Opta telling us that the champions are now guaranteed to finish with a lower total than in any of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 21 campaigns.

It is United’s dreadful home form that has been the major factor behind this as they actually have the best away record in the Premier League – with 30 points from a possible 48 – and I fully expect them to make that 33 from 51 on Saturday afternoon against struggling Newcastle.

Alan Pardew’s men, who have failed to score in 10 of their last 14 league games, come into the game on the back of two heavy defeats against Southampton and Everton during which they barely laid a finger on the opposition and it is hard to see them get anything out of United.

The one glimmer for Newcastle – possibly reflected in the generous price for Man Utd – is that the visitors may be tired after an energy sapping game against Bayern Munich in midweek, but David Moyes will be able to freshen the team up with the likes of Juan Mata and Darren Fletcher and I don’t see it being a factor.

Back Aston Villa @ 1.97 to beat Fulham

I made the mistake of backing an unreliable Premier League outfit last week (Sunderland since you ask) and I fear I may be doing so again by plumping for Aston Villa in round 34 of the battle.

Just five home wins from 16 Premier League games does not set a particularly inspiring standard, but at nearly even money to beat a woefully out-of-sorts Fulham at Villa Park I have to get them onside this week.

Yes, Paul Lambert’s side have been pumped 4-1 in their last two games but they were good enough to beat Chelsea and Norwich by a combined scoreline of 5-1 in successive home matches before those recent reverses and they should get the better of Felix Magath’s struggling side.

Villa took the lead at Old Trafford last weekend, had plenty of chances (most of which Christan Benteke missed) and really should have made it closer than the bare result suggested.

Fulham are 1.19 to be relegated and, though I risk stating the obvious, must win this and probably five of their last six if they are to escape the drop. But they haven’t shown many signs of winning recently and provided Villa are motivated they should have enough to get past the Cottagers.

Poisson distribution isn’t the solution in sports betting

One of the most popular ways of betting on football matches is to use the Poisson distribution and to compare the results you get with the proposed by the bookmakers like bet-at-home, William Hill and bet365 odds.

Unfortunately, the most popular in betting is not always the most successful. It has been proved that it is difficult to achieve betting success depending purely on the statistics. However, here are some details on how you can use this statistical method for your football betting.

One of the most important things before using the Poisson distribution for betting is to find the required number of data and criteria for how many goals would be scored by each team in the match. At the end you should have numbers like home team – 1.78, away team – 0.73 and so on which to apply to Poisson distribution.

When you have the relevant assumptions about the number of goals scored by the home team and visitors in the match, it’s time to apply them to the Poisson distribution. How does it work?

In general, the process is simple and after a few tries it will be automated so you would need less than a few minutes before every match.

What you need to do is to estimate the probability of each team to score the certain numbers of goals. Thus, calculating the probability for the hosts not to score a goal, to score once, twice etc… and the same with the away team you will have all the needed data.

When you are ready and you have the probabilities for every number of goals to be scored by both teams, you need only to mix them into a single table that covers all possible results to get the chance of each result to happen. Having this database it is only necessary to compare the proposals which the bookies like bet-at-home, William Hill and bet365 offer with your data and bet on those bets where you may have a gain in the long run.

How do you find betting value? – The Think Tank – Part Two

What sports offer the best value?

Are there sports or leagues that provide better value in terms of betting? Our tipsters hold a range of perspectives on this question.

Toni77 says the best value is in football markets, you just have to seek them out. “I think that football matches can offer some nice betting value. I know that many don’t agree with this but I believe that if you spend enough time searching for the right match, you will find great betting value.”

Buffalo likes the value in the lower leagues too and says “The bookies concentrate on the big leagues because that’s where the most money is placed. The bookies and their experts tend to use all their resources in compiling the odds for the most well known sports and leagues. But what about lower league football, how much do the compliers know about Russian division 2 football or English tier 5 or 6 football? The list goes on and not just in football, but in tennis, darts, golf, in fact any sporting event that is a little obscure. There’s very often value in these types of less fashionable events and a little research and faith in the stats can reap dividends.”

Profitt however raises a difficulty when it comes to betting on good value prospects in the more obscure competitions. “Lower leagues can be good value as bookmakers don’t have enough information for these leagues, but the problem is that those betting markets typically have low limits. They’re not for high rollers.”

LaKukaracha however has some concerns when it comes to betting on football, particularly at the lower levels of competition. ”To me football has the lowest value, probably because it’s the most popular and we all see that ”strange results” happen more often than in other less known sports, specially in those less known leagues.”

Meanwhile, Zeljko says the value is to be found in what you know best, whatever sport or league that might be. He says “Every sport offers value to people who can recognise the difference between fair odds (I.e the chances of a particular team winning) and the actual odds offered in that betting market. If someone is interested in curling and knows that sport in depth, then I have no problem in finding value bets there.”
What sort of bets offer the best value?

Anyone who has opened an account with an online bookmaker will have discovered the daunting range of betting options now available. Head to head, handicaps, totals, in-play and exotics, do any of them have hold greater potential profitability?

Buffalo isn’t so sure about Overs and Under’s and remarks “The over/under market for me is to unreliable, and not one of my favourites. If you notice my activity on BE you will see I invariably go with the 1×2. It’s what I know and what my own rating method is geared towards.”

Ahkel prefers handicap betting. “Handicaps offer more flexibility. There can sometimes be an in-between eg -/+0.25 or -/+ 0.75. This is a slight advantage that can give you the edge when it comes to a tight game. And in the long term the difference is obvious.”

Profitt however suggests it’s more about the value in the betting market than the actual bet type itself.” It’s more a question of the percentage payout by bookies. The average is 92% return but it’s possible to find 96% or better, and the value should be found right there, no matter what type of bets we are looking for. For example: it’s very hard to find a value when we have odds 1.83 on both sides when we bet on 2-way head to head or handicap.”

Zeljko agrees with Profitt and adds that value can be found in more exotic bet types. “The more fashionable the bet – the lower the margin, so for some 1×2 or over/under you can find margins of only 2-3%, meaning 98% return. Then again, you can also find huge value on some ‘fun’ bets because betting houses may forget to factor in something that has a huge impact on those events.”

Maradona1 also suggests that a great way to bet is to take odds on one side of the action pre-game and bet against that side while the game is in-play, particularly in basketball point totals. He explains “If a game starts in my favour, then during the game I have the opportunity to close this bet by betting against the side I initially took. But with one big difference from head to head bets. How? Well, let’s say I took Over 195 points in a particular game. If the game starts very well for me then the line could possibly move upward of 202 points. At that moment I take the Under for the same amount of money or less. Betting like this gives me a chance to make a profit not just for a sure win, but also the possibility to double my profit as I have taken the over 195 and the under 202 and the game could well end up with a total in between 195 and 202 points doubling my profit.”

How do you find betting value? – The Think Tank

There are a number of things a serious sports bettor needs to have a talent for to be successful longterm. Possibly the most important of these is the ability to consistently identify value in the betting marketplace. But how do we find betting value? In the first of a new regular feature here on the BettingExpert Blog entitled The Think Tank, we will be asking the sharpest of betting minds in the BE community how they find betting value, where they find it and what sort of betting they believe to offer the best value.
Where is the value?

One of my firmest beliefs in successful sports betting is having the ability to go against the public. Some of the ugliest bets on paper are often the most profitable. And many in our BE community of tipsters agree.

Our Ice Hockey expert LaKukaracha says” Finding value is about looking for good odds in games in which you have a good hunch and not playing those teams with slim odds where everybody considers them a sure bet. Say Manchester plays against Everton and the odds are 1.35 on Man United. No value in my opinion.”

Toni77 agrees and says “In my opinion, the underrated teams are all over the betting markets and the true betting value is in finding those teams.”

Our basketball expert Maradona1 also sees no value in betting on the big clubs of Europe. He says “We can almost always find value in matches involving the big names in European football such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd, and especially this season in matches involving Chelsea, Bayern and Inter. They are always big favourites when playing at home against “small teams” and more often than most people would realise, they have trouble coming away with a win in these games.”

One of our best football tipsters Zeljko follows this up and suggests “The odds we see from bookies are not based on actual probability percentages but they are rather based on punter’s bias toward a particular team. So in my opinion when the public is betting on one team and consider that team a huge favourite – take a deeper look at the statistics. That’s where you’ll find the value.”

Others believe that key to finding value is having quality information at hand. One of our most experienced tipsters Profitt says “We can find betting value when we possess some sensitive information, like for example when we find out that there may be a lack of unity within a particular team or that an important player may be missing due to injury.”

Our tipster Buffalo takes a statistical and analytical approach to finding value.”I always rate a match, race, event myself and do not rely on ratings from sites on the internet or newspapers. I love the statistical side of betting, even more so than the actual placing of a bet. I created a horse racing method which rates the horses in an upcoming race using past data, and I use the same kind of ratings for football and other sports.”

Meanwhile, Ahkel takes a situational approach to finding value. He says “Sports betting can at times be very situational. For me its about 30% statistical analysis and 70% situational analysis.”