John Duncan

Missed A Bullet Or An Opportunity?

The quarter finals begin on Thursday 30th and I will take a look at the Poland v Portugal game on Wednesday. So that’s it for a few days after this blog. Anyone for tennis!

The final game yesterday (Hungary v Belgium) was the first game so far in the tournament to actually get to 4 goals and I didn’t trade it in the end (sorry about that) but I did watch most of the second half . The question is, did I miss a bullet or an opportunity? Probably a small bullet in truth but I will talk you through what I imagine I would have been thinking through the game had I been trading it.

I should start by saying that the result was no surprise to me whatsoever and you can get that, I’m guessing from the pre-game blog and previous blogs covering Belgium, not to mention that my money’s on them to win the tournament, (as you’ll see below). Belgium were always going to be a real test for Hungary and I would be trading it knowing that.

I have to make some assumptions as to market and odds as I wasn’t on the game. The market odds in the first half would have been the first thing to consider. A pretty early first goal would have crashed the AO odds some but where were the odds at half time? As it was still 0-1 at half-time, my feeling is that they would have returned to at least where they started or may even have been slightly higher.

However, they could have been slightly less and, to a degree, this is irrelevant anyway. Either way, my trade here, had I been on the game, would have been a 0-1 lay (obviously) after the goal and I very much doubt I would even have considered backing AO, so I would have taken my full AO liability onto the second half (less the reduction from the 0-1 lay).

As to how big the 0-1 lay would have been – well, it was a 10 minute goal to a hot favourite with a game expectation of potentially a big favourite win but we have seen the Euros produce little after a goal time and time again so, the 0-1 lay would have been a pretty small one in terms of the dent it would have made in AO but at what odds?

I have to assume odds of 6 or more on market re-opening after goal 1 (my guess would be between 6 and 7). They may have been smaller but I think that would be a good guess. They would certainly have been dropping again as the game moved closer to half time. I can imagine perhaps then looking closely at AO and wondering if this game was going any further or stalling at that point and deciding that I would do nothing UNLESS AO had gone out to a point where I could back it to green without creating too much of a liability on 0-1.

The ideal, of course, would have been a situation where 0-1 hadn’t been layed and you could back AO leaving that and 0-1 green. Frankly, I doubt that would have been possible in this game but I don’t know for sure.

With goals 2 and 3 coming at 78 and 80 minutes, pressure then would have been building to reverse 0-1 (had I layed it) before that. The secret here would have been what was happening in the game? I saw the second half (well most of it from about 55/60 minutes on) and Belgium were all over Hungary but Hungary did keep trying to counter attack. Given that and given a small loss on 0-1 if it stayed, I would have taken a bit of a gamble on 0-1 and let it run on accepting a loss there if necessary.

After goal 2 with goal 3 coming so soon after, it is quite possible that a 0-2 lay would not have been made. It could be that the market would have stayed in flux between the two goals. A 0-3 lay though would have been possible at pretty low odds given that the game had 10 minutes to run after that. But, nevertheless, a large enough lay on 0-3 to get you out of trouble on AO would have taken a lot of courage and wouldn’t necessarily be the right call.

I would have layed 0-3 to leave some green still on 0-3 electing to leave still a large(ish) AO deficit and therefore, it would now be a game in danger given a 4th goal to Belgium and I would be facing a loss that I estimate to be between 30% and 50% of my original AO liability had it gone to 0-4.

Looking at the pressure Belgium continued to apply right up until the end though, I would have been looking closely to cash-out with a view to cashing out as soon as my “loss” was guaranteed as trivial. I define that personally as anything from -£10 to -£1. Given that the final goal came (as they so often do it seems) in time added on, then I feel pretty sure that a cash-out would have been possible for, at worst, a small overall loss but at best perhaps green or a tiny, tiny profit.

I’m going with a small loss. I’m pretty sure I could have got out with a -£5 loss. I would have looked at my position on the day and tried to keep the day in the black even if it were by pennies. But I would have settled for an overall (small) loss on the day. As I didn’t trade this game, I ended £5 and some pennies up over the two games I did trade so that’s why I would have settled for a -£5 loss on the Belgium game and I am pretty sure, I could have got that.

I can, of course, only speculate here because you can’t see the cash-out details if you have no bets in play but experience tells me that there would have been options to exit for a very small loss at least providing you still had some money on 0-3 (don’t forget, a lay on 1-3 was always possible once 0-3 was the score-line).

In a way, I wish I had been on this game now, as it would have been an excellent training ground to put up as a blog and I am sorry I wasn’t from that point of view, even though I had it down as one to be cautious with. But I was enjoying a very nice Sunday meal with my family and, contrary to what you might think, I have never been a slave to betting and trading. Far from it, indeed, I do it when I want to do it because I want to enjoy it.

On the good news side though, I did do the German game and that could easily have been a 4 goal finish as well and equally served, I believe, as a good training scenario.

Well, one thing is for sure, I have renewed my belief that Belgium could very well be the tournament winners and, as you can see below, I do put my money where my mouth is. Incidentally, having backed Belgium to win when they underperformed and lost 0-2 to Italy in the first group game, I backed them at odds of 19. I then layed them at odds of 9.8 just to make sure that I couldn’t lose on this bet.  I am now seriously considering another lay to put a £10 plus win on everyone but I just need to really assess what I think Belgium will do against Wales first. After all, if Belgium beat Wales, then the odds could drop to around 3 or certainly 4.

winners

 

 

Update: Germany v Slovakia

Germany were certainly up for this one; a goal at 8 minutes, almost another at 13 minutes (when Oezil missed a penalty), and then the second goal at 43.

With a 3rd goal to Germany at 63 minutes I very much expected the first 4 goal result of the tournament and, again, this very much followed my expectation of the game. Having decided to trade this (even though I was a little reluctant to do so) I knew I had to protect my AO liability. Again, I indicated that it would be wise to do so in my preview write up.

So, here’s the quick run down:

I lay AOHW to start it all off for £6 at odds of 10.50 pre-game and follow that with a 0-0 lay of £4 at odds of 10. To give extra protection to AO (which I always expected to be a possibility in this game) I backed 3-0 and 3-1 before the start for £2 each to create a boost to those two positions. I don’t often do this but occasionally I feel it is wise to create a little insurance this way or, as an alternative, you can do this sometimes by backing over 3.5 goals (not good enough odds for that in this instance). So I created a £10 middle pot reduced to £6 because of the “insurance”.

I layed 1-0 and 2-0 when Germany scored their first 2 and, frankly, I should have gone a little heavier on 2-0 than I did but I knew I had a good measure of cover with the extra pots created on 3-0 and 3-1.

When 3-0 came at 63 minutes I layed that for £15 and also layed another £4 on 3-1. From then on I started to think about cash-out. Straight after the 3rd German goal, this didn’t look as generous as I was hoping with an absolute loss of nearly £10 so I continued with my nearly -£30 liability on AOHW for a little while longer. But it wasn’t too long before this dropped to below -£5  on cash-out and then -£4 and I soon took the cash-out option leaving just under -£4 everywhere.

I then waited a little while longer and layed 3-0 a touch more to take the loss there to -£5.50 but put AOHW into a small profit again. The 4th German goal would have left me a few pennies in profit but it didn’t come, I lost -£5.52 but I was still £5 in profit over the two games so far today and, more importantly, I followed golden rule number 1 and protected my AO liability first and foremost.

SP is about winning overall, not on every game. And I still may get something out of the Hungary v Belgium game if I do it.
2 26 6

Update: France v Republic of Ireland

This game serves as a good reminder about how expectation can help you so much when trading. Many of you probably wonder why I have been bothering to declare my feelings about how a game is going to go in advance of the game itself, after all, it would have been easy for me to save myself some work and just do the “after game” bit.

Hopefully though, this game (and others previously, and maybe some to come) will clearly show you the reason that it is important to have an expectation of where the game is going to go. This enables you to take the best action you can as a game develops. Of course you are not always going to get it right but you must start somewhere with the basics of a plan so that you can react accordingly.

With this France v Ireland game I expected 2-0 to France but expressed that the Irish could get a “shock” goal. When Ireland got a very early penalty awarded in their favour, this crystalised (reinforced if you like) my feeling that the game could well end 2-1 to France and so I decided that I would lay the current scoreline of 0-1 to Ireland and then do nothing else unless I felt I had to reverse that decision (back 0-1 again later in the game) or my AO liability really started to look threatened.

Neither of those things happened but I was moving towards a point where I would have had to turn the game to a loss by backing 0-1 at lower than desirable odds, when France equalised at 59 minutes. The odds on 0-1 were just dipping under 4 at this point and I was going to take action at 3.2 or 3 to reverse.

The screen image below shows the story and once it was 1-1, I had no intention of doing anything else. It ended 2-1 to France, right in the zone I had anticipated when I wrote the brief preview.

1 26 6

27th June Games Round-Up

I traded nothing on Saturday 25th June. There simply was no possibility at any time in any of the games to do so. Switzerland v Poland went all the way to penalties after a 1-1 result (Poland winning in the end). Wales beat Northern Ireland 1-0 following a 75 minutes in and Portugal scored the only goal in their clash against Croatia in the dying moments of extra time, just avoiding penalties.

Croatia not beating Portugal was the big disappointment for me.

Moving on, here’s my quick overview of the 2 group of 16 games on Monday 27th June.

Italy v Spain.

Odds:

These two are seen as quite closely matched but Spain are the favourites. The odds do not currently support an ASP trade

Conclusion:

On the one hand, it is hard to argue with the view that Spain should win but I can;t call this one really so I am going for 0-0 normal time result with a late goal in extra time or even a penalty shoot out. If it goes to penalties, Spain should win. otherwise, I have no real clue.

England v Iceland.

Odds:

The odds, as they inevitably should, show England as favourites and an ASP trade is made possible by reasonably attractive AO odds.

Conclusion:

All the pressure, of course, is on England but I think now, surely, they must have settled in enough to get serious with Iceland. I believe England will win and I think they will keep a clean sheet. 2-0 to England is my prediction but I can see our lads finally breaking down this resolute Icelandic wall of a defence and opening the floodgates. I will keep a wary eye on my AO liability if I can get to trade this one.

26th June Games Round-Up

Here’s my quick overview of the next 3 games in the round of 16 that are being played on Sunday 26th June.

France v Republic Of Ireland.

Odds:

Well this one does already appear to have the odds in place to do an ASP trade. But you have to watch the market close to the game to be sure with all of these. Right now there are attractive AOHW odds combined with not unattractive 0-0 odds. The correct score market, as is often the case, favours 1-0 currently (no surprise there).

Of course this particular piece of information is largely irrelevant because the market very often favours 1-0 over anything else in a big International competition simply because of the highly competitive nature of such things. The formula is simply: “Who is likely to win?” Followed by an attempt at assessing by how much. The safe call is always to say “well the favourite will get a goal”.

A better way to interpret odds is to compare over 3.5 goals with AO. If under 3.5 goals reads 1.4 or higher, then the market isn’t totally convinced about it being under 3.5 goals. If that combines with an AO figure of less than 10, then you absolutely need to watch out for a goal rush.

BUT, when all is said and done, the market cannot get it right all of the time.

Conclusion:

France are currently still the tournament favourites, marginley, over Germany. However, the Republic of Ireland have been heroic in their campaign and not least with their astounding 1-0 defeat of Italy. I didn’t see the game but understand that Ireland absolutely deserved their win.  If you can beat Italy then you can beat France perhaps? But the French do have home crowd advantage and, without doubt, more flair on the attack and I wouldn’t read too much into Switzerland holding them to a 0-0 draw in their last game.

If Oliver Giroud is back in the French team (and I would be stunned if he were not) and Pogba and Payet are also playing then I think the Irish will struggle and so I see either 2-0 to France or 2-1 if Ireland can really pull out the stops and surprise France with a goal. I also still think it is quite possible that Giroud will figure in the top scorer contest.

It is hard, at this stage, to imagine France not getting to the final, let alone the next round.

Germany v Slovakia.

Odds:

No surprises here at the moment either in the market. AOHW is in range and 0-0 is looking OK. Once again the cautious market suggests 1-0 as favourite score-line currently but in this instance, 2-0 is very close. The difference is that Ireland are seen as highly defensive and difficult to breakdown, making the French task harder, and Slovakia are seen as a little more open making the German task easier.

Conclusion:

I can actually see one of those big games from Germany. I can see 3-0 and whenever I can see 3-0 I have to assume that AO could be threatened. But, this tournament keeps surprising me and Slovakia totally surprised me when they held England to a draw. When I watched Germany play Northern Ireland I was stunned that they scored only once and felt sure that having finally broken down the defence and got past the brilliant Michael McGovern in goal, they were going to open the floodgates.

It seems perhaps strange that I said “finally” after all, the goal came in 30 minutes not 90; but Germany had absolutely battered the opponents goal mouth already by then. Slovakia, I feel will be a different story and will buckle under such attack more quickly.

Hungary v Belgium.

Odds:

Again, the same story as with the two games above but with a slightly more cautious set of AO odds to the favourites Belgium. This is not surprising given the (almost) take down of Portugal by the Hungarians in the last game with that incredible 3-3 result.

Conclusion:

Belgium are a very talented side and I still don’t think they have shown us what they can do yet. They barely scraped a win from Sweden in their last but I understand (sadly didn’t see it so can’t talk first hand) that the game was free flowing and lively with plenty of chances both ends. It does seem though that there is a striker problem in the Belgium squad at the moment or, to be more precise, lack of striker.

I have liked Belgium’s chances from the start but they haven’t impressed as much as I had expected and Hungary, in contrast, have been nothing short of spectacular so a shock could be on the cards here for sure. My prediction though is a win to Belgium with a result of 1-2. I firmly believe that they haven’t even got into second gear yet striker or no striker.

Hungary managed one win so far against a very disappointing Austria. They also managed a stunning 3-3 draw against Portugal. But Portugal are all about one man (Ronaldo of course) and he pretty much saved Portugal from defeat against Hungary. Yet the Hungarians with all their gusto and flair could not beat Iceland.

Now I know that Iceland have had a bit of a fairytale tournament but, nevertheless, they should be beatable. Let’s face it, we need to think they are comfortably beatable otherwise England are going to have yet another of those horrid tournaments when they come up against Iceland on Monday.

So my conclusion from all of that is that Belgium will be the team to finally show us that Hungary haven’t quite got what it takes to go any further even though they have been one of the more impressive sides in the tournament up to now.

One of the most difficult things to do with any International football is to be able to genuinely appraise how good a team is when they haven’t been tested against the best opposition. Often, strange as it seems, a team needs to be up against a team it perceives to be better than or at least equal to itself to play their best otherwise they underestimate and often pay the price.

The round of 16 is a different story from the group stage. The mathematical game ends and it becomes win or bust. Now they have to show their talent as well as their guts and there is no safety net like a 3rd place qualification to ease the ride. 16 will become 8 and the 8 will need to be good enough. The underestimation of the opposition tends to be less in evidence. Everyone that you play now wants to go on and win the whole thing, whoever they are.

25th June Games Round-Up

So now it gets serious as we start the round of 16 and the good news for us is that a team has to win to go through. The bad news is that it could now go to extra time or even penalties if 90 minutes isn’t enough to decide. I will make this round up brief as, to be honest, there is little to say about the market expectations in all 3 of the games being played tomorrow except that the markets still expect to be surprised.

The round of 16 draw has ended up rather lop-sided it must be said due to England and Spain not winning their groups as expected. As a result, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and England have all ended up on the same side of the draw.

Switzerland v Poland.

Odds:

Right now on the day before the game, the odds are a total no go for ASP and it would take, at the very least, a goal in the first 5 minutes to make AO a possible lay. I have been known to start a game with a 0-0 lay, but it isn’t a good idea really without having a counter-balance to make getting back out of 0-0 easier if required. That counter-balance of course is an AO lay. You need a very certain expectation of goals to start with 0-0 on its own.

Conclusion:

 

No real clue. Pre-tournament I would have said Switzerland to win but now I could see it going either way and that makes 0-0 in normal time a distinct possibility perhaps even likely. Just so I have something down, I’m going to say 0-1 to Poland.

Wales v Northern Ireland.

Odds:

Surprisingly (for me anyway) this one isn’t looking likely as an ASP trade either but any goal in the first 30 minutes could bring AO into play. I wouldn’t be confident in trading after a goal in this game though and I expected AOHW (Wales) to be low enough to trade. It is far from that.

Conclusion:

I have to fancy Wales to win this one based on their performance so far overall but we know the guys from Northern Ireland will be no pushover and, yawn, sorry to be a bore, but 1-0 once again would be my best guess as to the end result.

Croatia v Portugal.

Odds:

Nothing doing again at this time. These odds could change but the exchange is going to be pretty cagey about most games now as the expected dominance from certain teams, pre-tournament, hasn’t materialised. It is very unlikely that I would find an 8pm Saturday trade a possibility anyway.

Conclusion:

 

I would have been 100% certain that Croatia would win this game right up until Portugal played Hungary. Now I’m just pleased that England did not end up drawing Portugal in the round of 16 games. That said, I still rate Croatia and I think they could cause problems for Portugal and I would certainly love to see Croatia win. What little we can deduce from the market currently seems to be suggesting a 1-0 to Croatia result or possibly a normal time draw.

I am not convinced that even Ronaldo will be enough to bring Portugal through and I am going with the 1-0 to Croatia prediction that the market (currently) favours.

 

22nd June Update

I’ve had an email about the 22nd June games and what I did on the day and I was going to quickly cover this in the next preview blog that I am about to write but figured it was probably tidier to cover it separately especially as the Portugal game was such a good one and (I’m embarrassed to say) such a missed opportunity for me.

First off, I will start by saying I traded none of the games on 22nd June in the end.

The 5pm games simply didn’t appeal and the Iceland game didn’t qualify at all with huge AO odds on offer. Although there were good AO odds on the Hungary v Portugal game (AOAW was around 11 at kick-off time) I simply couldn’t get a fix on the game in my mind and so after much too-ing and fro-ing in my head I left it alone.

I wasn’t around for the 8pm games but I did have a brief look at odds on these at around 7,30. Sweden v Belgium looked like it might have worked on odds but Italy v Northern Ireland seemed out of the question as far as odds were concerned. Either way, qualify or not qualify, I had to go out so I have no real idea how the games moved in play. The end results tell me that, at best, anyone trading them would have been in and out again with (at best) very small profits. It was very satisfying to see Ireland beat Italy of course.

Hungary v Portugal, An Observer’s Perspective

Part of me expected a big game from Portugal that could easily lead to them getting 3 or 4 goals and part of me was insisting that they were just basically not up for the fight and this could easily be a bore draw – how wrong I turned out to be about that possibility. In the end, there is no doubt, my indecision cost me a great trading game as, form the first kick, it was non-stop action.

Am I sulking about it? No; you will see me (may have already seen me) say that if it doesn’t feel right to you, then don’t do it and this goes to show that I don’t always get it right but at least I follow (most) of my own advice.

I would not have been surprised at a win to Portugal of pretty much any score-line once it started even though I actually expected a low scoring affair beforehand.  I could not have imagined the 3-3 end result that we saw though, and the beautiful way it unfolded.

As the game progressed I could feel myself cringing because I had talked myself out of a stunner. It was ASP heaven and I didn’t get involved! More to the point there was no sensible entry point having not got involved from the beginning really. Why was it so good (or should have been) so good to trade?

Well, had I traded it, I would have started with a reasonably good stake on AOAW of at least £5 or £6 at odds of 11 and at least half of that stake on 0-0 . When Hungary went 1-0 up that was just wonderful from a trading perspective as it allowed a lay on 1-0 (against the flow of your AO liability) and the odds to lay 1-0 were around 6 shortly after the goal. I wasn’t watching the exchange like a hawk but I saw enough to see that a 1-0 trade was available at that level almost immediately after the market settled and it soon dropped a little more into the 5’s.

There and then you could have also traded back out of AOAW if you were so inclined or in anyway nervous. Certainly at 35 minutes or so, the AOAW odds were good enough to trade out with a profit. Of course, I would not have done that. Having layed 1-0, a 1-1 next step was on the cards as was a 2-0 to Hungary. Portugal, even when 1-0 down, always looked like scoring it must be said and 1-1 seemed very likely to me. Their approach from the start in this game was completely different to what it had been in the two prior games.

Sure enough, shortly before half-time, it was 1-1 and it looked like Portugal might finally be starting their Euro 2016 campaign in earnest. Another lay here on 1-1 would have been a no-brainer and by now the middle would  have been building nicely. As a matter of fact, without a doubt, I would have layed 1-1 quite heavily here as both sides were creating goal-scoring opportunities and Portugal, particularly, finally looked hungry (pardon the pun) for a win.

What could then have been better than another goal to Hungary early in the second half? Very much against the run of play Hungary struck again and a lay opportunity at 2-1 presented itself. Given that it did seem to be against the run of play I think, again, I would have gone in quite heavily here but I appreciate that it’s easy being wise after the event when you weren’t actually financially involved but my thought process through the game may have some merit for you nevertheless.

The reply to 2-2 from Portugal wasn’t long after and this could have been a stress point in the game for anyone hesitating about a 2-1 lay. Too much hesitation there would have seen the market suspend before a 2-1 lay got on. I would have been straight in again with another lay on 2-2 for one simple reason. Ronaldo. He actually looked as if he was going to take over this game completely by now and I could see him putting in more goals. In fact, in the end I was surprised that he scored only 1 more but, what a cheeky goal it was with his little back heel flick into the net!

When Hungary went 3-2 up I was stunned. I expected the game to go to 3-2 but the other way around and again, what a beautiful lay opportunity. In fact, given that the lay levels were sensible at 1-0, 1-1, 2-1 and 2-2 then the 3-2 lay should have seen any AO liability killed off and 3-2 still showing (at least) scratch if not a small profit. Of course, it is entirely possible that it was all green by 2-2. This really was as good as it gets, a laying bus that stopped everywhere on route! The only surprise in the end was that it did finally stop at 3-3.

I was trying to think after the game where, if anywhere, a trade could have gone wrong (accepting that, of course, they can always go wrong). What I mean is, where were the specific pressure points? I already mentioned above that the time between 2-1 and 2-2 wasn’t that generous so undue hesitation here could have skipped a lay. There is no way anyone watching the game though could not be expecting more goals at that stage.

I wondered whether there could/would have been hesitation to lay at 3-2 but, again, I concluded no, as the action was still flowing fast and furious and when Ronaldo struck again and made it 3-3, even then, I figured more goals were coming. Would I have layed at 3-3? Possibly but only if that lay didn’t put me in trouble in the event of it staying 3-3; but given all the other opportunities along the way, I doubt there would be any way I could have been in trouble at the 3-3 stage in reality.

So there you have it. Big opportunity missed there by someone who should know better but, then again, my gut said no and I follow my gut.

 

21st June Update

I missed the 5pm games completely. Life got in the way and I had to take my daughter out, what a cheek!

I guess it’s hard to be a total slave to football but I’m sure I didn’t miss too much. Looking at the 5pm results I am pretty certain that there would have been no opportunity to trade the Ukraine v Poland game anyway and I suspect that, had I traded Northern Ireland v Germany, I would either have just taken whatever profit I was able to create on AO and 0-0 at full time and left it at that or added a small 0-1 lay that I would have later reversed. So maybe I missed a little profit from the German game but not to worry.

I have no idea what the games looked like but highlights later suggested that the Irish were heroic against Germany, especially the goalkeeper, Michael McGovern. I did manage, fortunately, to get back in time to do something on both the 8pm games though.

Czech Republic v Turkey

Produced a surprising early goal for Turkey at 10 minutes which allowed me to lay AOAW for a quick £5. The odds were borderline for an in-play move of that nature (16) but, honestly, could you ever see Turkey scoring 4 in any game? I couldn’t. I saw it as a reasonable call. After the goal I waited for the 0-1 odds to fall to a more reasonable level and then decided that I would risk a lay on 0-1 for the chance of taking profit up from just under £5 to just under £7. If I needed to reverse that I had plenty of time left in the game.

That doesn’t seem like much of a worthwhile increase but, let me tell you, if you took your average game profit up from (say) £4 to £6 that is a 33% increase in profits so for me it is sometimes worthwhile and I started to actually watch the Turkey game on another screen after that to see if they were going for it and I saw that they were and so were the Czechs. My play here was that I would write off all profit and return the game to scratch (by backing 0-1 again) if I needed to later.

I didn’t need to, there was a second goal around 65 minutes. I would have had to reverse the 0-1 pretty soon thereafter if there had not been another goal but now I was home and clear. I had, in truth, expected it to be a Czech Republic equaliser but shock of all shocks, the Turkish team produced a 2nd goal. Was 0-4 a possibility then? It’s always possible but I couldn’t see the Czech Republic throwing in the towel like Turkey did against Spain so I still felt comfortable and I certainly wasn’t going to lay 0-2 at that stage.

Croatia v Spain

I think I must be one of a very small number of people who were not surprised that Croatia beat Spain. I have fancied Croatia to do well from the start and have said as much in previous blogs. What did surprise me some was that they were able to do it without Luka Modric and all credit to the manager for having the guts (assuming he had a choice) to leave Modric out.

From a trading perspective it was easy enough. The odds, perhaps surprisingly, given that so many “experts” were already calling Spain tournament favourites, on AO were just a little too high for me to get involved from the start so I waited. Spain obliged and started early by scoring within the first 10 minutes (how good to see two games that started out positively).

I quickly layed AOAW for £8 and 0-1 (at a bargain lay price of around 6.5) for £5. At no time did it even cross my mind that this game would move into AO territory. This set me up with a nice double figure green in the middle. The best possible next step then happened when Croatia equalised just before the half-time whistle. But I could not see the game stopping there and 1-1 dropped to a fantastic 3.5 to lay. This meant that I could lay 1-1 to add profit on another goal going in and still keep profit of over £5 on 1-1 as well.

It looked very much like I was going to have to settle for the £5 profit (not the end of the world as I was already looking at that plus a little on the Turkey game) until the wonderful 3rd goal arrived making it 2-1 to Croatia in the 87th minute. A tidy little £15 plus profit to more than make up for the lack of profit on the 5pm games.

Czech v turkey P & L 21st June Croatia v Spain P & L 21st June

 

22nd June Games Round-Up

I decided to do all 4 games in the one blog as, once again, we are seeing markets at the moment that aren’t fully formed with some of them.

Hungary v Portugal.

Odds:

Correct score market not yet fully formed but likely to be low odds on AOAW (Portugal). 0-1 and 0-2 shaping up to be market favourites. ASP trading on this match could be possible but Portugal’s poor form might, in the end, keep AO high.

Conclusion:

Portugal could go out with a draw and certainly would if Hungary were to beat them so Portugal must win, plain and simple. Sadly, even with an under-performing Ronaldo, they are more than capable of doing so and the win will take them through. I suspect another very close, low scoring event that will end 0-1.

I may trade this one as I expect at least a goal, although I can see it coming late in the game. All will depend on odds though. I’d need to see 12 as a maximum on AOAW.

It is interesting to note that any one of 3 teams could still win this group (Austria can’t, even with a win now) and any of the 3 could also end up second. It is also worth noting that, if Portugal were to draw with Hungary, then, depending on goal difference they could be England’s opponents in the round of sixteen. Historically, it could be argued that Portugal have become a bit of a bogey team to England so I hope that isn’t the case.

Iceland v Austria.

Odds:

Doesn’t look likely as an ASP trade and 0-1 to Austria at the moment is the market favoured end result.

Conclusion:

Iceland could actually win the group IF they beat Austria and the Hungary v Portugal game is a draw or a win to Portugal but iceland would need to score 2 or 3 goals to do it. The more likely outcome if Iceland won is that they would come second and be England’s opponents in the next round. I would rather draw Iceland than Portugal for sure.

Austria have yet to show what they have been capable of on past results so I predict a win for them and agree with the current market prediction of 1-0.

That result would give them 2nd place if Portugal lost to Hungary or drew with Hungary and a probable 3rd place with a chance of qualifying as one of the 4 best 3rd placed teams if Portugal were to beat Hungary.

Italy v Republic Of Ireland.

Odds:

Again, market not really formed and so too soon to conclude. In reality though, there is little chance of Italy not being hot favourites and I suspect AO odds would be low enough to trade this one using ASP.

Conclusion:

3-0 to Italy would be my prediction.

They will not find the Irish guys a pushover but there isn’t enough talent in the Ireland team to cause Italy any problems and the Irish don’t score too many. Having said that I cannot help but recall their 2-2 draw against Slovakia in March (albeit in a friendly) so they can clearly do what England failed to do yesterday.

Bottom line is that, barring a miracle, Ireland are out of this and they will need to beat Italy to have any chance of surviving into the next round. Even with an unlikely win against Italy it could only be a 3rd place qualification for the Republic of Ireland at best.

Sweden v Belgium

Odds:

The still to be fully formed market is leaning towards Belgium and that is no surprise as Belgium showed a little of what they are capable of against the Republic of Ireland last time out. AO odds could be good enough to trade ASP and the market is currently suggesting a 0-1 win to Belgium as favourite.

Conclusion:

The result against Italy could be seen as a case of big tournament jitters for Belgium and I certainly haven’t written them off yet.

Sweden need to win to get a shot at 2nd place in the group. A draw in this game could still see Belgium through in 2nd place.

I think a 0-2 end result in Belgium’s favour is on the cards.

20th June Update

 

No trading for me. The England game yielded no opportunity to get involved and Wales had two goals in pretty quick order in their game and I had pretty much decided to just enjoy watching the games anyway but…

Why can’t we score? Roy quickly reversed his decision not to play Rooney (which was good) but I think we missed the opportunities created by Walker in his absence. I don’t really know what to say about England in all honesty. If you can’t score goals against Slovakia then how can you possibly expect to get even close to winning the Euros.

We’ve managed to qualify (2nd in group) so that, I guess is something but Wales have put us to shame on the goal-scoring front and it is England hat are supposed to have the great strikers. Big competition nerves? I know England beat Wales but on last night’s showing, did we deserve to beat them? And if we did, why then make such a meal of Slovakia?

Whatever  else, well done Wales and what a brilliant performance and I am so glad that Gareth Bale was able to get one of the goals and make himself equal favourite in the top goalscorers betting.

I almost came into the Welsh game for a trade at 0-2 ( if I had I would have layed AOAW and 0-2), having not seen a sufficient drop in AO odds to get in at 0-1, but I decided that there was a danger of Russia dropping their heads and crumbling so decided against it. In the end it would have been a good call as long as there was no early panic to lay 0-3 too heavily after the third goal. I am certain that an exit with a profit on cash-out would have been available at 75 minutes to 80 minutes anyway.

 

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