The Weekend Wager

Posted on January 23, 2010 by  

Welcome to this the latest Weekend Wager free betting column produced courtesy of the team at the Secret Betting Club

Each and every Friday we bring together some of the finest betting experts to give you some of the best tips, advice and guidance to help you out with your next 7 days betting.


1. Mike Says
2. The Next Week In Betting
3. Herbie Goes Racing
4. The Winabobatoo Weekender
5. Skeeve’s Non League
6. A Little Birdie Says..

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1. Mike Says..


In this column, Secret Betting Club founder and professional gambler Mike Bishop discusses some of the weeks most topical betting issues.

With the ongoing inclement weather over in the UK, there has been plenty of pages filled in the absence of racing about the latest Racing For Change proposals.

I touched on some of this recently when discussing their most proposal to decimalise betting odds. I have to say I am all for this as for me its high time racing joined the decimal world that we now all live in.

It was interesting to talk with one of our Secret Betting Club contributors this week as he is involved with the Racing For Change board at the moment. This group is looking to change the image of racing and introduce lots of new proposals, but is up against some rather stiff opposition.

Some of the complaints do appear to be more out of self-preservation rather than the good of the industry. It reminds me of the old joke (Apologies in advance to you fine folk in this area) – How many Yorkshiremen does it take to change a lightbulb? ….Change!, CHANGE! We wont be having any change around here!

I noted some of the responses with interest. The Daily Mirror didn’t like what they suggested much and Peter Thomas from the Racing Post is especially against proposals to offer free entry to university students, in order to get them ‘hooked’ on racing.

Surely encouraging interest in the sport is a good thing for its future? To me it is, as long as its about nurturing involvement in racing as opposed to selling cheap lager. Of course, drinking often goes hand in hand with a race meeting. However, there’s a big difference between letting your hair down and the all day session that leaves some racing towns like a war zone come the end of a day.

Racing, no matter how much it doth protest does have a very particular image to the wider public. Most people when you tell them your a professional gambler and bet on horse racing, still do conjure up images of visiting smoky bookmaker shops and the strange guy with the deerstalker hat who was once on Celebrity Big Brother.

The reality these days is far different from that and is more about following a professional strategy and making a real discernable edge over the bookie. For me, If anything needs to change, its the image of racing in general. I draw the line at Simon Cowell and a Jockey X-Factor show though!

At the very least, Racing For Change will get people talking and debating about what needs to be done to improve this very popular form of betting. I would be interested to get your thoughts on this, feel free to email or tweet me!

Until next week…

Mike Bishop
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2. The Next Week in Betting


Mike analyses the forthcoming betting opportunities over the next week and highlights a few bets he feels offer value.

FA Cup weekend once again and we may well see some Premier League teams take the tournament more seriously now that both Man Utd and Liverpool have been knocked out. A few of the teams beneath the big 4 are worth looking at to win it outright, including Spurs (13/2), Man City (6/1), Aston Villa (9/1) and Everton (16/1). I actually don’t think there is a great deal between these 4 teams at the moment so the larger odds on Villa and Everton to me look more value. Of course we need a kind draw and a spot of luck but I expect both to get through to the 5th round this weekend.

In terms of the actual 4th round, a few ties jump out at me. It looks the ideal opportunity for Owen Coyle to sneak his first win at Bolton and they are a best priced 1.84 with SBObet to beat Sheffield United at home. The one concern for me is if Coyle plays a weakened side, considering the relegation battle they are in. This is the type of game where I might wait until 2.15pm and once I know the line-up will place a bet accordingly.

Elsewhere, I also fancy a resurgent Everton to see off Birmingham at home at 1.85 with Expekt but as I am backing them outright at 16/1, I might not double up on them.

One game Alan Hansen wont relish watching is Portsmouth – Sunderland as it features 2 teams who cant defend. Over 2.5 goals is a largish looking 2.12 with Pinnacle Sports, which might be of interest. I doubt this one will be first on ITV’s highlight show come Saturday night!

Only the one Premier League game tomorrow with Man Utd not playing in the 4th round of the FA Cup for the first time in decades. Their dubious reward for this is a home game against Hull, where they offer no value at a best 1.17 with Paddy Power. United flattered to deceive against Burnley last week and look a lot weaker than in recent years, If Leeds can win at Old Trafford, than what chance Hull at 25/1 with Betchronicle?

As for the Cricket, England may have lost the final test and drawn the series but my 8/1 and 5/1 bets on Colly and Swann to be top English bat and bowler won so I am fairly pleased with myself. The next English action is the tour of Bangladesh in a few weeks time, minus a tired Andrew Strauss (who has 12 out of the next 15 weeks off – nice work if you can get it!).

Whatever you bet on this coming week, good luck!


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3. Herbie goes racing


Herbie Fogg is the Editor of Key Racing News, a unique horseracing information service, which is free to join. Racing news…with a difference.

The Victor Chandler Chase (G1), 2.40pm Ascot 23rd January

Not a race that lends itself to trends profiling as it was formerly a G3 until 2008. Since then we had Tamarinbleu mug Twist Magic with a front running display on soft (gets further and never came back) and normal service resumed last year with Master Minded.

It’s a bona fide target for Twist Magic who is happiest on a stiff galloping right-handed track. He’s especially effective at Sandown and Punchestown and of course there’s no particular reason why that should not extend to Ascot. By all accounts they’ve tweaked his regime to good effect at Ditcheat and have him in career best form, which seems a fair assessment judging by his efforts this term. The ground seems sure to be testing and he handles that.

If you want to try and pick holes in something it’s probably easier to crab Petit Robin. He raced on soft as a juvenile but has been kept to a decent surface ever since. He goes OK here (2nd to Master Minded last year) but the ground is a concern and in the past he’s been best fresh. In general you also would assume he is thought of as better on a flat track. It’s all a trifle tenuous – if he handles the ground with aplomb and stands up to his racing, he could be a real handful. But there are questions to answer and at the prices you could think about taking him on.

Of the remainder, given the course and conditions, it’s possible to make a case for any of several to chase Twist Magic home, from: Well Chief, Fix The Rib or Cornas. On the form book it would be the ultra-consistent Well Chief who has a decent record on soft at testing venues, although he did find it relatively hard work at Sandown recently. It would be no surprise to see any of these bob up with a sterling effort and you could probably do worse than simply pick the one at the biggest odds, if inclined towards a crack at the Tote Exacta.

Twist Magic / Fix The Rib, 1pt win (Tote Exacta)


Elsewhere some of these races look like a bookies benefit, however given the way he went through soft ground at Newbury, it may be difficult to deny Advisor in the 1.30 at Ascot. Barwell Bridge was the better horse on the flat but seems unlikely to be as comfortable in these testing conditions.

Over at Haydock, the long-awaited 2nd reappearance of Punjabi, last seen travelling like a dream at Cheltenham when clearly needing the run. Someone up there must have it in for Cape Tribulation; Zaynar, Go Native and now Punjabi in 3 sittings. That said, a left-handed galloping track on soft is ideal for him, and he gives us a nice line of comparison with Zaynar for the Cheltenham ante-post market.

Finally, it’s best not to underrate Cloudy Lane at Haydock at around 3 miles in testing ground (all wins over fences have come on left-handed galloping tracks). He had a nice prep, just needing the run and has been set up nicely for another crack at this off 1lb higher than 2009. The 2010 renewal looks a classier race though, and at the weights an obvious improver is Howard Johnson’s Prince De Beauchene, who has had a nice break after a hard race on reappearance and will be better suited by a left-handed venue. His inexperience is a concern but this race is invariably taken by an improver and the yard is going very well.

Prince De Beauchene 1pt win

Bon chance,


Visit Key Racing News

4. Winabobatoo


Winabobatoo are English Premier League, Football League and Scottish Premier betting experts. Using their own excellent football system to often ‘Win a bob or two’ for their members, they are penning an exclusive Weekend Football Guide to help with your bets every Saturday and Sunday.

Winabobatoo Weekend Football Guide

Profitable betting requires that we bet when the odds are in our favour. At certain times there are added variables that make correct assessments particularly difficult. Three situations spring to mind: Early season before teams have gelled together, Cup ties where anything can happen, and the present spell where the weather has been affecting matters.

Examining the last point: Rotherham entertained Darlington on Tuesday night; Rotherham are 5th in the league, Darlington are 24th and bottom. The home side had played 10 home games this season and had not been beaten. Darlington had played 11 away games and hadn’t won. Result? Rotherham 1, Darlington 2. The cause of the upset could well have been the fact that neither team had played since 12th December.

There is some evidence to suggest that teams who reappear quite quickly after a comeback game don’t perform to their normal levels as well. Huddersfield had been on a long break before winning last weekend, but a quick reappearance on Tuesday brought a 0-0 home draw against Bristol Rovers. Huddersfield had been averaging three goals per home game prior to drawing a blank on Tuesday.

Cup ties: I never bet on Cup matches. There are two reasons for this: Firstly, it is very difficult to compare the abilities of teams from different divisions as there are very few collateral form lines. We might assume that a team like Leeds, at the top of League One, will be better than Championship bottom club Peterborough, but are they as good, as or better than, 13th placed Middlesbrough?

If we based our assessment on Leeds’ win at Man Utd, we would probably say they were better than Middlesbrough, but then again, since their Old Trafford win, they have drawn at home to Wycombe, lost at home to Carlisle, and been beaten at Exeter!

The other Cup factor is that lower league teams tend to punch above their weight. It is quite often their Cup Final and they can raise their game for a one off match. Sometimes the attitude of the higher league side can be questionable. These factors make predictions very difficult.
I give all Cup matches a miss and just stick to league encounters. But the league encounters are still trappy at the moment due to recent weather lay offs.

I expect to get my betting slips out for next weekend’s games but for the moment, I believe in the old adage that a bet saved is as good as an even money winner, is the best policy. No bet can quite often be the best bet.

I have some free downloads available from my website if you fancy a spot of further betting reading.

Until next Friday, have a very good week.

Mike Lindley

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5. Skeeve’s Non League


Skeeve is our resident non-league football betting expert who each week shares his best advice for this weekend’s domestic lower league action.

Hi everybody,

Another postpoment last weekend, let’s hope it’s time for another winning bet – most non-league teams were forced to take a break recently and it’s very important to stay careful for at least another week or two. The break definitely didn’t help some of the teams and December form doesn’t mean much at the end of January. Here’s one of the four bets I’ve sent to my clients a few hours ago.





Cambridge – (-0.25) YORK 2  (2.16 @Ladbrokes) 3 units

Cambridge are not doing good, that’s four defeats and a draw in the last five (1:3 to Stevenage, 1:2 at Mansfield, 1:4 at Stevenage, 0:1 to Eastbourne, 2:2 vs Eastbourne in the FA Trophy) and after losing to Eastbourne in the league, their manager had to be satisfied with a draw with the very same Eastbourne in the FA Trophy this Tuesday. So no, Cambridge aren’t very good at home lately and it was 2:1 for York when they played away at Cambridge less than two months ago in the FA Cup. York are doing very good on the other hand, they’ve managed to grind out a goalless draw at Newport in the FA Trophy (some of their key players were being rested), they have eleven wins, two FA Trophy draws and an FA Cup defeat at Stoke in the last fourteen games, eight consecutive Blue Square Premier wins (3:2 vs Chester, 1:0 vs Ebbsfleet, 1:0 at Wimbledon, 1:0 vs Gateshead, 1:0 at Rushden, 2:1 vs Wrexham, 3:0 vs Mansfield, 4:1 vs Hayes) and an amazing attack (Brodie, Gash, Rankine, Pacquette). I’d most probably take 2.00, so of course I’m taking 2.16.

(2.10 at 188bet, 2.07 at SBObet btw, 2.06 at Pinnacle, 2.05 at Bet365 and Victor Chandler…)

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6. A little Birdie says….


Roger Green of the Birdie Golf tipster service is the latest contributor to the Weekend Wager. Previously supplying advice under the Tipping Legends banner, he has been providing golf tips since 1987 and has spent his entire life working in the golf industry.

With Tiger Woods taking time out, reportedly receiving treatment at a ahem… certain ….addiction clinic (I don’t get the opportunity to suffer from this condition !), it is well worth looking at the World rankings.

He has dominated for the last decade, but he may be out of the game for some time. Have others a chance of catching him ?

Currently Woods is on 554 points, followed by Mickelson on 343, Stricker, Westwood, Furyk, Harrington, Stenson, Ogilvy & McIlroy.

Betting markets are suspended at the moment, but I will be monitoring the situation, as any prolonged absence from Tiger, will see his rolling points rapidly reduced. Without Woods, any leading player winning two majors would be bang in contention, and without exception any of the chasing pack could pull this off.

I hope the info below gives you an insight into how the World rankings are calculated.

The Official World Golf Ranking, which is endorsed by the four Major Championships and the six professional tours which make up the International Federation of PGA Tours, is issued every Monday, following the completion of the previous week’s tournaments from around the world.

The official events from the six professional tours together with the Canadian, OneAsia, Nationwide and European Challenge Tours are all taken into account and “Ranking Points” are awarded according to the players’ finishing positions and are generally related to the strength of the field based on the number and ranking of the Top-200 World Ranked players and the Top-30 of the Home Tour players in the respective tournaments (Event “Rating Values”).

However, the four Major Championships are rated separately to reflect the higher quality of the events together with the Players Championship in the United States. In addition, the BMW PGA Championship in Europe, the Australian, Japan and South African Open Championships and the Flagship events on the Asian and Nationwide Tours are allocated higher minimum points levels to reflect their status.

The World Ranking Points for each player are accumulated over a two year “rolling” period with the points awarded for each event maintained for a 13-week period to place additional emphasis on recent performances – ranking points are then reduced in equal decrements for the remaining 91 weeks of the two year ranking period.

Each player is then ranked according to his average points per tournament, which is determined by dividing his total number of points by the tournaments he has played over that two-year period. There is a minimum divisor of 40 tournaments over the two year ranking period and a maximum divisor of a player’s last 60 events.

The winners of the Masters Tournament, the US Open Championship, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship are awarded 100 points (60 points for 2nd place, 40 for 3rd, 30 for 4th down to 1.50 points for a player completing the final round), and the winner of the Players Championship is awarded 80 points (points are awarded down to 1.20 points for 60th place and ties).

The BMW PGA Championship has a minimum 64 points for the winner (points to 56th place).  Minimum points levels for the winners of official Tour events have been set at 6 points for the Canadian Tour (points to 6th place), 12 points for the European Challenge Tour (points to 14th place), 14 points for the Asian, Sunshine and Nationwide Tours (points to 17th place), 16 points for Australasian and Japanese Tours (points to 19th place) and 24 points for European and the United States Tours (points to 27th place).

In addition the Open Championships of Australia, Japan and South Africa have a minimum of 32 points for the winner (points to 37th place) and the Flagship events on the Asian and Nationwide Tours have a minimum of 20 points for the winner (points to 22nd place). In the cases of co-sanctioned Tour events, the minimum points levels are determined using the “average” of the minimum Tour ranking points from each Tour (rounded up to nearest whole number).

Points are reduced by 25% for tournaments curtailed to 36 holes because of inclement weather or other reasons
Thanks for your emails. As always I will reply, but usually takes a couple of days. For any info or details of how to join birdie golf please contact me at

best wishes

That’s all for today! Have a great weekend…

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