The Alex Buchanan Diary – 16/04/09

Posted on April 17, 2009 by  

Not my usual blog this week, as I am having a much needed break in the sun, but here is something to mull over in the meantime………………………

So Who Exactly Is Bodo Glimt?

Actually, the question should be “who are they?”, as the European football experts amongst you will know that they are a Norwegian side who finished 4th in their league championship last season.

If you have spotted that in fact they are known as Bodo/Glimt with a slash, then perhaps you need to get out more, unless of course you’re Norwegian, in which case I might have expected you to spot my deliberate mistake.

For the uninitiated, Bodo is the name of the town they hail from, and Glimt is their nickname, so I suppose it would be similar to Bolton Wanderers being known as Bolton/Trotters. Can’t imagine that catching on, except maybe with opposing fans!?

Where is all this leading, I hear you ask? What does this have to do with betting strategies and the like, and when are we going to get to the point? Very soon, and an interesting experiment awaits you to, as you plot your path down the road to profit.

Football crazy as I am, since the tender age of about 7 or 8 back in the early 90’s (!), I know my Valencia’s from my Valenciennes and my Lazio’s from my Lyon’s – or do I? Despite keeping an interest in most of the top leagues in Europe, as well as almost all of the domestic divisions, do I really know enough to be potentially squandering my hard earned cash by gambling on them?

Well, probably not, but using the strategy I’ve adopted, I find myself betting on around 20 different leagues every week, often multiple times. Of those 20 leagues, as well as the associated cup competitions, I reckon I could call myself pretty much up to speed with what’s going on in 2 or maybe 3 of them. The English Premiership is hard to avoid on these shores and beyond, and it does provide some great football, and then there’s the SPL, which sadly does not, but for my sins and for emotional and historical reasons, I keep a close eye on as well.

Then we have The Championship in England, and Scottish Division 1, both of which I’m tuned onto most of the time. I probably watch on average, a couple of hours of La Liga football each week as well, so I like to think I’m on the ball with that also. But, in reality, I’m not really. Outside of the big two in Spain, who dominate the coverage in this country, I’m unlikely to know much about what is really happening. If a middle or lower half team had an injury crisis, or even sacked their manager, then I probably wouldn’t even pick up on it. If something similar happened in the Premiership or the SPL, then I’d be aware of it within hours.

So does this mean that I should restrict my betting interest to only the leagues which I know most about?

Many would argue, with some merit, that yes, you should only gamble on something you have a fairly in depth knowledge of. Would find it difficult to put up a strong argument against that theory, would you not? I probably would as well, except that in my experience, I’m not so sure it matters.

That’s why I think it might be interesting to see how other people got on, if they were to place their usual bets, whatever they may be, on matches in a league which they know nothing about.

As I’ve said, I gamble on over 20 competitions across Europe, and even more if you include the European close season, where you have to cast your net much further to find a match to bet on. Isn’t it great – the only true global sport living up to its reputation by serving up matches somewhere in the world every day of the year?!

So I do best in the leagues I know well, right? No. Ok, so surely I do worst in those leagues where I know absolutely nothing, and pick purely at random, based on the price ranges I use? Wrong again.

I could split my bets into three categories, in terms of how I choose them. The smallest category is based on my knowledge of the specific league and teams, and I choose purely using that supposed expertise within my pricing boundaries. I would say this includes 4 of my 20 leagues (including associated cup competitions also).

Then, bets in the middle category are selected with the help of recent statistics, looking at form, league positions etc, but without knowing much at all about injuries, suspensions or the like. This probably accounts for about 10 more of my normal weekly gambling areas.

Finally, there are the leagues where I have no knowledge at all, and I deliberately make sure that I avoid the temptation out find out about them as well. I choose randomly, using only my pricing structures as a guide. 6 of the 20 are chosen like this.

Obviously, my P&L is ever changing, but at the time of writing, the performance of these three categories is quite interesting.

Thankfully, all three are in profit, but the one which is doing best of all, with 52% of my profits at the moment is category 3, the random one. Next, on 42% is category 1, knowledge. Lagging badly, with only 6% of my profits, is category 2, form.

I don’t have nearly enough data to be able to clearly state that I should adopt or disregard any of these picking methods any more or less, but currently, it certainly appears that using form guides without any real background knowledge, isn’t working very well.

And, given that it is doing better than anything else, maybe I should just choose randomly across the board!

So why not have a go yourself, using small stakes obviously, and pick a league or two that you know nothing about, and compare the results with your normal footie bets. I would be really interested to know how you got on, so please post a message up if you can.

And, with the end of the domestic season not far off, and no major international championship this summer, you might be able to avoid those withdrawal symptoms that many of us have, by having a punt on our new friends Bodo!

Take a look at the Danish League Division 1, the second tier league (even I haven’t ventured that far yet on my gambling globetrot), and you’ll see a team called Skive!! Not making this up. They don’t sound like the hardest working team around, do they?! Probably worth a lay!

Speak to you again soon.


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