Why I’m not following any Football (Soccer) tipsters this year

The EPL season starts this weekend and the lower leagues have already begun. I love Soccer, it’s my favorite sport to play and watch. This will be the first season I won’t be following any soccer tipsters. Over the last 6 years I have placed 16,666 bets, that averages out to 7.6 bets every single day for 6 years straight.

This isn’t to say there are no good soccer tipsters out there. It is that there are no good tipsters to work around my particular situation. There are more than results to look at when figuring out if a tipster is going to be right for you.

To this day there is only one tipster I would feel comfortable following, but sadly the timing of release means I can’t. Football Investor is that service. A well run service with fair odds recording and good long term results.

Let’s have a quick look at my overall results since day 1.

allsoccer2010to16

I have bet a total of $9,624,302.00 and made a loss of $46,343.04. A negative 0.48% return on investment.

Looking at the graph, it is not the worst one I have ever seen, I spent more time in profit than in a loss. There were two stages where it looked like I had figured it out and things were going great. But there is no smooth line, it looks like pure chance to me.

Those are just the betting numbers, but there are many other factors that go into following tipsters. I have to take into account the time invested in placing and recording bets and the stress generated when losing runs happen.

Soccer betting was easily my most time consuming sport. As mentioned earlier, with 16,666 bets, that means months worth of data entry, months worth of finding and/or waiting for the best odds, months worth of placing bets and months worth of recording results. Not to mention the fact I would sit up and watch all the games.

Each week I would spend at least 4-5 hours on soccer betting (just placing and recording bets). Let’s say the season runs for 8 months. That means I would spend 160 hours a year or a total of 960 hours over the past 6 years. We can double that number to 1920 hours when we include all the watching and other activities. That works out to waking up at 6 am and working non stop till 10 pm every day for 4 months straight. But to make matters worse, all these games usually started around midnight my time.

Why overseas tipsters don’t work for me

Each person has their own particular circumstances. We all live in a certain location, we have a certain bank size and have certain commitments.  All of these factors will determine if you will be able to follow a tipster service.

Let’s look at location. I’m based in Australia and all these services are UK or European based. This means they release their plays when I am asleep. I remember the first few years, I would get up at 3 am in the morning to make sure I was able to get on. I’m too old for that now and value my sleep more than anything (anyone with a kid would know what I mean).

As we know, by betting early when less knowledge is in the market, we give ourselves a better chance to beat the closing line. But the trade off is that the limits available are a lot lower and prices will move very quickly. As my profits and banks grew over the years, it was impossible to get my bets on at a fair price early and prices would be slashed in seconds as others beat me to odds (and not because I was getting slower in my old age, but my location added to my disadvantage as I would receive emails a few seconds after most, as they had an ocean to travel across).

Last year I took all these factors into consideration and followed my own combo system. It used 4 separate tipsters (two of which have stopped now). When at least 2 agreed on a bet, I would bet on it. It made a tiny profit at a 0.6% ROI. The system had some merit to it and those results were achieved betting late into the market. The majority of bets were placed in the last half an hour before game time and the only places that would take a decent bet were Pinnacle, the exchanges and the asian books.

Even if I was in profit with soccer betting and could follow the combo system again this season I wouldn’t. While it was fun staying up until 4 am every Wednesday and Sunday morning and chatting to a mate doing the same thing, it’s effects on me are evident. My Wednesdays and Sundays were complete messes. I’d get up well after midday and not do much. This may be a coincidence, but I have also put on close to 15 kilos in the last few years and boy do I suck in the big ones when playing indoor these days :).

As life happens, priorities change and some things have to be removed to leave room for the more important things. For me that is family time. So while I will miss the highs and lows of following soccer tipsters, right now they just don’t fit into my life.

What this also means is that I am now only following Sportpunter models. Year 7 will be the first time ever I have only followed one service (something I should have done a long time ago). This means a lot fewer bets and higher variance. But the extra time I’ve made back means I can spend more time on family, fitness, articles for this blog and my startup.

Sadly I feel like I failed with my soccer portfolio. But I know there will be a stage in the future where I’ll attack it again and eventually figure a way for it to work. Best of luck to all those betting this season.

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  • Mikel Cárcamo

    hi, whats the service you will be following this year?

  • Luke Anders

    As much as the time difference sucks being a football fan in Aus, as a punter, it’s certainly beneficial to my sanity. It would do my head in being on a losing run and then watching a team I’ve backed being 3-0 up after 85 mins, only to concede 3 late goals. It’s a lot less stressful updating results spreadsheets the following day then dealing with watching players miss pens or open goals from 6 yards out.

  • Hey Luke,
    Ahh, those 97th minute goals… They were painful. If I was able to bet these games early, I would never stay up for them and as you said, simply updating the spreadsheet in the morning is a lot less stress. That’s why I love the American sports. I can bet early and am not tempted to stay up and watch them.

  • Jack

    yea, you are right, there is lots of profitable service out there in UK. But just not for us in different timezone. My priority is always a good health. Glad you found out now..haha..

  • steve jones

    Two lessons from this. i) Don’t rely on tipsters – if you are unable to take responsibility for your own analysis, don’t bet. ii) Don’t ever bet on a game with a three result outcome, even if you love it, I’m sure I don’t have to explain why.

  • Skeeve picks

    Hi Steve,

    First of all, I’m sorry you’ve had a losing season. I know we’ve had our disagreements in the past (I see that the “Skeeve Picks reply” post is still one of your most popular posts and, while I’m at it, I do want to apologize for the way I said some things once again – as you know, my dad had passed away less than a couple of months before my outburst and it was really hard to take all you’d written about my service in one go as I thought and still think some of the things you wrote weren’t fair), but hopefully it’s water under your proverbial bridge as it is under mine. Anyway, I understand the decision about your portfolio for next season being football-betting-free (although it could be a bit harsh to the likes of Football Investor Combo), but how about giving old Skeeve another chance? 🙂 I’ve now made profit for ten consecutive seasons, I’ve had an amazing 10th anniversary season (+29 points profit, 25% ROI, 48% ROC), the four-point asian handicap bets made a +15 point profit at a 15% ROI, the one-point bets on outsiders made a +13 point profit at a 75% ROI, my worst losing run was only -8.4 between March 25 and April 9, the results based on kick-off odds have now outperformed the results based on recorded odds for the third consecutive season (clients who were taking the bets just before the kick-off have made a +31.89 point profit at a 27% ROI and a 53% ROC and an additional +0.62 point profit with the last-minute picks in April) and my all-time profit (starting with December 2006) now stands at +666 point profit (12% ROI, 717% ROC). The recent Press Association announcement regarding the National League stats (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. Opta don’t collect the data so that’s the end of the match stats from the National League”) doesn’t affect, in the slightest degree, my work as I’m focused on the National League only and manually analyzing every single game (and I’ve also noticed many mistakes in the PA National League numbers over the last few years) and I’m now sending all picks on Saturdays (match day, which means the market liquidity is now much better), at 10:30 AM UK time (and you can also take the bets just before the 3 PM UK time kick-off and improve the official results). Furthermore, I can give you a 5% summer discount and, if you make a loss over the 2016/17 season, I’ll be glad to match the lost amount and donate it to a charity of your choice. All you’d have to do is place all the bets (and there’s not that many – we’ll probably have around 50 official picks, as last season, and another 50 unofficial last-minute picks based on late team news), either at 10:30 AM UK time or just before the 3 PM UK time kick-off. There you go – I just wanted to let you and the readers of your blog know that betting on football can still be very profitable, but you either have to have a great system (which should probably be tweaked on a regular basis) or know more about your niche than the industry and work your ass off to keep it that way.

    have a great 2016/17 season,
    skeeve

  • Christoffer Hansson

    In my opinion you have had a very strange way of following football services. There have been overlaping bets and a lot of different “mathematical systems” and very few tipsters with true knowledge of the game. I might be wrong but that is the impression i’ve got. My advice would be to focus on “league experts”. One for lower league England, one for Sweden, one fore Spain, and so on. With this you no longer have overlaping bets and you have people who focus 100% on just a few leagues.

  • Hi Skeeve,
    Hope you’re doing well and thanks for the offer. I was tempted by it, but the number one reason I am not betting on football this season is because I don’t want to be up late at night placing bets. For me these days I’ll happily give up some “potential” profit for more time and sleep.

    Congrats on 10 years in the business and I wish you all the best for the next 10.
    Steve

  • Alexander

    Is that mainly pre-game bets that you place? A lot of tipsters
    who place them early just kill the price due to low limits. It is better to bet
    in-play when a lot of money is traded. You can generate much higher returns in
    the result.

    What I have found is that the best rewards come from focusing on
    specific leagues and just following them to the death. Then you can get fairly
    big amounts of money on markets you want, and retain higher ROI.

    However, the downside is that it is very stressful and takes up
    quite a lot of time. Especially, when you have to deal with variance or losing
    streaks. You need to have an incredible amount of interest in football and
    maintain it for a very extended period.

    Creating a community that is focused solely on research and
    analysis of specific leagues, getting premium information and following games
    in-play would be a very powerful model as you can free up your time and have
    multiple sources of information from around the world.

  • All my bets are pre-game. I prefer to use my time for other pursuits so this works for me.

    That was also my thoughts and it worked for many years with the AFL, but this year was horrendous and wiped out a heap of my profits. It is hard to find that perfect intersection of niche/liquidity/profitability. It’s usually a case of being able to get two out of those three.

    A community will be a big focus for me in 2017. Stay tuned.