Nicspicks 2014 Review
Last week after missing a winning bet, Bryan and I had a falling out on Twitter. You can read the full story here. We decided to part ways as he felt I was not being fair in my weekly posts and that I was just cherry picking his bets and had missed a winner because of this. I assumed that there was no email (as I never got one) and that I had simply missed the bet. As I have now stopped following his service, this is my review.
Nicpicks’ Free golf bets run by Bryan Nicholson (no relation to Jack) is a free and paid service that offers tips mostly on EW bets on the European and PGA tour. For a tiny €10, you can go on his mailing list and receive his picks before he places them on his website and a google spreadsheet he uses to verify his results.
It’s all pretty simple, the emails have the unit stake, the player, the odds he took and the bookmaker where he took them.
This was the first issue for me. The majority of bookmakers used are the UK giants such as Bet365, Stan James, Betfred, Skybet and sadly for anyone betting over $20, these accounts become useless. What I found is I could get similar odds on the winners market by placing the bets at Betfair and a few of the Australian books I have available. The place bets on the other hand were impossible to bet anywhere near the odds quoted for me so I decided to just bet the straight win.
With average odds of $79 I was in-store for very very long losing runs. As you already know, long losing runs have no real affect on me (ha ha) and I felt for the greater return on investment I would be more then happy to deal with these very long losing spells. Bryan told me not to follow this strategy, and I did trade out of a few positions but for the vast majority of the time I let bets ride.
While these following results are pointless as I joined at a bad time and the last bet I should have placed was a winning one, it will nevertheless help you understand the sort of swings you will get if you follow my staking style.
I started on the 16th of July 2013 which was the British Open. The previous 6 month of the service had produced 10 winners so I was hopping on after an amazing run. I decided to follow with $100 for each unit. As is always the case, I seem to join when a poor run begins. I followed the service for 10 months and had 4 winners (should have been 5). I stopped following as of the 7th of May 2014.
As you can see by the graph below, I was always in a negative position apart from one stage where I was up for a week. Again, these results have no relevance other then to show you that by betting just Wins, you will have very long losing runs followed by massive upswings.
Note: I would have been slightly in profit if I had placed the bet that caused the twitter fight.
In total my results were as follows.
NP Win $26,815.84 $(4,167.34) -15.5%
NP Place $1,975.00 $269.00 13.6%
NP trades $600.00 $(600.00) -100.0%
Let’s get to the important part for you. Were the odds he advised achievable? Bryans’ results date back to 2012 so if we can see that the bets I was able to place closely match what he puts on his spreadsheet then we can trust in the previous results. My average odds for win bets were just 1.2% worse. But this number is skewed because the larger odds he put up were usually massively beaten by betfair, for example he may put up a player at odds of $120, and I could get that player on Betfair at $160. These bets are the least likely to win. For the bets that were under $50 my average odds were 8.6% worse. Of the 4 winning bets I had, my odds were just 5% worse. The winners paid $45.93, $123, $29 and $71.74
We can never expect to match tipsters odds 100% and the overall average of 1.2% worse is fantastic. But the real difference is really between 5-8% worse. To me this is fantastic as his ROI over the last 2 years sits over 25% (this is based off EW bets). But even a return of 17% is amazing. In essence, Bryan is very fair in his odds recording. The odds are available at the time the email is sent and if you have accounts open at the UK books and are quick, you should be able to match his returns.
If you don’t have these books available then a win only approach is the right way to go in my book, only if you look at this as a very long term service (minimum of 2 years). The issue I have found with most people is that they only look short term and therefore this strategy just wouldn’t work for the vast majority.
At the end of the day you need to make your own mind up on if this service fits into your risk profile. My job here is to simply tell you if the service is fair and you can get close to the odds advised. The answer to both of these is a yes.