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** July Naps Competition Result: 1st Gary66, 2nd BBBC, 3rd kenisbusy, 4th Johnrobertson. KO Cup Winner tonythepaint. Most Winners Budgie65: **


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  1. First bet of the competition for me : South Korea v Norway Least you can say is that South Korea did not had an easy start, first by logically losing 4-0 to France and then 2-0 to Nigeria. Norway is doing ok with a 3-0 win against Nigeria, and only losing to France (the big favorites with the USA) with a scoreline of 2-1, admittedly with a curious own goal from French defender Wendy Renard, but in a tight game nonetheless. Norway is a decent side with a fairly organized and disciplined defense, and a decent link-up game, whereas South Korea is... not good, in every aspects of the game. I expect South Korea to go out of the competition without scoring. Note : there is a small probability that Norway actively seek the draw in order to be sure to NOT meet the USA in the quarters, but since France - Nigeria is happening at the same time, i don't think they'll do that. Mid stake on Norway to win @ 1.41 Smaller stake on Norway to win to nil @ 2.2
  2. Have to disagree about this game. Portugal was good in the first round of the nations league but not particularly convincing, especially considering they were playing against teams that were a class (or two) below the best of the first group - which include Switzerland. On the contrary, I have been impressed by Switzerland. They played an aggressive, complete football, and absolutely outperformed Belgium - for me one of the three best national teams in the world - after losing a very tight game by one goal. If Switzerland drew in the ECQ to Danemark by conceding 3 goals in the last 5 minutes, Portugal drew at the same time against Serbia and Ukrania. So i'm going to put a small stake on Switzerland DNB @ 2.9. Good luck to all
  3. But Messi will be playing tonight, won't he? (got some insider info? )
  4. One bet for me tonight : Cyprus vs Belgium : Belgium -1.5 AH @ 1.4 Sounds to me like printing money. Belgium isn't exactly the kind of team to hold back and be happy with 1-0 wins, as their records can testify. Minus Boyata, Belgium is playing with the same players that won against Russia 3-1 a few days ago. The game will take place in Cyprus, whose time zone and climate (at this time of the year, at least) isn't that different from Belgium. Belgium to win to nil @ 1.5 sounds also fine, though stupid GK mistake can happen (as it did against Russia), so i'll stick with 1.4.
  5. Congrats everyone for the good forecasts ITT, I've been only following the CL from afar but I'm tempted to risk a few quids on Lyon to win at Camp Nou @ 13. Barcelona have for once been unimpressive this year and Lyon is in a pretty good form. If anything, Lyon were the better team in the first leg IMO. Lyon to qualify or + 2 seems reasonable as well.
  6. Those twos are pretty obvious picks in my opinion : Netherlands v France I can not even conceive that Netherlands can win this game. The only potential worry is that Umtiti isn't here tonight, (Pogba as well but that's less of a concern since Deschamps have a lot of good midfield options). So back France to win DNB at 1.6 with a big stake. If Netherlands happen to take the lead, i'll put some more money. Italy v Portugal There's a pretty big gap between these teams as well, so back Portugal to win DNB at 2.15 with a mid-to-big stake. Sorry there isn't much in the way of analysis here, but it's been a long week and i've talked about these teams already in the previous threads. edit : Ouch, i have not seen France playing this horribly in a non-friendly for at least 3 years... not a single build in the second half. I guess Umtiti, Pogba and Hernandez are not that easily replaceable after all. Gotta admit Netherlands played much better than expected as well, rough time for my bankroll.
  7. Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund Generous odds for Dortmund here, considering Atletico poor form. Obviously, the first leg was much tighter than the scoreline could let you think, with 3 goals scored in the last 20 minutes... Still a lot of value to take on Dortmund, i'll pick the DNB at 2.75 because i'm a cautious man. Mid stake. Napoli v PSG PSG are very weak this year... their offensive trio literally can't make 3 passes in a row. They were non existent against Liverpool and Napoli and owed pretty much all their goals to either incredible individual talent (Di Maria superb shots, Mbappe running past the whole defense) and/or defensive mistakes, which works well enough in Ligue 1, but not against any threatening team. Against Live and Napoli i've only seen them make maybe 2 or 3 decent build-ups at most. Unless they play in a radically different way this time, they can't win this. So pick Napoli to win DNB at about 1.9. Mid stake. I think i should bet more on one of this game than the other... but not sure which one. Your thoughts?
  8. re : Juventus v Manchester Utd Your thoughts on this game? I haven't watched these teams plays recently but looking at these twos past records and given the current state of Man Utd, putting a few points on a Juventus win DNB at 1.56 seems reasonable?
  9. Switzerland v Iceland Switzerland to win @ 1.75 seems decent. Switzerland was impressive against Belgium, but i don't think Iceland is going to take another 6-0 again. More like a 2 goals diff win. Small to medium stake. Spain v England Where i'm from, Spain to win is @ 1.55 which is a bit too low for my taste. I think the game is going to be tighter than what the odds implies and if i'm proven right i might place a live bet on this. France v Germany I think France is a vastly superior team in every aspects, but these french guys are pretty lazy when the stakes are low. Though Deschamps said he wanted to go to the final round, and he usually get what he want from his players... The very worst that can happen for France here is another draw, but France to win @ 1.65 is a bit low here imo. There is a good chance that the first half will be closed and that France odds will go as far as ~2 in game. Re : long-term bet on the group phase : Apparently combining Belgium/Portugal/any others teams to finish first isn't allowed at my bookies since these outcomes are seen as not independents (kinda bs but whatever), so i ended up just putting money on Portugal @ 1.5 which is looking good so far.
  10. My picks so far, first twos are the bigger bets : First, Belgium and Portugal to finish first of their group is priced at 1.3 and 1.5 respectively, which makes for a nice double of 1.95, given that there is a big gap between these teams and their group, it would be a shame not to take it. You can add France as well for a tasty 2.7 triple, but 1.9 is good enough for me. Results in a month, obviously place it before thursday evening. Poland v Portugal Woop-di-doo, Portugal bringing the value again. Portugal to win at 2.45 is very generous. I hope i'm not selling Poland short here, i don't think i've seen them play recently, but their past record isn't really great... and Portugal blew away Italy, though with their lack of finishing game, you can't really see it on the scoreline. But Portugal is IMO in another league and should win comfortably. I might go for a bigger stake on the DNB here at 1.65 because of the aforementioned finishing problem. Belarus v Luxembourg I haven't see these teams plays, and i don't usually bet on numbers, but Luxembourg just won 4-0 against Moldava when Belarus tied against them. So i think that you can do worse than putting a few quids on Luxembourg to win at 7.5. DNB at 3.25 is ok as well. Small stake. Denmark v Ireland Another bet on numbers, but Denmark looked good defensively in the WC and looking at Ireland recent record i don't see them scoring a lot against the danish, so a small-to-medium stake on Denmark DNB @ 1.6 seems a decent choice. Belgium v Switzerland Belgium should win this without much trouble but the odds aren't here... maybe Belgium -1.5 AH @ 2 but i don't know yet.
  11. I can see your point about numbers being a safety net. About getting value out of a model, what i meant was that i find it hard to believe that an amateur could come up with something that beat the bookies in the long run. I mean, there is hundreds (thousands?) of mathy/comp sci people working for them and refining their model, so from my point of view (i'm a student and betting is certainly not my first interest) it's not worth the time and effort to try to beat them on their own ground. Though i guess it's possible if you are really serious about this, but if you manage to win on numbers alone, you'll probably get a steadier income working for the bookies. The criteria i use are mostly not quantifiable which makes this method difficult. It mostly comes down to just watching the games - pinpointing strengths and weaknesses and finding patterns in the way they play - and looking at the team past record in certain games (figuring whether or not they are consistent over games with different stakes etc.). Then the human stuff like how the players and coach are getting along etc. E.g. in the WC a lot of people were certain about Brazil beating Belgium, personally i left this game alone because you could see from the start that Brazil 1) had trouble with finishing 2) had not a good team cohesion (wingers sometimes ignored in critical part of the play, midfield link-up wasn't solid, forwards not tracking back, etc.) 3) was being slowed down by Neymar individualism on the offensive side, which furthermore indicate that the coach wasn't doing his job at taming the egos. All of these reasons - except 1) - are unquantifiable, you can only see them if you watch the game carefully, but they are of critical importance. Obviously this method only comes down to your football analysis skills in the end, so whether or not it's rigorous depends on the punter. No problem, gotta be honest : i'm a newbe with a very small record (albeit i won a lot more than i thought i would), so i can't really say that i've put my betting philosophy to practice yet... But then i'm not sure it's ever going to be the case since i don't really have the time to watch games every weeks. I was reluctant at first in expressing my thoughts because i didn't wanted to be like "Folks i've made 30 successful bets, and here is how you should do it...", but from a logical point of view i think these points are mostly correct and good to keep in mind. Cheers
  12. I've only been betting for a few months, so you might want to take the following with a grain of salt (but i have been pretty successful, hence why i bother writing). First, i would suggest betting less, but bigger amounts. Just focus on finding bets that fits these criterions : 1) there is value on them 2) you are as sure as it gets about the outcome. I know the "traditional way" is to bet a few points here and there on a lot of games, the theory being that it allows you to cover losing runs. But the thing is, unless you are a football oracle and watch every games you will end up betting on games you do not have enough informations on. It's relatively easy to accurately predict the outcome of, say, 4 games with no clear favorite (at the bookies) per month, but to be right on 20 games a month is near impossible. If you split your bets you'll indeed be able to cover losing runs, but you'll also lose more. Secondly, i would suggest TO GIVE UP numbers crunching, statistics, or any kind of system (or maybe it's just that it seems so boring to me). I mean, it's literally the bookies jobs, they employ all kind of people and i guess continuously adjust their model, and i don't think anyone will be able to beat them at their own trade. Numbers alone are not the way to get the "edge" you are looking for : the bookies crunch numbers because they cannot pay experts to watch every games, follow every club newsfeed and decide of the next odds. But you on the other hand, can watch a few games to prepare a bet and stay up-to-date with the state of each teams, since you're only concerned about one bet and not thousands. IMO the way to get the edge mostly lay in all the "human" stuff, just you watching the games and pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses, how the players are getting along on and off the field, is the coach being trusted, etc. etc. Statistics can be helpful if you select them wisely, but if you're trying to predict the outcome of a game by looking at the result of that game in the past 10 years, you might as well throw your money out of the window. Different teams, different coaches, different stakes... Even the very same team a year after can play in a very different way. A good example i recall is France - Uruguay, a lot of TV "experts" predicted a draw because the 5 last game resulted in a draw or something, even though the teams were very different and these games were mostly low stakes games, not WC knockouts. It's absolutely idiotic. Well, that's almost an essay
  13. Damn, i thought Spain was the better team but i certainly didn't expected a 6-0... For the first 15 min i thought i was right to avoid this game as Croatia could have took the lead, but then they completely disappeared and got teared apart by a very effective (6 goals for 7 shots on target) Spain. Admittedly Croatia defense was very weak. The odds for the next games aren't up yet but the following is IMO printing money : Belgium to finish first of their group @ 1.3 - winamax Portugal to finish first of their group @ 1.5 Which makes for a nice 1.95 double. You can even add France to finish first for a 2.7 treble. I'll probably place it right before the next round in a month.
  14. Re : Portugal v Italy As expected Portugal absolutely dominated Italy on the technical side with nice build up and midfield game. Italy rarely managed to make 3 passes in a row. Though it doesn't show on the final score since Portugal seems to have trouble with finishing (the only point where the absence on Ronaldo can be noticed), at times it was quite funny (and frustrating) to see their forwards passing the ball like a hot potato at less than 15m of the goal and enough space to strike - as if they were afraid to... On the positive side for Italy, they got some fast wingers, which have been dangerous once in a while but that was it. Re : Belgium vs Iceland The odds dropped since Iceland got 6-0'd by Switzerland, which is reveling the level of Iceland, even though IIRC four of their starters were missing. Now Belgium is @ 1.29 at Pinnacle (but lower for us French folks...), which IMO still makes for a decent ROI for a bet that's as sure as they come. Belgium -1.5 AH @ 1.854 sounds also like a very reasonable bet. I'm going to avoid this game, but maybe i'm underrating Spain. Spain is in search for a new identity, their style against England was very different, and for the better, with a lot more long balls and crossing. But the gap between Spain and England was narrower than i thought, and i can't really tell to which extent Spain was controlling the game and doing just enough to win. They haven't dominated that much in the midfield and it was at some point quite messy on both sides. IMO Croatia is stronger than England, and whereas there was value on Spa v Eng, i think Croatia here is being sold short (5.75), so no bet for me. It's going to be a fun game.
  15. I wouldn't take the fact that Ronaldo is missing as an important factor : in my opinion he hasn't been of an utmost importance during the WC. I haven't watched the game against Croatia but the consensus seems to be that Portugal have no problem to play without him. Portugal are at home and will want to show some to their fans + the players want to show that they aren't a one-man team (or so i've been told they said that). Though I'm still hesitating between Portugal to win and a DNB though, since Portugal had a few draws in low stakes games last years (against Mexico and Chile in the Confederations Cups, two teams that were better than Italy now i think). Good luck
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