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Specialised Sports Betting is the Future
The Time is Now
The best time in the history of sports betting and betting in general is right now. Less than four decades ago your only choice for betting on a sport was with a high street bookmaker, or if you were lucky you might have a credit account with one of the same so that you could bet over the phone. Your choice of betting markets was limited to horse racing and greyhounds and some individual sports events like a test match, the Open Golf or the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. You could have a football bet but you were not allowed to bet on an individual match for fear of corrupting the game. A football bet had to be an outright result accumulator with at least three picks!

In the mid-1980s things called “exotics” were created which basically meant anything other than the main-stream high street bookmaker choice. Exotics could be general election results or what colour dress the Queen would be wearing at Ascot (and many others), and the maximum bet size was limited so that these were at best marketing gimmick betting markets. The now long gone Mecca bookmakers, the biggest on the high street in London in the 80s, actually sponsored the World Chess Championships held in London/Leningrad in 1986, although that generated almost no action for betting on chess. The marketing gimmick worked though by getting these “crazy bets” on the television news which at the time had an almost whole population reach.

Exotic Betting
Exotics needed a whole new branch of betting analysis to be created and betting analysts to be found, which at the time meant anyone who had any knowledge of a particular sport. Over the years the sports betting market analysis industry has grown into a massive business in itself which in-tern has generated a big growth in sports information services. So now it is the case that when you log into your favourite online betting site there are literally thousands of markets to bet on in hundreds of different sports and non-sport categories. Even small bookmakers can offer you prices on obscure events as they use prices generated by the big players either on a fee based service, a satellite bookmaker service or just copying another firms work.

Speed Revolution
Communication revolution has also brought change to sports betting in that you can now bet in-running in a way that could only be dreamt of just 20 years ago. Transmission speeds are fast enough now as to be able to bet point-by-point in tennis, or stroke by stroke in golf as well as second by second in football and other sports. These types of bet bring a health warning as bookmakers pay good money to be ahead of any speed delay so they are ahead of any images you might be watching on “live” TV. Worse than that there are professional bettors employing teams of people to be “court-siders”, people sitting court-side or walking the golf course with electronic transmission capabilities who give their boss the information to take advantage of slightly out of date bookie prices. Be warned if you are betting live in-play in any form, you are likely well behind the knowledge curve.

Take on the Bookmakers
The fact that bookmakers employ specialists to model individual sports markets should not put you off from taking the market-setters on. Knowing a lot about a sport from the grass roots upwards and following news, developments and social media, will always provide opportunities to understand the true nature of an event more than a bookmaker can. Having said that there is more to having a “good” bet than understanding the sport. The noble (or not) world of horse racing has had many thousands of incredibly knowledgeable punters, over more than two centuries of race betting, who lived, ate and breathed horses. Most of them went skint (broke), some of those who did were also TV and newspaper horse racing pundits. Having a “good” bet means a whole lot more than first meets the eye.

A Good Bet
A “good” bet to a professional is one where the odds offered are better than the true odds of the outcome coming true. In simple match terms, if the price offered for Manchester City to win at home is 5/4 and the real likelihood of them winning is Evens (1/1), then this bet has a 25% edge and is a good bet. Have all your bets like this over and over again and you will make money. The difficult thing about evaluating a bet is developing a method to work out what the true chance of something happening is. At first glance a seemingly impossible task but you know that the insurance industry has been doing it for all sorts of intangible happenings for hundreds of years (though not so good with pandemics).

Ignore Tipsters who deny the importance of Price
To be a good sports bettor then you will need to do some basic maths and statistics. You don't need a degree in it but you must be able to do some basic calculations to calculate prices. Anyone who says that price is not important is going to be a loser, and there are so-called professional tipsters selling tips who do just that. As soon as you hear someone deny the importance of price, immediately ignore any tips they give, or anything else they say. Remember, in the world of professional betting, Price is Everything! In order to have yourself a good bet, first understand the sport, then develop a technique for calculating a price for an outcome, then find prices that are bigger than the price you have worked out. That is professional betting in a nutshell. Not easy in anyones book.

Earlier we mentioned the World Chess Championship. It was one of the first events to get the exotic bets treatment by Mecca bookmakers back in the 1980s. This year the match to decide a new world chess champion starts on the 24th November in Dubai between reigning champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi ( known as “Nepo”). The champ is clearly the best player in the world and has been so for 10 years. But his last title defence went the distance with Carlsen unable to beat his opponent once in a classical timed game. He won in a speed match tie-breaker. If this match goes the distance then Carlsen is huge favourite as no one has ever come close to his abilities in chess games that have 30 minute time allowances. But Nepo has good chances in the long time format in the best-of-14 match. Carlsen priced at 2/11 is not tempting me so I am having a completely fun and amateur bet on Nepo at 5/2 with Dr.Bet.

The last word is only ever bet with licensed bookmakers. If you don't see a link to their license on the bottom of their home page then find another bookmaker.

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