No Djoke about it

A few posts ago I wrote about my experience of trading tennis. Check it out. The overwhelming response was favourable, comments ranging from:

“What a captivating read! One found it comprehensively informative and inspiring.”


 “Dat was da realest tennis shit i eva read!”

I agree thoroughly with both sentiments. I have been eager to follow up that post with a Tennis tip, and here it is:

 Novak Djokovic to win the French Open 1.91 (-110 US)

 …I know, I know. I really should start charging for these tips.

Now allow me to show my workings:

Novak this season so far has been excellent, he’s currently at 36-2. He’s already got the first slam of the year in the bag and has won the last 4 tournaments he’s entered, all Masters tournaments too btw. The only player that I reckon could take 3 sets from him on clay is Nadal.

Nadal has beaten Novak at the FO 6 times, including the last 3 years straight. But Nadal has gone downhill since returning from his latest injury (by his standards). Rafael Nadal is in the opinion of this blogger the greatest clay courter to ever grace this universe, but whisper it…he’s past his best. This is the first time ever that Rafa hasn’t won a tournament on clay prior to the French. Even Andy fucking Murray has beat him on clay this season, in Madrid of all places. Other players to beat him this year on clay are: Stanislas Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini and our new favourite tennis player; Novak Djokovic.

Novak hasn’t been helped by a tricky draw, with him due to play Rafa in the quarters and Murray in the semi. If he gets through a series of longer matches then that’s going to be a problem later on with fatigue.

Novak has said for a few season’s how he’s been targeting Roland Garros to complete his career slam. I reckon he has a greater than the implied 52% chance of doing it this year.

NBA 2014/15 Playoffs – Conference Finals

I was going to write a preview on the Eurovision Song Contest…but then I thought “Fuck that, the Conference Finals are starting tonight!”.

All 4 Second Round playoff series were predicted correctly last time around. Including 3 correct series scores. Unfortunately we didn’t profit from it as the recommended bets turned a small loss as Memphis somehow won a couple of games against Golden State.

For all the chat about how open this year’s Championship was looking, here we are with the 1st and 2nd seeds in each Conference remaining. Over the course of the season the Hawks & Cavs have clearly been the best teams in the East. GSW have easily been the best team overall, and Houston are like a bunch of underage gatecrashers who haven’t been thrown out of the bar (yet).

Eastern Conference Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

Wow, who predicted this ECF?!? /sarcasm

The Cavs are available around 1.50 (-200 US) to win the East, The Hawks are mostly around 2.75 (+175). I backed the Hawks to beat Washington in the previous round, and for the early part of the series that bet was looking like a loser for sure. The Hawks weren’t playing well and their front court doesn’t look healthy. Then John Wall got injured and things turned around from there.

I could easily talk myself into backing Atlanta to quality from the onset, I’ve rarely seen them fire on all cylinders in the playoffs so far. Plus I’ve got a major problem investing money in a team that plays Pero fucking Antic significant minutes. Seriously, I’ve watched this knobhead play in Europe and I thought he was stealing a living. Remember that Nenad Krstić is a quality player in Europe.

If one was to put their conspiracy theorist hat on (which would be made of tin foil😉 one could put forward the argument that the league would dearly love to see LeBron’s team in the finals, again. And would hate to see Atlanta there. So one could expect to see LeBron get all the calls…whether or not this exists is up for debate but I’m sure that the betting market reflects this somewhat. Coupled with the fact that the market is going to overrate LeBron’s team and underrate an unfancied team like Atlanta; I’m sure that there’s going to value in backing Atlanta along the way in this series.

Prediction: Still it’s hard to go against the best player in the world. Cavs in 6.


Update: Atlanta fell apart and got swept.

Western Conference Finals

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets

The Rockets came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Clippers, winning the last 3 games to qualify. Epic scenes! And what do they win?.. The opportunity to get spanked off Golden State! GSW have played Houston 4 times this season, and have thrashed them 4 times. Houston doesn’t have the defence to compete with GSW, and I simply cannot see a way that they’re coming out of this series.

Golden State are priced at 1.13 (-800) to qualify. It’s not often that I back really short odds. So a look at the series score betting and I see that the 4-0 is at 4.50 (+350). Considering they are 1.13 to qualify the 4-0 scoreline is too big for me. You want more? Ok some back-of-the-cigarette-packet maths:

GSW are 1.17 to win game 1, so imagine they are 1.17 to win game 2 as well. The last time GSW played at Houston they were just over evens. BUT that was after a back-to-back. The time before that they were 1.68 with Pinnacle to win there. So if we just say 1.70 for game 3&4 we get:


Even if GSW were 1.70 at Houston I’d be backing that.

Prediction is GSW in 5 this is the most likely scoreline, but the value play is in backing GSW 4-0 at 4.50 (+350).

Also backing GSW to win the title at 1.67 (-150). I felt that only the Spurs or Clippers could stop them. 1.67 implies that they have a 59.9% chance of winning it all. I think it’s more likely than that.

Update: GSW won in 5, so I missed out on the GSW sweep.

Bets: 0-1. -1pt

Game 7 & a Final

Morning all we have an excellent day’s worth of basketball ahead of us:

Euroleague Final

If you don’t know what the Euroleague is, it’s basically like the Champions league for basketball. On Friday in the semis, Olympiacos beat CSKA, and Real Madrid, who are hosting beat Fenerbahce. So today, first up CSKA play Fenerbahce in the 3rd place playoff. 3rd place playoffs are pretty boring in every sport. The players don’t want to be there, but they are good for two things; backing the underdog if the odds are too long, check. And backing unders if the line is too low, check.

After that the Final is on with Real Madrid with HCA playing Olympiacos. I tweeted on Friday that I was backing Olympiacos to beat CSKA. The odds were way too low considering the final 4 format is such a crapshoot. A game of basketball is quite a random event, even more so when its a 40 minute, single game elimination where the pressure’s ramped up to 11. As a result Olympiacos, who are a good but not great team, have got to the final 3 out of the last 4 years, where they have been a heavy underdog. If they needed to win another playoff series to get to the final, it’s much more unlikely that that would have happened.

Real Madrid are the low priced favourite at 1.35 (-285 US), and are -7.5 on the spread. I’d prefer backing Olympiacos at +7.5 rather than outright, I feel it’s going to be close and low scoring but that Real Madrid will win. The points total is 154.5, despite Real having an average total of 163 at home this season. Olympiacos will try to lower the pace and minimise the number of possessions, otherwise they could get blown out.

Clippers at Rocket game 7

After the Euroleague final, the big lads are playing in America, with a Game 7 baby! I haven’t seen much of this series so far and many have been saying that it hasn’t been very entertaining. In fact eye witness reports have described it as being “dog ugly” and “sucking a fat one”. But I’m stubbornly looking forward to it nonetheless!

Despite having HCA, Houston are the underdog here at 2.25 (+125), and -2.5 on the spread. This is the first time, out of 92 game 7s, where the home team is the underdog…and I still wouldn’t fancy backing Houston! In a pressure situation would you trust a coach like McHale, or the mental fortitude or the ability to think clearly under pressure of James Harden or Dwight Howard? Of course not! I wouldn’t trust Dwight Howard to spell his own name correctly under pressure. Like the Euroleague final I’ll watch the game and wait if there’s anything I like the look of in-play with the moneyline or spread. With the points totals I’ve had a little bit of under 220.5.

General Election Fallout

Last week here in the UK there was a General Election. As it’s every 5 years, thankfully, I’d thought I might as well write a few words on it…

If you went to most sports grounds in the world you’d find thousands of people who each have an opinion on the sport that they were watching. If you went to Fenway Park there’d be thousands who would believe that they are an expert on baseball. At Lambeau Field you’d find 80,000 football experts. Hell, in India you’d find over a billion people that believe they’ve mastered the subject of cricket!… Obviously do we really think all of these individuals truly know it all on their sports?! Do we fuck.

When there’s a General Election on you have that sort of situation turned up to 11. Millions of people who show up once every 5 years to tick a box on a piece of paper truly believe they know what they are taking about. Most have these passionate, unshakable beliefs despite knowing the thick end of fuck all, based on prejudice or just whatever their newspaper tells them.

Winston Churchill once said:

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Nowadays you only need 30 seconds on Twitter.

The unexpected result was a Conservative Majority. In general the Left’s response has been over-the-top and pretty pathetic. I’ve heard people say that they’re going to emigrate, sleep for 5 years, that Conservative voters should be named & shamed (there’s 11.3 million of them), denounce democracy (as they haven’t had the result they wanted). Whinge moan whine. Then this weekend you had a few hundred young persons with learning difficulties “protest” in Downing Street:

There were a few scuffles with police and a monument to the women of WW2 got vandalised:

Who’s the nasty party again?

To summarise: the UK has a massive amount of debt, and money has to be borrowed to pay for expenses such as paying off the interest on the existing debt. The previous Labour government spent a shit load of money and should shoulder most of the blame. Then you have a bunch of teenagers with iphones protest against “austerity”…

The fallout from this election reminds me of that South Park episode “About Last Night” which was about Obama winning the 2008 US Election. The Obama supporters were euphoric that he had won and were convinced that “Change” was going to arrive and everything would be awesome. The McCain supporters were convinced that it was the end of the world and society would collapse. At the end of the episode people realised that things weren’t as good as what they had hoped, nor were they as bad as what they had feared.

In betting related news, spare a thought for the major gubbing backers of No Overall Majority suffered. Here’s the odds on Betfair prior to the result:


I didn’t put any bets on but if there’s any chance to profit from the shy-Tory phenomena I’ll be taking it.. although it’ll take at least another 5 years!

NBA 2014/15 Playoffs – Second Round

The bets for the 1st round on this blog did pretty well going 2-1 for a profit of 3 points. Not bad though a small sample size. 7 series winners were predicted correctly, the only exception being the Spurs failing at the Clippers. Although in fairness my grandmother could have predicted that the Cavs & GSW would have qualified. Still, she wouldn’t have bet on Washington to come through against Toronto.

The second round starts tonight. So this is what I reckon:

The East

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

The big news coming into this series is that Kevin Love is out for the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder. What a pussy! While the Cavs will miss the floor spacing his 3 point shooting creates, they won’t miss his crappy defence. Also JR Smith is suspended for the first 2 games for punching Jae Crowder. They’ll be missing some of their shooting.

So there’s a great deal of unknowns in which lineups the Cavs will use and how successful they’ll be. Will they go small ball and play Lebron at the 4? Or play Thompson instead of Love? As a result I don’t want to put any money down until I’ve seen what Blatt will do.

I will say this: I expect this series to go to at least 6 games, and if I had to make a prediction I would go with the Cavs to come through as they’ve still got the best player on the planet.

Cavs in 6 Update: Cavs won in 6

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards

Washington swept Toronto, Randy Whitman is a suddenly a coaching mastermind and this team is something special… or so the rhetoric goes. Toronto were pretty awful, so let’s rein the expectations back in on Washington.

Atlanta didn’t play to their early season standards against Brooklyn. Milsap and Horford don’t look 100%. But Atlanta did miss a load of open shots in their first round series. I feel that the Washington sweep and Atlanta underperforming has lead to the generous odds of 1.50 (-200 US) on Atlanta to qualify which I like.

Atlanta in 6 Update: Atlanta won in 6 +0.5pts

The West

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies

With the Spurs out, and Love injured for the Cavs, the Warriors are justifiably the clear favourites for the title. First they need to beat Memphis.

Clash of styles here as GSW play fast & shoot 3s, while Memphis are slow and like shoot inside the arc.  Memphis has next to no shooting.  Mike Conley has a fractured face so it’s unknown when/if he’ll play. Another pussy! Even if he does I doubt it’ll matter as to who’ll be playing in the next round. The only question is if Memphis will win a game (or 2).

I firmly expect GSW to go through but I won’t be backing the best priced 1.17 (-600) odds. I would be interested in the 4-0/4-1 scorelines but no odds for that have been released at time of writing.

Update: I’ve dutched the 2 scorelines 4-0 at 2.4 (+140) and 4-1 at 3.5 (+250)

GSW in 5 Update: GSW won in 6 -1pts

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers

Yet another series where there’s a major injury, with Chris Paul leading the Clippers past the Spurs on one leg. It’s unknown whether he’ll play in the first game, or how bad that hamstring is. As a result no bookie’s have released any series odds yet.

Clippers have played 7 games v the Spurs in an epic series, and now have to play 2 days after an emotional victory. Tough turnaround. While the Rockets have had plenty of rest after toying with the Mavs for 5 games.

I expect this series to go at least 6 games too. With home court advantage and Dwight Howard looking more like the Orlando-Howard, I would have to side with Houston. But everything hinges on CP3’s hamstring.

Houston in 7 Update: Houston won in 7, amazingly.

Bets Summary: 1-1. -0.5 pts