Ubet’s Gerard Daffy is back on the podcast to talk about footy, cricket and golf betting in 2015.

We had a slight hiccup with the audio so had to go to the back-up. It should be clear enough for most people, but there is always the transcript if you prefer.

Punting Insights:

  • The 2015 AFL and NRL seasons so far from a betting perspective
  • A long-term method he continues to use
  • The betting interest of The Ashes so far
  • Golf betting including the British Open
  • The traits of most successful punters

Today’s Guest:
Gerard Daffy – Ubet

Dave Duffield: Has the AFL, NRL turnover jumped this year for Ubet?

Gerard Daffy: AFL turnover just continues to grow every year. What was pretty evident to us this year, and you might not have seen too much of this in the press because they don’t actually have access to the betting figures, but I think that the betting interest is always the best barometer of how popular an event or a sport is.

Those Thursday night games, I know we only had a handful of them but the betting on those went through the roof. In the past we’ve had some Monday night AFL games or Sunday night, they just didn’t work. It’s quite interesting the difference in the two codes. Thursday night AFL in the weeks that this was almost the biggest betting game of the week and every week in the NRL the Monday night games are easily the biggest as well. There’s a market there for them and I think going forward the day is probably not too far away where we will AFL game every Thursday night.

Dave Duffield: Now last time we had you on the show you mentioned that you like to price up the following weeks round before the coming week is played, because there can be a real over reaction to the most recent game. You don’t use that line just solely, you want to factor in what actually happens in that game but is that something that you’re still doing that you find valuable?

Gerard Daffy: Too right. I think there’s too much emphasis on what we saw last weekend and this applies to any code. When you think about it if every team or every competitor ran exactly the same way that they did last weekend there would be no sport. Every favourite would probably win so I always want to have a crack at it before the weekend. Quite clearly you can lose players to injury long term or perhaps somebody goes off in the early part of the game and you factor that in as well but historically others react to what they saw last week. I guess we see that also each week in premiership betting. Invariably the team that wins the match on the weekend short is up in the premiership betting and those are beaten go out. The punters normally back the teams that are winning whereas from my point of view I see a lot of people who bet professionally on these long term things. Those that meet with most success tend to back sides who are coming off a loss.

They get the inflated quote and then hopefully they come good. We’ve got Hawthorn now a red-hot favourite to win the flag after round one. There was question marks over whether anybody else can win and they hit a bit of a hurdle and now they’re back in form flogging two of the three main competitors the last two weeks but $2 to win the flag. Would you want to take that? Not for me.

They might win it but at the end of the day, come September and that first week in October when we do play the final series we still have to win three sudden death matches and even on all-up basis how sure can you be in those?

Dave Duffield: Which team will Ubet be cheering on then at this stage anyway in terms of the futures for the AFL?

Gerard Daffy: Right at this point in time it’s West Coast. It’s been interesting looking at the transition of West Coast from where they were say 8 or 10 years ago to where they are now. They’ve been falling under the radar this season. It’s only in the last 2 or 3 weeks that people have sat up and started to take notice. They’re now attracting a lot of support each time they play but they haven’t really been backed to win the flag. They’re in to $5.50 equal favourites now. That’s not by weight of money that’s just where we think they’ll position themselves on the ladder. They’re the team to beat and what will be intriguing is when those 2 sides meet in Perth again, to see what happens there.

I think West Coast would in my book would probably be favourites if it were on this week.

Dave Duffield: That’s interesting because all the AFL members are on West Coast at $11 or $12 for the premiership.

Gerard Daffy: They do look one of the teams to beat so if I was them I would hang on, I wouldn’t save. I would just wait.

Dave Duffield: What about NRL? What’s the latest there?

Gerard Daffy: Obviously it’s a lot more open than what the AFL is and I suppose it makes sense because it just takes one injury in an NRL side and you can be in a lot of trouble. As an example if Thurston was to get a long term injury the Cowboys, well they’d be out the game.

Currently the Roosters are $3.75, Brisbane at $4, the Cowboys at $4.50. They’ve been the 3 money sides for the past 3 or 4 months. The good thing in favour of the 2 Queensland playing sides if you favour them, they’ve got through the State of Origin series pretty much unscathed. They’ve got no long term injuries but more importantly they were able to win games. I think between them they only lost 2 games through the whole Origin series. They’re on track to both grab good positions in the ladder in that top 4 that’s most important. Now we’ve got the Bulldogs at $7.50 behind them but the Bulldogs again have just decided their inconsistency has warded punters off over the past 2 or 3 seasons they’ve tended not to play two games alike in a row, they’re 7.50 but only by virtue of the fact that somebody has to be in the market behind them.

Souths have got some question marks over them. They’re $8, there’s a lot of activity there. Then we start to get to those that might make the 8 or should make the 8 or on the cusp of making the 8 and Melbourne Storm the surest of those at $19. Can they do it without Billy Slater? Serious doubts about that.
We’ve got New Zealand Warriors at $26. They’re probably the biggest enigma in any sporting code in the country. Their best is pretty good but their worst which is more than 50% of the time is atrocious. Then we’ve got the stragglers so it’s hard to say. I think on given day those top 3 sides could beat each other and they’ll continue to dominate the market as we lead into September.

Dave Duffield: How do Ubet successful punters whether it’s NRL or AFL? Obviously different corporates have different ways of treating them and some chop them off pretty quickly. Are you more likely to use that market intelligence and shade your line slightly or how do you approach it?

Gerard Daffy: I think you’d be insane not to. My personal view point is, and I’ve been around for a long time, I can’t see any point at all in banning people or closing their accounts because in this day and age within 4 or 5 hours they come back as 4 or 5 other people. Their wife, their neighbour, their son, their mate down the road and those people that are employed to keep track on all of these, well they have 4 or 5 headaches.
I think these people have been treated for so long that they’ve just become accustomed to having their accounts closed and when they do find a bookie that let’s them on for a reasonable amount, and I’d like to think that we’re pretty fair in that regard. We don’t close people’s accounts down unless there’s some other activity as apart to having a bet.

I know that our guys, and I always push this envelope but if you’ve got somebody that you think is a little bit cleverer than you on a particular sport or a particular code and at the end of the day if somebody who concentrates on one code has a distinct advantage over the bookmaker or a group of people who are trying to monitor 20 or 30 codes and you have 5000 or 6000 events around the world each week … So we’re not silly enough to think that we know it all but if you identify somebody that you think has got an edge, take his bet and then make the appropriate changes after that. I think down through the ages that’s a more successful plan of attack than just chopping people off at the knees.

Dave Duffield: Switching to golf then, the British Open’s not long run and won. How is that from a betting perspective place from the average punter but also from the smarter guys?

Gerard Daffy: It’s massive business. The two most popular majors of the year are the Masters in the US and the British Open market. The scenery of both of those venues makes it more attractive. In the same way that people tend to bet on the Tour De France because of the wonderful scenery and the coverage on TV. There’s other cycling events that Ubet cover on a weekly basis you might get a handful of bets but when it comes to the tour it’s different.

The British Open is exactly the same. I guess through the evolution of time golf betting really went to another level. Firstly when it was on TV every week, 15 years ago we used to only get the Majors. Now 3 or 4 events from around the world every week so the coverage is good. We get to know who plays, there’s so much information on them but more importantly it was Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods attracted people to betting on golf for 2 reasons. He was so popular and so good that people were prepared to back him every week or every time he played irrespective of the price because you always got a good run from your money. Then you had those that joined in the betting on golf who were more than happy to bet against him on that probability that hey the guys $3, he can’t win 2 out 3 so we’ll bet against him. It sort of escalated golf betting to where it is now.

The other thing that obviously worked in favour of the levels of interest in golfers from a betting perspective is the success of the Australians. They’re always thereabouts and leading into the British Open we had Adam Scott and Jason Day sort of 4th and 5th favourites respectively and really popular. Then of course those 2 along with Leishman and a couple of others were in contention all the way through so the betting when it was updated each day, because we had 2 or 3 Aussies up near the top of the leader board created a lot more interest.
It’s already pretty big business and I can’t see it going away any time soon.

Dave Duffield: So for in-play betting, the thing we still dream of, if it was available for golf and you could bet online in play do you think the volume would be 5 times what it is now? What figure would you put on it?

Gerard Daffy: You’re quite right about the levels of interest. Golf is a little bit more tricky because of course we all see the one set of vision. There’s a lot going on that you don’t see and the interest normally centers around who are on TV and predominantly they’re the favourite players or those who are up near the lead. We bet all the way through the British Open. I think people get enthralled watching it rather than betting. They tend to wait until the round is over and then launch but it’s difficult to keep up with.

Being live on football is a different kettle of fish because we’re seeing a lot more of it that people don’t bet before a game starts and then see how it’s going. See whether their team’s getting the rub of the green off the ref or the umpire or there might be a wind going one way, how they’re handling that. They actually like to sit down and see how it’s going and make their own judgement on how the game’s progressing and then bet then.

It’s intriguing looking at some of the numbers from the overseas book makers, particularly those in UK where they now say that anywhere between 70 and 90% of their business is all in play. Obviously they’ve got soccer and tennis has got a higher profile over there from a betting perspective but massive amounts of money bet in play now. As we know people are actually making a living out of it by arbing in between different outlets or perhaps having a bet and then at the first available opportunity to get out of it so they can lock in a profit both ways.
We’re actually bringing in a new breed of punters.

Dave Duffield: Yeah if only we could do that in Australia but it’s a battle for another day.

Gerard Daffy: I don’t know whether we ever will.

Dave Duffield: Right.

Gerard Daffy: I just don’t know. These elections now are on a knife edge. Every time there’s an election held whether it be state or federal they’re on a knife edge. Nobody knows who is going to win them up until probably the day afterwards. I just don’t know whether our governments have got the appetite to appeal legislation that’s already in just to appease a small sector of the community. At the end of the day people who bet live, they don’t make up massive amounts of the population. I know we’re all affected by it and we’d all like to see it but I just don’t know whether it’s going to happen.

Dave Duffield: Bad news, I’m sorry to hear that. What about cricket? Speaking of in-play, it’s another game that lends itself in to in-play betting but with a little bit hamstrung. How’s the Ashes been from betting volume? Also was there that bias that you mentioned where everyone over reacted to that First Test or did people actually expect the Aussies to bounce back?

Gerard Daffy: Well cricket betting is always good. The Ashes is obviously terrific and when we went over there everybody thought it was going to be a walk in the park and we’d win the first test and we’d go on to win 5 nil. That’s where all the money went. When we put the Ashes series up about 12 months ago, Australia were $1.80 to win the series. They got into $1.18 before the first test. Probably the best thing that happened as far as we were concerned was that Australia didn’t win the first test because that would have stymied any interest in subsequent tests. No doubt that the interest levels went up in the second test on the back of that win the first test because then we could get money from both sides whereas up until the first test it was all one way action from Australia. The Ashes betting is fantastic. We’ve got a lot more bet types during the games now and people really warm for those.

One of the more popular is the most runs market that are open all the way through. Players come in and come out or look like they’re on a roll and people really like to follow those. Unfortunately on this side of the world due to the agreements put in place with some of the controlling bodies now, a lot of the bet types, the more popular bet types have been stripped out as per the agreement that the operators had to sign off with the governing bodies. Cricket is one of those. You can’t back a player over or under say 30 runs or 50 runs. You can only back him to make over 50 runs.

That puts us at a distinct disadvantage because if you’re a cricket bookmaker outside of Australia you can basically bet on whatever you want. When you consider that a lot of these bet types originated, I know in the old days when I was at Centrebet, a lot of the options that are around now, we instigated those because there was no other bookies to do them. We started them all and unfortunately some of those have been taken away by integrity departments of these codes thinking that they can be corrupted or can be manipulated. We don’t have any evidence of that in Australia on cricket.

Anything’s that ever happened on cricket betting in regards to rorts or people that have been caught trying to defraud or cheat the system have all been as a result of what goes on in the illegal market. We’ve been penalised as a result of that yet the illegal market still flourishes.

Dave Duffield: Right. What a shame. Just to wrap it up then what advice would you give people listening to this who are horse racing and sports punters? Just in terms of the people you’ve seen succeed long term.

Gerard Daffy: Yeah actually I get asked this question a lot and I’ve dealt with a lot of people down through the years and this applies globally because I’ve dealt with them all. The people that win punting on a really ongoing basis, are those who have got a lot of patience and tend to specialize on one or two sports. More importantly they bet against the obvious happening.

The smart punters that win on Aussie rules and rugby league tend to back home sides that are outsiders particularly with the start. Very, very rarely do you see them back favourites and particularly to cover the line. When you think about if you back a favourite at the minus line, two things have got to happen. Firstly the favourite’s got to win and secondly it’s got to cover the line whereas if you back an outsider you’ve only got one thing to have happen and if they win well that’s an added bonus as well. I’ve got a lot of data here on favourites and covering the line in both of those codes and it’s probably even more prevalent in Super Rugby.

The last 3 years of Super Rugby the favourites covering the line has been running at about 40%. That’s horrific so if you can hang on until the next rugby season just back the pluses. Don’t worry about the fall, anything at all, back the plus. I think you’ll come out well ahead.

Dave Duffield: You don’t think the market will correct for that?

Gerard Daffy: It hasn’t to date. A lot of emphasis is put on home sides in Super Rugby competitions and it’s pretty much the same as what we’ve seen in these codes in Australia now. People forget that these are highly professionalised sports. These guys are used to travelling around, they travel every second week. I know there are some grounds where historically teams do battle to win and I guess you do get an inflated promise for that. We’ve heard of teams that haven’t won somewhere for 18 years and I guess you’ve got to look at that but overall if you’re on the outsiders in any of those codes you must come out in front.

Dave Duffield: Interesting as always. Appreciate your time Gerry, thanks very much.

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