Our Premium Golf Betting Tips package is open again for a limited time.
This highly successful sports betting syndicate employs a team of traders, analysts, modellers and course/player scouts. The previews and picks provided to members are a close-up example of how professional syndicates make money on a mainstream sport.
For obvious reasons, the syndicate members do not want their names disclosed, so in lieu of that we’ve decided to provide extensive background info on their approach to winning and what you can expect from your subscription to this package:
How are the selections generated?
We believe that golf betting is the only remaining mainstream sport where the markets are still very inefficient; there is a lot of recreational money that comes with punters and golf fans looking to have an interest in events that are very well covered on television. So many people bet occasionally on golf without the required knowledge and therefore the bookies only need to adopt very basic pricing models in order to turn a profit.
That means that the platform is already set for us to take advantage of and to then further build on. For example, the bookies make constant mistakes in the way that they price up the match bets and side markets in particular; they are basically all derived from the outright prices, which is absolutely wrong in a lot of cases.
Some players have wildly different standard deviations from their scoring average and performance whilst many golfers struggle to win but show remarkable consistency in achieving top 20 finishes etc. In the match bets, two players can have the same scoring average but achieve it with very different ranges of scores.
Above all, golfers are like racehorses; some like different conditions, distances, breaks between events etc. The nuances of golf course design and layout are still very varied and it really is a case of golfers for courses.
Keeping these factors in mind and our experience beating the bookmaker, our actual bet selections use a five step process:
(1) Watch the coverage
It’s a massive task but we watch a huge amount of golf on TV, live at the course and online via PGA shotlink. Horse racing analysts know how time consuming watching video replays is, but we find it to be absolutely vital to maintaining our edge. Some weeks we might cover three events which could mean 80 hours of live television plus other highlights, scoring analysis etc.
You simply cannot know the golfers just from the stats and scoreboards; they all have their tendencies – some more than others and just watching the coverage is a full time job in itself. It simply must be done and we do not know of any recreational punter that has 80 hours a week spare!
(2) Data and Knowledge
In addition to watching the coverage and keeping notes on every player, we like to send someone to every course that is going to be used multiple times for an event. There is nothing to compare to actually walking round Augusta or St Andrews in terms of knowledge gained. You can see and learn things that are just not evident from the television pictures.
We love to cover quirky courses like Delhi Golf Club in India. I feel like I have walked every inch of that course and it is unique. That course knowledge gives us a big edge over the bookmakers who are stuck calculating their prices from the office back-end.
In addition, we have people covering different nationalities so that we can obtain all information regarding injuries, club changes, swing changes etc. You need a French speaker to help collect all the information for the huge amount of French players now competing on the European Tour and we have access to Asian speakers etc for the Japan and Asian Tours also. It is of course easier on the PGA Tour where you can use a number of information sites like asapsports but in either case there is significant value added by physically having someone there to interpret and gather information that does not make its way to the web.
Then we need to capture the data; there is a huge amount of information that can be collected from the Tour websites. PGA Tour is miles ahead with almost every shot criteria imaginable, however, it all has to be taken in context with wind, types of grass, fairway width etc etc. So every event and course has to be categorised so that we can get detailed information on player preferences and expected deviation from their stroke average.
Some players are up to two shots per round worse in certain conditions on just one criteria, which is 8 strokes per tournament. Therefore, the key to success here is to use all the data and knowledge to assess an event in an intelligent way and determine which players are suited that week. The markets are not good at doing that; in fact in our experience they are truly awful at taking this information into account.
For example, you will see a player find some form in a course that is wide open and suits big hitters; The next week his price will be cut in half yet he might be playing in a windy, tight, tough course that does not suit him in any way. We love that, because it means we can achieve a very consistent edge.
The third element of our approach is to be aware of the fundamentals of the side markets and match bets, two balls, three balls etc. Two players may be the same odds to win an event, but the odds for them in match bet for the tournament can be a long way from 50/50. The outright markets also cannot be relied upon to derive bets like Top Australian. Doing it that way simply creates inefficiencies at the top end. The maths behind these anomalies is very simple and we find the situation getting worse which means that it gets even better for us.
(4) Model and Database Prices
Taking all of the above into account, we have a database that produces a model for each event based on scoring average, form, course form and then the attributes that we attach to the course for that week.
This includes variables such as Bent Grass greens versus Poa Annua, narrow fairways versus wide fairways etc. The model provides an outright market that takes into account a player’s ability to score low enough to win that week as many players simply cannot achieve the required winning score in certain conditions.
Conversely, some players who have not been in contention may very well have the ability to go low in the correct circumstances. In many instances, we prefer players who have been finishing in the 30s and 40s in terms of position due to one bad round or a stretch of holes. Many of those can win when they put four rounds together. For some players, even posting four good rounds by their standard will not be low enough for them to win.
So we have model prices and we also have database prices for match bets, side markets etc. Those are not derived from the outright odds; they are priced individually with slightly differing criteria.
Finally, it is simply a question of comparing our prices to the market; outright prices and some of the side market odds can be large – that can lead to big advantages but also large runs of outs, which we try to avoid.
There are also so many bets that our system throws up that we have to be selective and only go with those that produce that we predict will produce the best result for our bottom line. The best way to do that is to oppose bad favourites, or bad groups (dutched prices); so we highlight the situations where we think our selection has merit in a market where the favourite(s) or the opponent(s) are also bad value. Our bets come from that analysis.
In other words, it’s a long answer to a very simple question!
What is your winning strike-rate and profitability?
We price every market that we bet in. Generally, there has to be a 10% differential in favour of our estimated probabilities before we will place a bet. (Although some markets we require four times the decimal price due to potential run of outs – e.g 3.00 chance requires 12% margin, 100 chance requires 400 per cent margin).
We are cautious with our odds setting and certainly expect to beat our perceived edge. This year to date, across all tours, the profit on turnover we have achieved is 16.8%. That is fairly representative of what we expect although our target is 20+. We do turn over a large amount in lots of markets. For these selections in the Champion Bets package, they will be much lesser volume with only bets between rounds; we would therefore hope that we can really achieve very decent profit on turnover results that might surprise a few people.
How does the staking plan work?
The staking plan is based on a bank of 100 units. We like to bet according to the calculated edge but usually we bet to return around 5% of the revised bank. We also have limits on player exposure, event exposure etc, so some bets are smaller. The average bet will be between 1 and 3 units based on a 100 unit starting bank.
Who are the best bookies to bet with?
All the usual online firms offer fairly extensive golf markets. It is important for punters to spread their bets around and to use Betfair as much as possible.
Betfair is a necessity, but we will also have releases for Matchbook, Marathon, Pinnacle, TAB, Bet365, William Hill, TopSport, UBet, Unibet, Crownbet, Ladbrokes.
We would encourage Australian punters to open an account with Spreadex also. If you can add the UK bookies to that list then there really are around 25 places to bet. You can add some lesser firms to the list but many of them are not worth the hassle for us. We will always recommend a selection at a price that is available in a few places, not just the best price at one firm where restrictions probably apply.
Why are you prepared to share your bets?
We generally place most of our bets in running and on the exchanges. We have a lot of bets and the ones that we are happy to release are a very strong subset of those for the serious punter who wants to win steadily. There are lots of ways to back the same selection or oppose bad favourites which is what we do. The liquidity on golf, and the recreational money, is good enough for us to suggest a carefully selected set of bets to a capped list of regular punters.
We will not release any intricate details regarding our model, our mathematical strategies or other key factors that help determine which markets we bet in.
Release time (AEDT) and format.
Each Thursday at 12 lunchtime Melbourne time, we release a summary of the week’s events and some general thoughts with key lines of attack. There will be one or two early bets with that info. Daily updates will be sent on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the same time, normally between 12pm-1pm Melbourne. Sometimes those times will change if the event is local etc. On Monday morning, there will be a recap of the week and the results.
Managing Run of Outs and Strike Rate
You will see lots of golf tipsters have four or five outright selections before an event starts, at big prices. That is a poor value strategy and one result in the whole year can make or break your profitability. This service will not be having lots of bets like that pre-tournament. The value in the outright market lies as the event unfolds. We endeavour to make a profit for the week on the events that we cover and the run of outs by bets, and by weeks, will be limited.
Most weeks there will be around 5 to ten bets, with 6 or 7 probably a fair average.