Last weekend was certainly more interesting than most as I bought myself a system on football and how to make money on the exchanges. For £40 it came as a PDF and told me all about how an exchange works and explained that the idea of any system is to make money from your betting – I am just so glad they told me because I would never have thought of that for myself! Now I don’t know if anyone else has ever shelled out any of their hard earned but if you do – shop around a bit more than I did first?! The implications of a new Ferrari and a villa in Spain did not turn my head (how do they get away with it?), but some sensible looking profit figures did – I just wish they had been a bit more realistic! Based on the age old principle of backing then laying certain football scenarios, long term I would make money (apparently), so off I went to Doncaster races full of beans and looking forward to spending my footie profits!

As many of you will know, you need a winner just to buy a pint at a race meeting but with Titus Mills a non runner I managed to “steal” a little 2.2 the place on BETDAQ about Invisible Man in the opener, and started with enough cash for half a shandy at least. With my trusty I-Pad I used the gaps between races to work on the footie and was amazed (or even shocked) to see how many matches there are you can bet on around the World. From Albania to Zimbabwe with plenty of Countries in between there were literally hundreds of possibilities that needed to be worked through, but all I can say is I am so glad I started to minimum stakes! By the time I had placed my first few football bets the second race was nearly upon me and I dodn’t know what everyone else is like, but I feel the need to have a bet of some size in every race – unprofessional maybe, but a lot more fun? I admit I thought Dundonnell was the good thing of the day and the BETDAQ price of 2.1 seemed generous (as opposed to the starting price of 5/6), and it would have been if he had won that is but he was comfortably beaten by yet another winning Hannon two year old.

More football bets followed which meant I missed the Portland, which was a blessing in disguise as I would never have found the winner in a month of Sundays. But it’s the St Leger where I made my money on the day, and the more I looked at the replays of Camelot’s 2000 Guineas win, the more I convinced myself he would not stay a serious mile and three quarters. 1.45 was snapped up on BETDAQ as I happily went to war and although I am still not sure if he stays or not, he was ridden as if connections were equally worried and never really looked like pegging back outsider Encke who may well be the highlight of Frankie Dettori’s season to date. Rolling in clover I finished my football bets (all lays and all on BETDAQ of course), and sat back dreaming of sunny beaches but (you guessed it), the returns did not live up to expectations and although it failed to wipe out my Camelot profits, it tried very hard. Early days I agree but appear trading for me next weekend after which I can report back with a smile at least and not a dent in the old BETDAQ balance!

Anyway, the glass is half full in my life as always, and this weekend I have a few varied bets worth a go – well, in my opinion anyway for what it’s worth. Golf is not really a sport I have a lot to do with personally (I have friends who study the stats and offer up sensible bets), but the 1.9 about the USA winning the Ryder Cup on home still looks a value bet to me. They have notoriously riotous crowds, course knowledge, and perhaps a stronger squad in depth and a couple of points looks like money in the bank.

The racing is more competitive than ever this weekend but although it is not my idea of a sensible bet, half a point each way on the Ayr Gold Cup is always good for a laugh and with the favourites trading at about the 10/1 mark, a place will be a decent payout regardless. The Cheka is a class act at his best, better than a handicapper and also has decent enough form on soft ground (it seems sure to be heavy if it goes ahead), making 23.0 look like a giveaway price (thank you BETDAQ layers). He does stay further than this six furlongs which could be of benefit if they go hell for leather as expected, and at the price looks an each way option in a very difficult race to second guess.

As for the football this week, and systems aside, it really is about time the so-called big boys came through for me after last week’s appalling performances. I don’t do politics but despite the media rhetoric there is still no love lost between Manchester United and Liverpool and although the game will be played in sad circumstances and hopefully with the appropriate respect, I can still only see United as the winners on Sunday and 2.9 on BETDAQ is just a touch too tempting. Stoke are looking more vulnerable than usual this season and I can only see a home win for Chelsea with odds of 1.4 poor but still worth having in a treble. With Manchester City playing Arsenal I will head to Blackburn tonight (Friday) for the third leg as they just cannot stop scoring goals of late – if only they could also defend? At 2.0 with home advantage they help to bump up the odds, and by the time we add the 1.25 about Celtic to win at home (no Champions league the following week, so a full strength side will be in action), we have a four fold that looks good and pays out quite well. Finally, Crawley have started life in Division one a lot better than many expected but are still vulnerable on occasions as witnessed by their 0-3 home defeat against Portsmouth the other week. Tranmere are also flying of late and top the table after the first seven games, and are also playing some attractive football (for a change), and the odds of 4.0 for the away win are just too large to ignore and seem worthy of a point in the circumstances.

This week’s suggested bets (odds correct at the time of writing):

2pts Win USA Ryder Cup 2012 at BETDAQ odds of 1.9

1pt Win accumulator: Blackburn to beat Middlesbrough (Friday) at BETDAQ odds of 2.0, Chelsea to beat Stoke at BETDAQ odds of 1.4 (Saturday), Celtic to beat Dundee at BETDAQ odds of 1.25 (Saturday), and Manchester United to beat Liverpool at BETDAQ odds of 2.9 (Sunday).
1pt Tranmere to beat Crawley Saturday at BETDAQ odds of 4.0 (Saturday)

Horse Racing
Half point each way The Cheka Ayr Gold Cup, 23.0 to win and 5.7 to place with BETDAQ, 3.30pm Ayr Saturday.

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