Two Goals or More

Two Goals or More  Far and away the most popular and straightforward football betting market is the pre-match three-way, or 1-X-2, market, in which punters are required to predict a home win, away win or draw over 90 minutes plus stoppage time. However, the match result market is just one of a plethora of football betting markets, many of which can yield a profit regardless of the final result.

One such market involves backing a team to score two or more goals in a match and this is the market that was exploited, in audacious style, by an anonymous Sky Bet punter in March, 2019. The unidentified bettor staked £10 on a ten-fold accumulator on teams in League One, League Two and the National League and, eventually, collected £52,323.17 for his efforts.

In League One, his three selections included Blackpool, who scored two goals, but only thanks to Southend United defender Taylor Moore putting through his own goal in the sixth minute of injury time. Home wins for Bradford over Peterborough and Rochdale over Shrewsbury Town were more straightforward, as were those for Cheltenham Town, Colchester and Crawley in League Two. In the National League, three more home wins, for Barrow, Hartlepool and Maidstone, made it nine winning selections out of ten and, although Chesterfield lost at home to Eastleigh, they did so by a scoreline of 2-3, thereby completing the ten-fold.

Dollar Value

Dollar Value  Notwithstanding the significant increase in the number of runners that are sent off at triple-figure prices in recent years, in British horse racing winners at odds of 150/1 are still hardly an everyday occurrence. However, one such ‘shock’ winner, The Meter, a once-raced juvenile trained by Mohamed Moubarak, did pop up in a small fillies’ novice stakes race at Chelmsford on the evening of October 25, 2018.

From a betting perspective, The Meter was all the more remarkable for being the first selection of an anonymous Newcastle punter, who placed a permed accumulator bet, known as a ‘Lucky 63’ – which comprises singles, doubles, trebles, four-folds, five-folds and a six-fold – on six selections at the Essex track. He managed to couple his initial 150/1 with Dollar Value at 14/1 and Full Intention at 12/1 before his fourth selection, Rampant Lion, beat only one home in the mile handicap. Nevertheless, his winning streak resumed with It’s Not Unusual at 8/1 in the next race and rounded off with Victoria Drummond at 14/1, for five winners from six selections.

The five-fold alone paid cumulative odds of 3,975,074/1 and, for a modest total stake of £6.30, the bet, which was placed in a Coral betting shop in Throckley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, returned a mammoth £544,767.90. Coral spokesman David Stevens, speaking before the unidentified punter had returned to the shop to collect his winnings, hailed the selection of long-priced winners as ‘one of the most spectacular winning bets we have ever seen’.

Lady Luck at Leysdown-on-Sea

Lady Luck at Leysdown-on-Sea  Traditionally, football has been thought of as a male preserve, as has gambling as a leisure activity and, at least to some extent, those perceptions continue. Progress towards gender equality, in all walks of life, has been slow, but steady, although gender gaps obviously do persist. However, gambling, especially gambling on football, which has introduced a new generation to betting, is freely accessible to men and women.

A case in point is that of an unidentified housewife who, in November, 2017, staked £1 on a 12-fold accumulator on weekend football matches at a William Hill betting shop in Leysdown-on-Sea on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Apparently, the woman in question had been placing a similar bet every weekend for the previous six years, following in the footsteps of her husband, who had been doing so for the previous forty years, without much success. Her selections reportedly required no skill, but only one of them was odds-on; highlights included Burnley to beat Southampton at 4/1, Reading to beat Derby at 16/5 and Burton Albion to beat Millwall at 10/3. All told, her 12-fold returned £574.278.41 for a £1 stake.

Betting shop employee Carli Faulkner, who posed for publicity photographs with the winning betting slip, praised the win, which was, far and away, the largest payout she had ever experienced, as ‘real girl power’. William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams added, ‘‘In my 15 years in the business working for William Hill I have never encountered a bigger football win by a female punter for just a quid.’

Lucky 15 – Minted Meath Man!

Lucky 15 - Minted Meath Man!  Bookmakers are always keen to advertise that fact that one of their punters has won a five-figure or six-figure sum for a relatively small stake, because multiple bets – that is, doubles, trebles and accumulators – are excellent money-spinners. By contrast, singles are the least profitable area of business for bookmakers, so they are much less likely to advertise the fact that a punter has won, say, £10,000 with a single at even money. Similarly, it is not without good reason that bookmakers offer double, treble, four times or even five times the odds for a single winner in multiple bets such as the ‘Lucky 15’, ‘Lucky 31’ and ‘Lucky 63’ and bonuses of 10%, 20% and 25% on all-correct versions of the same bets.

However, while multiple bets, by definition, introduce increased risk, every so often a punter manages to string together a series of winners, at working man’s prices, and collects a decent sum of money. The Cheltenham Festival, for example, is considered one of the most difficult meetings of the year at which to find one winner, never mind four on the same day. Nevertheless, on the second day of the 2019 Festival, when results were more ‘punter friendly’ than is often the case, an anonymous Boylesports punter did just that and collected a total of €10,410.69 for his €120 stake.

The unidentified Meath man combined Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winner City Island, at 8/1, with RSA Chase winner Topofthegame, at 7/2, Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle winner Band Of Outlaws, at 5/1, and Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen, at 4/1, in a €4 each-way Lucky 15 at his local betting shop. Boylesports spokesman acknowledged the win, saying that ‘this customer in Meath has brought us right back down to earth with a bang’.

Injury Time Riches!

Injury Time Riches!  Betting on the outcome of football matches in the pre-match match odds market may be less volatile than ‘in-play’ betting, where odds change during matches, but that doesn’t mean that punters are immune to dramatic swings of fortune, good and bad, once matches are underway. Consider the example of an unidentified Ladbrokes punter who, in February, 2018, staked £0.50 on a 17-fold accumulator on midweek football matches, in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, at a betting shop in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

Having already experienced the good fortune of important goals in the final ten minutes of four of his selected matches, the punter headed into injury time with 15 winning selections, but Aldershot Town trailing 1-0 to Bromley and Exeter City trailing 1-0 to Crewe Alexandra. However, the often fickle football gods were on his side; lo and behold, in the 92nd minute at the Recreation Ground, Aldershot midfielder Manny Oyeleke scored to secure a draw for the home side, while at Gresty Road defender Jordan Taylor-Moore and striker Jayden Stockley both found the net, after 92 minutes and 95 minutes, respectively, to secure an unlikely win for the visitors. The remarkable reversal of fortune in stoppage time brought up all 17 selections as predicted and earned the punter £61,000. As American baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’.