IN a brand new series at WLB, we're getting inside the minds of some of the betting industry's smartest minds by asking the experts to reveal their favourite resources, valuable insight and biggest wins in the game, with Scottish football expert and star of the Gambla Podcast, Greg Browning (@Browning84Greg ) up next.
When did you first start betting? Can you remember your first bet?
Now there’s a question – probably around the late 90s when I first started going out and I could get into the bookies. It was just win-draw-win focussed back then and whilst I can’t remember the bet, I’m sure a landed a six-team accumulator – the rest as they say, is history
What sports or leagues do you focus and bet on?
I’m a football man – very rarely do I bet outside of football, and when I do its usually just the Cheltenham Festival. There’s a never ending list of sports you can bet on but it’s important you are betting on stuff you know a bit about. My knowledge of the NFL is zero so I can’t ever see me getting involved, haha.
As for football, my primary focus is in Scotland and I decided a few season ago that I would really focus my efforts on our four leagues, especially due to the fact a I watch a lot of Scottish football, know the teams, the players etc. I don’t rule out any leagues but I do tend to focus on the same leagues/competitions – my weekly betting calendar looks something like this
- Monday – Scottish Reserve League / Belgian Reserves
- Tuesday – UK matches / Champions League
- Wednesday – UK matches /Champions League
- Thursday – Europa League
- Friday – French Ligue 2 / Dutch Eerste Divisie / Austrian 2. Liga
- Saturday – Scotland / Occasional lower leagues in England
- Sunday – Scotland / Norwegian Eliteserien
What sites or sources do you use to follow them?
I use a number of different platforms, depending on the league but would really encourage people if they have a poor memory to have a little black book of teams and trends. Sites can be a terrific source of insight bit for me nothing beats your own data.
What are your favourite websites for research?
There are dozens and dozens of sites to access data but the two I use mainly are, Soccerway and Whoscored. I guess it really depends on what markets you bet on but my main focus is goals and I regularly venture into the corners and card markets. The above mentioned sites give me what I need.
Once you get 3-4 months into the season, I personally don’t need to rely on websites as much, by this point I’ve already got a good grasp of who the go to teams for goals and corners are.
I also find Twitter extremely useful, especially when it comes to reserve football – the bookies are really exposed with these games and any early insight on starting line-ups can give you a real edge.
What stats do you consider the most important?
As someone who predominantly bets on goal markets, I like to take a 6-8 game view of goals scored and goals conceded and I’m really keen to see the home away goals spit for a team and who’ve they have played during those games.
There is no magic formula but when you are backing goals overs markets, you really want to be looking at games where there is a high probability for Both Teams To Score. It may sound really obvious but that’s great thing about over’s betting, you have two teams working for you.
Hibernian are a great example of that and have been my most profitable team to back this season, by some distance
Are there any stats or trends you feel are irrelevant?
Don’t get too hung up on league tables – they can be quite misleading, especially when you look at a clubs home and away record
Head-to-head is a contentious one – I always like to have a look but I would never back out from doing a bet because of a poor head-to-head record . I’m fascinated by trends and its great to find one.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt betting?
There's probably three key things I’ve learnt:
- If you are serious about making profit and having a positive ROI, try and stick to singles and doubles. Slow and steady wins the race
- There are hundreds of leagues and markets to bet on, you can’t have knowledge and understanding on all of them so focus your efforts, time and research on just a couple of them. Get to know a league, have a niche, be a master of something.
- It pays to concentrate on lower league football and reserves – the bookies know less about these leagues, and often leave themselves exposed. The bookies DO get it wrong.
Why is value important in betting?
Without looking for value we are probably all wasting our time. Even on the surface when you find a match a match that may not necessarily offer value, the huge number of markets on offer to punters usually means value can be found
Have you any advice for punters looking to try and find an edge?
Do your homework and look at alternative markets – you’d be amazed at how often the bookies get it wrong, especially on lower league and reserve games.
Over 1.5 First-Half Goals is a market I love and is one I’ve been backing for the best part of 10 years.
The bookies don’t offer much value on Over 2.5 Goals in some of the reserve matches I bet on, but they continue to give you even money for Over 1.5 First-Half Goals for matches that have a very high probability of delivering 4+ goals
What’s your biggest betting win and how do you spend it?
It’s from a goals market I discovered a few years ago where I was picking five games for their to be a goal in the first 10 minutes (backed as accumulator, four-fold and trebles (£5 stake).
At this point bookies were offering 4/1 or 9/2 for a goal to be scored in the first 10 mins so even getting just three correct you were getting 10 times your stake back. The odds on all five landing were between 1200/1 and 1500/1
It’s landed three times over the last few seasons with the biggest paying £1,800 for the £5 stake – there's been lots of close calls with four correct but even then you are still getting £250 back.
The way I look at it is, you try backing five horses at 4/1, it's near impossible. Goals can be scored at any time an odds of 9/2 permed can give you a lovely return for just a fiver
Do you review your bets and track your winners/losers?
I go through stages of tracking them and it’s probably a really worthwhile thing to do to – I’m fortunate I can easily access the bets I’ve posted so will often retrospectively go back and track winners and losers
How do you cope with losing bets?
I’ve come to accept there will always be losing bets but I ask myself if the same match was be played again tomorrow would I back that outcome again, the answer is usually yes.
What’s the best thing about betting?
Definitely the buzz of that last goal or corner landing and knowing that the hours of prep, analysis, and write up’s etc were worthwhile. I love data and trends and there is nothing better than identifying one, highlighting it to people and seeing them win money from something only you identified.