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 Steve Wyss (@meatmansoccer) up next.
When did you first start betting? Can you remember your first bet?
I can’t exactly remember my first bet but I’m 100% sure it would’ve been on horse racing. I used to go to a lot of meetings with my parents, especially Ripon or Thirsk.
I would’ve probably been 15 or 16 when I actually placed my own bets (back then I looked much older than I was) so the bookies were happy to accept my cash without questions!
What sports or leagues do you focus and bet on?
These days my focus is on football. Specific leagues I am invested in are French, Norwegian and MLS. I do bet on some other sports and golf has been one of my favourites down the years. I mostly bet Asian Handicap/Goal line in football with a large majority of my bets in-running.
What sites or sources do you use to follow them?
With the football leagues I cover it’s mostly local sources as much as possible. I find it’s these type of sources that offer the best and more accurate insights. It can be quite problematic at times, especially in Norway and France where paywalls are starting to become more widespread.
What are your favourite websites for research?
What stats do you consider the most important?
These days Expected Goals (xG) figures don’t really lie over a long period and eventually teams will be found out. In the short term I think you have to look at the last three to five games. Current form is crucial.
Are there any stats or trends you feel are irrelevant?
Head-to-head (team) records. The only exceptions sometimes being in derby matches or where a trend has got so ridiculous (such as Marseille failing to win at Bordeaux in 42 years!)
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt betting?
Don’t overestimate team news. Expect the unexpected and always cover your back if you can. Try not to chase losers. Don’t bet if you aren’t feeling well enough both in a mental and physical way.
Why is value important in betting?
I’m not as hung up about value compared to some out there. If your confidence levels are really high and the price is fair and acceptable then I will go for it. However, over a long term period you need to be looking for value as much as possible. From a statistical point of view it makes sense, but also from a mental perspective there is a crippling feeling if you lose and you know the value ‘wasn’t really there’
Have you any advice for punters looking to try and find an edge?
Know your sport/league/area inside out. Do not cut corners with research on key things.
What’s your biggest betting win and how do you spend it?
In football there was a Norwegian match between Viking and Valerenga that ended something daft like 5-5 back in 2015. It was such a wild encounter that early doors I’d bet in-running on Over 8.5 at some big price like 300/1 or maybe more on Betfair. That was a good trading day.
Pre event I‘ve had some decent golf winners at big prices and for some reason I always remember backing Christian Kist and Jelle Klaasen to win the BDO Darts World Championships at three-figure prices.
I’m a part-time pro so money goes towards general stuff in life. If the wife knows I’ve had a decent winner though she will probably hope for something!
Do you review your bets and track your winners/losers?
Yes, it’s essential to know your progress
How do you cope with losing bets?
I hate losing, I really hate it. I actually think the older I've got I've become an even worse loser, possibly because you know every pick means something if you are serious about betting.
Some losers I will admit to struggling to cope. I can get angry and need a release of some sort. I have genuinely thought about purchasing some sort of punching bag to let out the anger. There are some dents around my desk area where I've thrown things.
Sometimes a relaxing bath or a walk outside can help clear the mind. I talk things over with myself if needed. The good thing is I’m usually over any loss inside 12 hours or less and the next day I can forget about things and move on.
The most dangerous time for me is in the immediate aftermath of a bad loser. I have been known to make some poor chasing picks around that sort of time. One big bit of advice I would give is if you are feeling emotionally down after a loser then try (if you can) just to step away until the feeling of calmness comes back, otherwise mistakes WILL be made.
What’s the best thing about betting?
Those injury time winning goals in non VAR leagues that you can really celebrate straight away, although these are sometimes just a relief as well.
I would say in general it’s just the general buzz and adrenaline of being on something that can give you that extra lift. If you have really researched something, know you have an edge and that particular bet delivers, there is a real feeling of satisfaction.