IN the next of a brand new series, we get inside the minds of some of WLB's brightest stars with their favourite resources, valuable insight and greatest memories of betting shared, with Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) next in the spotlight.
When did you first start betting? Can you remember your first bet?
I had lots of bets among friends as a child and have bet on The Grand National since I was about 10. The bet I remember most vividly was £1 with a Chelsea fan that Man United would beat them. They didn't. It was the season of the 1-0 Gavin Peacock double.
I also recall my dad putting an acca on for me when I was 15. He was trying to show me it was a waste of money. He didn't want me punting but what annoyed him most is that I was considering putting Rangers in it!
What sports or leagues do you focus and bet on?
I focus on football, NFL and golf but if I had more time I would get more involved in cricket and rugby league too.
What sites or sources do you use to follow them?
Golf I tend to get involved with in-play so it's generally a case of stats from PGA Tour.
What are your favourite websites for research?
What stats you do consider the most important?
I think timelines are important rather than stats. Expected Goals (xG) can tell lies because of penalties, poor refereeing decisions and domination in particular games. I try to see why a team has won the game but lost the xG. For example they scored two goals early on from minimal chances and then sat back and their opponent pulled one back late on.
All that said, if you don't think Newcastle have been one of the worst three sides in Premier League this season then perhaps football isn't for you.
In golf, it has to be proximity to the whole. There are so many streaky putting rounds that you need to know who cannot sustain it.
For NFL I try to look at stats by quarter and also ignore turnovers to an extent. There are so many touchdowns in garbage time that you need to look at things in more detail.
Are there any stats or trends you feel are irrelevant?
Possession in football. I am no Tony Pulis, mind.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt betting?
That the final result is almost irrelevant. If you beat the market or lose a game because of a bad refereeing decision – or missed chances – you need to take it on the chin.
I am a West Brom fan and it amazed me that so few fans could recognise that we were playing better in January – and not getting results – than we were in December.
Why is value important in betting?
Because it proves your process. If something is a 7/1 shot and you think it has a 15% chance of winning then get on.
Good bets lose and bad bets win so the process is key.
Have you any advice for punters looking to try and find an edge?
Try to specialise. I bet on loads of different sports but stake sizes are bigger on ones I study most.
What’s your biggest win (either odds or cash winnings) and how do you spend it?
I won a 400 person Last Man Standing competition just before Christmas. That was comfortably by biggest win.
Do you review your bets and track your winners/losers?
Always. Football is quite simple stats-wise and I always try to understand if I have been lucky (or not!)
How do you cope with losing bets?
A lot better now than I used to!
If I am on a bad run I simply reduce the markets I bet on. I've got two young children and a joint account with the other half so I am very sensible these days. Too sensible for my liking.
What’s the best thing about betting?
Sitting down and analysing hundreds of opportunities and settling on a couple of bets. That moment when you know the work is done and you have something to look forward to.
Late winners are always good obviously but fundamentally I am a fan of sport and nothing can compare to a last gasp winner from Jake Livermore!