By Matt Finnigan and Pete Nordsted
For many football supporters betting is part of the weekend ritual. A chance to use the knowledge gained from hours and hours of watching the beautiful game to try and earn some extra money, but more often than not it’s the bookmakers that are celebrating when the weekend is over.
The World Cup is a huge event for the gambling industry, over £2 billion is expected to be wagered in the United Kingdom alone. The biggest sporting event in the world is unique for the wide variety of teams that take part. Football supporters accustomed to their normal diet of the Premier League, La Liga and the Champions League won’t be too knowledgeable when it comes to the likes of New Zealand and North Korea. Yet if a competitive edge over William Hill et al is required then the Essential World Cup Betting Guide 2010 could help even the odds.
The Essential World Cup Betting Guide 2010 is co-authored by Peter Nordsted, a gambling expert who wrote Mastering Betfair and Matt Finnigan, a professional gambler. The introduction offers an interesting insight for the casual bettor as it provides a clear explanation of how odds are set and how bookmakers ensure they earn a profit.
The book focuses on the group stages, which is understandable as they are the only fixtures known at present. Each group is looked at in great detail along with an accompanying appendix of statistics, which alone could be studied to give a greater insight into just what might happen. A detailed thought process is outlined for each group explaining why they would gamble in a particular way. It quickly becomes apparent that looking for value is one of the most important lessons to be taken on board and that shopping around for odds in a competitive market can make significant difference to potential profit.
For the knock-out stages Pete and Matt provide a mind map outlining how they expect the tournament to pan out after the group stage. Both experts come to different conclusions and have different winners, but what is interesting for the casual gambler is how they come to their decision through analysing a wide range of statistics. The mind map is based on anything that could make a difference, including the time between matches for different teams and whether they are playing their games at sea level or altitude.
The book is an interesting read for any avid football fan in the run up to the World Cup, even for fans who don't have a particular interest in gambling. For those looking to have a flutter throughout the tournament though, the guide could be a worthwhile investment. It will be interesting to see if their tips come off, but even if they don't it's sure bring up betting factors you'd never considered.
Reviewed by Paul Smith