Crio’s Question: What are your sports forecasting rules?

As this weekend’s results attest, punting and picking winners are tough tasks. To simplify the predicament we look for trends, adages, even superstitions.

My 2010 theory (at the moment) involves laying teams the week after they’ve played the Dogs. The Pies fell in by a point v Dees but it is otherwise effective!

Past advice of varying worth has included:

RACING: Topweights in Welters.

FOOTY: North at night.

DISHLICKERS: Back 1, 2 + 8 to avoid the squeezeboxes.

EPL: Draws in derbies

Some theories, however, are far more bizarre. A colleague is convinced that the rising moon confirms his punting judgement!

What “rules” have you invoked, successfully or otherwise, to help to overcome the challenges of sports forecasting?


  1. John Butler says

    Never back The Shark to win a US major. OOPS! That one’s a little redundant.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    My late grandfather Bill Godfrey was a punter, but not a very successful one. However, there are two pieces of advice he passed on which I have always adhered to: “never run up stairs” and “never back odds-on”.

    My wife’s uncle was the late Jim Coghlan of Ballarat TV Turf-Talk fame. The sound piece of advice I took from him, was “never trust a man wearing grey shoes”.

  3. Andrew – my Grandmother used to say “never trust a man who’s head is flat at the back.” sound advice, but I’m not sure what it has to do with punting.

    Do bookies have flat bits at the back of their heads?

  4. With my footy tipping, i put down who i assume is going to win and then consult with Ralphy’s choices in the HS tipping section.
    i got 5 tips right this week which isn’t too bad with all the upsets.
    My normal rule is NEVER tip against Geelong; last night has not helped this strategy

  5. John Butler says

    Always back the Blues Danni. Particularly starting this week! :)

  6. An old bookie I used to know (on the Flat at Victoria Park)had a conviction that any horse announced as “carrying the all white clours of the Club” had no hope.
    “If they can’t be bothered bringing their silks”,he’d counsel,”they don’t expect to be in a photo”!

  7. JB – the Blues arrogance emerging already I see. As a very learned football friend of mine has pointed out (and he is a Blue Bagger) when was the last time a team with a small forward line won the flag? Ummmmmm…………….

    He reckons its works in ambush games but never deep in September. Good point I think. Its what has stopped the Doggies in recent years.

  8. Always back a team with an extra days rest when playing a team that had a tough physical game the week before unless there is a clear skill disparity. (e.g. I’ll be taking the Doggies for this reason on Friday).

    Also always follow your gut instinct (worked wonders so far and part of the reason I am 32/40 in the tipping)

  9. My one footy tipping rule was “never tip Freo” until last weekend, when I loudly proclaimed that I was convinced they were no longer the league’s basket case.

    (I also proclaimed that mantle was to be officially passed on to the Tiges.)

    I felt a dreadful sinking feeling when I turned the radio on just before quarter time on Sunday night, but thankfully they managed to pull themselves together.

  10. John Butler says


    Just let us enjoy it while it lasts. It’s been a long decade.

  11. Racing punters are deluged with “logic”, some totally nonsensical – do or don’t back greys – whilst others have some basis in sense. One is the “don’t back apprentices in non-claiming races”. True, you feel that you are giving away an advantage, but it is just one of so many factors to be juggled.

  12. pauldaffey says

    My grandfather used to hate jockeys. He thought they were all crooks, especially Darren Gauci.

    Much of his pre-race scrutiny was applied to working out which jockey was less of a cheating thief than his mates.

  13. Any Zabeel with blinkers on first time must be considered – they have been known to improve considerably. Also add any Bart runner with blinkers first time.

    A horse’s chance is inversely proportionate to the amount you have spruiked it. Tell no-one and it will win – Tell everyone and it has no hope.

    Never wear green on a racetrack.

    Dual acceptors have a great record (only allowed in Sydney)

    Disregard anything that Keith Hillier says.

  14. no 11 Crio reminds me of the day we were having a pot or two in Charlies before a game at the Western Oval. The Germans father had just passed on the wise words “never back a grey horse. Zey are veeek in the ze legs”. As we turned to the TV we watched 3 greys run the trifecta.

  15. Richard Jones says

    MY rule in tipping where Bendigo league sides are concerned. Always go for the club higher on the ladder.
    Thus 5th will beat sixth, 8th will beat 9th et al. Works OK overall, with a few little quirks occasionally.

    In the AFL, try wherever possible NOT to tip the Squawks. Going beautifully in 2010.
    A few years ago never tip the club returning from Perth as they backed up the following week, especially if they were enduring a “short” week.

  16. Stainless says

    My work (a government department) has run a large tipping competition for over a decade that regularly attracts over 300 entrants. With that many participants, you’ve got to tip well above the best of the media pundits to win.

    The only time the competition has been won “back to back” was by a joint entry of two Richmond supporters who swore by their “secret system”. Eventually I learned what it was.

    Each week they would independently make their selections and would compare them. Where they agreed, the selections stood. Where they disagreed, they would check Robert Walls’ tips and go with whichever team he didn’t pick. It worked a treat two years running!

  17. Unless he played on the weekend, Ben McEvoy of the sainters has played 15 games straight without a loss!!! So if he’s in the lineup, then plunge on St Kilda.

  18. Carringbush says

    The Dishies aren’t my go but an old bloke at Cheers Bar & Grill in Haymarket told me years ago to always put No. 5 in the trifecta. I had a good run that night but suspect it’s as good as picking your favourite number. Any stats on box numbers. More superstitious than forecast but I love 1-2-7 trifectas. My punting sister had to laugh when a 1-2-7 came up recently and the bloke behind her said “Ah, the old 1-2-7 tri.” Again, is this another widely known thing?

  19. Always tip Essendon against Carlton, regardless of form. Worked so far this year.

  20. Carringbush, I’ve put in this week’s race preview to always seek a “Stubby” Holder winner at the Adelaide Carnival!

  21. Was the Wangoom winner a reinforcement of the axiom “Greys on wet tracks”?

  22. My theory to lay the side which last played the dogs profited again last night.
    Back the Coasters this Saturday.

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