Poms Provide Prospective Punting Pillage

One of the many great things about using Betfair to satisfy your deepest punting needs is that you are betting with the world. The entire world. It would be brilliant to get a print-out of who your bets were matched with: fifth-at-Cranbourne wagers matched with the blackberry-using Telstra technician parked under a mango tree in Cairns; cricket bets matched with the Indian call-centre operator in Birmingham; baseball bets matched with the stock exchange junkie from New York.

Studs Terkel could have written a book about it.

But if you are serious about trading on sports betting markets, you have to be rubbing your hands together here in Australia at the moment. Or, indeed at any moment.

One of the keys to winning here in the Antipodes is in understanding that a lot of Betfair customers are Poms, and there is a lot of Pommy money looking for Pommy conveyances on which to plonk. So it makes a lot of sense to trade in those volatile markets (Wimbledon, The Open, and the FIFA World Cup) where beer and scrumpy mix with British emotion to provide a delicious scenario.

It’s almost criminal.

You can see the British punters from here: all red-faced and roly-poly and spawned in the same pond as Phil Taylor.

You (the damned colonial) can see them at their computers as you log on at 9 on a Sunday morning in Wagga Wagga , without even needing Skype and webcam.

Their midninght bets are so obvious. It’s like they’ve got a little Union Jack in them.

These Pommy punters have staggered home from the Slug and Lettuce (with a couple of cans of Newcastle Brown), up the laneway to the flat in Kilburn, tripped up the steps, struggled to get the key in the door, stumbled over the (plastic) bust of Bobby Charlton, put the Chelsea scarf over the knob, and sat down free-spiritedly at the IBM they got up the high street pawn-brokers. At that time of night, and with that sort of heritage (“We had an Empire you know”) England will win the World Cup. Andy Murray will win Wimbledon. And the golfers can work it out among themselves.

The top’s ripped off the Brown, and they’re ready to punt.

They take your bait. You’ve just got to put the bets there. Lay Murray at $3.75. Thank-you. Lay England at $7. Thank-you. Oh, and I’ll see if I can back the Germans at $20. There it goes now. Snapped up by the 57 year old bus driver from Tooting Bec.

You can tell the Hooray Henrys. They’re betting in four-figure amounts. But their judgment is no better. It’s just cost them more to get hammered.

But Poms will be betting all over the planet this World Cup. And so you will find some ripper bets at all hours.

It is, indeed, a super time for a punt. Especially if you like to put the slippers on, get the single malt out, stoke the fire and put Foxtel on.

Those markets where you can trade during running (even in Australia) are especially appealing, notably:

The 2010 FIFA World Cup (overall) winner’s market

Wimbledon (men and women’s) winners markets

The British Open from St Andrew’s winner’s markets (and numerous exotics)

I’ll be laying England and Spain, and backing Argentina. The value is definitely there in the $100+ teams. Greece is $360 for example, and they are ranked far higher than that. It will only take a draw for one of the more favoured teams and the market will adjust quick smart – a loss here and there will send it all over the place.

It doesn’t matter who you start with at Wimbledon, although laying the shorter-priced players gives a pretty good foundation.

Individual golf prices to win the tournament are much longer so it’s probably a backer’s market and hope you snag someone in the top few at the end of the second round.

The options are plenty.

Then you can throw in a few Australian markets:

AFL premiership market

NRL premiership market (ridiculously even comp this season)

There is also the option of a few late-night punts on the English races.

That’s punting heaven.

It might be winter in Australia but the Poms will be at their computers and there’ll be opportunity aplenty.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Tim Ivins says

    JTH, you’ve inspired me but I’m a little confused. Is there a cheat sheet on how it all works?

  2. Peter Flynn says


    Did you catch The Power’s recent two 9-dart finishes in one match?


    A plethora of sport is upon us.

  3. johnharms says


    It’s all to do with you setting a price in your own mind: eg What is the right price for Andy Murray to win Wimbledon? If you reckon Murray should be $9.50, then you might offer to lay Murray at $6. Evidence of the last Wimbledon and Aust Opens would suggest that punters will take those odds. They took Murray at about $4.50 from memory at th elast Aust Open (partly because Nadal was reported to have a suspect knee) Hence, at $6, in your mind those punters have taken unders, and you have received overs, which puts your book in the potential black. Equally if you open up your Betfair page to find someone offering $12 on Andy Murray then you’d take it, as in your mind it represents overs.

    Crio is a bookie’s off-sider and he will tell you I’m sure that bookies will put up the odds that they think punters will take – on horses which they think won’t win, and in relation to the prices available on the bookies’ boards around them. Bookies are advantaged by the imagined market. Punters fall into ridiculus favourites.

    If a conveyance is going to lose then it doesn’t matter what price you offer it at, really. (But you can’t completely disregard price as it may find a way to win, and it is all to do with false price and true price)

    Collingwood $3.65 to win the flag in Round 21 last year was miles under the odds. Collingwood at $3.60 during the first half of the Geelong match this season was (in my mind) well under the odds as well. Collingwood is now $6.80 to win the flag (which I think is still under the odds, and so I am happy to lay them at the moment). Cats are about right at $2.70.

    Watching a Betfair market (like Wimbledon, or the World Cup) is fascinating. The World Cup market at the moment has Spain miles under the odds in my view. If you back Spain (or in a three-cornered contest ‘not-the-opponent’) all-up in the final four fixtures of the tournament you will get well over $4.90.

  4. johnharms says

    The Pommy (Scot) pillaging began last night with Wimbledon.

    When Federer was under pressure (and out to $8 for the tournament) Nadal was in to about $2.70 and you could lay Andy Murray at $7.40 – I got a nice piece of that. Murray is now at about $12. So that’s nearly double your money! Murray will play 7 matches. PF, what is the seventh root of $7.40. And more to the point, what price will Andy Murray start at v federeer if it comes to that?

  5. Peter Flynn says

    (7.40)^(1/7) is 1.33 (correct to 2 decimal places). Hence $1.33.

    If Murray was up against Federer, I reckon he’d start at about $2.90.

    Murray hasn’t been playing well. Federer is on the wane but still superb.

    Where was this caper in the days of Henmania?

    Will we get a Krajicek v Washington-type line-up in the 2010 final?

  6. JTH – must talk to you in detail about this one day – sounds like something I’d like to get right into in my retirement, ripping into the Poms.

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