For the average punter several things take place when they put their money down for a bet. Or to put it another way, different people see their bets in different ways, each picking out that part of the overall scenario that suits them best. Some just like the buzz, some like the idea that they might be proving themselves to their mates, and others like to pit their wits against the shrewd minds of the bookies. Whatever the motivation, there is – more often than not – a lot more going on that simply taking a punt.
Professional gamblers, of course, have their own rationale, and it is one that more intelligent punters will have already made themselves aware of. If gambling is about predicting the future outcome of a contest, any edge there might be lies in the quality of the information that informs that prediction.
Insight is everything. It is on that basis that bookmakers establish their prices in the first place. But in putting a value on a given runner’s chances the bookie is committing himself to a fixed position – however temporarily. With the right access to up to the minute information punters can begin to chisel into some of the value that the bookies are offering.
Increasingly sites like http://www.bet365.com/news/en/betting are enabling gamblers of all flavours the same level of insight as the people who set the odds. It makes the battle of nerve and judgement which lies at the heart of the exchange all the more visible.
At the same time the industry has changed massively with the advent of online betting in all its forms. It has made the process of placing a bet immeasurably more streamlined and efficient. And in a setting where the currency as well as the accuracy of information has a value, that in itself is a game changer.
If you now before the next man that Diego Costa will be out for the rest of the season, or that Jimmy Anderson will not take part in next year’s Ashes series, that information can be taken to market and traded.
Not every piece of sports news carries this inherent value. It has been said that 80% of all news is based on what someone has said. But press conferences and interviews only seldom directly have a bearing on any sporting action. As often as not, they are little more than the media equivalent of wallpaper.
But every so often someone will let something slip that reveals either a specific piece of information – such as in injury or a disciplinary issue – or their demeanour will point the way to some sort of competitive repercussion. Kevin Keegan’s famous melt-down when he was manager of Newcastle is still the best example of such a painfully revealing display.
At moments like these there is the opportunity to read the conditions factoring into the contest in question in a way that was not previously available. It gives punters – whatever their motivation – the opportunity to make a judgement and to back that judgement quicker than the market can react. Getting the right information at the right time is crucial, and a reliable information source is fundamental to that. Everything else is just a hunch.