Twitter, it’s more than just a bit of fun:
For most Twitter is a bit of fun, an opportunity to share your news, vent your frustrations and keep tabs with friends and celebrities.
To others, a select few, Twitter is an invaluable information feed which is used in an identical fashion to stock market traders eagerly awaiting news and trading figures down high-speed newswires.
If a company announces the loss of a huge contract their share price will fall, should they boast of record breaking profits ahead of all projections their stock will rise in value.
It is not rocket science but it is a space race, a cyberspace race, because those who receive the information first on their screen can, in turn, act on it first and that will result in short-term financial gains.
Now PLC’s do not announce their figures via Twitter strangely enough but sportsmen do have this great knack of divulging their news via the 140 character personal noticeboard.
And the glory of it is… while listed companies are hyper sensitive to claims of insider trading and eager to preserve their reputations and share price – even the most dire annual reports are always sugar coated by cleverly worded PR spin – the average athlete has no such concerns.
Doubtlessly Premiership footballs have been advised to give their Tweets the upmost consideration. Their financial worth, due to a carefully manicured manufactured image cultivated by their agents, could be severely impaired by even the most naive Twitter posting.
“Missing tomorrow’s game after coming out of a club pissed and trapping my finger in the taxi door!” would generate pages of gutter-press coverage if posted by a Premiership player.
At the other end of the spectrum when Downhill Norwegian ski sensation Aksel Lund Svindal took to Twitter to announce he had ruptured his Achilles tendon whilst training and was likely to be out for most, if not all, of the 2014/2015 season, no one seemed interested.
No one in the betting industry that is, as his position as 2/1 joint-favourite for the Men’s Overall World Cup Championship remained stagnant for hours. By the time red flags were waving like the May Day Parade in Tiananmen Square, Svindal’s only conceivable rival for the title, Marcel Hirscher, had been smashed in from 2/1 to 1/4!
This was a money making opportunity. Ultimately Hirscher did win the title but backing an athlete at 2/1 which should be 1/4 is simply good business sense.
Admittedly skiing may not be a mainstream sport or betting medium but it is these minority sports where mistakes are opportunities are commonly found. Even if you are a football fan with no interest in skiing, one must never forget the goal of a gambler should be to make money and not be entertained by losing it.
Sports Betting Calculator’s Advice Is:
View Twitter as an information curve and open dedicated accounts, as many as a dozen if need be, although only trade in sports that you fully understand.
Have one for horseracing and following only jockeys and trainers and racecourses. Do not follow the likes of the Racing Post as they will simply be regurgitating news instead of being at the cutting edge of it. Opportunities will be lost before they have been offered up.
Open another for Formula 1 following drivers, teams and circuits.
A third for Reality TV shows, following respected news sources and dedicated show tweets. Although the news found here may not be ground breaking you are still likely to have the jump on odds compilers who are ensconced in an office in Gibraltar or Malta and have been given six other obscure sports/events to price up that day.
Maybe a fourth for Darts, a fifth for Snooker, a sixth for athletics, the possibilities are endless.
Keep these feeds running throughout the day and, more importantly, throughout the night, a time when bookmakers really can be spanked as their shop – their online interface – is open for business while they are running a skeleton staff who are proven to be anything other than diligent.
Here’s a prime-example… In 2012 there was a four hour wide-open window to lay 6/4 favourite Lewis Hamilton in the Chinese F1 Grand Prix. The Englishman had qualified in second position and looked to have an outstanding chance of taking an early and unassailable lead in the race.
However, post-qualifying and after the odds-compilers had been sent home for the night, news came through, on Twitter, of Hamilton’s need to change the gearbox in his car. Under the rules that necessitated a five-place grid penalty meaning he ultimately started the race from seventh position on the grid and his chances were now approaching double figures. .
Suffice to say, by the time the odds compilers were back at their desks the more conscientious punters had backed all of the principles at prices dramatically greater than the likelihood of them prevailing as well as laying Hamilton for all they could on Betfair’s race market. (Check our Arbitrage betting article for the best way to guarantee a profit in this situation).
Over time Formula 1 and cycling have proven to be the most fertile sources of Twitter news which has given punters an excellent chance to beat the old enemy. One must presume it’s because teams give no consideration to betting implications.
Conversely, should a prominent stable scratch a horse from a major race it is invariably done through a press release which has been embargoed until a certain time and is accompanied by an official statement. All very business like.
As a punter you also have to think from outside the box. In the spring of 2015 it was announced the German Grand Prix was not going ahead and the season would now consist of 19 races instead of the scheduled 20.
Initially it would appear to have little bearing on things, unless you are a spread better that is. One less F1 grand Prix means 101 less championship points will be awarded during the year.
Not a massive amount admittedly but with race winners receiving 25 points and second placed finishers 18, the spread on the ‘total number of drivers points’ (with the spread firms) should have been wound back by 18 points for the likes of the dominant Lewis Hamilton and 16 for his teammate Nico Rosberg.
They ultimately were but not after a long window of opportunity between the moment the news broke and the time the likes of Sporting Index received it and fully digested its implications.