“Disclaimer: sports betting can be a negative proposition. This strategy does not guarantee a profit so please use at your own discretion.”
It is with great pleasure that I get to introduce Diede van den Ouden. Diede is a profitable Dutch poker player who made a successful transition to the stock markets. His specialties are equities (or stocks) in the short and medium term. Besides investing, his interests include poker, football, darts and politics. He also manages to turn his experience in daytrading and love of sports into positive returns in the sports betting field. Before the start of the European Championships he wrote a piece, in Dutch, about how to turn a profit on this event. He updated his strategy to incorporate the most recent statistics and graciously allowed me to translate his work to English.
Back in 2014, Diede made a few bets during the FIFA World Cup. With almost zero risk he managed to return up to 43% by spreading his bets and without even having to pick the exact winner. How was he able to limit his downside so well while leaving room for almost uncapped winnings? Diede explains:
The beauty of this “investment” was that the risk of losing was almost zero, and this had two reasons. The first reason was that during the World Cup almost all of the world’s most powerful football nations participated. The second reason was that because of the tournament’s structure each nation had to play a large amount of games. These reasons together meant that it was very unlikely for an underdog to grab the title.
The risks of betting during the EUFA Euro 2016 are greater than the world cup in 2014. There are fewer strong nations competing, and with fewer matches to be played the chances that an underdog has a good run is higher. History shows us that in the last six editions of the European Championships this happened no less than two times. In 1992 we saw Denmark come out on top and in 2004 Greece went home with the cup. So how do we manage these risks? Diede continues, saying that, first of all, we need to understand the type of risks we are dealing with:
When you invest in equities there is always a chance that the prices will go down. The chance that a stock hits absolute zero value, however, is next to nothing. This means that an investment in equities always has a residual value in the event the price goes down. In sports betting this is different. Either we win the bet and we take home our winnings or we lose the bet and receive nothing. I view sports betting much like an all-in situation in poker: in the event that we have a stronger pocket pair than our opponent we have an 81% chance of winning the hand when we go all in. This does leave us with a 19% chance that we lose our entire stack should our opponent hit one of his outs. The way to deal with this is to factor in the odds and spread our bets.
Diede created three different scenarios for us with different risk-and-reward profiles. Each row in the table represents an individual bet. Together they create the larger scenarios. The totals of each bet are summarized on the bottom row of each scenario.
For our first scenario we bet on France, Germany, Spain or Italy to win the cup and use bets on England, Belgium and Portugal as insurance to cover our downside. We stand to make anywhere from $3 to $100 with an average return of $53.57.
For our second scenario we reverse the bets we placed in scenario one. The chance of this scenario succeeding is lower but the potential profits are higher. We bet on England, Belgium or Portugal to win the cup and use bets on France, Germany, Spain and Italy as insurance. Keep in mind that while our average return with this scenario is higher the chances of this scenario paying out only your initial bets is higher too.
Our last scenario is meant for the more knowledgeable football fans. It demonstrates what can happen if you decide to go with your gut and not use any countries as insurance. In this example we bet on France, Germany, Spain or Italy winning the cup. The potential payout is huge compared to scenario one and two but you could lose your entire $1,000 starting amount as a result of not having any insurance.
Both Diede and I sincerely hope we have shown you how you can create your own bets and insure them in a way that fits your preferences. f you want to copy one of Diede’s scenarios please feel free to do so with any amount you like. For example: if you wish to bet only $100 divide all the numbers by ten. We recommend placing your bets on the Bwin platform as that is the sportsbook we took the odds from. For every sign up Diede receives a referral so you are helping him in the process! I leave you with these words from Diede:
Only you can determine the amount of money you wish to bet and the level of commitment you wish to devote to each individual country. Keep in mind that we are still gambling! If any country outside of the top 7 wins you will lose your money so please gamble responsibly. Following the guidelines set out in this article does not guarantee you a profit but it does increase your chances. I wish you a fun and profitable UEFA Euro 2016!
Thank you for reading this article and I hope to see you soon!