Can you make a living as a professional gambler?

Every football fan enjoys putting a few pounds on his or her favourite team from time to time, and in the modern age of online betting, there are all manner of other wagers to be had, too. For example, the bookmakers went crazy over who was going where during the transfer window, and perennial classics such as which Premiership manager will win the sack race are as popular as ever.

Some of us are pretty good at it, and win more than we lose, while a select few even manage to make a lucrative living from gambling. Could you do the same? Let’s see what’s involved.

Get to know the bookmakers

The first thing to keep in mind is there are more online casino and sports betting sites around these days than you can imagine. If you click here you can get a taste of just what is out there. Get to know them all, and always check the odds, as you can sometimes find some outliers and special deals on a particular wager.

It is also worth watching out for new sites as and when they go online, as they are likely to be hungry for your business and will be offering some tempting freebies to new members.

Leverage the flexibility of online betting

If you bet on winners and losers, your strike rate is never going to be anything to write home about. But as we mentioned earlier, there are so many other options. For example, you might wait till a game is underway, and if play is open and one team’s taken the lead, bet on a goal being scored in the second half.

Giroud celebrates his goal 5

Keep good records

If you are running a business, you closely monitor your expenses, revenue and profits. You will also have a business strategy that includes performance metrics and targets. A professional gambler needs to take the same approach.

Keep track of every wager, along with the type, the odds, the amount and, of course, whether it won. Then, perform a weekly analysis. You need to identify what is working and what is not, and amend your strategy appropriately. It is a classic example of a continuous improvement process.

Know your business

It sounds obvious, but you need to understand what you are betting on, and that means research, research, research. Follow form, injuries, history and the million and one other factors that can influence a result, such as any problems or media controversies taking place off the pitch.

It’s business, not pleasure

If you are going to make serious money out of football gambling, you need to keep the emotion out of it. For example, if you are a lifelong Tottenham fan, it would have been tempting to put your money where your heart is in last weekend’s match up against Manchester United. That would have led to a bad day at the office and a slump in revenue.

Next West Ham Manager Betting

Despite West Ham announcing on Tuesday (20th May) that they are backing Big Sam, there is still a couple of active markets available that suggests that not everybody out there believes all is rosy in the West Ham garden.

BetVictor and Paddy Power still have active Next Manager markets, and on Betfair’s betting exchange, they are running a ‘Next West Ham Manager By August 16th’ market.

Both BetVictor and Paddy Power (£50.00 Free Bet) make Gus Poyet the favourite, with BetVictor offering him at 11/10 and Paddy Power at 2/1. Second favourite is David Moyes, which on the face of it makes no sense whatsoever.

The fact that markets remain suggest that punters are still showing an interest, which indicates not everyone is convinced by the club statement ‘backing’ Allardyce.

The ‘Next West Ham Manager By August 16th’ market on Betfair is still fairly active. There is an option in the market to bet on ‘No Managerial Change,’ which is currently the favourite.

You can back ‘No Managerial Change’ at 1.07, but only for a couple of quid. There is over £1000 waiting to be laid at 1.05 though, which is effectively a 20/1 bet on Big Sam not being in the West Ham job at the start of next season.

Looking at the statement, it seems a bit insulting to Allardyce. Telling him he has to play more attractive football and appoint an attack minded coach is a bit like telling him he’s not doing his job properly.

Is Big Sam really going to stand for such demands from his bosses? After all, he has been there and done it many times before and he doesn’t need telling how to do his job.

Or the alternative view is that this is just a sop to the West Ham fans, and that Allardyce, Sullivan and Gold, etc, have all just decided to carry on as you were, but release this statement to make sure season ticket sales don’t fall off a cliff.

After all it is a delicate balancing job for the owners. On one hand they want to keep the fans onside, but on the other hand they know it is imperative to be in the Premier League when they enter their new ground, and that Big Sam represents the best chance of this happening.

This is surely the bottom line for Sullivan and Gold, who may well be West Ham fans, but are businessmen first and foremost.

Personally I couldn’t back Sam to be there on August 16th at 1.07 (in the Betfair market), but I would certainly be trying to lay him at those odds. Chances are he will still be there, but it is a cheap low risk lay, with little payout if it loses (you can open a Betfair account and get a £50.00 Free Bet here).

Looking further ahead, and if Sam does stay, and fans get even more disenchanted and make their feelings clear from the terraces, what price West Ham imploding and maybe going down?

West Ham to be relegated next season is currently a best price of 6/1 with William Hill.

Tim Sherwood Odds Cut Again In Sack Race

Yet again Tim Sherwood finds himself at the centre of what looks to be a sustained gamble on him being the ‘Next Manager To Leave His Post.’

Leading up to the weekend’s football, ‘No Manager to leave’ was heading the betting with the season at this late stage , but the weekend’s results and Sherwood’s alleged antics have seen the Tottenham boss cut to a heavy odds on favourite.

Rumours are doing the rounds that Sherwood, shall we say, may have been involved in an altercation with one of his players, all alleged – and as a result of this and the 4-0 defeat Sherwood now finds himself as 4/6 favourite with Paddy Power to be the next manager to leave (this season).

SkyBet and Stan James go as short as 1/3 on Sherwood, BetVictor and Ladbrokes are 4/6, and William Hill make him 1/2.

No Manager To Leave is now second favourite at 9/4 with William Hill, while Pepe Mel now finds himself out a lofty 10/1 to be next out the door.

The pressure seems to have eased on David Moyes – up until Bayern Munich – as he now finds himself getting a nose bleed with Pepe Mel, now out at 20/1 with SkyBet. What might he be after a Bayern mauling though?

Will A Players Revolt Get David Moyes The Sack?

There’s a story running in today’s Telegraph newspaper that a player’s revolt is threatening the future of David Moyes as manager of Manchester United, with tactics and training methods apparently behind the players unrest.

I’ve read the article a couple of times now and there is nothing substantial in it to make me think about rushing out and backing Moyes to be the next manager sacked.

With United now having endured eight defeats in 17 games in 2014, the patience shown by the majority of Moyes’s players with his tactics and approach to the job is now at breaking point, with Telegraph Sport aware of the concern of squad members over the inability of the manager to arrest the slump. Source: The Telegraph

How much I would be reading into the above paragraph, I don’t know. It’s probably a fact that certain players aren’t happy with Moyes – it’s all but certain that the same tensions exist at almost every club up and down the country – but does it represent a players revolt and Moyes’ possible sacking?

I don’t for a minute underestimate what would happen if/when Moyes does lose the players, as his sacking would be inevitable – I’m just not convinced that this article is providing us with the smoking gun that he has lost the dressing room.

The article even suggests that the route of some of the unrest comes from players who will be heading for the exit at the end of this season (they ran a story the other week about Federico Macheda criticising Moyes), and the other main criticisms come from Paul Scholes, a man who is apparently still waiting to be invited onto the coaching staff.

David Moyes may well be the next manager out, but I don’t think this article is signalling this.

As punters we can make money from stories in the media about managers, I have traded no end of next manager markets on Betfair and made money off the back of newspaper headlines, but sometimes we have to read the stories thoroughly to see what isn’t there, as I believe is the case here.

The odds on Moyes haven’t really shifted, if anything they have lengthened as Coral now have a ‘Next Manager To Leave His Post’ market live, and they have Moyes out as an 8/1 shot, improving yesterday’s best price of 13/2 with Skybet.

Tim Sherwood Sack Race Odds

Tottenham’s season continued to implode last night with a poor 3-1 reversal at home to Benfica in the 1st leg of the Europa League, and unless there is something miraculous in the 2nd leg, their chances of progression in that cup now look long gone.

On top of the result and in particular the manor of the defeat, we also seen – despite some majorly stupid provocation from his opposite number, Jorge Jesus, in the Benfica dugout – Tim Sherwood not exactly cover himself in glory with his own performance on the touchline.

Last week we had Sherwood’s (truthful) outburst against his own players following the Chelsea defeat, closely followed by his quotes about the deafening silence from the board room, with regard to stories about him being replaced as Tottenham manager.

There is no disgrace in losing to teams like Chelsea and Benfica, but it’s the manner of the defeats that will be doing the damage to Sherwwod, as Spurs have looked totally shambolic for periods in both matches. All in all, I think it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been the best week of Sherwood’s managerial career.

This is now being reflected in the Next Manager To Leave His Post betting, as Sherwood’s odds have been gradually shortening over the last week to ten days.

Sherwood now finds himself at a variety of odds to be the next manager out, for example he is as short as 3/1 with BetVictor (2nd favourite behind Pepe Mel), and all the way out at 12/1 (4th favourite) with Stan James.

I got 20/1 on him last Monday with Paddy Power, who are currently 9/2 (this has also enabled me to lay him off on Betfair for profit).

As much as I think that Sherwood is heading towards the exit door at Spurs, will he get there before Pepe Mel at West Brom?

I have seen quotes from Mel this morning saying he is not sure what the fate of his job will be if West Brom fail to beat Swansea on Saturday. Although I think it was more Mel speculating on himself in response to a question, rather than his reacting to a direct threat about his job.

Mel is currently a best price of 4/7 with Paddy Power to be next manager out.

Tim Sherwood probably wouldn’t be sacked before the Europa League 2nd leg, and in all likelihood will probably keep the seat warm until the end of the season.

That is unless things get that bad for Spurs that his job becomes untenable. This isn’t out of the equation on current form, and they have got Arsenal on Sunday.

If Spurs put in another disastrous performance and get a good hiding from their arch enemies, then who knows what Sherwood’s fate could be on Monday?

Chris Hughton – The New Favourite In The Sack Race

What a difference a week makes, one win for West Ham and Big Sam, followed by a couple of disappointing results for Norwich, and all of a sudden Chris Hughton is now the odds on favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be shown the door.

Hughton’s latest set back – a 3-0 defeat at Fulham in the FA Cup – has seen him backed in to 4/5 favourite with BetVictor (£25.00 Free Bet For New Customers) to be the Next Premier League Manager To Leave His Post.

Big Sam is now out to 2nd favourite, and is 5/2, a massive drift from the 1/5 that he was generally available at before Saturday’s victory over Cardiff.

Both teams have tricky home fixtures coming up this weekend, with Norwich welcoming Hull City (for time being) to Carrow Road, and West Ham hosting an in-form Newcastle side.

On the surface of things, Chris Hughton looks to have the most to lose, as surely most people connected with Norwich will have this down as a must win fixture. No disrespect to Hull, but if you want to stay in the Premier League these are the sort of matches you need to win.

West Ham on the other hand probably wouldn’t be expected to beat Newcastle on current form, although at the start of the season, I would imagine that the Hammers’ fans and owners alike would probably have been expecting to be competing with teams like Newcastle by now.

It is widely regarded that if you are in West Ham’s position, you would want Sam Allardyce to come in and sort it out. I know that most West Ham fans don’t see it like that, but as a neutral looking on at the highlights of the Cardiff match last Saturday, it looked fairly obvious to me that the players are still right behind Allardyce.

West Ham fans should probably also ask themselves, what would their rivals rather they do? And I bet the answer is that most of them would like to see Big Sam sacked.

By all means call for his head at the end of the season, but for now, just get behind him.

The 3rd manager in the betting is Paul Lambert at 7/1. I can’t see this happening personally. Lambert was brought in to bring the wage bill down, bring through some youth, and put the club back on a path to some sort of financial stability…. and that’s really what he seems to be doing.

He has just brought in Grant Holt on loan until the end of the season, another cheap signing, but one who will probably get enough goals to keep Villa up and continue with the clubs restructuring programme.

Famous last words here, but Lambert is a no goer for me.

Next Manager Markets – Billy Davies Backed For West Ham Job

With the general consensus of opinion being that today’s match against Cardiff could be Sam Allardyce’s last in charge, football gambling punters have got stuck into backing Billy Davies to become the next West Ham manager.

Since last Thursday evening, punters have sent Davies’ odds tumbling from 33/1, down to 3/1 with BetVictor (Harry Redknapp remains the favourite, at 7/4).

I’m not certain this is based on any specific intelligence, or just a coincidental hunch with people putting two and two together after Forest’s 5-0 win over West Ham last weekend, and coming up with 5 – or 11 in the case of West Ham’s leaky defence over the last week.

While backing at 33/1 isn’t a major risk, I certainly wouldn’t be backing at the 3/1 currently available on Davies. It is surely a risky strategy to be betting on the outcome of the next manager of a football club at such short odds, when there is uncertainty as to when the current incumbent will be leaving.

This isn’t like the Chelsea situation last season, when everyone knew Rafa Benitez would be leaving, so it was possible to bet on the outcome of a new manager.

The West Ham situation is totally different, David Gold and David Sullivan could back Allardyce until the end of the season – and possibly beyond, if he keeps them up with plenty to spare. Where might Billy Davies be then?

The two David’s also don’t have a track record of been trigger happy either, so beware if entering this market.

Despite this, Big Sam is still pretty much unbackable to be to the next manager sacked. He is currently a best price of 2/5 with Coral.

Another manager feeling the heat right now is David Moyes. At the moment, his position at Manchester United looks relatively safe (he is 16/1 to be the next Premier League manager out the door), and I don’t believe another defeat to Swansea City today would see the club’s hierarchy reach for the panic button.

What I think will influence them though, is the share price on the New York Stock Exchange. This is what I believe will ultimately condemn Moyes.

If the share price continues to nose dive under Moyes, then that’s when I believe the Glazer’s will act – no matter what Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton, etc, say. After all, we all know what the Glazer’s are interested in.

Manchester United – 1/2 To Win Nothing This Season

With David Moyes coming under more pressure after Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup defeat to Sunderland, BetVictor are running a book on what Manchester United might, or might not win this season – and winning nothing is 1/2 favourite.

United’s best (and only, some might say) chance of silverware is in the Capital One Cup, but even if they do overcome Sunderland in the 2nd leg, their chances are fairly slim as they will be facing Manchester City in the final, who last night all but assured their place at Wembley with victory over West Ham (to put it politely).

Imagine they do get to Wembley, and City cut them to shreds again!! Ironically, it might not be the worst outcome for Moyes, if they don’t overcome the 2-1 deficit to Sunderland in the 2nd leg.

If you are an optimistic United fan, BetVictor will give you 1000/1 on them winning the Premier League, the Champions League and the Capital One Cup. A Capital One Cup and Champions League double is 40/1, while the Capital One and Premier League pays out at 66/1.

A more realistic bet might be, To Win Any Cup, at 6/4. Or in the ‘Sack Race,’ BetVictor have Moyes as 4th favourite, at 16/1.

What will Manchester United win? Odds from BetVictor (£25.00 Free Bet available to new customers).

No Trophy – 1/2
To Win Any Trophy – 6/4
League Cup & Champions League – 40/1
League Cup & Premier League – 66/1
Premier League & Champions League – 300/1
League Cup, Premier League & Champions League – 1000/1