I’m currently evaluating the Live Sports Profit tipping service on offer from Oxfordshire Press. This is the same company who provide the Football Betting data tipping service that I used to bet on the English Premier League last season.

The sports

In the same way as with their other services, they provide betting tips based on statistical data. This particular service covers a wide range of sports over the summer, including but not limited to the Euro 2012 football tournament, Wimbledon, The British Open Golf and the Olympics.

I openly admit, I have no interest whatsoever in golf or the Olympics and only a passing interest in tennis, so they are not the kind of sports I would bet on without some form of assistance but if I can find a way to profit from them then I’m all over it.

The cost

The service isn’t cheap at £57. When I joined the Football Betting data service for the last Premier league season (incidentally, as a Spurs fan I’m not sure how I feel about Harry Redknapp leaving yet) it was at a special offer of £40 (half the usual £80) with a free one month evaluation period, as we were part way into the season by then. Having said that, that service was limited to a single competition and this one covers a number of different sports and events over the course of the coming months.

The service

It’s a very comprehensive service as their offerings usually are. All of their tips are based on statistical analysis of the game/match/sport rather than instinct, gut feel or under the counter information. There’s nothing dubious about the information they are providing and you can’t get in trouble for placing these bets. Of course, there are no guarantees with gambling, so not every bet is a sure fire winner.

As well as providing the recommended bets they also have a staking plan – telling you how many points should be placed on a given bet. What does that mean? Well, I have decided that my normal stake amount for a bet will be £10, making that 1 point. So where the recommended stake for a bet would be 0.5 point, I would bet £5 and where it’s 0.1 point I would bet £1 (for example). Generally the longer the odds on a bet, the less likely the outcome but the bigger return and the smaller the recommended stake amount.

They also give you the bookies that are offering the best odds on a given bet, so that you make sure you get the best value for your money. The only downside to that is that potentially you need to open up accounts (if you don’t already have them) with loads of different online bookmakers. Of course if you don’t already have accounts then you can take advantage of the account opening offers that most of them have to get yourself some free bets.

The bookies

If you don’t feel like opening accounts with all the bookies, or if (as has happened to me in the past) you wallet won’t stretch to opening that many accounts at once to maximise your free bet offer potential (it’s always worth opening an account with a reasonable size deposit to get a reasonable size free bet) then I would recommend at the minimum going for Bet365 and Betfair. Bet 365 often offer the best odds (this was certainly the case with the Football Betting data service – the majority of the best prices were being offered by them) and Betfair often offer the same or better odds as the bookies being recommended for a given bet.

My bets so far

Missed bets

So far I have missed out on a couple of bets recommended by the service, or the odds have shortened so I have decided to give them a miss:

  • Rafal Nadal to win Wimbledon – 0.5 point e/w at 4/1 with Ladbrokes (this is currently 2/1 with Ladbrokes since he won the French Open and between 13/5 & 11/4 on Betfair) – no bet placed
  • Poland vs Greece Both teams to score – NO 0.5 point – I missed this bet (the game had already started) but it was a losing bet anyway
  • Greece vs Czech Republic over 2.5 Goals 0.5 point – I also missed this bet (the game had started and the Czech Republic were 2 goals up!) – winning bet

Bets placed

  • Denmark +1 Asian Handicap to beat the Netherlands 0.5 point with Bet365 – I actually bet something like £4.53 on this and got almost evens on my money.
  • England vs France result 1 – 1 – this was a tip from a different service that they are offering that I haven’t signed up to yet. A £10 service that is just for the Euro 2012 competition. The free tip was included in an email that I was sent. I placed a bet of £5 at 5/1 with Bet365 and made £25 profit.
  • Portugal vs Germany over 2.5 goals 0.5 point. The recommended bet was with Ladbrokes but I don’t have an account with them currently and I found better odds at Betfair. £5 stake made £6.60 profit.
  • Mesut Özil worth a punt for ‘Man of the Match’ – 8/1 with Boylesports – I used a £10 free bet I had with these guys, a worth a punt bet is always an outside chance and I wouldn’t have put such a large stake on it if I hadn’t had the free bet available. LOST
  • Top Scorer and Outright Winner doubles – Benzema/Germany (recommended at 80/1 with Paddy Power, I got on at 66/1 for a £1 stake); Benzema/France (recommended at 40/1 with Stan James, Blue Sq, BetFred, Totesport, I got on at 45/1 for a £2 stake with Betfair);  Benzema/Spain (recommended at 66/1 with Bet 365, I got on at 66/1 for a £1 stake); Benzema/Holland (recommended at 80/1 with Sportingbet or Ladbrokes, I haven’t bothered based on Holland’s performance as they aren’t likely to get out of their group). It’s worth noting that those recommendations and odds were from before the tournament started and I placed the bets are some teams had played their second games so odds and circumstances had changed. Also the minimum stake with Betfair is £2 not £1.

Conclusions so far

One frustration I have with the service at the moment is that I haven’t received any of the emails that are sent out with the tips in. I’ve checked my spam folder and they haven’t ended up in there either. This is a problem I encountered with the Football Betting data service on the odd occasion as well. As a consequence of that I have missed out on placing a couple of bets, although one of those would have lost.

The biggest profit I have made so far is from a bet using a tip from a different service from this publisher but it’s early days yet and it only takes one of the Top Scorer and Outright winner doubles to be a success and the service has paid for itself. Of course this is a long term betting strategy and I don’t expect it to pay for itself overnight.

Know your limits

As with all gambling, never gamble more than you can afford to lose. Set yourself limits and don’t go chasing losses. Using a tipping service like this is a good way to improve your betting profits if you use it responsibly. If you want to know more about the UK gambling industry or think you might need help with a gambling problem visit: Gamble Aware