Manchester United's defence has been more shaky than John Terry's in recent weeks and they have being playing havoc with the betting markets, providing opportunities and pitfalls for those who dare to get involved. As a United fan myself, I have always maintained that I don't bet on their matches and, generally, I stick to that. The trouble with supporting a big team however, is that when opportunities do arise, which is often rare, they are normally potentials for big market swings. So far this season United have consistently gone behind in their matches, doing so in 5 of their 6 league games and going on to win 4 of those. This, obviously, opens up the door to backing United at an inflated price in the hope that they pull off one of their famous escapes. It is at this point in each match where I have had to battle my conscience and try and determine whether I am looking to back United from an entirely rational point of view. In each case however, I am fairly sure that I was looking at the game fairly and my choice to back United on numerous occasions was entirely justified, given their firepower and penchant for comebacks. I chose not to back them against Everton, because I could see the Toffees were playing very well, and I ignored them against Liverpool too as Anfield is a horrible place to play. Against Southampton and Cluj I took a profit, yet against Spurs I predictably recorded a loss. I am fairly certain though that the choice I made to lay Spurs that day had no relation to the fact that I support United, and that I would have done the same had they taken a 2-0 lead at City, Chelsea or even Arsenal. With United's home record, record against Spurs, comeback record against Spurs, factored in, I would certainly choose the same choice if the scenario repeated itself. I have mentioned before about learning from mistakes, but a loss should not always be looked upon in a negative way. Sometimes making a loss but knowing you did the right thing is better than taking a bad profit.
The thing which has put me in the red over the past couple of weeks however, is the poor way in which I have managed my stakes. With all these United turnarounds I should really be in profit, but levying my stakes poorly (which involved a bigger red on the Spurs match than the greens on Cluj and Southampton) was a mistake which I should be working on. Particularly midweek, my confidence was tarnished from the loss against Spurs so I half heartedly entered the market against Cluj to take only a small profit. The last couple of weeks has seen me lose £18.65, still small money but with my aspirations set on building small amounts of profit this has set my targets back a little.
My long term trades are fairing much better however, and the upside of the Spurs shock was that my bet on them to finish in the top six gained a welcome boost (though that did little to quell my bad mood that day). They now sit in fifth place and their top six price is down to a more realistic 1.43/49. It is likely that I will trade out of this after their home match against Aston Villa this weekend. On the relegation front Norwich have been performing suitably awfully, and after topping up last week at 2.12, I am happy to see them now as low as 1.73/4. Fulham are still going well but the top 10 market still seems to be suffering from a lack of liquidity, meaning I haven't had a chance to get out just yet. I may leave the bet for a little longer than I had planned though, as I think this is one which could develop over the year, and I am fairly confident it will pay out for me. The only bet which is struggling at the moment is the Arsenal top 4 lay, despite their recent downturn of form. I now see that laying them at a price as high as 1.89 was a very poor decision, and I might be forced to take a loss on that one, as I can't see it trading that high any time soon.
Good luck for the weekend, I hope it is fruitful for you all.