You will often hear the word gubbing being banded about on this very blog and this is usually used when a team or player trades lower then 1.10 for the win but then fails to win. There is always much fanfare when someone trades down to 1.01 and then loses since it is so supposed to be a rare event however, in reality, they come along very regularly.
I have years of experience of in-play betting now and I now feel I have a bit of a knack for spotting the potential gubbings and I have outlined the signs below.
Amount of time left to play
It might sound obvious to say it but a gubbing is much more likely when someone takes an early lead and trades at a low price when there is a a lot of time left to play within the event. Remember, anything can and will happen in sport which is why sports is so popular to watch. As has been previously covered on this blog, an early lead is not always a good one to have since it can change your mindset slightly. If a team gets a 2-3 goal lead in the first half as opposed to the 2nd half then, obviously, there is a lot more time to turn it around. In Tennis you will regularly see players trade sub 1.10 with a whole set to play ahead of them. In Cricket test matches you might see a team go sub 1.10 with a whole day left of Cricket to play!
When there is a lot of sport still left to be played then there is always a big chance for a wobble. The gubbing wont materialise all the time but usually you will find the odds trade higher before the time is up which can be just as profitable.
The Experience Of The Leader
If you are trying to spot a leader who might wobble or throw away a lead then have a look at how experienced they are with actually winning events. If you punt on the golf regularly you will know that the pressure can easily get to the younger players as we saw with Mcilroy in the early part of his career before he had actually won anything.
A recent example in the football saw Reading throw away a 4 goal lead against Arsenal after trading @ 1.01. At the time of the match Reading had only recorded one win for the season, so it was not the biggest surprise to see them wobble when they got so far ahead since they did not seem to know how to close the game out.
You might also want to see if the leader has had experience of throwing away leads before. Arsenal have been a great football team to lay in-play in recent years for this very reason. Most notably, throwing away a 4-0 lead themselves against Newcastle back in 2011.
So if the leader has not had much previous experience of being a winner or has been previously prone to throwing away leads then they could be gubbing material!
Potential turning points
Sometimes there can be turning points in matches which suddenly swing the momentum the other way. If we go back to the earlier example when Arsenal threw away a 4 goal lead against Newcastle. In my view, the turning point in that match was Arsenal going down to 10 men. This galvanized Newcastle and with plenty of time left on the clock the comeback was definitely on the cards.
Other potential turning points might be an injury to a key player or a substitution. If we go back to Euro 2004 and England were 1-0 up and playing France off the park. They were trading below 1.10 for the win heading into injury time but had just taken off Wayne Rooney who was the biggest threat for England all day. This was a big turning point for the French as they knew they could relax a bit more and go for it. The final score was 2-1 to France and if my memory serves me right France were matched higher then 100 for the win that day.
Even just the half time break can be a potential turning point as it gives the manager and coaches time to change the game plan which can often make the second half of an event the complete opposite of the first.
Prestige of the competition
I will say this one quietly as I don’t want to start a debate on the integrity of sportsmen and women but I often find that the lower the prestige of the competition the more likely you will get surprise results. Just recently we saw examples of top players Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic trading @ 1.01 in the Paris tournament before losing. This was clearly a tournament that neither had the greatest interest in so it was not that surprising to see them getting turned over. Would they have lost those matches like that if the tournament had been a US Open or at Wimbledon?
I am not suggesting they lost those matches on purpose but there are times in sport when you get a top player up against an underdog and the underdog simply wants it more on the day.
Something worth looking out for is extreme weather conditions that might adversely affect the favourite. Torrential rain, snow or wind might be enough to knock the favourite of their usual game and produce an unexpected result.
Sometimes the weather might actually create an unexpected turning point too. Professional trader Matt from Punt.com told this very blog about how his biggest ever trading win came about..
“I believe Serena went a set down and possibly a break down, she had been suffering with cramp, and there was some confusion on the seriousness of it. It was clear to me that really she was ready to boss the match if she was half fit. The odds were short on Hantuchova, being well ahead in the score. When the first drop of rain hit my window (I live a couple of miles from Wimbledon) I layed and continued laying when the first drop hit the court. They went off, she had a massage, ate some crisps (probably), came out and won the match. I had a £100k green on Serena at one point, but I couldn’t complain with £37,000!“
Plenty of things to look out for there and I am sure you will have fun trying to find the short priced losers. Nothing beats the feeling of winning a lay @ 1.01 😉 !
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