The spread firms don't always get it right -sometimes their spreads are so far off the mark that they take a good kicking and we take back what is rightfully ours!
Granted, it doesn't happen too often -as the market makers are seasoned pros who do little else but eat, sleep and breathe sport. The trick is to identify when you think that the market is wrong and they have made a serious mis-judgement and go with your hunch. These 'mis-judgements' aren't usually found on the normal markets that are offered but on special bets which they offer from time to time on big events - World Cups, FA Cups, Golf Majors etc.
The 'Specials' are far more subjective and can sometimes have the most unexpected results...
'Calamity James' 1999 FA Cup Final Aston Villa v Chelsea
Sporting Index (Initial Spread Price 48-52)
The index was based purely on David James and played upon his reputation for making calamitous errors.
Points were awarded as follows:
10 pts each goal conceded
10 pts goal through his legs
5 pts each save with his hands but didn't catch ball
10pts each time he touched the ball outside the area
50pts if he conceded 4 goals or more
WHAT A BET!!
Anyone who identified before the game that David James very rarely kicked the ball straight from his hands -instead he usually rolls the ball OUT OF THE AREA and then kicks it, was onto a winner! You got 10pts everytime he did this!!
In addition he was responsible for all free kicks in Villa's defensive third of the pitch. Therefore every Chelsea offside, invariably James would take the kick - meaning 10pts when this kick was outside the area!!
There were no minus points in this bet, it was simply a totting up process. James could have a good game and you'd still make money by buying the index. If he had a bad game you'd make even more!
As it happened, you were just about level after 10 minutes of the game if you had brought at 52. FIVE TIMES in the first 10 minutes James picked up the ball, rolled it outside the area and booted it upfield - 50pts!! This carried on throughout the game, plus he let in a couple of goals (one through his legs), parried a couple of saves with his hands and took most of the free kicks in his half. This was probably the most enjoyable FA Cup final that we have ever witnessed! The index finished at 280! A whopping 228 points profit with very little risk. FANTASTIC!
We think that Sporting Index made the mistake by forgetting/not realising that James took his kicks in the way described above and set the index based on James possibly acting as a sweeper on the odd occasion and steaming out of his area to break down a Chelsea attack.
You have to feel sorry for the punters who decided to sell the index -hope they had the stop/loss in place... OUCH!
Some spreads just seem to good to be true -but sometimes they are like a gift from above...
1999 Cricket World Cup Tournament Wides
Sporting Index (Initial Spread Price 250 - 270)
A huge mistake was made by Sporting Index in the Cricket World Cup of 1999 and it is rumoured cost them in excess of £500,000! The bet was on the total number of wides in the tournament and is described below:
From the moment this spread went live, the punters piled in, buying the index at a steady rate. Gradually, Sporting raised the index to attract some sellers, but buyers continued to wade in.
Eventually the Index reached 495 - 515 even before a ball had been bowled! The firm had grossly under-estimated the market and were hugely exposed.
Punters were buying for several reasons:
1. It was rumoured that the new white ball was more difficult for bowlers to control.
2. The umpires were going to be much more strict than usual -anything on the legside was called wide.
3. The poorer sides had weak bowlers who would be unable to avoid conceding masses of wides.
4. The Racing Post ran a feature advising on the above 3 facts and made this bet a serious BUY recommendation
In the event, the tournament was exactly as the Racing Post had predicted. Wides rocketed throughout the tournament and finished at a huge 979!
Buyers were counting massive profits and Sporting Index nursing some severe losses. To be fair, Sporting Index even have a chapter on their own website telling of this huge coup -such is it's infamy!
And then there are times when all seems lost and that the spread firms have cleaned up, but wait there's still some time left on the clock -enough to turn it all around? Who knows...
England v France - Euro 2004
Zinedine Zidane Goal Minutes (Initial Spread Price 9-11)
A shrewd punter at Sporting Index brought Zidane Goal Minutes before the England v France game at 11 for £50 per point. Meaning any goal that Zidane scored he would get 1pt for every minute of the goal time.
Unless you were on Mars that day, you would know that Zidane scored 2 goals - both in the 90th minute = 180 points.
So, in the 89th minute the punter was 11x £50 down = £550. Three minutes later he had 180 points in the bank!!
He ended up winning 180 - 11 = 169pts x £50 = £8450.
An incredible turnaround!! It's also a stark indication of the volatility of spread betting- one minute you can be losing and the next you're miles in front!
We have plenty of other examples of 'Big Betting Coups' which we'll post on here as we continue to update the site. If you have any examples of your own, please them to us and we'll be delighted to publish them.