Weekly Blog – SPOTY, Greyhound Oaks, Best Director Oscar

Roy The Boy weekly blog with bets on Laura Trott for SPOTY, Mashmad Eyebrows for Greyhound Oaks and Kenneth Lonergan for the Best Director Oscar.

Sounding-Out High Street Firms Approach to FOBT’s

The “crack cocaine of the gambling world”, that’s how the FOBT’s (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) which reside in the UK’s betting shops are commonly referred to.

But to what ends do betting shop owners go to, to ensure they maximise punters losses in these woeful machines?  Well, the standard advert seeking betting office staff in a UK Ladbrokes ‘retail outlet’ and offering a wage between £6.95-£7.20 per-hour, states staff should:  “Handle cash quickly, accurately and responsibly. Promote products and drive Multi-Channel services (online, mobile, tablets, apps, machines) and promote gaming machines and Self Service Betting Terminals.”

But I’ve discovered that’s not the end of it.  A recent conversation with an ‘off-duty’ betting shop manager who works for a massive UK chain confirmed they have a directive from their head office which states “the volume levels of the on-screen action (primarily horse racing and greyhound racing) should be ‘managed’ in a way that in-shop customers can still clearly here the FOBT’s and particularly the ‘pleasing sound’ of machines making a pay-out”.  In fact, there are pre-set settings in place to ensure volume levels from Racing and FOBT place are ‘mixed’ to maximise the profit potential.

It is mind-blowing stuff.  Volume and scent controls are something that has been employed by Las Vegas casinos for decades but I very much doubt the UK government (who will never abolish FOBT’s due to their massive tax income from machines which trouser around £1.6 billion a year) are aware of it. 

The Hots for Trott in each-way ‘without’ SPOTY market

After a faux-pas in 2015, I’ve long been trying to keep my enthusiasm for Sports Personality of the Year 2016 to a minimum.  But, as the award’s night draws closer, more and more firms have been pricing-up the event, and most have resorted to ‘betting without’ Andy Murray who is a puke-worthy 1/6 favourite to win the title (again).

Long convinced Laura Trott, Britain’s most successful female Olympian ever, will do well given she should receive 100 percent of the ‘woman vote; I’m very taken with Coral’s 7/2 in their ‘without Murray’ market.

Ladbrokes new bedfellows are offering 7/2 about the cyclist which is a very fair price (Powers are just 12/5) but given they are offering each-ways odds of 1-2-3 it means she can finish as low as fourth for the each-way money to be paid.  A good old-fashioned ‘bet to nothing’ methinks.

Raise an eyebrow with Mashmad

It’s the second round of the Greyhound Oaks and I think the firms have under-estimated Mark Wallis’ Mashmad Eyebrows.  She is only 15 weeks out of season and has very few miles on her odometer.  A ‘smash and grab’ type who led to the third bend in the opening round, I think she will improve as the competition progresses and should be near her peak come finals night.  She is 33/1 to win the competition (Betfred, Powers & Hills) so, at each-way terms of ¼ odds 1-2-3-4, the value is there.

Oscar Time Again

I’ve been surfing all of the top Oscar prediction sites and they have convinced me Kenneth Lonergan is massively over-priced at 4/1 for the ‘Best Director Oscar’ which will be awarded at the end of February.

The 54-year-old’s move, Manchester by the Sea, is an all-American affair and a ‘heart-warmer’.  I cannot say it’s a gene that works well in this category because there appears to be no firm form pointers, all types of film have given us ‘Best Director’ winners.  But the critics have scored it well and it looks a formality for a nomination.

Recommended Bet

SPOTY Award:                     Laura Trott ‘Without Murray’ (e/w) at 7/2 with Coral

Greyhound Oaks:                Mashmad Eyebrows (e/w) at 33/1 with Paddy Power and William Hill

Best Director Oscar:           Kenneth Lonergan at 4/1 with Betfred