James (@SummerofFooty) runs a software businesses but his passion has always been football and betting. His Summer of Football (SoF) service specialises in leagues playing during the European Summer but also on many football leagues from around the world. As of January 14th, his statisics show a 5.9% yield in 932 bets. SoF was named in 2013 the “Best Sports Tipster of 2012″ (along with Sportyy) by The Secret Betting Club.
What was your first contact with the sports betting world?
Probably like the majority of British football fans. As a teenager I used to complete the coupons in the high street bookmakers looking to back accumulators. 5 home wins, 3 draws and double away wins used to the norm and then you sat in front of teletext and listening to Five Live for the results to come through….I didn’t do very well because I didn’t understand value at the time. It was purely for fun trying to turn 10 quid into 100 each weekend.
It wasn’t until the likes of Betfair was introduced when I really understood value and the concept betting could actually become an investment strategy. I wasted so much money on buying shares because I knew nothing about the companies I was investing in. I then thought why not invest the money in something I love and understand….and here we are today
How long have you been working as a tipster?
The SoF Service started in March 2011 which is when I ‘officially’ became a tipster
What are the best and the worst parts of the tipster profession?
Let’s be honest the best part is the profits, making money and building a business around something you love and are passionate about. It is also a great excuse to watch and research football as much as you like. The feel good factor is also very addictive when you are doing well and the compliments can very rewarding.
The worst, of course, is the losing runs. This can truly affect your moods, family and enjoyment. When you first start as a tipster the swings in emotions can be huge but you do get used to them. Having my first child made a big difference because you realise other things are so much more important. Now when I am experiencing a losing run I just give my daughter a cuddle, take her to the zoo or the park and things seem ok again. You have to learn to switch off.
What is your method for finding value odds and selecting your picks?
Our service specialises in picking value around the evens mark. I am basically looking for games where I feel the outcome is more than 50% likely to occur. If we can do this then over the long run we will make profits. I specialise in certain leagues where I feel the bookmakers have less of chance of getting the prices right as they simple don’t have the resources. E.g Brazil, Australia and France Ligue 2. I then basically look for sides coming into form who are playing at home where the bookmakers have underestimate their chances. Other info I look for is team news, weather variances, avoiding derby matches etc. I won’t give any more away than that
You provide picks in around 10 different world football leagues? do you enough have time to have a full knowledge of every league? haven’t you considered to focus on some few leagues?
We have actually reduced the number of leagues we focus on recently because it was hard to find consistency in certain leagues. Our core leagues are really the A-league, Brazil A & B, France B, Norway and the MLS. I will very occasionally have a bet on the Premier League and the English Championship if something really jumps out. That is still 8 leagues LOL but it is manageable.
In which leagues do you have your best results?
Brazil has consistently performed well for us. We had a tough year this year due to the confederations cups causing a lot of disruption but we came back strongly to post a good profit. People say Brazil is the hardest league to predict but people underestimate how strong home form is and the effect on certain players not playing. I think team news and home form are absolutely paramount in Brazil and if you get source good information you have the edge over the bookmakers. It is also very hard to find team news in English for Brazil which I believe hampers people being successful.
Brazil has an ROI of 19% over 200+ bets
We introduced the A-League last season which was very profitable. The bookmakers are certainly pricing the league better this season so we will need more time to prove whether this is going to be a consistent league for us but living in Australia I do get to watch every game live so this may also give us some edge
A-League has an ROI of 27% over 30+ bets
Do you think it’s important to watch the games on TV?
I think it depends purely on your strategy. I very rarely watch France 2 ligue games because my selections are based purely on qualifying criteria plus team news. However as I said earlier I watch all the A-league games and I do watch a lot of Brazil. It helps these are in my time zone but they can certainly help you sense when a team is coming into form or perhaps dropping in form which will aid your next tip.
What is your staking method? What is your advice for punters?
The staking method for SoF is a 35 point bank betting 1 point per bet. Very occasionally we do a ½ point bet but I have kept it this way to make it as transparent as possible. I think educated punters are now all well aware of good bank management but for those who are not they need to start treating betting as an investment not a gamble. If that sounds too cryptic then perhaps you shouldn’t be betting!
What is your opinion about live betting and trading? Do you think it’s easier or tougher to win money than with pre-match betting?
I think trading is an exceptional way to make money but requires disciplined strategy and even more time because you have to be there when the game is taking place. Less time consuming trading such as trading league winners can also be very rewarding but it takes a whole season to get a return.
As for in-play betting on outcomes I think you can find exceptional value in play but it takes a real skill and discipline to make money. Yes I think it is tougher.
If your numbers are good, can you earn a good living as a tipster?
You can certainly earn a good living as a tipster. No doubt about it, especially if you live in a low cost of living area. I personally live in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the World so it is difficult but I often comment to my wife we should move to Bali so neither of us have to work full time.
What advice would you give to those who want to become professional tipsters?
Get proofed by someone like the Secret Betting Club. It is best way to get noticed by genuine punters who are looking for tipsters. However before you go to them make sure you have your act together with a good website, customer service and of course genuine good results. Otherwise don’t waste your time and theirs!
Can you tell us how a normal day in your life is?
Firstly I would say I am only a part time tipster and do have another job for a living which I do 3 days a week. This means my average week is pretty much a 5 day week balancing both jobs. Just like everyone else I try and fit the gym in and have to get my daughter ready for daycare etc. My wife also works a 5 day week so it is pretty full on like most families
The weekends are the hardest as I have to find at least 3 hours per day to manage the service and fit this in with spending time with the family. This basically means I have a 7 day week and to be honest never take a day off. Even Christmas day you are reviewing the boxing day fixtures etc.
What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
I used to play football competitively but retired once my first child was born. Any free time is spent with family, doing odd jobs and catching up with friends. One thing about being a tipster is you do have little down time. I rarely watch movies or read books because if I have quiet time to sit on the couch I will be reading match reports and researching my next tips.
Any sports betting book you have read and want to recommend?
I’ve read a couple but I will give my friends a plug at The Secret Betting Club and suggest you subscribe and read their back catalogue of magazine and articles.