Although Scott McFarland from ZTips doesn’t currently charge for his picks, we have decided to interview him as an example of a Tipster with a high followers base. He has more than 7,000 followers on Twitter @z_tips and several thousand users visit his website Ztips every month. He is specialized in Football overs bets and is proofed by the The Secret Betting Club.
What was your first contact with the sports betting world?
When I was 15 my dad got me to place some bets for him at the bookies. I was hooked before that as I was playing cards for money with my dad and his friends from 14.
How long have you been working as a tipster?
I have been a tipster for 15 years. I started off on various forums but got really well known on the net on the Football Fixed Odds forum as ZLAND. I started my own site about 10 years ago on a really basic template and then got loads help for the latest site of which I am really proud of it.
Your service is currently Free. Do you have plans to start charging for your picks?
Yes I have been tipping for Free for 15 years and always said I would never charge but a change in my work situation coming soon made me look at my options to generate more income . I believe in loyalty and have said those that have donated in the past to the site and are on the email list would pay 50% less than the standard rate I will set on the site.
How did you build a Twitter base of +7,000 followers?
I was one of the few tipsters that let my results do the talking and up until recently I never asked for retweets. I am known for my consistency and honesty and I think that is a big reason for the followers and I read a live game better than many.
What are the best and the worst parts of being a tipster?
The best part of being a tipster is seeing your hard work turn into winners as I take a lot of pride in what I do and it hurts when I tip a loser. The worst part for sure is you just can’t please everyone and no matter how well you could be doing, plenty want more than 10 winners in a row and then 2 losers and some are still really unhappy.
What is your method for finding value odds and selecting your picks?
I have a criteria I have been working on for a few years now. I check each game for and unless they pass the minimum requirements they do not make the daily email . About value, I think I have a very high chance of winning many bets but we don’t take the starting price unless the minimum of 1.64 is available at a bookmakers meaning no commission to pay. If it isn’t we set to 1.64 on Betfair and to ‘keep’ and set and forget which people really like. It used to be 1.80 but we were letting to many winners go and that was quite aggravating.
I have never liked unders and I feel I am a very positive person as far as betting are concerned so I just cant bring myself to watch a game hoping everytime they teams attack they don’t score , also the bet is never over until the final whistle. With overs you are cheering for them to score and regularly the bet is won by Halftime let alone the final whistle.
Bookies receive more money on overs bets than on unders, what might make overs odds are overvalued. What’s your point on that?
I would agree with that and that is why I have my criteria and minimum prices inplay as a lot of mine should probably be 1.30+ based on criteria and statistics yet we get minimum of 1.64 and regularly higher . Plenty of people have no clue of value. Value can be 1.10 if a team is 5-0 up.
What is your staking method? What is your advice for punters?
I advice level stakes and it equates to 3% of our betting banks and then if you double your starting bank you then increase the stake. Compounding I always believe is the way forward and always say that on my emails but have been told Level staking is best for tipping on a service.
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 Live trading is great and I do it plenty with late goals , lay the draws and current scores etc, as for if its easier I think its about the same maybe slightly easier as are watching the game and can decide based on what seeing rather than form before.
Which are the bookies you bet most?
Betfair is the best for liquidity and price in the main , Betvictor is the bets bookmaker I have seen for prices away from Betfair and bet365 I love for accumulators as the ease of use and speed of the site is easily the best . So many sites it takes ages to actually find the market within a game where as Bet365 its a breeze.
You have a large followers base. Do odds drop after you publish a pick?
Yes. With 7000 followers the odds drop most games and I am hoping with going to charging less will be on them and maintain the price better and less to be in the queue if we are needing Betfair to get matched. Obviously not 100% of the games , only this weekend tipped a game in Turkey at 1.98 and by kick off was 2.16 on Betfair and that did concern me but it ended 2-2 so a winner anyway.
What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
I am a massive film fan so have a big collection of Blu Ray , Dvds and watch many films each week and see many films at the cinema also. I watch plenty of football of course and I have an Xbox 360 and Wii U that I play quite a bit also . When get chance I love reading also and fave author is Darren Shan !
Any sports betting book you have read and want to recommend?
A book I really enjoyed was Mastering Betfair by Pete Nordsted. It’s a must for any that want to get into Betfair and do some trading.