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Thursday, October 11, 2007

FROZEN ASSETS



MY TOP 5 FUTURES BOOKS FOR HOCKEY
& ODDS TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP





Welcome to the fourth edition of Frozen Assets. Every week I offer general tips for successful futures wagering and I examine odds in the hockey futures market. This week, I will present my top five list of sportsbooks offering hockey futures and we will examine and analyze the Stanley Cup futures market.

5. Matchbook - SBR Rating A-

About:

Matchbook is a betting exchange, which means that one player will offer odds and another player will match those odds. Matchbook then takes a 2% commission on the player’s net winnings. Matchbook focuses on North American Sports and presents their odds in North American format.

Benefits:

A. Since Matchbook is a betting exchange, you can buy and sell your bets. Thus you can hedge your bets by betting on a team you have already bet to win the Stanley Cup to lose.

B. When you are matched, you generally receive better than average odds on any team to win. In futures betting the house often takes a larger percentage then regular betting. At Matchbook the house has no advantage, they just take 2% of your net winnings as commission.

Drawbacks:

A. There is not enough interest in NHL hockey on Matchbook to ensure you will receive action. Your offer on the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup at 100/1 is useless if no one matches it. Even reasonable wagers are often not matched because there are not enough people paying attention and not enough volume.

B. Though in the past Matchbook has offered conference and division betting, they currently only offer Stanley Cup Futures betting.


4. Gamebookers - SBR Rating B-

About:

Gamebookers is a sportsbook owned by the same company that owns PartyPoker. They offer friendly, competitive odds and are prompt and reliable with their pay-outs.

Benefits:

A. Gamebookers offers conference and Stanley Cup betting throughout the year.

B. Occasionally Gamebookers will offer odds that do not make sense. These odds come out of nowhere. For example, last year, ¾ of the way through the season, the offered the Canucks at odds of 33/1 to win the conference; almost double what they were being offered at everywhere else.

Drawbacks:

A. Gamebookers does not consistently offer futures odds; sometimes they will take the futures odds off the board for a few days.

B. Other than the occasional aberration, it can be difficult to find odds that are competitive with Betfair.

3. William Hill – SBR Rating A

About:

William Hill is one of the top UK sportsbooks. The bookmaking service has been around for over 70 years and they have over 450,000 telephone and internet clients.

Benefits:

A. William Hill offers conference and Stanley Cup odds throughout the year at competitive odds.

B. The limits at William Hill are high – you do not have to worry about your payout being limited if you play a long-shot.

Drawbacks:

None.

2. Betfair – SBR Rating A+

About:

Betfair is the world’s leading betting exchange. They are a UK betting exchange that offers sports, poker, and games of chance.

Benefits:

A. Unlike Matchbook, you will not have trouble buying and selling futures wagers as long as your prices are reasonable. Betfair has the volume to make the hockey futures exchange viable.

B. Average futures prices at Betfair are substantially higher than the prices at the average sportsbook.

Drawbacks:

A. Betfair charges a 5% commission.

B. The odds at Betfair are presented in UK odds only (decimal form) which can be confusing to someone used to North American odds.

C. They do not accept American players.

D. You can only wager the dollar amount other people have risked. You may find great odds but only be able to risk $5.

1. Stan James – SBR Rating B

About:

Stan James is a mid-size sportsbook that has been in the bookmaking industry since 1973. They specialize in live wagering and are the only sportsbook (other than wagerstreet for a brief stint in 1999) to offer live betting on hockey.

Benefits:

A. Stan James is the only sportsbook to offer division, conference, and Stanley Cup betting during the regular season.

B. Stan James is not afraid to give you favorable odds on certain teams. For example, last year they were constantly offering odds on the Islanders, Bruins, and Panthers significantly above what other books were offering.

Drawbacks:

A. They have low limits: you can only bet as much as will allow you to win $2300.

B. They do not accept American players.


If you have thoughts on other sportsbooks that you think should be added to the list, please share your opinion in the comments section.

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The NHL season is underway. Although it is early on in the season, it is still surprising to hear that Buffalo is winless and Washington is undefeated. Here is a compilation of the best odds on each team to win the Stanley Cup (note I am no longer adding in the rating of the sportsbook – that’s research you can do yourself):


Team.............................Odds..............................Site

Ottawa...........................+900............................Wagerstreet

Detroit...........................+950.............................Bet365

Anaheim........................+1000...........................Wagerstreet

NY Rangers...................+1500...........................Betfair

San Jose.........................+1650...........................Betfair

Pittsburgh.....................+1650............................Betfair

Vancouver......................+2000.........................Stan James

Buffalo............................+2200.........................Betfair

Colorado.........................+2200.........................5dimes

Calgary............................+2600.........................Betfair

New Jersey.....................+3100..........................Betfair

Dallas..............................+3300..........................Betfair

Minnesota......................+3300..........................William Hill

Nashville........................+3900...........................Betfair

Toronto...........................+3900..........................Betfair

Tampa Bay......................+4000..........................Wagerstreet

Carolina..........................+4300..........................Betfair

Atlanta............................+4500...........................Betfair

Montreal.........................+6900..........................Betfair

NY Islanders..................+7500...........................Stan James

Edmonton.......................+7500...........................5dimes

Philadelphia..................+8000...........................William Hill

Los Angeles...................+8000...........................William Hill

Florida............................+8400..........................Betfair

St. Louis.........................+8900...........................Betfair

Boston............................+10000..........................Carib

Washington....................+10000.........................Carib

Columbus.......................+15000...........................Canbet

Chicago...........................+15000...........................Canbet

Phoenix...........................+25000..........................Canbet


Some of those numbers make my eyes and my pants bulge. I'll leave it to you to figure out which numbers...

For illegal curve, I’m Ari Baum-Cohen.

About the writer: Ari Baum-Cohen’s first sports betting victory came in 1989 when he won his father’s office pool at age 8. Since then, he has been interested in many different types of sports betting. His first major futures win came in November of the 2001-2002 hockey season when he selected “field” (field included Jarome Iginla) at odds of 30/1 to win the National Hockey League goal scoring title.

FROZEN ASSETS October 4, 2007
FROZEN ASSETS September 27, 2007
FROZEN ASSETS September 20, 2007

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