Betting Underdogs: Boris Becker winning Wimbledon in 1985

Betting Underdogs: Boris Becker winning Wimbledon in 1985

Heading into the 1985 Wimbledon tournament, not many expected the fresh faced 17-year-old Boris Becker would go all the way and win the showpiece. But that’s precisely what he did, as he became the youngest ever player to take home the crown.

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Although he was ranked 20th in the world prior to the tournament getting underway, only the top 16 were seeded, meaning he was unseeded. Priced at 11/1 in the odds, there were many other big names fancied for success, including Pat Cash, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Anders Jarryd and Kevin Curren.

Starting off in fine form by taking out Americans Hank Pfister and Matt Anger, this earned him a match up with seventh seed Joakim Nystrom. In what was a mammoth tussle, Becker eventually prevailed in an epic five setter by taking home the final set 9-7.

Courtesy of Tennis Buzz

The fourth round clash almost saw the end of him, as he twisted his ankle badly and almost withdrew, before fighting on to take out Tim Mayotte. Henri Lecomte then awaited him in the quarters, but the man who’d just ousted Lendl succumbed to Becker in four sets.

Jarryd then stood between Becker and a place in the final. Having lost the first set, he kicked into gear impressively, going on to power past the seeded Swede in four sets.

Facing off against Curren in the final, Becker knew he’d have his work cut out for him. After all, Curren had already beaten the likes of McEnroe and Connors and was the favourite. Flying out of the blocks to win the first set, Curren then bounced back to win the second. Becker wasn’t to be denied though, claiming the next two sets to secure an unforgettable victory.

For the man who’d go onto win six grand slams, this record breaking Wimbledon triumph that started it all, will never be forgotten.

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Betting Underdogs: The Miracle On Ice

Betting Underdogs: Miracle on Ice

In what was one of the biggest upsets in sports history, the Miracle on Ice was nothing short of remarkable.

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With the American ice hockey team hardly fancied ahead of the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid, the team that consisted of amateur college players amazingly overcame the favourites in the Soviet Union 4-3 in the medal round, before going on to beat Finland to claim a memorable gold medal.

Considering the USSR had defeated the US team 10-3 in an exhibition game in New York just 13 days earlier, this made the achievement even more impressive. Moreover, the fact the USSR had also beaten an NHL All Star team in the lead up to the tournament and was a team who’d played together for the best part of a decade only amplified what a shock it was.

Courtesy of Sportskeeda

Coached by Herb Brooks, the USA boss selected his team predominantly from NCAA teams the Minnesota Gophers (the team Brooks coached) and Boston University. With players from Bowling Green, Wisconsin and Minnesota-Duluth rounding out the squad, he wanted a tough to handle team to deal with the seasoned Russians.

Priced at an outrageous 1000-1 to overcome their seasoned adversaries to win Gold at the time according to simulations that have since been done, upon looking back and knowing the Soviets had won 12 of the previous 16 World Championships and triumphed in the last four Olympics, it’s easy to understand those odds.

Despite being dominated by the Soviets for large periods, team USA took their chances and defended resolutely to progress to the gold medal clash. When referring back to Brooks’ inspirational pregame speech, it’s clear his words resonated with his players. “If we played them 10 times, they might win nine,” stated Brooks.

“But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. You were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Now, go out there and take it.”

And take it they did, as this US side incredibly etched their name into the history books against all odds with their grit, determination and collective spirit.

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esports evolution

The Evolution of eSports in the New Normal Times

In recent years, eSports has burst into the mainstream, transitioning from a small market to a core mode of entertainment around the globe. Although eSports may have only once stood as a branch of popular sports culture, it has now developed into a full-scale industry of its own. In fact, online virtual sports betting and live in-play betting have increased in popularity due to eSports competitions.

History of eSports

Electronic sports or eSports take the form of online video game tournaments involving pro players or teams. The history of eSports began in the late 1970s, when Space Invaders and Asteroids, two of the most popular video games at the time, were launched. This was the beginning of the Arcade era in the world of eSports.  The average lifetime of the famous game at the time was around 4–6 months, and the competition was very intense. In 1982, the arcade video game industry exceeded the sales of Hollywood movies and pop music combined.

In the 1980s, personal computers and gaming systems became increasingly available. At the time, fans of video games began holding LAN ( local area network) parties. Players would create a link between their computers and consoles by linking to a router or switching wires while they enjoy playing multiplayer video games together. LAN parties became extremely famous in the late 1990s with multiplayer shooter games like Counter-Strike and Quake were released worldwide.

eSports in the New Normal

During the coronavirus period, the recent lockdowns have amplified user engagement with eSports and other video games.  As a matter of fact, revenues for various gaming companies and platforms have improved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy of Business Insider

Despite the significant economic recession caused by the coronavirus, the global video game industry is growing rapidly. In the practice of social distancing and limiting close interactions to a minimum, eSports provides an enticing diversion for people at home looking for social engagement, and the initial evidence reveals a large increase in playing time and eSports betting since the lockdowns started.

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Significance of APIs

The Significance of APIs and Other Sports Trading Tools

The Significance of APIs and Other Sports Trading Tools

When it comes to sports trading, you want everything to be convenient and the bets and odds in your favor, which is why you look for ways and even sports trading tools to help you out. Of course, it does not mean that just because you have these tools, it will suddenly make you a profitable trader. You also need to do your best through hard work and dedication. 

These days, one of the best tools that most sports traders utilize is an exchange API interface. This piece of software is a game-changer. It will help you save time and do your research conveniently. Through APIs, sports traders will also be able to optimise their strategies and find it easy to place their bets or exchanges. 

How API WorksCourtesy of GBK Soft

Sports trading is accessible to everyone. You won’t need any degree or a lot of equipment to take part in it, more so when you can find API trading platforms that make it convenient for all sports traders.

Through an API software, sports traders will be able to see markets and know where the money is on a larger range of odds. This sports trading tool can also give you the ability to place stakes in the market quickly. It also allows traders to automatically back and lay and make so many of the exchange’s of customers innovative.

API ManagementCourtesy of Pinterest

For the serious sports trader, this sports trading tool is profitable. It also doesn’t mean that you must develop your own proprietary software. You can look for an API trading platform with an easy API integration that is good enough to serve the purpose.

Aside from APIs, other sports trading tools include the following:

  • Spreadsheets – This tool can be used to record trading results, collect data, and more.
  • Live Stats – When it comes to sports trading, in-game stats can play crucial roles. You can utilize them on large tournaments, especially if your in-play tactic focuses on scoreline conditions.

For more tips about the sports betting industry, here are some articles you can check out:

Being a sports trader is not such an easy thing. But, it is not that difficult either if you have the right sports trading tools and an API trading platform to help you out. Luckily, at VOdds, you can find all of those things.

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Biggest Betting Scandals: Calciopoli

Biggest Betting Scandals: Calciopoli

Rocking the football world in 2006, the Calciopoli scandal left a shocking mark on Italian football.

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Involving many high profile clubs including Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio, Juve’s wrongdoings were particularly striking. Their role in the saga was first uncovered when Italian football investigators focused their search on the football agency GEA World that was owned by a certain Luciano Moggi.

This led them down the path to discovering that Juventus’ Sporting Director and Chairman, Moggi and Antonio Giraudo respectively, were trying to pick referees that would favour the Bianconeri. This was later proven when phone taps revealed that Moggi and Giraudo had talked to many officials to persuade them into selecting referees they desired to oversee Juve’s matches. Indeed, Moggi’s relationship with the head of the refereeing association, Pierluigi Pairetto, enabled him to pull the strings heavily, with many chats between the two recorded to prove the meddling of Moggi.

Courtesy of BetzCenter

Conversations directly with referees were found to have occurred too, with hefty payments to officials having taken place too. In addition, referees were also asked to give certain players yellow cards to ensure they missed subsequent games against Juventus. The powerful Moggi’s pulling power didn’t end there, however, for he reportedly influenced team selections of opponents, sections of the media and when games were to be postponed or cancelled.

The fact Moggi enjoyed contacts all over the football world in Italy from within many areas from the media to the football federation only enhanced his capacity to get things done his way.

Courtesy of BetBull

But once he was found out, Juventus were justifiably punished by getting relegated to Serie B and Moggi received a life ban from football.

A scandal that will forever tarnish the reputation of the Turin giants, this terrible story shone the spotlight on the corruption that existed in Italian football. Now, with things much better in Italy, at least Calciopoli served as a reminder for many on why it’s best to play by the rules and operate in a sporting manner.

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Betting Underdogs: Liverpool's amazing comeback in Istanbul

Betting Underdogs: Liverpool’s amazing comeback in Istanbul

Liverpool’s amazing Champions League victory over AC Milan was undoubtedly one of the most memorable matches in footballing history.

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Upon looking back at their road to the final, and it’s incredible to remember how they almost didn’t even get beyond the group stages. Starting their road to glory in August 2004 against Grazer AK, the Reds scraped past the Austrian outfit 2-1 after losing the second leg in disappointing fashion.

Placed into a group with Olympiacos, Deportivo La Coruna and AS Monaco, they made hard work of qualifying despite winning their first match comfortably 2-0 over Monaco. Following that opening day win, Liverpool then lost to the Greek giants and drew with Depor to leave them in an unsatisfactory position with three group matches left.

A win over Depor then appeared to set them on the right path, but a 1-0 loss to Monaco put them in a precarious position to qualify ahead of their must win clash over Olympiacos. Needing to defeat the Greek team by two or more goals to progress, Rivaldo’s early free kick was a huge setback. Consequently requiring three goals to go through, Rafa Benitez’s team produced a sensational second half to win 3-1, with two goals in the last 10 minutes securing their passage.

Courtesy of Pinterest

A much more straightforward Round of 16 tie then followed, as the Reds ousted Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 on aggregate having won both legs 3-1.

Up next came Juventus in the quarters. And the Reds impressively got past the Turin giants, winning 2-1 on aggregate as first leg goals from Sami Hyypia and Luis Garcia were enough to move into the semis.

Standing in their way of making the final stood Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. In a fiercely fought and competitive tie, Liverpool overcame the Blues courtesy of Luis Garcia’s controversial goal in the second leg.

Facing a star studded AC Milan in the final in Istanbul that consisted of the the likes of Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Andriy Shevchenko, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Cafu and Hernan Crespo, Liverpool got of to a terrible start. Finding themselves 3-0 down at half time, Benitez then made some changes at the interval, including crucially bringing on Dietmar Hamann, as Liverpool made an inspirational comeback. A 54th minute goal from Steven Gerrard got the ball rolling, before Vladimir Smicer scored two minutes later.

Xabi Alonso then levelled things up in the 61st minute to get the score back to 3-3. With both teams unable able to find the back of the net in normal or extra time, the match headed for penalties, where Liverpool eventually prevailed after Jerzy Dudek saved Shevchenko’s spot kick.

Courtesy of Pinterest

Named the Miracle of Istanbul, the efforts of this Liverpool will rightfully go down in history, as their astonishing comeback will never be forgotten in the world of football.

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Betting Underdogs: Greece at Euro 200

Betting Underdogs: Greece at Euro 2004

Heading into Euro 2004, Greece were certainly not fancied to cause any shocks, with them priced at 150/1 to take home the summer showpiece.

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Having never won a match at a major international tournament prior to their first match in Portugal, their run to glory was built on Otto Rehhagel’s tactical discipline and the players’ commitment.

Overcoming hosts Portugal 2-1 in their opener set them on their way, giving them vital momentum and confidence that they could achieve great things. Obtaining a vital point in their next clash with Spain, who they’d impressively beaten in qualifying for Euro 2004, was then a super result to back up their win over Portugal.

All they needed was a win over a struggling Russia in their final group contest to guarantee progression, but things didn’t go to plan whatsoever, with Russia taking an early lead and going on to defeat Greece 2-1. Thankfully, however, Portugal ousted Spain 1-0 to ensure Greece went through in second place.

Action Shot from the Euros

A star studded France awaited in the quarter-finals, that included names such as Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, David Trezeguet, Claude Makelele and Lillian Thuram. Putting in another determined and spirited shift, Greece ran out surprise 1-0 victors.

Up next in the semis was the talented Czech Republic side, who’d drawn plentiful praise due to their offensive exploits, with Pavel Nedved, Milan Baros, Jan Koller and Tomas Rosicky among their star men. Shutting down another super offensive force, Greece nullified their more fancied opponents, with Traianos Dellas’ extra time winner securing their passage to the final, where they’d play Portugal again.

Once more they defied the odds to triumph, as Angelos Charisteas’ 57th minute goal was enough for them to be crowned champions of Europe. Leaving the host nation devastated, with their big names of Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Pauleta and Ricardo Carvalho left to rue what might have been.

Greece’s Goal in the Final

Although they weren’t the prettiest team to watch, their immense character, unity and grit saw them triumph against all odds. Tailoring a perfect tactical plan to shut down some of the finest offensive units, Rehhagel certainly deserves immense credit for masterminding one of the most unforgettable triumphs in football history.

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COVID-19 Sports Betting

How COVID-19 is Affecting the UK Sports Betting Industry

There is no doubt as to the fact that the UK is one of the largest gambling nations on the planet. Ever since it became legal in 1960, punters who are at least 18 years old and above have been placing their bets. And with the introduction of legal sports bookmakers online, everything is more convenient. 

In the UK, punters can wager on many sports. It is stated that at least 70% of all its citizens that are old enough to bet participate in gambling. 

 

UK Online BettingCourtesy of Safest Betting Sites

 

Understanding the implications of legal online sports betting is also essential because it has contributed to the increasing growth of the country’s sports betting market. There has been a shift in the motivations and behaviours of punters, as can be seen in the figure below. More of them are more inclined to participate in online gambling because of the ease of use that it brings.

 

Online Gambling BehavioursCourtesy of The Drop

 

Because of this growing demand for online sports betting, many are trying to understand and learn how to bet on sports online. Moreover, this has also become one of the means in which the gambling industry can survive amidst the pandemic.

 

Impact Analysis COVID19Courtesy of Business Wire

 

With lockdowns in place and sports events cancelled, it has clearly impacted the sports betting industry. There are no longer events that punters can bet on, which results in a loss of business for many bookmakers. In the UK, Google Trends has shown a rapid drop of interest in sports betting. The search interest is at the lowest level since the last five years, as stated by Julia Logan of IGB

But, despite this dilemma, many operators are adapting to protect their revenues. In the figure above, Technavio states that the horse and sports betting market will likely experience steady growth. This is due to the increasing digital connectivity and rapid growth in the commercialization of sports betting. A prime example of this would be online gambling.  

Safe to say the least, the pandemic has become a warning and a reminder for many bookmakers to be more vigilant and prepared. It has paved the way for more innovation and adaptation. 

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Biggest Betting Underdog: Leicester City

Biggest Betting Underdogs: Leicester City

To kick off our series on the biggest betting underdog, we’ll be taking a look at Leicester City’s unlikely Premier League title triumph.

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Heading into the 2015/2016 campaign Leicester were priced at a whopping 5000/1, with the bookies perceiving them as more likely relegation candidates than title challenges. Indeed, their assessment made good sense, for the Foxes had struggled hugely in the previous season, where they spent over four months at the bottom of the table before winning seven of their last nine matches to secure survival.

Courtesy of LCFC News Now

With Claudio Ranieri stepping in for Nigel Pearson at the managerial helm, the Italian masterminded one of the most remarkable title wins in sporting history. Basing his team on a solid defence and supreme organisation, the players knew their roles thoroughly. Factor in having the likes of N’Golo Kante running the show in midfield, and Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy wreaking havoc in the final third, and this made them a real threat in all areas of the pitch.

Courtesy of Facebook

The unexpected victory also changed the way bookmakers set their odds, as a William Hill spokesperson noted that taking bets at such high odds cost them around $3 million and that it probably cost other bookies roughly $15 million. It was also stated that William Hill will no longer be accepting bets priced at such high odds, with 1000/1 the maximum now.

Courtesy of EADT

To put into perspective what an achievement it was by Leicester, ESPN’S Paul Carr gave an interesting example from 2016, that stated: “In the NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves were 5,000-to-1 to win the NBA title at the end of January, when they had a 14-35 record. They missed the playoffs by 14 games.”

Defying the odds emphatically to run out Champions with 81 points (10 points clear of Arsenal), their record of 23 wins, 12 draws and three losses was very impressive indeed by the unfancied Foxes. A feat that will be remembered forever as one of the biggest upsets, this Leicester team will certainly never be forgotten.

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Lautaro Martinez

Serie A Player Analysis: Inter’s brilliant Lautaro Martinez

In a season where Lautaro Martinez has truly established himself as one of World football’s elite attackers, it comes as little surprise many clubs are interested in acquiring his services.

Bagging 16 goals in all competitions for Inter Milan, the Argentine star’s been an integral component towards the Nerazzurri’s title charge this term. Adapting brilliantly to Antonio Conte’s methods and forming a formidable partnership with Romelu Lukaku, watching him has been a joy.

With just about all of European football’s heavyweights reportedly interested, including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Barcelona, it appears the latter are leading the way. With the legendary Lionel Messi stating his desire for Martinez to join him at Barca and recently heaping praise on him, it’s clear he’d be welcomed there.

 

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“He is spectacular, he has impressive qualities, you could always see that he would have become a great player, now he has exploded and he is showing it,” Messi gleamed. “I wish he could come and play here and fight to win everything, including the Champions League.”

“Lautaro is very similar to Suarez, both of them move very well and score goals. Lautaro had a great Copa America and he has proven to be reliable. Suarez has a lot of experience and can help Lautaro adapt to the club and to La Liga.”

While linking up with his countryman would be incredible, Martinez has been adamant he plans on remaining at Inter for now. Whatever happens regarding his future will be fascinating, but one thing’s for sure, and that’s what a talented forward he is.

To start with his movement, and this forms a super foundation from which to undertake his work from. Choosing his moments wisely when to drop deep, exploit the gaps in the channels when an opposing fullback steps out, when openings in behind centrally or unoccupied zones within the box arise, he pounces with conviction.

 

A master at identifying free zones and timing his runs, how he exploits the blindside of markers, gaps between defenders and when opponents are caught ball watching or out of position has been vital towards his success too.

Crafty depth run to exploit the space in behind
Crafty depth run to exploit the space in behind

 

Wicked run after peeling off the shoulder of his man
Wicked run after peeling off the shoulder of his man

 

Moreover, the way he dovetails so smoothly with Lukaku has given Inter another layer of menace, for they’re always on the same page and share a wonderful understanding. When one drops deep, the other will usually rush in behind to stretch the defence, thus posing questions for defenders on who to mark or where to position themselves.

 

Dropping deep sharply to make room for Lukaku
Dropping deep sharply to make room for Lukaku

 

Lukaku dropping as Martinez runs into the space created
Lukaku dropping as Martinez runs into the space created

 

Knowing how exceptional Lukaku is at winning aerial duels, Martinez will frequently time his runs in preparation for a flick on from his strike partner, with this tactic bearing fruit on many occasions. It’s also been great to see them position themselves nearby to combine intricately and manipulate defensive blocks by drawing and pinning adversaries so fullbacks and runners from midfield can target newly freed up spaces.

Lastly, they way they crossover their runs to place huge doubt in defenders’ minds has been another valuable weapon to lose markers and unbalance opposing rearguards.

Slick crossover run with Lukaku to destabilise the opposition
Slick crossover run with Lukaku to destabilise the opposition

 

Finding space between the lines expertly
Finding space between the lines expertly

 

Pinning his man to create space for Vecino
Pinning his man to create space for Vecino

 

To focus on his movement inside the box, and he excels here, for he uses a nice array of dismarking maneuvers to gain separation to put his outstanding finishing skills to good use. Whether it be slick zig zags, double movements or knowing when to hold his run as the defence collapses deeper or attack the box aggressively, he instinctively gets into promising goal-scoring locations. The fact he enjoys 6.06 touches inside the box per game illustrates his prowess here.

 

Superbly placed finish into the bottom corner
Superbly placed finish into the bottom corner

 

Technically proficient and very good with the ball at his feet, Martinez is a skillful dribbler who uses his strength and low centre of gravity to keep his balance while beating markers or protecting possession. Sharp with his first touch and ball control, once inheriting the ball, he’s shown how well he can operate in tight spaces under pressure, with his composure and execution seeing him find a way out more often than not. Boasting an explosive turn of speed and change of direction, this, in combination with his neat repertoire of feints, shimmies and crafty touches, ensures he can beat his man or maintain possession while waiting for a viable outlet.

Meanwhile, in terms of his passing, there’s been much to admire about how he links play and animates offensive moves. Reading the play coherently and aware of where his teammates are situated, this means he can find them with incisive one touch passing and flicks and with splitting through balls in behind. A player who has that unique capacity to both score and create, the man who’s notched four assists and generates 0.77 shot assists per game is a real force to be reckoned with.

Super bended through ball into Lukaku's path
Super bended through ball into Lukaku’s path

 

Martinez duly amplifies his threat with his underrated heading skills, for he picks up the ball’s flight rapidly, adjusts his runs accordingly and uses his powerful leap to be a useful option for crosses and set pieces.

 

Wonderful headed goal using his leap and timing
Wonderful headed goal using his leap and timing

 

By the numbers, his 4.06 shots pg, 2.21 dribbles pg, 1.33 progressive runs pg and 2.72 fouls suffered pg only adds to his worth for the title chasing Inter.

Improving all the time and showing how comfortably he handles any step up in class, which is illustrated by his five Champions League goals and how he’s already registered nine goals for Argentina, the world is his oyster.

Only time will tell how good he’ll be, but all the signs are heading towards the 22-year-old becoming one of the few true stars of the game for both club and country sooner rather than later.

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