WE all look for ways to guarantee a profit when betting.
And in an ever competitive market for bookmakers to try and extract the cash from our pockets, there are many offers and specials to try and entice you to bet with a firm. The ‘money-back offer’ has become a favourite lure by many bookies.
And Formula One is next on the agenda in the ‘Great British Summer of Sport’ this weekend.
Betvictor provide a tasty treat for Lewis Hamilton fans. They are offering to give you your money back if you bet on the Brit to win at Silverstone this weekend – as long as you get your bets on before 10am on Friday– but he fails to provide home rule.
It is the equivalent of a free bet (subject to their maximum stakes rules) about Hamilton’s chances of success.
The only catch is they are lowest at 11-4 on a Hamilton success with Paddy Power and Sporingbet the best-priced at 4-1 behind general favourite Sebastian Vettel (3-1 Coral, totesport, Skybet).
So you will be cursing your luck should he win and you took the lowest price on offer.
The McLaren star certainly has the chance to add to his previous home win in 2008. Although he warned of his chief rival’s ridiculous pace: “Be careful, because Vettel could dominate for the rest of the year.”
But that could be his way of trying to alleviate the pressure which inevitably comes with being the home favourite.
Hamilton looks almost a nailed-on certainty at 4-5 with Betvictor to make the podium come Sunday and has a sporting chance of taking pole position at 16-5 with Sportingbet. Although speedy Vettel is the main man in that market at 15-8 with most bookies.
It could be an intriguing weekend in some long-term markets – not, just in Formula One.
With Bradley Wiggins bidding for Tour de France glory, not to mention the small matter of the Olympics now a matter of days away, the market for BBC Sports Personality of the Year is hotting up.
Next year, with the Beeb virtually giving up on live sport, the award may become redundant.
But for one year at least, the BBC is providing a platform for British sporting greats to be beamed into our homes.
We know a footballer won’t get the top gong after the failure (success?) of reaching the last eight of Euro 2012. Steven Gerrard, probably England’s best player overall in the tournament, is a 100-1 chance.
Hamilton himself is a big outsider at 66-1 with Boylesports. But a win this weekend and in the title overall would mark him as a real contender.
But it seems likely an Olympian striking gold will eventually come out on top – that’s why Jessica Ennis, just 5-6 with Coral for Heptathlon glory – is favourite at 3-1 with several bookmakers to be Sports Personality come December.
Don’t rule out Wiggins (5-1 Stan James, Boylesports) from running her close if all goes well over the coming weeks.
Wiggins could double up with Tour success (13-10 Bwin) and then victory in the men’s time trial in the London (5-2 Coral) to be firmly in the frame.
And what about a Mersey star ending as the Beeb’s first lady.
Southport swimmer Fran Halsall is 50-1 (Ladbrokes) for the award and a win in the 100m freestyle (10-1 Coral) – a reasonable bet at the price – would see her as a contender. While gymnast Beth Tweddle is 7-1 (Coral) to win gold in the uneven bars, and 66-1 with the same for the Beeb award.