Betting my way to Russia – Asian playoff 1st-leg preview


I followed the Socceroos around the world to 4 World Cup qualification playoffs and the finals in Russia. I paid for it all with crypto I won betting on the games! See the introductory post for details.


2018 FIFA World Cup Asian playoff

October 5th 2017
Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka Malaysia
Syria 1 – Australia 1
October 10th 2017
Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia
Australia 2 – Syria 1


In a way, I was glad the Socceroos failed to qualify directly from our Asian World Cup qualification group. I think the 4 playoff games against tough opposition in front of big crowds is the best possible preparation for the tournament. I also look forward to the excitement and glory of winning through.

I am confident of victory in this 1st tie because Syria has no home game and Australia has 2nd-leg home advantage. For the 1st-leg we just need to not lose and preferably not draw 0-0. A goalless draw would mean a draw with goals, like 1-1, in the 2nd-leg would send Syria through on away goals.

Asian playoff expenses

So how much are both legs of the journey costing me in total? I have 2 advantages;

  1. By coincidence, I am starting out in Thailand, close to the 1st-leg in Malaysia.
  2. I have mates I can stay with for the 2nd-leg in Sydney.

Bitcoin was worth about $4000 USD at the time of the expenses.

Item USD m฿
Flight: Bangkok to KL $292 73
Hotel: Melaka 4-7 Oct $465 116
VIP ticket: Syria v Aus 5 Oct $36 9
Flight: KL to Sydney $1893 473
Ticket: Aus v Syria 10 Oct $70 18
Incidentals: $100 p/day 4-11 Oct $800 200
Total $3544 886

Asian playoff bets

I have 2 separate bets on

  1. Double chance: Draw or Australia – in the 1st-leg.
    Risked 1510 m฿ to win 488 m฿.
  2. Australia to qualify.
    Risked 2826 m฿ to win 438 m฿.

If both bets win I will cover all the expenses for the trip. If Syria win the 1st-leg and the “Double chance: Draw or Australia” bet loses, I will double down on the “Australia to qualify” bet. However the odds will be a lot higher which will keep the amount risked under control.

Double chance: Draw or Australia

This bet was up at odds around 1.2. However by making the 2 bets separately at multiple sportsbooks I got equivalent odds of 1.23.

The odds then came right in to 1.15. This means my bets at 1.23 are great value no matter what happens. I am not worried about the result because I made bets with positive expectation.

Nitrogen (review) had the best odds so I started there. Unfortunately they had low maximum bets on this event so I got the rest on at Lunarbets and mBit.

Screenshots and links to bet slips are below. Here is the bet matrix with figures in m฿.

Bet Odds Stake Result if Syria Result if Draw Result if Australia
Australia 1.909 1251 -1251 -1251 1139
Draw 3.45 691 -691 1699 -691
Total 1.23 1942 -1942 448 448

Australia to qualify

The only crypto sportsbook I could find offering this bet was 1xBit (review, American bettors are geo-blocked.). The odds were in line with government currency sportsbooks.

Bet Odds Stake Result if Syria Result if Australia
Australia 1.155 2826 -2826 438

While I might simply bet on Australia during the qualifiers I will not do that in the actual tournament. At the World Cup I will use these betting strategies.

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