Longshot Spotter is a new to market horse racing tipster service that is operated by one Paul Croft. He claims that his value based approach to betting can produce some very substantial profits.
Introduction to Longshot Spotter
How do you beat the bookies in the long term? That is one of the single most important questions that exists in betting. And in some respects, the answers are a very simple one (well, two). Firstly, know more than them. Which is of course easier said than done and also not very helpful. But the truth is that it is the answer. If you’re an avid follower of a niche sport, chances are you know more than the odds compiler. Which brings me to the second thing. Always look for value. Because the fact is, the bookies get it wrong surprisingly often.
This is all very important to keep in mind with today’s review subject, Longshot Spotter. Because according to tipster, Paul Croft, he is absolutely all over that second part. And if he is consistently extracting value… well, you’d expect that he knows more than the bookies. Right? Especially when you take a look at the results, which frankly, are incredibly impressive. And I’m not just talking about the profit and loss here (although they are decent looking), but simply how often this is supposedly winning.
So, you might be thinking. Value based service, good results, and Paul Croft isn’t really asking a lot for it either in the grand scheme of things. So, this is an absolute winner, right? Well, I’m not so convinced, if I’m honest. There are a hell of a lot of questions that surround Longshot Spotter. And a big element of that is undoubtedly the approach that the service takes. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds reasonable on paper. But the reality is that I don’t believe that this is necessarily sustainable. Let’s look at why this is.
What Does Longshot Spotter Offer?
If you take a look at Longshot Spotter, on the surface of things, you are dealing with a fairly typical tipster service. However, this isn’t really the case. There are one or two things in how Paul Croft approaches his betting that make this stand out as different. Not necessarily in terms of how he’s operating things (as we will see), but the bets themselves.
Now, there is a lot to talk about with the bets so before I get stuck on any of that I do want to talk a little bit about the logistical elements of Longshot Spotter. How Paul Croft manages things. Honestly, most of this is what you would expect from pretty much any modern tipster service. Selections are sent out directly on a near daily basis directly via email. Standard stuff.
They are however sent out on the evening before racing. Typically between 9.30pm and 11.30pm, something that is vital to getting those longer odds winners for which Longshot Spotter is named. However, this isn’t the typical thing where you then have to spend time seeking out best odds. Instead, you will be looking at certain bookmakers that pay out on additional places for each way bets.
In case you hadn’t guessed form this, let’s talk about those bets. All of which are of course, each way. Of course, were Longshot Spotter this simple, I wouldn’t be opposed to any of this. In fact, I’d be lauding Paul Croft for having the sense to avoid putting all of his eggs in the “win” basket. Especially when you’re looking at high odds bets.
On the subject of which, just how high are the odds here? Well, a look at the rather primitive proofing/evidence that Paul Croft provides for Longshot Spotter, we see bets with a low of around 13/2 going all the way up to 66/1. However you want to dress it up, you are definitely looking at long odds. But there are a few caveats to this. Firstly, and most importantly, it is rather questionable. Secondly, despite looking at quite a lot, you are dealing with a relatively small data sample size.
You see, to look at the sales material for Longshot Spotter, it looks like Paul Croft is providing a relatively comprehensive amount of proofing. There are certainly more than enough of those (very questionable in my opinion) betting slips showing winning bets. But here’s the thing, you are only actually looking at 18 bets in the initial “proofing” and another 15 in the supplemented “live” proofing.
Because key to Longshot Spotter (as I will discuss in greater detail below) is the fact that you are betting multiple times on the same race. This means that whilst it may look like you’re getting proofing for almost 100 bets, you really aren’t. At least, not entirely. But this affects more than just the proofing, because let’s not talk about stakes.
The approach that Paul Croft utilises means that you are betting level stakes. Standard stuff, I’m sure we can all agree on. But you’re also staking 3 points on each race (covering 3 each way bets). This inevitably means that you have a very substantial investment in terms of your betting bank, at least in my mind (the fact is that this element of Longshot Spotter isn’t addressed).
At the end of the day, in 6 days, Longshot Spotter backed 45 selections. All of which are long shots. This means that you are potentially facing quite substantial drawdown, and whilst I am sure that Paul Croft would argue against this pointing to the claimed strike rate for the service, this doesn’t really do much to convince me. Especially in light of the lack of… well, quite a lot of things relating to the service actually.
Just what is this strike rate? Well, Paul Croft doesn’t specifically make any claims. However, there are calculations that we can make. Effectively, if you believe the evidence that is provided, Longshot Spotter has had a shade under 75% of bets either win or place. Given that average odds that are in place, that is a huge result.
How Does Longshot Spotter Work?
There are a couple of elements to how Longshot Spotter “works”. The first I have already touched on. Paul Croft recommends backing multiple horses on the same race. Those of you who are perhaps more familiar with horse racing will recognise this as a form of dutching. An approach to betting that is well known. It is also an approach that I have seen employed with great success elsewhere. Building on that, it makes sense to maximise the places that a bookie pays out on.
With that in mind, it doesn’t surprise me particularly that Longshot Spotter leans into this angle as hard as it does. However, there is one major issue and that is the second key point in terms of how everything “works”. You see, dutching in and of itself is not a way to make money. You can’t simply back every horse in a race and expect to see a profit, regardless of what odds you are actually betting at.
Unfortunately, Paul Croft doesn’t actually talk about how he’s finding races where these opportunities present themselves. In fact, when it comes to looking at how he talks about Longshot Spotter as a service at no point is this even discussed. The bottom line here though is that to me, the selection process is the single most important thing. Because whilst I have seen plenty of dutching services succeed, I have definitely seen more fail.
When you combine all of that with the incredibly limited (and questionable) “proofing”, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to have faith in Longshot Spotter in my opinion. I am sure that Paul Croft would argue that what he provides is more than adequate, but I have been involved in this industry for long enough to know how easy it is to paint things in a certain light.
What is the Initial Investment?
If you wanted to sign up to Longshot Spotter, there are two different options available. The first of these is a monthly subscription. Except, whilst I say subscription, this is actually a one off payment with seemingly no obvious option on how to pay this again. However you want to look at it, this will cost you £30 plus VAT.
For the best value though, Paul Croft encourages you to sign up for a 6 month membership which is priced at £90 plus VAT. Effectively offering you 3 free months, this looks to be a good value offering, however it does mean that you have to actually get 6 months out of Longshot Spotter in order to get this value.
Something that is worth noting is that because Longshot Spotter is being sold through Clickbank, there is a full 30 day money back guarantee in place. Conveniently (and rather concerningly) though, Paul Croft doesn’t actually mention this anywhere in the sales material.
What is the Rate of Return?
The headline for Longshot Spotter reads that Paul Croft made “£636.75 Profit From £5 Bets In Just 6 Days”. An assertion that is arguably correct, but personally, I have questions about. Firstly, the mention of £5 bets isn’t entirely true in my eyes. The results are to £5 each way meaning that your effective bet is actually £10 per horse. There is even an argument to be made that you’re actually betting £30 per race so that should be your stake.
But for the sake of ease, let’s stick to £10 per bet. Given a £636.75 profit in the first week and an additional £490.60 in the second week, Paul Croft is claiming that Longshot Spotter can make you £1,127.35 in just 2 weeks. A ludicrous profit of 112.74 points. This puts the service on course for 2,931.11 points of profit over a year. That is more than a decent performing tipster might make in a decade. As such, I am hugely sceptical of these numbers.
Conclusion for Longshot Spotter
As is often the case with the services that I look at, Longshot Spotter does a very good job of presenting itself as a reasonable option. Everything that Paul Croft does stands as a good idea in theory. If I were judging the idea of taking advantage of value bets and additional place bets as a method of beating the bookies long term, I’d tell you that it’s absolutely an option. In fact, I’ve seen this approach used before.
If you then asked me if there was merit in applying some dutching theory to this, I’d say of course there is. So long as you exercise caution. You see, something that I learned a long time ago about dutching is this. It always looks good on paper. Reduce your chances of losing, allows you to back bigger bets, what’s not to like? And that is a very valid question.
But something that I always find myself repeating when looking at a certain type of tipster service is that simply having a good idea about betting isn’t a betting system. Anyone could very easily go to SkyBet and find those races that have additional places. You could back a few long shots. You might even win a few. But eventually, that will fiPaul Croftle out because you have to back the right long shots.
This is an area where I don’t personally believe that Paul Croft shows any capacity. Longshot Spotter looks good because it makes sense on paper. But the fact is that picking value horses isn’t easy. Especially with those longer shots. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely can be done. But every tipster that I’ve looked at that is doing this successfully is able to demonstrate this fact. And I also want to point out that they demonstrate it at a lower rate than what is on show here.
Which of course begs the question of how much faith you put in Paul Croft’s results. Is he a tipster who despite any real comprehensive evidence has bucked a trend and is making a decades worth of income in a year? Or is it somebody who has realistically at best had a very lucky few weeks? Has he simply backed everything in these races to generate these results? Is it worse than that?
The reason that you really have to consider all of these questions is because there is that persistent lack of evidence. And it isn’t even like my concerns are tied entirely to the immediate results. Longshot Spotter involves staking a hell of a lot, and if Paul Croft isn’t winning your bank will get decimated. With insight into his selection process and whatnot, you might have a bit more faith, but… well, there’s nothing except that vague allusion to value.
I could keep on in this vein. There is a lot about Longshot Spotter to pick apart. But when you combine all of it (including the convenient fact that the money back guarantee isn’t mentioned), it just looks a bit… shall we say questionable. So, would I recommend Paul Croft’s service? Personally, I wouldn’t. I can see the appeal, I can see the idea behind it, but all of that is carefully constructed in my mind. And what I have seen of this is a long way from the results that are projected.