From the first moment I discovered Z-Code I was intrigued. An innocent man simply clicking my way through the big bad internet looking for sport handicappers, one day I landed with a thump on the Z-Code sales page. It was loud, it was bright, it had videos, graphs, and more dollar signs than I knew what to do with. But beneath all the hype were some pretty big claims, verified profits across all sports, with graphs to prove it.
Now I am never going to get a letter of invitation from Mensa, but I’d also like to think I’m pretty cluey when it comes to sport betting and to be honest at the end of their looooooong sales page I had no idea who or what Z-Code was (apart from the world’s greatest money making machine). Now that I’ve had the chance to have a look “under the hood”, I’m not entirely sure the owners of the site do either, but we’ll come back to that soon.
In my initial curiosity I set off to find out more about the mysterious Z-Code System and found that not only do they have many YouTube videos explaining various systems and tools which come with a Z-Code membership, but also a podcast on iTunes. Maybe my answers will finally be answered? Or maybe not……
After listening to some of their podcasts I started to get the impression that the Z-Code membership got you access to forums where you could follow the systems of other members, there wasn’t a “Z-Code System” as such, more that if you find the best systems on the forum and follow them you’ll make money. But boy, what an effort to get that information!
Unfortunately their “experts”, didn’t seem to be very “expert”, I even had to turn off one of the podcasts when the tipster being interviewed suggested a martingale staking system. The YouTube channel didn’t fare much better, their videos on “line reversals”, seemed to completely miss the point of the information they were providing (again, we will come back to this later).
But this seems to be the big issue with Z-Code, from the outside it looks like pure buff and marketing spin. It looks like a scam, and anyone with any knowledge of sport betting would smell it a mile away.
So why did it give it a go you ask? Because as an Australian it would cost me $224.57 a month to be a member. Yes you read that correctly, $224.57 a month.
There had to be more substance right? There is no way people would pay that much money a month and continue to be members if it was a scam?
After entering the membership area for the first time I was greeted with an introductory video form the beautiful Katie directing me to the introductory webinar. It was a great start, my faith was being restored by the professional introduction, and the possibility of more Katie was an added bonus!
But it was quickly after starting the webinar that it started smelling quite scamming again. The webinar is set up to give the impression that it is live (it is not), with Ron, Alex and the man with the greatest voice for radio I’ve ever heard John (seriously, listen to their podcast just to hear John’s voice). Though to be fair, after another strange sales pitch the webinar did give a good overview of the website, and finally answered some of my lingering questions about what exactly the site was about.
So now I was armed with the knowledge that my membership included “expert” systems, as well as “automated “ systems. I was also directed to a range of other tutorial videos, which I skipped over and charged head long into my dream systems to make my millions.
And you know what? It actually wasn’t terrible. In fact, in terms of providing a form guide for upcoming matches, I don’t think there would be many options out there that can match Z-Code.
The VIP Club dashboard is where you can view each of the upcoming matches on a particular day. The dashboard provides not only notes about each match (records, injuries etc), but a ton of statistics about each team, and information about the number and amount of money bet on each side, and various rating and rankings for each side. Not only that, the probability for outright and line bets are provided along with suggested bets for the match.
This is all great information and available right in front of your eyes without having to click many buttons (actually most information is available simply by hovering over information points). Assuming you trust the Z-Code algorithms you could potentially assess games VERY quickly. Sure what they use is in no way revolutionary, but having that amount of information available so easily across such a range of different sports is brilliant. Not only that, you can handicap matches ahead of time using the various ranking tools available. In fact some of these tools are actually available for use, you can check them out by clicking here.
But there is a downside to all this, and unfortunately you’ve heard it before, but it looks like a mess. The colours spew off the screen, info graphics are hit and miss (the power ranking graphics are interesting to say the least), and the information windows seemingly appear out of nowhere and can be clunky to close. In fact I almost brushed over the page all together it looked that awful, which is such a shame because the information presented is great.
And unfortunately this theme is repeated throughout the site, it just looks awful, and tries far to hard to try and look “cool”. It’s also constantly selling to you, I’ve never seen so many graphs and dollar signs in my life! And little things like the bonus tools provided send you to pages with a completely different look and feel to the rest of the site. Not a massive issue, but its also not a good look and detracts from the great tools that are there to use.
Two features I really thought were a great touch were the ability to see the results of systems promoted by Z-Code using a search feature (rather than the industry standard of ramming graphs and numbers down your throat), and the ability to back test your own systems to see if they would be profitable. Z-Code also runs competitions for their members with cash prizes available, another great initiative that doubles as a way for Z-Code to uncover its smarter members.
But despite being an amazing form guide and providing many of statistics that punters out there are calculating themselves, Z-Code’s major selling point is its expert systems. So how does one become an expert I hear you ask? Well come up with a system and post tips in a forum. Nothing really new there, and for free I can find many other forums around the internet offering the same thing.
Z-Code does however rank its “experts” according to the profits they have made over the previous week, as well as profile some of the better systems available from their community. Many of these pages actually provide great introductions (sometimes video), to the system that make it really easy for anyone following the system to understand how and why bets are made. You can, as promised, learn how and why many tipsters do what they do. And yes some of these systems make profit, and unlike many tipsters selling tips on the internet their record is there for everyone to see.
As mentioned earlier there is some interesting advice being spread on Z-Code, most worryingly of those are reverse line movements. Never heard of it? Neither had I, but in a nutshell Z-Code provides information on the number of bets made on a match and the movement of the odds accordingly. Line reversals are when there is a sharp movement in the price of one team, in theory brought on by the money from “smart” punters. According to Z-Code this is a strong indication of which team will win the match.
In theory this all make perfect sense, but what doesn’t make sense is Z-Code’s tipping teams as a bet when this line movement happens.
Why I hear you ask? Professional punters back a price, and may continue to back until they reach their rated price.
For example a “sharp” punter may rate a team a $2.10 chance, however the team opens at $2.20. The “sharp” punter and similar punters would then bet that team until it reaches the $2.10, under that rated price the team no longer provides value. By the time this has happened and the movement has been flagged by people searching for reverse line movements, but the value in the team may have disappeared. In fact and as the movement is followed and the price continues to lower the value may actually be found in the opposing team.
We of course see this all the time in racing with “market movers”, and this is a simple extension of that logic. It’s a nice thing to know, but not a system in itself. In fact looking through previous games Z-Code’s software reported movement in both directions in a match, almost proving that the professionals are buying both teams at the top end of the market.
I started this review stating that I wasn’t sure if Z-Code knew what it was, and now having been inside I still think that is the case. It does some things quite well, the form guide is good, there are some genuinely profitable systems, and the opportunity to interact with other tipsters should never be underestimated.
But unfortunately it doesn’t do anything really well, it’s like that kid at school who always tried to hard, but if they were just themselves people would have loved them more. Take away the bells and whistles and underneath is a very solid service, but the problem is it really is hidden beneath a steaming pile of marketing spin and terrible web design that will unfortunately turn a lot of people away.
The price of the service is also prohibitive for any beginner punters, but unfortunately these seem to be their target market. And that is Z-Code’s biggest problem, it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s priced at a premium product that only serious punters can afford, yet the information included is best for beginner to intermediate punters. Would a punter earning more than $3000 a year get much out of Z-Code? Probably not. Would a $100 punter who doesn’t want to do handicapping themselves get value? Absolutely!
Art Aronson is a tenured bottom-line professional sports handicapper. He is the best ROI handicapper in the business. He is not your typical handicapper.
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