Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Show Me The Way

I have had some comments or questions regarding how the Elo predictions can be used to make profits.

The saying “you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think” springs to mind, but I’m in a charitable mood, so perhaps some of the ideas below will help the less sharp-minded out there.

However, the final decision of whether to use the predictions and how is yours and yours alone. I'm just putting a selection of predictions out there. If you care not to use them, that's fine. I really couldn't care less. If you do care to use them, that's great, but read the footnote to this post first.

As I keep saying, this is a work in progress, my investment style is still evolving, and the strategy varies depending on the league, the sample size, and the confidence I have in the data. There is thus a significant amount of subjectivity involved right now.

Punters have different styles. As I have written before, some people subscribe to the belief that backing at odds-on is a definite no. (They’re wrong, since as I have explained before, value can be found at any price – there is nothing magical about evens). Some punters are happy to have lots of losing bets, with the rare, but long-priced winner. Others, and I include myself in this group, are happier to have a more frequent run of winners, which obviously means shorter prices.

For the Elo predictions, typically (and as I said, this varies from league to league for now), I cover the two or three goal predicted winners on the Correct Score market only. If the price in the Match Odds market tells me this is value, then I will also have an investment there. For example, right now, the price I look for in the EPL for a three goal expected winner is 1.34, and for a two goal expected winner 1.43. In Serie A, the odds needed are 1.34 and 1.54 respectively.

For the one goal selections, it all depends on the odds. When the prices are better than evens as they were yesterday, then I have a bet on the Match Odds market, and smaller bets on the Correct Score market. The Match Odds win will always more than cover the Correct Score stakes.

For draws, I have just been using the Match Odds market with stakes varying depending on the league. With the EPL draw predictions being correct 46% of the time, this has been extremely profitable. I’m well aware that unfortunately this strike rate is most unlikely to continue.

In other leagues, my stakes on the draw are significantly reduced.

Then there’s the laying strategy that I mentioned yesterday. Again, the selections will be limited to one or two per game day and time, and will be based on which league appears to offer the best value.

There are the Asian Handicap markets that I haven't had time to research too much, along with the Draw No Bet markets, as well as the Under / Over markets where some leagues and predictions suggest value.

The bottom line is that there are many ways to use these predictions profitably. How, or even if, you choose to use them is all up to you.

Also, for anyone who is trying to do any analysis on these ratings, bear in mind that I cover 13 leagues and only mention a small percentage of matches, usually the Premier League and one or two other high profile games, or on a quiet night such as tonight, teams such as Histon.

By the way, the screenshot is an extract from the spreadsheet showing my table for the Premier League, with the expectancy along the top and the results below. Bright green is very good. Lighter green / blue is good. Bright Red? Very bad.

Kudos to CLS for correcting his maths error. Check out his blog at

IMPORTANT NOTE: Sports investing carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade Cassini's Elo predictions you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with sports investing, and seek advice from an independent sports investment advisor if you have any doubts. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. © 2010 Cassini Elo Ratings, Ltd. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

Insulting people who question you is never a clever thing to do.

All you need to do is put up your stakes and positions as you see them and be judged on your results. Not difficult.

Anonymous said...

Why would he spend years working hard producing a system that works for him and then tell the whole world about it for free and lose any potential edge by publishing every detail. It's Cassini's business what he does and doesn't tell us and I'm thankful that he shares so much insight as he does at the moment. He's not selling anything so he shouldn't have to answer to anyone. Would you like him to wipe your a**e for you too!

Anonymous said...

Because he brags about supposed winnings perhaps? Look at the tone of some recent posts, after he had one exceptional day he's been writing as if he's the great authority ever on football betting whereas anyone with half an inkling can see it's mainly short-term variance in his favour. And the fact he often only posts bets after the event doesn't help, especially given he chooses to claim he swerved the losing part of any losers but backed the winning bit (i.e. didn't bet the correct margin he posted but instead laid the other team if the margin didn't cop).

The results posted in that grid are so incredibly short-term in the overall scheme of things. He's encouraging others to do their dough based on a short-term winning run against the odds.

greg said...

anyone who doesn't bet odds-on is wrong? That goes against the strategy of virtually every long term profitable football investor i know of. Its a big shout for someone who has no proven record in the game to say that the likes of mike from winabob, matt from football elite, dave regan, mike smith etc are all doing it wrong. I can see the point you are making but that is a very simplistic view of things. This isn't a criticism of you or your blog btw, just disagree with you on this subject. Keep up the good work with the ratings.

Anonymous said...

It makes no sense for any clued up punter to say they would back an even money shot but nothing less. Perhaps they'd grudgingly be prepared to back a 1.99 but not a 1.98 shot. What about 1.97?

To back at only above evens is simply an arbitrary line in the sand drawn by people who have no concept of value.

If these same people knew, say, that a coin was biased and would land heads 75% of the time, would they still not be prepared to back evens for heads? Presumably not.

Not being prepared to back odds on shots simply shows they have no confidence in their ability to price up a market.

No idea who the guys you mention are.Can only imagine their methods are purely "feel" rather than analytical. Not saying they're not good but by denying themselves odds-on opportunities then, if they are any good, they're simply depriving themselves of value and therefore cash. Where's the sense in that.

Matt (FE) said...

For me personally it is simply a case of the profits not being there for me when betting on short prices on football.

Why exactly that is I dont know but going back over my results in past years it was always the bigger priced bets that did all the work and the odds-ons would always make a loss or just a small profit and were dragging the overall results down.

My theory is the general public (dare I say the mug punter) will in general overbet the shorter priced teams as the general public tend to bet on what they think will win rather than what is the value price. There tends to be more mug money in football than other sports and that means most short priced sides are shorter than they should be and so obviously arnt profitable if regularly backing them.

Or it could just be the market is very efficient at that end of the market and the bigger opportunities lie in the more overlooked sides.

Or it may just be I am crap at picking short priced teams!

Obviously it goes without saying that if say a full strength Man U were 1.6 at home to Portsmouth I would be all over it but I do think in general it is harder to find value at the lower end of the market in football and I dont know many that are able to consistently do it.

There comes a time when you have to act on what your past results are telling you and cut out those bets that are not performing no matter if they look value to you or not (bar the once in a blue moon way out of line price)

Talkbet said...

Greg - I wouldn't stick Winabob in your list of elite football tipping services, I hear he's having a stinker this season and is now chucking in odds on home teams to desperately try and salvage something from the season....