Sunday, 19 September 2010

Strictly By 'The Book'

Autumn, historically a strong trading season, doesn't start officially for a couple more days, but my investing took a big turn for the better on Sunday.

Chelsea duly obliged at 2.6 winning the Asian Handicap -3 at a stroll. It's not often that these bigger spreads are covered by half-time, and in the end the surprise was that the margin stayed at just four.

The system lays of the Manchester teams both lost, dropping the ROI on this system in England to 40.94%. Lille won in France, and the ROI there is now just 14.64%. Bayer Lekeverkusen at 1.44 did fail to win, and the league that the strategy historically is most succesful in, now has an ROI of 100.85%.

Just for interest, I am monitoring the results in Italy, and after just a few games, eight to be precise, the returns there would have been higher than even the Bundesliga at 102.18%. The other country I am not betting on, but monitoring, is Spain, where the ROI there would be -54.01%.

Football Elite had a poor weekend, with both Recommended Bets of Blackburn Rovers and Sampdoria failing to win, and two winners and two losers from the Short-List selections. Sampdoria did lead late before conceding goals in the 84' and 87', but these things happen.

For the first time this season, I was able to trade an NFL game, the Dallas Cowboys v Chicago Bears. As I tipped up yesterday, after the first touchdown, the price hit a ridiculously low 1.16 for a few thousand, and in the NFL, you won't go too far wrong laying at those prices. It was especially crazy given that the margin was only four points as a Bears Field Goal had opened the scoring. As Chicago began their drive, the price was in the low 1.2s. It was a relatively easy game to trade, and the end result was my single biggest win since early May.

In the late game, New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts (I have the Colts -10.7 in this), the Colts scored the first TD to take a 7-0 lead, and the price dropped to 1.32. Before the kick-off had been taken, you could back at 1.34.

The SBP went 3-1 on the NFL for the day, but just 1-1 for his 'strict system picks'. It can only get better.

I've started reading "Binary Betting" by John Piper. The author has a background in trading the financial markets rather than the sports markets, but it's interesting how he treats the two the same, a sign that the sports markets are gaining mainstream acceptance as a legitimate investment opportunity. 

There was an interesting paper written on the subject of Mark Cuban's (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) plan to start a hedge fund and his intent for sports betting to be the investment vehicle of the fund. The study looked at how easy it would be to turn the "well documented NFL home-underdog anomaly" into a modest 6% ROI, (conclusion: not that easy) but it did offer an explanation as to why short-priced favourites are underbet -

The number of additional wins to achieve abnormal profits is less for long shot bets than for short favorite bets by nearly a half in this example. The significance of this is that a bettor only needs to find slightly more than one additional winner per 100 bets for long shot strategies to produce significant profits but would need to find more than two additional winners per 100 in picking short money favorites. That seems like twice the work and could explain why short money favorites are typically underbet.
I found a little liquidity on the Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies game, possibly bored NFL traders in between games. The money certainly didn't appear to be smart. In a tied game, someone wanted to back the Dodgers at 1.25 for £240. Per "The Book", that is a value bet to take (see below), and when the last two outs were made to take the game to extra innings, my 4-1 shot was trading at evens.

"The Book - Playing The Percentages In Baseball" by Tom Tango, Mitchel Lightman and Andrew Dolphin, is invaluable for in-play betting on this sport. 

Example from above, the probability of a team winning a tied game in the bottom of the ninth, with one out and runners on first and second, is 0.717. 

One commenter recommended this book a while back, and not only is it an interesting read for a numbers man like me, but it's also been of practical use, and worth every penny. The pace of baseball, with its frequent stoppages between innings, or for pitching changes, allows plenty of time to look up the relevant statistics, providing your new wife hasn't assumed you've finished reading it, and placed it in the bookcase!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad at least one of my comments was useful then.