Thursday, 28 October 2010

Number Of The Beast

The football over the last evenings was of little interest to me, but the start on the new NBA season was. I layed a nice sum at 1.01 in the first game fairly late on between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, but the big win eluded me as the Heat got within three, but never closer. Still, a nice profit to start to season.

I've written before that, year after year, the price is driven too low, too early by greed, and presumably by people who don't understand basketball. Incidentally, the 1.01 lay was on BETDAQ who had this game in-running, and yet the following Lakers v Rockets game wasn't in-running. It makes no sense.

The Lakers received their Championship rings before this game, and invariably it seems the recipients take a while to settle down after all the hoopla, and so it was with the Lakers who, after starting at a ridiculous 1.29, were down by 11 points and trading at 2.68 by half-time.

Last night I was able to lay the Celtics at 1.21/1.22 before they went on to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the new season is off to a good start. Some way to go to match my best season of 2008-09 but hope springs eternal, especially at the start of a new season.

Breaking my rule (again) to ignore Anonymous comments the question of why so many publications use form going back 6 matches is interesting. He wrote:

The amount of people I have seen who say they use the last 6 games form in one way or another is uncanny. Some people base whole systems around it.

There must be a sheep mentality at work. Was 6 the number of games the pools predictions used to have the WXLDXX for in the newspapers? I wonder if it's subconsciously derived from that.

To the best of my knowledge, the number six has no special significance when assessing football form.
Personally, I chose six for the reasons stated yesterday - it seems like this is a big enough number to smooth out any abnormal results, yet small enough to be meaningful. It's a manageable number, and also a number that's likely to include three home / three away games, or at least two home or two away games.

Although I agree that six has no special significance for rating teams, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a better number to use. Four isn't bad, five and seven are unbalanced and eight is getting into the realm of being too far back to be meaningless. If I did go back that far, the weighting would diminish their value so their impact would be negligible.

Besides, I like the number 6. It's the number of (old) pennies I used to get for my pocket money. It's the smallest perfect number. It's the only even perfect number that is not the sum of successive odd cubes. It's the only number that is both the sum and the product of three consecutive positive numbers. It's a triangular number (as is its square) and England won the World Cup in 66. Six is a great number, and the devil in me likes 666 - Here is wisdom, let him that hath understanding... Well, it is nearly Halloween.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If 8 games back means the weighting makes the impact negligible then you could always change your weighting.

Have you researched what weighting, historically, gives the best results and over how many games? Given what I have gathered about your methodology you should be able to do some analysis.