Monday, 3 October 2011

Back The Lay The Draw Pick

Draws seemed to be hard to find this weekend, unless you follow Ian Erskine's Lay The Draw picks, as his two FTS games today were Helsingborgs v Norrkoping Current (4.7) and Marseille v Brest (4.7) - both finished 1-1! For those of us actually trying to find draws, not so good. The XX Draws went 0 for 3, with the best effort being Juventus v AC Milan which was a draw at the 87' before Juventus hit two late goals. A 73' goal cost us the Hamburg v Schalke '04 draw, and a 9' penalty broke the draw at Swansea City v Stoke City, which finished 2-0. Peter Nordsted's Drawmaster picks also went 0 for 3, as Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United finished 1-2, and Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal by the same. Pete also had Swansea City v Stoke. Griff's two selections were a little off the mark this week as Bolton v Chelsea finished 1-5 and Fulham v QPR ended 6-0. His long-term results were good, so I hope to be able to bring you the selections for a couple of week's time.

Back to the Tottenham v Arsenal game for a moment, and The Sultan over at Centre Court Trading wrote a very honest, and slightly disturbing, post analysing his emotions, or lack of, as he went chasing after a tennis loss. He put his entire bank, a phrase I find a little too dramatic since banks can always be reloaded, but anyway, he put some money on the North London derby having at least 2 goals. He won the bet, and actually had a good value bet in my opinion (the markets had the Overs priced at good value), but what is disturbing is how easy it apparently was for him to risk an amount that was meaningful to him, on a random bet with no consideration of value or stake size. Bad beats happen, but one has to have the discipline to stay in control at such times. It appears that our friend made the losing bet that led to the 'losing of the plot' while tired. If you feel tired, stop. There's always another day.

As we go into the latest International break, it'll be a good opportunity to take stock of the "Value" bets, which overall are -0.19 points on the season after 467 bets. Great for churning, but now I have invested so much time into them, a profit would be even greater.

The EPL is the worst league, with the Match Odds bets down 13 points in big part down to the strong form of the big three, Manchester's City and United, and Chelsea. I know that the week I stop laying these teams, they will all slip up. There is more promise on the Over / Under selections, which although down on the season by 1.72 points, have been winners over the last three rounds. 19 bets from those 30 matches, and 16 winners. That's the good news. The bad news is that the three rounds prior to that were almost the complete opposite with 18 bets from 30 matches and 15 losers! The optimist in me says that the later results show that the form and ratings are settling down. The pessimist says I have no edge and the results are just random.

Le Ligue has issues of its own. A process that finds not a single Under bet value since September 11th. needs help. At least both the Match Odds and Over / Under selections are in profit, but I'll take advantage of the quiet week to research why my goal expectancy is consistently higher than the market's...

...Unlike the Bundesliga, where the opposite is the case. Not since August 27th has the spreadsheet found value on a single Over bet. Again, this league does show a slight profit on both bets, but confidence in them isn't exactly high. The stats I use appear to need a 'league specific' component. This post from Soccer By The Numbers provides some food for thought.

Spain and Italy both have a healthy mix of Under and Over value bets, as well as No Bets, and Serie A is the star of the show right now, with the top two in terms of ROI being the Match Odds and the Over / Under bets from that league.
Anyway, plenty to work on. If betting on football was easy, everyone would be making money from it.
One final comment on these selections - the best value home bet of the weekend was Hannover '96 who were available at 2.86 yet rated by my spreadsheet at 1.88. Football Elite's one recommended bet of the weekend? You guessed it - Hannover '96 - who beat Werder Bremen 3-2. Matt selected them based in part on his opinion "Bremen's good start to the season and current position of 2nd in the table may be slightly false". I don't use league tables at all in my predictions. It is all about ratings, form and performance, and takes into consideration the strength of the opposition, so rather than have an opinion that a team's position may be false, I have a good reason to believe it so.

NFL today, and the St Louis Rams v Washington Redskins today was expected to be one of the more evenly matched games of the day. The Rams were getting 1.5 points, a price that traded pre-game at evens, and the Redskins were therefore slight pre-game favourites on the Match Odds market at ~1.7. The Redskins scored first for a one touchdown lead, and with over three quarters of the game to go, the price dropped to 1.1 - not for a huge amount admittedly, but to profit in three figures while risking 10% of that was to my mind, huge value. I've said it before, and I'll no doubt say it again - some of these relatively illiquid markets throw up some huge value bets if you are patient. In the end, the visiting Redskins prevailed, but dwelling on that rather misses the point that the value was clearly in laying. Another game from the early NFL schedule saw the Detroit Lions come back from a 0-17 and 3-24 deficit at the Dallas Cowboys, who traded at 1.01. Unfortunately one can't cover every game, and with nine matches in-play, there's an element of luck needed to be in the right place at the right time.

A problem that has largely gone from the baseball, now that the post-season games are here. Liquidity is up, and the strategy of laying the leader had a good day on Saturday night as home teams Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies both came back after giving up early leads. I much prefer laying a visiting team in these games, in part because to be the home team in games one and two, the team has proven to be the better of the two over the regular season, but just the emotional factor of playing at home is important. Once a rally begins, and you see this in most team sports, that home support makes a difference.


The Sultan said...

Hi Cassini, I wish I could say that it wasn't literally my entire bank but it really was. And no reloading either, not for this year anyway. Yes, it really is that disturbing!

Barry said...

NFL Redzone (via red button on Sky) makes it easier to cover all inplay games. Not much use for scalping admittedly but gives good feel for the games and who has got the momentum, potential swing trades etc.