Monday, 6 February 2012

Tipping Point

A timely, and as always succinctly written, post from Peter Webb on the topic of losing runs I mentioned yesterday. Worth a read.
Let’s start by proposing something simple. If you back or lay something it’s impossible to be right 100% of the time. I think most people will realise that it’s impossible to win every bet you ever placed. Therefore you have to accept that you will place losing bets. If you place losing bets you need your winning bets to cover your losses, that’s the only way to make money in the long term.

To get your an overall profit you need your wins, on average, to exceed your losses. There is the key word, on average.

It’s so easy to look foolish when tipping something up but every tipster knows they can’t win all the time and the recipient of tips should be aware of that also. But if there is logic and method behind the tip then it’s not impossible for you to end up overall on a long sequence of bets or positions in the market. It’s just that you have look at it from a broad viewpoint and that is why I use the term ‘on average’ so often.

If you want a case in point just look at this weekend. Two matches ended 0-0 in the sample I took at the weekend. One had, on average, a good chance of ending 0-0. This was the match between Birmingham and Southampton, which was played in appalling conditions and neither team took many risks and played safe. In contrast you had Middlesbrough vs Crystal Palace where shots were flying in left right and centre but somehow none went in. There was a goal line clearance, a terrible miss and a penalty that wasn’t given but turned into a free kick just outside the box.

The second match shouldn’t have ended up 0-0, but it did. However we can console ourself that, on average, it wont. Certainly it wont end up 0-0 more often than the first match. But this is only something that will play out over time. As long as you stake with that in mind and expect that you can only work in the realm of ‘on average’ you will do fine. ‘On average’ is the essence of value.

1 comment:

loudsight said...

Interesting thoughts and they got me thinking about a really curious phenomenon I often observe towards the end of an event on Betfair. The odds of the unlikely and sometimes impossible events go all the way out to 1000 and the other side of that event become available to lay at 1.01. For example with the score at 0-0 in the 90th minute of a football match you'll often see certain scores available to back at odds of 1000. My question to you here is why would anyone back 3-0 at odds of 1000 in this scenario. Under what circumstances could there be value at that price? As I mentioned above I see this quite often so there must be some logic to it but I have to say I haven't figured out what possible motivation there could be for taking either sides of that bet. Any ideas? Maybe there's some long term value in backing an improbable event at 1000 or laying it at 1000.