Thursday 15 March 2012

Second Legs

Two posts (links below) today on other blogs on the subject of football's 'To Qualify' market, something that has come to the fore in recent days after Arsenal's strong comeback from a 0-4 first leg deficit, and Chelsea's perhaps less impressive, but successful, comeback from 1-3 down versus Napoli.

One of the negatives, or positives - depending on how you look at it, is that in a 90 minute football game, not too much changes from the perspective of player personnel or tactics. With the number of substitutes limited, there is only so much a team can change if things don't go according to plan, and once changes have been made, they are permanent. The manager has one official opportunity, at half-time, to rally the troops, and at the end of the game, there may well not be a winner.

Contrast this with the NFL, NHL or basketball, where players switch in and out constantly, coaches have several time-outs at their disposal, can configure their teams depending on the opposition's line-up and, at the end of the game, there is one winner.

In other words, there are fewer variables in a football match than there are in other sports, and one reason why in my opinion trading the non-football sports is a purer form of trading, than trading football, where as I have written before, the markets move in a predictable way and if you haven't identified value before the game, you will be unlikely to find it during the game.

Other sports offer the trader far more opportunities. Time-outs in the NBA for example, are a key part of the game, serving to stop the opponents momentum not only by stopping the game, but also my the coach making changes to the five on the floor, as well as to make changes to the game strategy, or late in games, to advance the ball and draw up the next play. This is not something you get in football. When a team trails by one, and has a late free-kick just outside the area, there's not too much the manager can do.

But back to football, and the "To Qualify" markets effectively offer a one winner market, for a football game over at least three hours - sometimes more, and sometimes with a penalty shoot-out. With half-time often lasting two weeks, and the opportunity for managers to make wholesale changes to their teams depending on the state of the tie, time to study what worked, and what didn't in the first game, and with a change of venue, this is, for me, a much preferable trading environment than the 90 minute league game. There will be more goals over 180 (210) minutes, and the lack of goals is one main reason why 'trading' football is so predictable, and thus that much harder for anyone to find an edge - well, that and the fact that a million plus people think they know the game better than the other 999,999 trading the market!

Check out the two posts at Sports Trading Life and Lay Away For A Profitable Day for more thoughts on these markets.

(Just found a third post on these markets: 500 to 5000).

As a football fan, it's perhaps hard to understand why some people, notably Americans, aren't necessarily enthralled by it, and I found an article on why "Soccer Sucks" that some of you might find interesting.

1 comment:

gundulf said...

A massive opportunity missed by YT last night as Sporting took a 2 goal lead at City only for City to come through and win 3-2.

I didn't look, but would think that at a 3 goal lead, two of which were away goals, that Sporting TQ must have been at 1.05 or maybe lower.

That must have gone out to getting close to evens when City made it 3-2 as the next goal, whichever way, would have been an effective winner.