Wednesday, 26 June 2013


I spent much of yesterday afternoon in conference with the Green All Over lawyers discussing options for handling the latest challenge to the prestigious XX Draws Service. As some of you may have noticed, Graeme Dand aka The Football Analyst, has started to publicise a new set of selections targeting the draw.

A cease and desist notice is now on its way to Graeme, not because the new selections are any threat to the long established XX Draws service, but because finding draws is an extremely specialised and potentially treacherous area of football betting that is best left to the Xperts.

On a more serious note, Graeme did have a couple of things in his post that are worth discussing here.

On the topic of his new draw system, he writes:

Am I as confident in the draw systems as I was in the Home/Away systems? Well, no. Simply, I don’t know how easy it is to find an edge on draws and given the fact there aren’t lots of people running algorithms in the UK leagues on draws, my concern is similar to the Euro systems in a way. If it was easy as it appears to back draws in these leagues and make a profit, surely everyone would be doing it?
Everyone isn't doing it for two main reasons - 1) backing the draw is not popular, and 2) it takes a very disciplined kind of investor to handle the inevitable long losing sequences that are inevitable when the average price is around 3.5 implying that you will lose over 70% of your bets. But it's for those reasons that the draw, in my humble opinion, offers value.

I mentioned the favourite-longshot bias yesterday, and in football, when backing at average odds in the typical draw price range, the return is ~87.5%. (By comparison, when backing at less than 1.5 the return is 97.74%).

Average Betting Price

Highlighting the importance of getting the best price available rather than settling for average is the return when achieving that maximum price. Admittedly you are unlikely to get the best price all the time, but it is astonishing to me how many serious imvestors happily settle for say 3.45 rather than ask for 3.5 or 3.55. The differences add up.

Maximum Betting Price

Graeme’s numbers are interesting too. While it may appear hypocritical to suggest that Graeme has too many systems, and that his methods get a little confusing, it’s worth taking a look at his bottom line. While Graeme operates in different leagues to myself, his numbers over five years are very impressive:

A strike rate of almost 36% is quite amazing, although Graeme does make it clear that some results are back-fitted. If he can continue that strike rate and get an average price of 3.42, this time next year we'll be millionaires Rodney.

Looking at the Big Five leagues in Europe over the last five seasons, draws make up 26% of the results.

The key to profitability is not the percentage of winning selections per se, but that the percentage of winning selections exceeds that implied by the odds, which makes it essential to obtain the best price.

If we look at Spain, the league as a whole has a strike rate of just 22.9%, but the XX Draws hit at 31.3%:

I did think that my XX Draws (all three systems combined) strike rate last season of 30.6% was good (158 winners from 517) but perhaps I should focus on the top five leagues in England and the Scottish Premier League?

Due to overlapping, Graeme's number of selections is also significantly higher than mine. After three full seasons, the XX Draws (combined) are hitting at 31.1% with a grand total of just 1,705 selections - full numbers for all leagues:

The 3.21 is of course the required price to break even, excluding costs, commission, taxes and fees, and while that price is, in my opinion, almost always beatable, it does still matter in the long run if you beat it with a 3.45 or a 3.55.

I'm planning to have a breakdown by league and month of last seasons results in the next few days, if time permits, certainly by month end when the early-bird price of £99 for next season's XX Draws service will expire.


Graeme Dand said...

Hi Cassini.

Cheers for the mention although given these are new and unproven systems and given I have no track record at all with draws, you clearly missed a trick here for your readers. You could have pointed people towards any one of my earlier posts showing how great my other systems are in the UK leagues and how easy I’ve made this game look over the last couple of seasons in terms of making profits from football betting. ;)

On a more serious note, I do find the idea of draws interesting and it’s safe to say that if I wasn’t an avid blog reader of yours, I probably would never have even thought about looking at draws this season. We’ll see how it works out next season for me but as I said on the blog, I would class these systems as trial systems and I wouldn’t suggest anyone subscribe to the service to back a set of systems with no live results. They can subscribe to the service to follow any of the other profitable systems I run though. :)

Good luck for next season and I’m sure you’ll be keeping a close eye on these draw systems of mines next season. At the very least, you need to ensure that you’re still the master when it comes to this niche market. ;)



PS. I got a mention from messrs Cassini and Inverson on the same day yesterday! Would happen as often as a blue moon I suspect. When I retire from blogging, I’ll remember this day.

Danny Murphy said...

Just run the numbers from Daily 25 on XX Draws, XX Draws Under, XX Extended and XX Extended Under.

The total wagered was $451694 for a return of $274.

I do think your model is efficient as PC reduction tool so congratulations for that. However I personally have my doubts about it's effectiveness for straight up betting. However you have done well to focus on the under 4.0 draws.

Congrats on Palace making the Prem I thought there would have been more about it! Holloway is a great guy and deserves to be in the prem again.