Wednesday 2 October 2013

Red All Under

I mentioned yesterday that Peter Nordsted was in very heavily on the Unders in the Everton v Newcastle United game, recommending account bets on the Under 1.5, Under 2.5, Under 3.5 and also on the Draw, which of course goes hand-in-hand with Unders.

And the Draw was also one of Pete's Drawmaster selections, so I was therefore a little puzzled to see Peter say on Twitter on Monday:
Now it is of course certainly quite possible for the draw and for the home win to be value, but it is strange to recommend one bet in one place and another bet from the same market (Match Odds) in another.

The answer to this puzzle is certainly not in the price movement. Everton tightened quite considerably during the day, coming in from the 1.68 or so I recommended the bet at, to around 1.6 just before kick-off, so to jump horses from the drifting draw to shortening Everton wouldn’t make any sense.

Anyway, I’d moved on with my life, at least until Anonymous mentioned in a comment that:
If you look at Pete’s Matchbook advice in the Everton game that he says “over 2.5 goals offers value at 1.91” so bizarre that he should advise clients to back unders. Perhaps it’s an error and it was backing Overs in all…. which would make a huge difference to the table. That’s the only explanation as otherwise all credibility would be lost.
The plot thickens, as my Dad likes to say, and unfortunately, error is not the explanation. Each individual price on the under 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 bets was listed complete with bookmaker and besides, if Overs was the intended bet, then the draw is not going to be value.

So unlike the Draw / Everton split, where both could be value as I said, here we have specific directly opposite suggestions of value - Over 2.5 goals at 1.91 in one place (Matchbook) and Under 2.5 goals at 2.05 in another (Account Bets). With a slight over-round on those prices, they cannot both be value. It's unfortunate, but mathematics and probability don’t work that way.

It’s not the first time that conflicting advice has come from Peter. Some of you on Twitter may have seen and recall a three-way conversation between Peter (@petenordsted), Richard Allen (@Reeshah_uk) and myself (@calciocassini) back in June, where Richard Tweeted about an MLS prediction of Pete’s:
I helpfully chimed in with the following, rather succinct and logical, contributions:
Pete stops by and reads this blog, so hopefully he will have an explanation, and this confusion will be over.

Or under.


Pete Nordsted said...

Hi Cassini,

To clear this up I do freelance writing for Matchbook where I am asked to concentrate on the Top televised matches for the Premier League and Champions League and I am asked to do a write up and finish with a recommended trade for that game.

The analysis I provide for Matchbook is based on a statistical view point but also contains my own subjective opinion.

The selections that are produced for Premier Betting are based on a situational model that has proved profitable over the past few seasons and contains no subjective opinion of my own whatsoever.

Indeed some of the selections go completely against my personal thoughts with the Everton v Newcastle game being a point in case.

For example 2 weeks ago the model as well as the Drawmaster (which is based on a similar model) suggested backing the draw in the Everton v West Brom game whereas my personal opinion would not have been to take this position on.

From an investment point of view I invest in the Premier Betting selections along with other selections in different leagues which the model suggests.

In the previous 2 seasons all of the Premier Betting picks were based on myself and Danny’s personal opinion but we decided that we wanted to share part of our profitable portfolio with members and this is how will go going forward.

I hope this clears matters up and just to reiterate although I co-head Premier Betting none of the selections given by Premier Betting contain any subjective opinion.

This approach has highs and lows and we will only be judged by results by the performance at the end of the season come what may.

Pete Nordsted

Anonymous said...

Well first things first that clears up nothing. The explanation makes as much sense as having different selections for paying and nonpaying viewers. If matchbook are happy to just have subjective views thats one thing, but why would you have them in the first place, if you have a successful situational model for paying subscribers (are you not convinced of its worth?)....ignoring your own businesses advice is pretty damning evidence of its quality.

Anonymous said...

From the exposure that I had to Premier Betting I was not given the impression that they used what Pete describes as a situational model to make bets but at the end of the day if they make a profit then that is all that matters.

Emp said...

I don't think that's particularly irregular. Hedge fund managers often have different strategies and services for different clients and those different strategies are often diametrically opposite (that's what a hedge is in the first place).

Even football tipsters often have a bewildering array of differentiated systems, and none of this can or should be construed to mean that the operator can't have a different opinion. It's perfectly normal when you sign up for a non-discretionary service provided by person X for the service to recommend bets that X doesn't agree with. If someone else want's X's subjective opinion and that happens to be diametrically opposed to his system I don't think that's unethical or a conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

Emp that may well be so, but we're talking about a 2 man band here not a multinational company. If my model told me one thing and I was writing an article I would not give the opposite to what people had paid for......especially when the free advice wins whilst the paid for is trounced. Terrible PR, almost Ratner like!

Analytical Spider said...

Interesting one this. I kind of agree with Emp but I definitely have some issues with Pete's response. I've constructed different models that have proven over a long period of time to be profitable and yet, because of the different criteria used they will - very occasionally - offer opposing outcomes as value bets.

I like Pete and don't think it's an integrity issue as has been alleged but surely amongst the biggest gambling follies is going with subjective judgement bets. Unless you're betting on niche markets or lesser known markets I find it highly unlikely there are many if any serious bettors betting weekly on the big leagues, using their opinion and making long term profits. I've never met or heard of any and I've met a few having been a fulltime trader/gambler for 10 years.

Given Pete's apparently got a successful data based strategy I find it a little strange he'd even want to offer subjective opinion (certainly on one like an over/under market in the prem). Personally I've found the longer you're successful at betting the more you realise how fallible opinion is (certain markets/situations excluded) and I'd tend to agree with the above comment that it doesn't reflect well on the quality of his model.