Sunday, 10 November 2013


As I suspected, Emp suggests that any tone of patronisation in his earlier comment was quite unintended.

I think this may be cultural rather than a second language issue. English is my mother tongue for all practical purposes, though I speak two others. Does homework have a negative connotation for you?
I just said your research was impressive, why would that come across as patronising? Research is very important, and I don't think this is a very elementary observation; certainly, large numbers of blogs, sports-betters analysts and others haven't realized this, so it certainly is impressive, even though I guess you may have taken it for granted that anyone should know.
Interesting question on homework. For me the word has quite positive connotations, although it suggests an assigned school task rather than a voluntary adult exercise. The schools I attended (or rather, were sent to) both put a premium on achieving results and homework was part of my routine from the age of five, when we would be sent home with ten words to learn how to spell, some antonyms and synonyms and examples of their use in a sentence. 

I suspect that had my preparatory (primary / elementary) school not established the routine of homework, that I would have resented it at my secondary school, but it was in fact a useful excuse to avoid having to help with the washing up. My parents could hardly promote the importance of school work, and then deny me the opportunity to attend to it. It was also my life-saver on Saturday mornings when my parents would take a weekly shopping trip to Croydon which I hated, but homework provided me with a great excuse to avoid that nightmare too. I say excuse because I don't remember actually doing too much homework, but spent the time listening to sex offenders and paedophiles on Radio One, although I don't remember the word 'paedophile' from my ten daily words from prep school.

I guess the reasons that the comment "I am impressed you've done your homework" could be interpreted as patronising are a combination of possible sarcasm, the suggestion that I may not know what I am talking about, (do many Premium Charge players not have at least some idea?) and the inferred 'surprise' that I do, and also maybe that calling the research 'homework', suggests talking to a child. Anyway, a breeze in a teacup and I really didn't assume any insult was intended. Research does sound a much better word than homework though!

Emp followed up with:
I do think that with regard to both in-play as well as pre-game, you are falling a little into the difficult/impossible conflation.

It's true that very very few people will have edges against a market dominated by smart money, but that isn't the same as impossibility.
The ease with which countless bettors manage to lose well over what they would with a random coin-flip selection method and level stakes implies that it must be possible to be profitable without inside knowledge.
Indeed if NBATipsGuy is as consistently bad in the future, his tips are as good (and probably better) than any of yours or TFA's.

It's obviously essential to contemplate what your edge might be, but I think it's also a mistake to ascribe deity status to analysts simply because they are running a hedge fund, have fancy computer models and swing a big line. Plenty of them manage to lose as well.
The comment about losing more that would be expected on coin-flip selections is interesting. Is this really true, or do people win 50% of their bets, but at a price of 1.9 inevitably lose due to commission? NBA Tips are mostly made at around the 1.9 mark, although some Individual player bets are as low as 1.72 which is a recipe for disaster. You need one heck of an edge to make a profit on novelty bets backing at those odds. NBA Tips continue to lose as I expect for reasons previously detailed.

1 comment:

Emp said...

Well for proof look at it this way; I dug up your results from last year.

Amateurs- -115.26, -9.61%ROI Over 1199 selections.

The spreads/commissions are certainly not large enough to eat up a 9.61% ROI and 1199 bets is a good enough sample to say this isn't variance.

What's more as you note on that very post, this -9.61% ROI has this positive selection effect that the worst betters were disproportionately likely to quit in the middle. Had they stayed, it would probably have been a lot worse.

This is a very rough proof, but I think it's enough to justify what to me is intuitively obvious, that there is such a thing as being really bad at betting without knowing anything whatsoever, and thus reversing those tendencies must necessarily demonstrate a handsome profit.