Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Numbers Do Not Lie

Accumulators are much to the fore in the betting world this week, a natural consequence of the rare event whereby all eight odds-on Premier League teams won, a 40-1 chance. As I mentioned previously, only one odds-on favourite (using Pinnacle’s prices) failed to win in the three Football League divisions also.

I drew attention to the Coral's Press Release that came out on Sunday, and most readers will have seen through the intent of Coral's and understood that the reason they released their statement was because bookies love accumulator bets, and they must be wringing their hands at the thought of the extra income likely to be generated on this coming weekend’s fixtures. How much extra will be bet on accas this weekend as a result of the publicity?

Simon P comments:

Try telling all these folks and those that made life changing sums out of Frankie Dettori's magnificent 7 that accumulators and multiple bets are a waste of time. They give the ordinary punter a shot at a life changing win for a fairly insignificant stake. I once remember paying a chap out over £80k for his £5 bet on a football acc. in the 1990's - you can be sure that changed his life for the better! As for myself, I love placing 6 or 7 timers on the NFL and have had many decent pick ups down the years. I've also had my share of near misses - Cincinnati's failure to cover a 2 and a half point handicap at Arizona in 2003 costing me just under £51k! Sadly, the real mug punters (numbers do not lie) are those frequenting the ever growing number of betting shops and blowing weekly wages or benefit cheques on the vile FOBT machines. Will any politician ever have the bottle to ban these despicable milking machines? 
Interesting that this pro-accumulator comment comes from a bookie (or former bookie). It's exactly how bookies want you to feel, and it's not that they are a waste of time so much as they are of money. The fact that someone wins the lottery doesn’t mean that a lottery ticket is a value proposition, and there’s a reason why Mr. John Sinclair will find his account is left open despite winning an amount far greater than that won (or even lost) by more savvy punters. Mr. John Sinclair is a recreational punter who got lucky, and that’s great for him but most don’t, and the small stakes they lose week after week add up to far more than the amount ever won.

The mathematical fact is that on 110% over-round markets, the over-round on an eight-fold accumulator grows to 214.4%. [Fixed Odds Sports Betting by Joseph Buchdahl] One caveat is that if you can negate this over-round into an edge, then doubles etc. become your friend. For example, backing XX Draw selections with the same kick-off times as multiples would have made a slightly higher profit of 6.45 points.

Simon mentions Dettori’s seven winners and a couple of thoughts on this. One is that two of the big winners, Mary and John Bolton, should have received about £900,000, yet ‘only’ received £500,000 due to the limit Ladbrokes placed on their liability. The other comment is that the weight of money on Fujiyama Crest, the seventh ride that day for Dettori, pushed a 12-1 shot down to 2-1, and one bookmaker Gary Wiltshire famously took a bit hit going with value:
A hulk of a man, this on-course bookmaker faced several lean years after taking a dauntless stand against a flood of money from betting shop chains for Dettori's seventh mount, Fujiyama Crest. Wiltshire stood next to his pitch on the rails and bellowed: "9-4 Fujiyama! And 9-4 me for the Job Centre!" Later, he explained: "The odds were miles wrong. I was laying 2-1 about a horse I made a 10-1 shot."
He faced ruin, owing over £800,000. He sold his house and cars and scraped money together selling Christmas paper in Oxford Street. After that he "worked every hour God made", betting at six race meetings and six dog tracks every week, and "settled every bet". He vows he would do the same again.
While I disagree with him about ‘God making the hours’, although he likely didn’t mean those words literally, I do agree with him that laying Fujiyama Crest was clearly the correct decision. Huge value, but I’m not sure I agree with his level of exposure though!

I'd be interesting to hear how much Simon is up or down on his accumulators betting. He mentions 'many decent pick ups' over the years, but the nature of a gambler is to remember the wins and forget about the losses. It's one reason keeping accurate records is essential if you are serious about investing. As for the 'near misses' - they are of course what keep the acca fans coming back for more. Fully agree with the FOBT comment though. They have no place in the high streets in my opinion.

Accumulators offer poor value and serious investors should stay away from them but for the recreational punter, aka mug, so loved by the bookies, they do indeed offer a shot at a life changing win in the same way that the Football Pools or National Lottery do, and mugs will get lucky sometimes.

Fulltimebetting has a blog post related to this topic which some of you may find interesting.

On the subject of subscriber abuse, Peter Nordsted stopped by to say that:
Yes in regards to abusive emails etc. I can honestly say any member of either my personal service or Premier Betting has never been abusive in any shape or form.
I tend to find that people that sign up to these services generally know the risks involved. Indeed the only criticisms we receive is of the constructive type. Obviously as you point out there are those that vote with their feet which is completely understandable when you are having a bad run.
The only time that I have ever received abuse is when I have done the occasional free in play room and on Twitter if I give out a tip that has not won. I also find this abuse is almost 100% from people who remain faceless/anonymous and have never subscribed to any of the services.
Staying with Premier Betting, Anonymous writes:
If you thought Premier Betting were bad then there was a fee charging site that advised 8-0 9-0 and 10-0 in a game and it ended 2-0
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, “it happens”. No one can judge a service by one freak result. If Peter’s results for Premier Betting fail to improve though, it does occur to me that he will probably be renaming his service to the more appropriate “Championship Betting” for next season.

Even the XX Draws have the occasional result which, taken on its own looks awful, but it’s really only when you have a season or longer of results to review that you can form a meaningful opinion. 7-0 ? Not only Dettori’s score on 28.September.1996 but also Internazionale's score at Sassuolo on 22.September.2013.

Anoymous, a disgruntled Premier Betting subscriber perhaps, adds:
Hyde are winning 2-0 . Premier betting must have advised Welling . They could stop a train.
JC asks me if it is “free to join the sot forum?” I have no idea. What IS the sot forum? Forums are usually free though. What am I missing?

And finally, John Walsh offers his reasons for the change of tactic in the NHL I mentioned yesterday, and also, to his credit, addresses his poor NFL performance this season:
I can see how the results so far in this 'change in strategy' would justify this response. With the exception of last season (a shortened season) the second half of the season has consistently been the more profitable for me. When we are looking at eight bets it is a really small sample size, especially when dealing with bets that have odds in the 4.00 neighborhood. Based on history and the methods I use to find value I am really confident with the regulation tie betting. If I find a game that my model says has a 30% chance of being tied at the end of regulation and the price is 4.00 I will take that bet every time. The lower probability of striking the single bet does leave this strategy more prone to losing runs, but if I feel actual probability is higher than implied probability then I take the bet.
In the NFL the earlier part of the season is usually my better performing section. I have no excuses for this season. I know because of the poor performance I've lost some followers. I will be working hard over the summer to fix this. The NFL is usually where my most consistent profits come from.
Are the Coyotes or Jets moving to Los Angeles? If Gary Bettman moves the Jets again he will never be allowed back in Winnipeg.
No, the Coyotes or Jets are not moving to LA that I know of. For some reason, I was thinking the Ducks were included in the first bet, but clearly I was having a senior moment.  

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