Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Stripped Naked - How Tips Are Best Viewed

A losing weekend for many of us, especially for the 'bigger' names in the FTL table. Myself, Skeeve, Peter Nordsted, The Football Analyst and Football Elite all had fairly sizeable losses.

Here is the profitable section of the table with a few comments:

The Cassini Value Selections were a rare ray of sunshine, making another 1.01 points with four winners from seven selections, and the three losing teams interestingly all scored first. A couple of selections in Spain couldn't hold onto leads, first was Real Vallodolid on Saturday and then on Sunday the slightly more anticipated and watched El Clasico where Real Madrid led 2-1 before it all got rather Messi - and Aston Villa let their lead over Stoke City slip as well.
Also interesting was that the prices on every selection shortened, most significantly Norwich City who shortened to 2.14 from an earlier 2.2.

Skeeve had a small  loss (0.88 points) on his FTL customised entry (more on that later), while his Official selections (also slightly customised) lost 4.01 points.

The XX Bundeslayga selections made a small profit of 0.25 points with one winner from two, while Fedslam lost 1.93 points.

No changes in position for the top five, but Webbo picked up 1.55 points to move into fourth cash place ahead of the XX Draws (Under 2.5) which lost 0.75 points.

I usually have a 'contenders' screenshot at this point showing the entries down by less than 10 points, but only Hofs Hackers falls into that category this week, so here are all the losers:
On a weekend where there were just eight draws in the 49 top five leagues across Europe, Peter Nordsted's Drawmaster managed to find two of them and moves up three places. The XX Draws managed to find exactly none of them for an embarrassing wipe-out, and drops down three places. Football Elite lost 3.43 points, but managed to move up one place, while Jamie A had a poor weekend losing 7.55 points. The Football Analyst lost 6.0 points last midweek, and another 3.81 at the weekend, and the bounty is now up to £325 with 13 ahead of him and sitting on a loss of 32.21 points on the season just behind Premier Betting who had another poor weekend. Their modified FTL entry saw all 10 selections lose, but the Official entry picked up a winner on a half-time market for a loss of 8.5 points. Neil took his total selections up to 650 but lost another 6.31 points

All in all a pretty awful weekend. Even Jonny G couldn't beat the lack of draws although he did hit two from 13 selections for a loss of just 5.79 points.
I mentioned Skeeve and his modified selections earlier, and here is why. In his weekend update email to subscribers, he wrote:
We're now at -31.6 with the doubles for the 2013/14 season so far, which is half of the recommended bank for the doubles (the Asian Handicaps are now at a small +3.2 point profit for the season after making a bit less than +10 point profit since January, so we're currently a bit more than a third of the bank down with both sets of picks combined). So they're obviously rubbish all of a sudden, aren't they? I've lost my edge, the bookmakers win, it's time for retirement, hello sunshine.
But wait, how come I'm one of the most successful services for the current season participating in Cassini's friendly tipster league with a +15 point profit at a 15% ROI? Does Cassini live in some sort of a parallel universe? This season, fortunately for him - yes, he does. The thing is that Cassini is recording my bets as one-point flat-stake singles (and ignoring the Skrill South parts of the doubles because of odds-recording issues). With so many half-won-half-lost double bets this season, it's easy to understand what makes the difference.
As Skeeve says, there are a few differences between what Skeeve says to do, and what I actually do. (I can be difficult, so I am told).

Firstly, as the Football Data web site doesn't include the Conference South, I discard those selections from the FTL entry, so if the South selections have been poor this season, that's my gain and Skeeve's loss.

Secondly, if Skeeve selects a double or a treble, I simply make that tip into two or three single bets, with one point on each. Skeeve might have the same selection in multiple bets - I only count the selection one time.

Thirdly, if Skeeve selects a team to win by -0.5 or -1.5, the bet is recorded as a single on that team to win. (Football Data don't include the AH prices). And, as I do for others, any DNB, (0), or +0.5 bets are recorded as lays of the opposition.

So whereas following Skeeve's recommended bets exactly as prescribed would mean a loss to date of 28.4 points, the more conservative approach of betting (non Conference South) selections as singles is up 14.16 points.

Betting Skeeve's selections as prescribed except to a level one point stake would be in profit by 7.29 points, which suggests to me that the problem is not with the selections, it is with the stakes and the combining of bets into multiples.

This weekend is a case in point - Skeeve had four doubles and an AH bet. All four doubles lost, a suggested stake of 10 points down the pan.

The four doubles were:
Kidderminster Harriers and Luton Town 4 points
Forest Green Rovers and Macclesfield Town 2 points
Forest Green Rovers and Sutton United 2 points
Macclesfield Town and Sutton United 2 points
So it's an expensive afternoon when Sutton United can't score at bottom of the table Dorchester Town and Forest Green Rovers can't score at home to Welling United and Kidderminster Harriers can only draw at home to Southport. Luton Town and Macclesfield Town both won, but their placement meant their wins were wasted.

Backed the Cassini way, you would have had four singles bets, and four points risked.

Kidderminster Harriers Lost -1.00
Luton Town Won +0.31
Forest Green Rovers Lost -1.00
Macclesfield Town Won +0.74

Net Loss: -0.95 points

Skeeve also had a selection of Dartford to win at Hyde (4 points at 1.99) which they duly did, although at a Pinnacle price of 2.07. Here's another area where Skeeve is leaking points. Those 0.08 points add up over the course of a season, and it is to his credit that his recorded prices are always on the low side. No Bet Victor / bet365 / Paddy Power or unattainable prices for Skeeve.

Backing in multiples and with multi-point stakes can easily work the other way of course, but I don't like them. To me, there is no logic in linking, say, Forest green Rovers and Sutton United together in one bet, and unless you know your edge, betting three, four, five points whatever can look very much like chasing. The only thing that makes a bet worth four points rather than one is that you have a huge edge.

The true measure of the quality of a tipster's selections is the return on them when they are backed as singles with level stakes. Stripped naked, their beauty, or ugliness, is all too apparent.  Had all Skeeve's selections (the multliples) won, his profit would have been 13.48 points. That's a 23.48 point swing on five selections, and you can see how such a possible variation in returns makes it hard to judge the quality accurately.

To conclude, I would say that stripped naked, Skeeve's tips aren't bad at all. The FTL compares all tipsters as equitably as possible, and compared to the big hitters of Football Elite, The Football Analyst, and Peter 'Weatherman' Nordsted, Skeeve is currently well ahead, and the only one in profit.


Anonymous said...

Congrats six years AB! Also looking at the performance of some of the tipsters contributing to the league; maybe they should do a George from the series Seinfield and think in opposites.


skeeve said...

Thanks Cassini,

As I already wrote in an e-mail sent to my clients, I think it's a very fair blog post and I agree with most of your thoughts. I did comment on parts of the post I felt I should comment on so, if you feel like publishing parts of that e-mail on your blog, it's absolutely fine with me. Just wanted to let you know. :)

p.s.: I hope this upcoming weekend is the one when you nail all the draws and get back to profit. :)