Friday, 5 August 2016

Against All Odds

A poster on the Betfair form pointed out that this weekend's round of twelve Championship matches are a little unusual in that none have an odds-on favourite.

This is unusual (it last happened on the weekend of April 26th / 27th 2013) but odds-on selections in the Championship (33.33%) are much less common than in the less competitive EPL (53.9%). These statistics are based on Pinnacle closing prices for the past four seasons 2012-16.

There's nothing magical about a price being odds-on of course. Value can exist at any price, but plenty of people, some who should know better, seem to think that backing at odds-on is never a good idea.

Using data from the past four seasons shows that blindly backing odds-on selections in the Championship would have resulted in a loss of -3.9 points from 736 selections, compared with a loss of 2.8 points in the EPL, although backing Away teams only would have been profitable in both leagues.

No reader of this blog should be surprised that Away teams have been offering value in recent seasons. As I wrote in August 2014 about the EPL:

Updated to include the last two seasons, and those Home, Away and Draw numbers are 44.5%, 30.3% and 25.2% respectively.

It was also a trend observed in other top European leagues.
It isn’t only in the EPL that this trend continues. Serie A had the fewest Home wins since the turn of the century (40.0%) with the three highest totals for Away wins being in the three most recent seasons.

In La Liga, Home wins were at their second lowest this century (45.0%), with the most recent two seasons producing the most Away wins in that time, both above 30%.

Ligue 1 also saw the most Away wins this century, beating the record set the previous season, but here the increase came at the expense of the Draw rather than the Home win.

As is so often the case, the Bundesliga marches to a different beat. 2014-15 saw Home wins exceed the long term averages, while Away wins were at their lowest since 2003-04 although it should be noted that four of the previous five seasons were the top four for Aways in this league. Perhaps last season will prove to be a blip here?
Indeed last season was a blip, with Away wins in the Bundesliga just two shy of their all-time high last season. Ligue 1 broke its own record last season, and Serie A also set an all-time record for Away wins. Of the top leagues, only La Liga showed a decline, perhaps another blip?  

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