As had been promised a few days ago, the long awaited Pinnacle closing prices appeared on Joseph Buchdahl's Football Data web site yesterday. Wonderful news, except that my weekend plans will now have to be postponed, and possibly those of next week too.
I started off by taking a look at the EPL, interested to confirm a theory I had about backing the Draw in matches where the market had no clear favourite.
I found that no less than 50 favourites at the time of the first price scrape ** drifted to outsider status by kick-off in the four seasons 2012-16. Of these, 16 of the new favourites won, 17 of the former favourites won, and the remaining 17 matches finished as draws with an ROI of 16%.
That was good news, although a dozen bets a season isn't going to interest too many people.
The second thing I was interested in was the difference in returns for shorties which is a boring but consistently profitable strategy in certain top leagues.
Backing selections with an implied probability of 0.7 or more at the first scrape has an ROI of 3.4%, which is better than the results if you wait until kick-off when they drop to 2.4%.
"But what about big movers?", I hear you ask.
Update: I managed to screw up the results, here are the actuals:
Backing the draw in the (conveniently exactly) 1,000 matches where the implied probability of the Draw was 0.25 or greater at kick-off would have boosted your account by 49.22 points, and you can all work out the ROI% on that. (+50.33 from 1,017 selections if you bet early).
I'll take a look at other leagues over the next few days but this post should give some of you pause for thought as the new season rapidly approaches.
** Regarding the first 'scrape times' about which a few readers have asked, Joseph's website states that "Fixtures and betting odds for upcoming games are also are made available, collected Friday afternoons for weekend fixtures, and on Tuesday afternoons for midweeek games."