Saturday, 23 June 2018

National Draw

The title suggests this might one of England's more famous horse races, but it's actually the next installment of on the rather more interesting topic of the Draw.

England's 5th level National League is another lower league with 24 clubs, and a 25% churn rate each season.

Here's a look at the numbers from the six seasons 2012-18. Note that there should have been 3,312 matches, but Pinnacle's Closing Prices were not available for 15 matches, so we have a sample size of a mere 3,297. I think we'll survive, but the National League isn't a happy hunting ground for Draw seekers.

But there is hope. Ignore the Draw when it has a 'true' win probability of less than 0.25 and 154.64 points are saved. 

The closest matches in terms of win probability difference (25% or closer) are also profitable, and 3.36% is to my mind a decent return for a basic strategy:

Obviously in a lower league, there is no Big X factor, and there's not much of a derby factor either. Not too many London clubs at this level previously, and the 18 derby matches over the past six years would have lost 10.88 points. There will be five teams from London next season, but there have been more clubs from Lancashire during this period and these combine for 47 matches (one or more must be among the no-data games) and a profit of 0.9 points. Add in the close regional teams Barrow, Chester and Wrexham and the 171 matches generates 2.3 points. There will be just two Lancashire teams next season. Nothing to see here. 

Next up: Italy

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