Sunday, 29 July 2018

Favourites, Football and Fantasy

There was a subsequent 'clarification' Tweet from RJ Bell this morning on the subject of 'big' favourites in the MLB and 'big' favourites in the NFL, although RJ has now changed 'big' to 'biggest':

Unfortunately the comparison is still false, because as I explained in my earlier post, the biggest favourites in MLB have around an 80% win probability, nowhere near the 95% win probability of the biggest NFL favourites.
There are no PW = 0.95 in baseball - we all know -1500s will win more than -400s. Doesn’t mean they are more profitable.
-400 favourites should win approximately 80% of the time. -1500 favourites should win approximately 93.75% of the time. Essentially getting excited over the fact that 93.75 is greater than 80 isn't helpful. Yes, we all understand that there will be more winners at evens than at 2/1 than at 3/1 than at 4/1 and so on - it's how probability (usually) works.

I say 'usually' because there's one mathematical genius claiming the ability to consistently find 2.8 winners 60% of the time out there. He blocked me, which is easier to do than provide a logical reason why this freak of probability might make any sense, but Jason gets his nonsense, calling our friend out on his 'mumbo-jumbo', his lack of understanding about independent events, the 'cost of doing business', what an equity curve is, and just basic probability really. It should shock me that so many people think that using big words can give someone an edge, but I've been here a while and there are a lot of gullible people out there lacking the ability to see through bullshit. 


Small Road 'Dogs
Back to our 'favourite' subject, and big favourites do also lose in the NFL - since 1989, there have only been fifteen teams favoured by 17 or 17.5 points, and three of those lost, but as RJ might well point out at some point, the "biggest" favourites - those giving 18 points or more - haven't, at least not yet, with a 17-0 record in the 29 seasons from 1989. Seventeen selections is a small sample size, and the value is actually with the underdog on these lines, with a 12-5 record against the spread.

It's a little early to be talking about American Football but it's getting close. The College season opens on August 25th and the NFL on September 6th.

Readers will no doubt be all over the College Small Road 'Dogs strategy which has been profitable in all but two seasons this millennium, with very small losses in those two losing seasons (see left). The number of bets averages a very manageable 94 a season, with the busiest weekend of 2017 at 11 bets.

The 2017 season had 92 bets and went 53-37-2 ending with an ROI of 14.1%. The long-term ROI on 1,600 bets is 7.24%
Something to keep an eye on, if you are so inclined, is the fortune of the Big Road 'Dogs which have turned around in the past couple of seasons after years of futility. Most College Football matches have Big Road 'Dogs so there can be a lot of selections. The ROI in each of the past two seasons is 3.6%, but 887 selections isn't practical.

This weekend I completed a list of strategies for the EFL and National Leagues, the criteria requested being an ROI of at least 10% and profitable in each of the last three seasons. With 48 matches per round, it was important to make sure that the number of bets is practical. I included this one after much debate:
+94.72 points from 536 selections, ROI 17.7%
It's a great ROI%, but is close to four selections each round in that division.

And on the subject of football, Betty Blogger asked me to send interested Fantasy Football people his way. It's not my thing, but he's running a Fantasy Mini league and paying the winner £100 sterling, which seems very generous. 

And finally, I am on another work trip for the next week and a half, which is terrible timing as I shall be away for my month-end spreadsheet update, and miss the start of the new football season.  

Barring a disaster, the spreadsheet will be up for the 27th month out of the last 29 which is quite incredible, and one of those losses was a small one of double digits which just made it all the more irritating. When the loss is five figures, it's out of my hands, when it is less than £100, it's not.  

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