Monday, 24 June 2019

17 Leagues, One Season, One Result

As promised, here are the results of backing the Draw in the 2018-19 season. 

As was the case from 2012-2018, overall we again see the expected improvement as the matches become more competitive. 

Coming in to this season, the evidence indicated staying away from the smaller leagues of Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Scotland, as well as England's League One.

How did these leagues fare last season? More of the same essentially. 

Prior to this season, the profitable leagues were the top two tiers of the Big Five countries, and again backing the Draw in all competitive matches in these 10 leagues was profitable:

As most readers will know, this season saw a record low strike rate for Draws in the English Premier League, the fewest since 1931-32 which most readers won't remember.

Even with the EPL's 14.43 point loss at the 'Difference less than .25' level, the overall return of 3.2% for the 'Top 10' was the same as for 2012-18.

For serious bettors, the biggest concern should be the increase in over-round last season. It's a topic covered previously in the blog, but every one of the 17 leagues saw an increase this season, with the EPL at an average of 103.5%. That may not seem like a lot, but it makes a huge difference over time and it's a worrying trend.

The full seven season summary looks like this:
In 2017, I referenced David Sumpter's conclusion, based on five EPL seasons 2011-2016, that:
It turns out that when two well-matched teams meet (i.e. the probability of a home win is only slightly bigger than the probability of away win) then draws are under-priced.
The seven seasons for which we have reliable data show that this continues to be true in the big leagues, but not in the fringe leagues.  

Just as I thought I was done, and could enjoy the summer, Joe threw another idea out there:
Looking at the average prices for the Over / Under for the EPL from last season, we're looking at an over-round of 105.2% which might be a problem. That there is a correlation between Unders and Draws will not be a surprise to readers of this blog but it might be an interesting exercise to look at some more data.   

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