Friday 2 October 2015

Pre v Post All-Star Break

Jeffrey had a comment on my Studies Have Continued post saying:

I'm on the other side of this coin, backing dogs coming off a win in certain situations.
One thing I've noticed for three years running now, is that it all goes south in the month after the All Star break. Suddenly favourites predominate until around mid-August onwards, when my dogs start winning their share again.
I can only think that by July-August, the bookies have got the measure of the teams when pricing games up, and it takes the back-end of the regular season, when teams gather themselves for one last tilt at a play-off spot (or in readiness for off-season contract negotiations!) that certain underdogs start over-achieving again.
I just wondered if you had noticed this trend and, if so, if you had any theories as to what might cause it.
I like these thought-provoking comments and did a little research. I took a look at how shorties (1.50 or shorter) perform in the period leading up to, and following on from, the All-Star break which is held somewhere around the second week of July. I compared June and pre-All-Star July with post-All-Star July and August for the past five seasons.

The results showed that over that period, backing shorties both before and after the All-Star break was a profitable strategy, with the 'after' period showing a slightly more profitable ROI%. while the win percentage was almost identical. With the All-Star game usually in the first half of July, there are more qualifiers in the 'after' period.
Over the past three years, Jeffrey's period of observation, late July / August showed a profit of 28.80 points after versus a loss of  5.65 points before the break when backing all shorties.

Without knowing what the 'certain situations' are that determine Jeffrey's selections, or the price ranges of his underdogs, it's impossible to say much more, but hot favourites have been pretty solid recently in the 6  / 7 weeks following the All-Star game.

Jeffrey suggests that "by July-August, the bookies have got the measure of the teams when pricing games up" but the days when bookies priced games up are long gone. Prices are determined by punters, and we are collectively pretty accurate. Sportsbooks such as Pinnacle Sports and the exchanges lead the way of course, with the more traditional bookies shadowing those prices and allowing anyone with half-a-clue to bet a whopping 25p if they're lucky.

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