Wednesday 25 July 2018

Finn Pickings

By special request, here's a look at the Draw in Finland's Veikkausliiga. I can't say Finland's ever been a league that has interested me, with its teams with strange names (usually just initials), and the only traditionally named club (Tampere United), at least by English standards, a major part of the match fixing scandal there of 2008-2011. 

I think I've seem just one Finnish team play live - Lahden Reipas at West Ham United in the Cup Winners Cup 1975. I probably still have the programme somewhere, and of course, Finn Aki Riihilahti was lucky enough to play for Crystal Palace but anyway, Helsinki based Frenchman Frederic J, a man with whom I appear to have a lot in common based on his timeline, and who thus seems like a decent and intelligent chap, wrote or rather Tweeted:

Recently found it? Well, better late than never I guess. Indeed the data is available, as always courtesy of Joseph Buchdahl's Football Data web site, with the price data supplied by Pinnacle.

My first observation was a general one regarding the over-round. After averaging 102.5% in the six seasons 2012 to 2017, it has edged up this season to 103.2%, not a negligible increase and something to be aware of if this league is of a betting interest to you. 

Blindly backing the Draw in the 1,308 matches with prices since 2012 would have lost you 2.2% and the best 'blind' strategy here is laying Away teams, with an ROI of 3.4%

Backing all home teams priced at greater than 3.0 would have generated an ROI of over 21%, and backing all Away teams when the Home team is 1.5 or shorter has an ROI of over 34%.

For the Draw, the market appears to be inefficient when the implied probability is in the 28% to 30% range, or 3.35 to 3.57.  A 14% ROI here from 384 bets, or back the Draw when the Away team is odds-on for an ROI of 24%, but only 113 selections over the six and a half seasons. 

The local derby factor is alive and well in Finland though - for games between teams based in and around Helsinki the 27 matches since 2012 have generated 18.73 points in profit, an ROI of 69%

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