Friday 19 October 2018

Equinox In LA, Efficiency, and the Inefficient Ethniki Katigoria

There was another Sports Equinox yesterday, with the added bonus of an MLS game and a College Football. What a time to be alive. 

Courtesy of
"There was a 16-year period (1985-2001) without a single sports equinox, but now that Thursday Night Football is a fixture, the World Series starts later, and the NBA season starts earlier, they're much more frequent."
The article also notes that if the Los Angeles Dodgers make it to Game 5 of the World Series, with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Rams all playing, Los Angeles would match Phoenix's 2001 record of having teams in all four major sports in action on the same day (October 28th). 

It didn't mention that the Anaheim Ducks are also playing that day, along with the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC in MLS.

An article on the Soccer Widow website drew the conclusion: 
When you adjust the closing line to account for the bookmakers' margin, I'd say that for the majority of bets there is no edge, that the price or line is close enough to being correct that there is no value for the punter. 

The returns at Pinnacle's closing odds over the six English Premier League seasons 2012-18 from backing the Home, Away and Draw at true odds would, from 6,840 bets, have cost you 12.02 points, a loss of 0.18%. That's pretty efficient. 

Where the prices are inefficient is in the Big 6 and Little 14 matches where, no surprise here for regular readers, the Draw offers value. 

Over the past six seasons, the profit at 'true' prices on qualifying matches (where the true Draw probability is less than 0.25 or any team is odds-on) for the Big 6 was 25.08 points (19.7%) and for Little 14 matches 83.41 points (11.0%) - a combined 108.49 points (12.2%). 

While you may struggle to get the true odds, fortunately the prices are inefficient enough to still offer value. At Pinnacle prices, the combined profit on these selections was 85.5 points, an ROI of 9.64% and of course, Pinnacle are not always the top price.

You might expect the closing odds to be more efficient in the Premier League than a lower league, and you'd be right although a return of 99.76 units to every 100 staked is still highly efficient. 

League Two, which for a long time had the Away team undervalued, would have cost you an average of 0.24% at true odds. Backing the Away team would have made you 4.9% over six seasons, a highly inefficient area as readers will know, although last season the market compensated. 

In the National League the average cost is 0.34%, with Away selections again the value to punters with an ROI of 5.67% over six seasons.

Just for the heck of it, I took a look at the Ethniki Katigoria over the same six seasons. Here the market is highly inefficient, returning just 96.2% of your stake from the 1,444 matches after excluding the many matches with no closing odds. Strangely often towards the end of the season.

The Away price in this league is hugely inefficient, a massive 13.2% off over six seasons. 

I'm generally not interested in leagues where the Draw is priced as short as a 2.42 favourite or where 94 matches have the Draw with a probability greater than 0.33, but as feta would have it, the Draw seems to offer some value. At Pinnacle closing prices, after excluding the Big 5 clubs, the Draw returned 4.8%.  Back the Draw in all matches when it's priced at 3.0 or shorter and the ROI is 6.3%

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