Saturday 9 February 2019


It's been a while since we looked at the Draw in the Premier League, in part because there haven't been that many this season. With 250 games played, exactly 20% have ended as Draws, an all-time low for the Premier League. As always with football, using Pinnacle's closing odds courtesy of Joseph Buchdahl's Football-Data web site, the outcome of backing the Draw in every game is, as usual (2010-11 was an exception), a disaster.

Currently you'd be down 56.97 points from 250 bets, a negative ROI of 22.8%, and you'd be forgiven for thinking the Draw offers no value, but as I wrote back in November:

A more selective rule of less than 25% and this climbs to 41.78 points from 155 matches, an ROI of 27%".
The rule being that of backing the Draw in "Big 6" matches when the difference between the 'true' win probabilities for both teams is in that 25% to -25% range. 

With only seven qualifying matches so far, it's not a big sample (to put it mildly), but these close contests have produced three winners and a 3.58 point profit. 

What about other match types in the 25% to -25% range - the Little 14 and David v Goliath matches you may be asking? Backing the Draw in both these categories is profitable, no surprise there as they are by definition 'close' matches, but what is a surprise is how much profits are improved by ignoring Little 14 matches where the market has the Home team as favourite. 

Overall, the 25/25 system since 2000 is up 73.10 points from 1,456 matches, but eliminate those Little 14 matches where the market makes the Home team favourite, and the profit jumps to 129.91 points, while the number of matches drops to 664. The difference in ROI is huge, almost quadrupling from a decent 5% to a very decent 19.6%.
The outstanding value in the EPL this weekend would appear to be Tottenham Hotspur at a very generous 2.96 with Pinnacle, as advertised in their Tweet yesterday (above). Good luck collecting though. Clearly a palpable error will be claimed as there is no such team as Leicetser City. 

Monday 4 February 2019

Bayes Laughs, Others Miss The Joke

It was't the most exciting end to the 2018 NFL season with the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever, but from an investment perspective, it was another profitable one.

For those following the Small Road 'Dogs system this season, the regular season ROI was 7.8%, and for those saving themselves for Divisonal games only, the ROI was 9.9%. In the playoffs, the ROI was 30.1%, and for all categories combined the ROI was 9.6%

As readers will be aware, the Small Road 'Dogs strategy isn't new. Since the 2002 season, the numbers for the Regular season are:
Those are the baseline numbers. If you are a little more selective, those percentages can all be increased and only one season since 2005 has seen the strike rate below 50%:
It may not be the most exciting way to make money, but 56.9% is fantastic over 17 years. Ignore the claims of those who say they can win coin-toss bets at a strike rate anywhere close to 70% as one Twitter handle (now deleted) claimed:
The esteemed Joseph Buchdahl (@12xpert) has a few tweets on this conman, and I liked this comment from Andrew Mack after the claimed 70% strike rate went closer to 40%:
No one, not even Mel (his claimed strike rate was 50% to 60% at 2.8), can beat the odds long-term by this kind of a margin.

To paraphrase Steve, for profitability you need an edge, discipline, patience and perseverance. A sense of humour might be helpful too:

I may have added at least six years to mine.