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. 

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