Friday, 28 May 2021

MLB Streaking, Chelsea's CL Final Form and More

A work trip took me away from betting and blogging for a few days, but a couple of people left comments or sent me emails while I was away. 

David asked for clarification on this comment from my "Never Say Never" post of a couple of weeks back:
The lesson for bettors is that any sporting outcome can be value if the price is high enough. Bet for value, not for who you think will win, and you will be a long term winner. In other words, bet numbers not teams.

What I meant by this is that you shouldn't bet an outcome because you "think" it'll win. You back an outcome because the probability of a win is greater than that implied by the price (odds).

If you are finding value, the profits will come. If you are backing who you think will win with no regard to value, then the losses will come. It's counterintuitive to back an outcome that you don't think will be a winner, but it is often the right thing to do if your goal is to make money rather than provide entertainment. The key to successful betting is to take advantage of those betting for entertainment as well as the uninformed, because it is their money that ultimately tips the scales and offers value to the sharper minded. 

Stewboss commented on the NBA Overs System results for the regular season, writing:

The NBA overs figures are good on the face of it but I feel that results based on the closing line would be a more useful measure. The figures polled from your data source are posted at arbitrary times with no consistency. There are threads on their forum confirming this.

As Voltaire said, "perfect is the enemy of good." As I've written here before, the prices in the Killer Sports database aren't necessarily closing prices, but are:

a representation of the line at which most people bet the game. The Lakers closed at -1, pick and +1 in some places, but they were -2, -1.5 and -1 for most of the day. The closing line, in many cases, is not the line at which most people bet the game.

They will generally be close to the closing prices, and in many markets will be the same, but as Killer Sports point out, even if the total or line moves in the last few minutes before a game starts, not many people will be on at that price since betting has been taking place for some time before, and for events like the Superbowl for a full two weeks. 

They're also the best totals and lines we have, or at least that I know of that are available for free, and they are certainly good enough to use as a basis for identifying areas of market weakness. We can never find mathematical proof for a system since prices / odds are dynamic and if we hesitate too long, we miss the boat altogether.  

Anyone who has followed the NBA Overs system will know that totals sometimes move during the hours prior to a game and if you bet early, sometimes the move will be in your favour, sometimes it'll be against you. Sometimes you can get better than the dime line (1.952) and other times you may get worse, but even if you only got 1.806 on the 1,000+ matches since 2013, you would still be in profit. 

The intent isn't to say that if you follow this system, you will have an ROI of 7.9% - you almost certainly won't - but it is to show where the market is inefficient and it's up to each individual to work out for themselves the best way to take advantage of this since we don't all have access to the same sportsbooks and prices. And if anyone has solid closing totals for NBA games, please let me know where they are available and I'll see if the inefficiency is consistent on these. 

The NBA playoffs are currently in progress following the new play-in games, but only one game so far has been a qualifier, but it was another winner at least. 

In the NHL, the playoffs are also moving along, but a small loss so far post season has meant the overall records have taken a slight hit:

There is one Game 7 tonight (Vegas Golden Knights v Minnesota Wild) and possibly another on Monday night if the Montreal Canadiens beat Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow. 

Since 2012, backing Home teams in Game 7 matches after a loss in Game 6 has an ROI of 23.1% but from just 18 matches so don't get too carried away. 

In the MLB, a couple of wins this week have moved the T-Bone System into green, but it's the hot favourites system which is really paying the bills this season so far, currently on a winning streak of 19 and with just one loss in the last 35 matches. It's not often you get a run this hot in baseball.

Three more selections tonight, and this month is currently the best since August of 2019.  

The Totals Systems combined are comfortably in profit after 179 games (29.96 units) but interestingly all the profit is from Unders with Overs slightly down, although making up ground after a slow start to the season. 

Overall, Unders is the winner in 51.7% of matches, but in our subset of selections, the strike rate is currently 62.9%. 

Looking at the past 17 seasons of Champions League football, the Final has not been profitable for backers of the underdog, which tomorrow means Chelsea. 

The favourite has won 11 of the 17 Finals, with five Draws and only Barcelona's win over Manchester United in 2009 seeing a return for 'dog backers. This game was also the one with the narrowest of differences between finalists. 
A couple of curiousities are that the only Final where an odds-on favourite didn't win was 2012 when Chelsea were again the underdog and held Bayern Munich to a Draw while Chelsea were 
also underdogs in 2008 with another Draw the result. 

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