Monday 31 January 2022

Rounding Up The 'Dogs

The NFL Conference Championship games this past weekend were both winners for the Road Teams, although only the San Francisco 49ers were Small Road 'Dogs, covering the spread but losing to the Los Angeles Rams who will now play the Cincinnati Bengals in Superbowl LVI which really should have been hosted at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco to make the most of those roman numerals. 

After 54 years without an NFL team playing in its home stadium, the Rams will be the second team in two years to do this, following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who won at home last season. 

The opening line is the Rams by 4, so arguably the Bengals, playing in their first Superbowl in 33 years, will be a Small Road 'Dog but the site is officially classified as neutral. 

Including post season games, the Small Road 'Dogs ended the season with an 'official' record using Killer Sports of 48-27, 24.9% ROI. The alternate GimmeTheDog site has a record of 48-28 reducing the ROI to a mere 23.3%

In the Africa Cup of Nations, the four quarter-finals produced just the one draw, Egypt v Morocco, officially at 2.94 but available at 3.0 on Bet365 and exchanges. The semi-finals are on Wednesday when Senegal will be odds-on to beat Burkina Faso, and Thursday, when hosts Cameroon play Egypt.

This is the seventh consecutive tournament where the average goals per game has declined, with this year's current 1.88 some way down from 2008's 3.09.  

I mentioned excluding matches where the fair probability of the Draw is low in my last post and there's another way of increasing the ROI which is to exclude matches where the favourite is odds-on. The table below shows three sets of results, all matches, matches where the Draw probability exceeds 0.285 and matches where there is no odds-on favourite. 
The individual tournament numbers of games are still fairly small, and there are some interesting results by tournament but overall, incorporating either parameter increases ROI.

The Nations League has very few matches as does the Confederation Cup which has now been discontinued. The Africa Cup of Nations has the biggest sample size, and appears to be the tournament that benefits most from excluding lop-sided games. 

Only CONCACAF's Gold Cup bucks the trend with a negative ROI across all matches, and a worse record when selecting based on the Draw probability and an improved record when excluding odds-on games. I suspect the reason is the poorer quality of this tournament, but again with fewer than 50 matches in the sample, a couple of results can make a big difference.

The higher quality World Cup, Euro and Copa tournaments, and I expect the Nations League to join them as this competition becomes established, all have very high ROIs, and even Africa's baseline 8.25% is decent. 

The January results for the EPL Draws were positive with three winners from seven "Close" selections, and two from five for the "Toss-Ups". 

This is definitely a system of two halves, with the first half of the season (August through December) having an ROI of 15.9% while the second half (January onwards) is actually down by 1.1%

For "Toss-Ups", the discrepancy is even more stark, with the respective numbers 26.6% and -0.08%. Here are the numbers by month since 2000:
As for January as a whole, for much of the month it looked like being the worst month ever, but a strong couple of days at the end means that the month ends up as the third worst month ever in actual money but only the 10th worst in percentage terms with a loss of 2.85%. Given where I was last week, I think it's fair to say that never before, in the history of my spreadsheet, has a six figure loss felt so much like a win. 

My retirement funds lost 4.5%, Tesla dropped 11.4% and the stars of the January show were those promising young growth stocks (I jest) Lloyds Bank (+7.5%) and Berkshire Hathaway which gained 4.7%

I was told last week to increase my share holding in Boeing to a minimum of 100 via a "Voluntary Corporate Action" request, which I had never heard of before. Apparently the "voluntary" part of it was that I either buy 40 more to make it up to 100 or sell the 60. Otherwise the company would buy them off me. I decided to buy, and the stock took off yesterday with an increase of 5.1%

To keep perspective during these market swoons, it's reassuring to see that I am currently within a few thousand of where I was at the end of October. March isn't far away and that's not only a milestone birthday if I make it that far, but it's also my bonus / stock options / RSUs month. At my age those are far more important than the percentage increase on my salary since I won't be there to benefit from that for too much longer, but a decent bonus and other equity awards would be nice.  

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