Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Playoff and Cup Finals

It's that time of year where Finals and important matches come thick and fast.

Before my trip last week, I warned you all that in European Competitions:
For Second Leg Semi-Final matches where neither side has more than a one goal advantage, backing the Away side has historically been a terrible idea.

None of the five such Away sides won, so hopefully some of you were paying attention and either made some money, or at least saved yourselves from losing any. Liverpool did hold a two goal advantage, and were able to win.

With no favourites in any of the upcoming three finals currently at odds-on, backing the underdog in such European Finals is similarly not a great idea with only three of 21 managing wins, a strategy that would have resulted in a -54% ROI. Liverpool may well move to odds-on though before their Final versus Real Madrid, as they range from 1.98 to 2.08 currently. 

No winners this weekend for the EPL Draw System, with the ROI on Close bets now at 4.9% and for Toss-Ups at 14.7% for the season with just 28 matches remaining. 

The Football and National League Play-offs are underway, and in the Football League matches it usually pays to oppose the Home team at the Semi-Final stage.

The National League (Premier, North and South) is different, with the Home side usually value with an ROI of 9.9% from 148 matches, although at the Quarter-Final stage introduced in 2018, the small sample size doesn't yet reflect this. These regional matches start tomorrow but the National League Premier fixtures still have a round to go with the play-off final not scheduled until next month. 

There's also the FA Cup Final this weekend, with Chelsea making their fifth appearance in six years against Liverpool who haven't won this trophy since 2006. 

After starting as favourites in each of their last four finals, and losing three, Chelsea will be underdogs this time. For finals with no odds-on favourite, the results are:
Not a lot of goals as is often the case in finals, and with no more than one goal separating the teams in 15 of the last 17 finals the Draw at 3.8 looks like a value bet.

There's no place in the record books for fewest single goal wins in a top-flight English season with Crystal Palace following their first one goal wins away to Southampton with the same victory margin at home to Watford. As I wrote previously:
Crystal Palace missing out on the opportunity to match Darwen's 1891-92 season with no single-goal wins by scoring a stoppage time winner at Southampton. With two games remaining (v Watford and Manchester United) Palace do still have the opportunity to achieve the rare feat of going an entire season without a Home league win by said margin. 

Swansea City in 2013-14 remain the last club not to win a home top-flight game by one goal all season.  

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