Saturday 22 October 2022

Equinox Knocks

There was another Sports Equinox in the US on Thursday, but it wasn't a profitable one. The Thursday Night NFL game went Over by a mile, and the 2.5 points the New Orleans Saints were getting was nowhere near enough.

On top of that, the two NHL selections both lost, but at least the Los Angeles Clippers picked up a win on the road. Well, technically on the road, since the win came in their home stadium which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A profit yesterday from the Bundeslayga though, and the NBA's two systems were both in profit.  

Regarding my observation that top clubs resting on a bye historically underperform in their next game or series, Can't Win With Kids took the idea down a different path asking the question:
Were there not an odd number of teams in the National League when Macclesfield went bust a couple of seasons ago, therefore one team per week who effectively had a bye week, may be worth looking at especially with Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday game weeks.
There have been quite a few leagues played with an odd number of teams in them, going back to 1893-94 when Division Two had 15 clubs.

Why does this season sound familiar, I hear no one ask. Well, I can tell you. It's because Small Heath went the entire season without drawing a game.  This wasn't a first however, with two clubs - Sunderland and Aston Villa - managing this feat in the Football League of 1891-92, and something not repeated in the top division since Stoke managed it in 1895-96. 

While I'm on the subject, I should mention that the last time a top league had a club with no draws in a season was in 2009-10 when RKC Waalwijk finished bottom of the Eredivisie without a single draw.

Back to the odd number question, and other leagues with an odd number of clubs are:

1931-32 Division Three North (Wigan Borough resigned after 12 games and had their record expunged)
1961-62 Division Four (Accrington Stanley resigned after 33 games and had their record expunged)
1987-88 Divisions One and Two had 21 and 23 clubs respectively
2019-20 League One (Bury expelled without playing any matches)

The season Can't Win With Kids is referring to is the 2020-21 National League season when Macclesfield folded before they had played any matches, and later saw Dover Athletic refuse to play matches from January before they had their results expunged in March. 

The 2021-22 National League season was played with 23 clubs, and Dover Athletic were relegated after having 12 points deducted for sulking the previous season, while the National League South also had 23 clubs that season, which means that there have been several years where clubs have had a bye week.

While finding the Match Odds data from 1893-94 Division Two might be rather challenging, the data is there for those more recent seasons, but it's a relatively unusual scenario so I'm not sure it's worth trawling through the data for something that might not happen again for some time.

These 'ordinary' games remove the element that the rested team is always the, on paper at least, stronger team, but if we're looking at this scenario, we have some good data from the NFL where teams are given bye weeks, so for example this weekend is Week 7 of the season and:
Unfortunately, historically there is no edge here, with an almost 50/50 record against the spread:

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