The largest directory of betting bonuses

The biggest collection of free betting e-books


Betting Articles

Lazy Sports Betting Tactics
How to beat the bookies in the over-under markets
How to convert between decimal and American odds
How to get an edge in betting
How to test the credibility of a tipster`s record
Kelly criterion method
How to use Kelly Criterion for betting
How Weather Affects Sports Betting
Increase Your Chances of Winning Long Term Betting on Sports
Intermediate and Advanced Sports Betting
Common sportsbetting myths
Advices on Betting Fundamentals
Betting do's and don'ts
Choosing a staking method based on your betting profile
Betting staking plans
Value betting explained
Sports-betting- a game of numbers
Market movement in betting
Types of odds explained
European types of bets explained
American types of bets explained
Martingale Considerations in Sports Betting
In-play betting
Accumulator betting
Mobile betting
A Crash Course in Horse Racing
A Crash Course In Sports Betting
American odds versus decimal odds
Bankroll management
Money management in sportsbetting- odds, edge and variance
Basic bet types explained
Paying for Picks
Betting on winning streaks
Betting psychology- a crash course about aspiring professional bettors
Popular Sports Betting Beliefs
Do you make these 9 sportsbetting mistakes?
Does intuition have a place in sportsbetting?
Exchange betting
Randomness in sportsbetting
Fractional versus decimal odds
Home team advantage analised
How bad at sportsbetting are you?
Reasons to Keep Betting Records
How bookmakers make money
How bookmakers work
How do betting exchanges work
Should You Bet on Multiple Sports or Specialize?
How do free bets work
How does luck influence short term betting
How good are betting tipsters
Sports Betting for Beginners
How loss aversion impacts performance
How many sports to bet on
How Much Should You Bet On a Sporting Event?
Staking-one method to improve your betting
How much you should risk per bet?
How Sports Betting Has Changed Over the Last 20 Years
How To Avoid A Big Sports Betting Loss
The art of multiple betting
The history of lotteries
The value of information in soccer betting
Three careers ideally suited to betting
Tips for Better Sports Betting Results
Types of Online Sports Betting Bonuses
Understanding and managing your risk of ruin
Understanding Horse Racing Bet Types
Understanding Live Betting
Value betting is an essential skill for bettors
Ways to Increase the Percentage of Sports Bets You Win
What are drawdowns and how to manage them
What are the most common mistakes the bettors make
What are the real chances of winning the lottery?
What distinguishes winning from losing betors
What is a handicap soccer betting?
What is the Fibonacci betting system?
What is the Labouchere betting system
What is the Martingale staking system
Why do we gamble? Irrationality and overconfidence
Why patience is an essential trait for any serious bettor
Poisson Distribution: Predict the score in soccer betting
Fixed Staking vs. Variable Staking
Basketball betting: Bet types explained
7 Sure-Fire Baseball Betting Strategies
How Does In-Play Betting Work?
To Parlay, or Not to Parlay?
Wisdom of the Crowds applied to betting
CASINO ARTICLES
A Novice’s Tutorial on Casino Gambling Games
How to Gamble with Dice – Popular Dice Games and Their Variations
How Online Casinos Helped Me Love Roulette Even More
My Top Three Tips for Getting Comps in Casinos
5 blackjack stereotypes
5 Gambling Tricks You Can Only Use Online
5 LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS THAT AFFECT YOUR AVERAGE HOURLY LOSS IN A CASINO
5 REASONS CASINO GAMES ARE SO ENTERTAINING
5 Things All Casino Gambling Fans Are Sick of Hearing
5 Tips to Managing Your Casino Bankroll Effectively
The Five Most Important Tips I Ever Learned on Bankroll Management
5 Rookie Mistakes in Blackjack and How to Avoid Them
7 roulette variations probably you have never heard of
7 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT CASINOS
7 Ways Casino Players Sabotage Their Chances of Success
How to Tell If You’re About to Make a Mistake with Your Next Casino Bet
The 12 Types of People I Meet in Casinos – Analyzing My Fellow Gamblers
10 SURE-FIRE CASINO GAMBLING STRATEGIES THAT WORK
What I Love Most About My Three Favorite Video Poker Games
The Last Guide to Video Poker Tournament Strategies You’ll Ever Need
Baccarat and the Martingale System – Can It Work?
Is There a Gambling System That Never Loses?
Combining the Martingale System with Odds Bets in Craps
Which Bets on Which Casino Games Offer the Best Odds of Doubling Your Money?
What’s Next for Online Gambling?
Using Self-Discipline in the Casino
20 ONLINE GAMBLING TIPS
Going All-In – When to Bet It All in Poker
10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Roulette Before I Started
Who’s the Best Video Poker Player in the World
Are No-Deposit Bonuses at Online Casinos a Waste of Your Time or Worth Going For?
Are Online Casino Bonuses Worth Taking?
BEATING BACCARAT – WINNING SYSTEMS & STRATEGIES
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SLOT MACHINE
EUROPEAN VS. AMERICAN ROULETTE
EVEN MONEY CASINO BETS
Feel Confident When Gambling Online – 8 Tips to Help You Choose a Secure Site
Finding the Best Slots Online
Gambling and Poker Playing: 10 Things to Know
GAMBLING GAMES THAT ARE REALLY WORTH TRYING
HOW TO AVOID GOING BROKE AT THE ROULETTE WHEEL
HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST ONLINE CASINO SIGNUP BONUS
How to make a million playing video poker
How to Spend Your Gambling Winnings
HOW TO SURVIVE A BLIZZARD AT THE CRAPS TABLE
HOW TO WIN AT ROULETTE
How to Win Consistently at Casino Gambling
How to Win Consistently at Craps
How to Win Consistently at Roulette
HOW VOLATILITY WORKS IN CASINO GAMBLING
Is It Possible to Play Roulette as a Career (Or Even as a Part Time Gig)?
Is One Blackjack Game Better Than Another?
MONEY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR YOUR NEXT CASINO TRIP
ONLINE CASINO DISPUTES
SKILL BASED CASINO GAMES: PROS AND CONS
The 5 secret joys of casino gambling
The Benefits of an Online Gambling Environment
The Best Long-Term Strategies for Playing Progressive Jackpot Slots
THE BIGGEST JACKPOTS IN ONLINE GAMBLING
THE EASIEST WAY TO LEARN BLACKJACK STRATEGY
THE HOUSE EDGE
The only roulette strategy you will ever need
The Surprising Secret to Winning at Casino Gambling
Who Takes Care of Your Safety at Online Casinos?
Why Don’t Craps Players Just Use the Right Strategy?
Why I love American roulette
WHY IS THE DON’T PASS BET BETTER THAN THE PASS BET IN CRAPS?
WHY IS THE DON’T PASS BET BETTER THAN THE PASS BET IN CRAPS?
Newsletter Subscribe for our latest offers.
Name:
E-mail:

IS THERE A MAGICAL BETTING FORMULA- PART 1

David Sumpter, a professor of Applied Mathematics, has shown how soccer can be dissected and broken down into numbers, patterns and shapes in his book Soccermatics. Having already developed a betting model, he has now written a two-part article, exploring the notion of a magical betting formula and how mathematics can be used to get an edge in betting.

There is an urban legend of mathematical modelling of soccer matches. It is the legend of the mathematical genius, the Einstein of gambling, who has worked out the formula for beating the bookmakers and winning money. If only, the legend goes, you can find the tips that this person can provide, the source of the magic equation, you can become rich beyond your wildest dreams. 

After I published the book Soccermatics last year, a few people seemed to believe I might hold the magical equation. I would get messages on Twitter and emails to my work address asking me if I could help them with tips and advice. I was a professor of mathematics who had studied soccer, maybe I knew the secret?

A simple way to find value in the betting market

In one section of the book, I did manage to beat the bookies. But it wasn’t because I found a magical formula that predicts who will win soccer matches. 

The basis of my model was far from complicated. It didn’t come from me working out the strength of the teams based on past performance, advanced metrics, expected goals or anything else.

The way I did it was much simpler. I looked at the odds and found a very small but significant bias in how they were set. Bookmakers and bettors hadn’t paid enough attention to predicting the draw in soccer. 

Maybe it is because of the popularity of the Over/Under markets. Maybe it is because bettors don’t like betting on a draw. But, whatever the explanation, it turned out that draws in the Premier League were not properly priced.

 

Below is a plot of the real frequency of draws in four seasons of the Premier League (2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15) and the prediction of draws implied by the bookmaker’s odds.

 

This figure is created by taking the odds provided by four leading bookmakers (including Pinnacle), converting odds to implied probabilitiesand then looking at the difference between the probability of a home win and an away win.

It turns out that when two well-matched teams meet (i.e. the probability of a home win is only slightly bigger than the probability of away win) then draws are under-priced (circles above red line). When matches are skewed so there is a strong a favourite (i.e. the probability of one team or the other winning is larger than the other) then draws are over-priced (circles below red line). 

Want it made simpler? If two teams are about as good as each other then the draw could be a value bet. If one team is much stronger than the other, don’t bet on the draw (betting on the favourite is normally the smartest move in this case).

Testing out the theory of under-priced draws

That was what I found by plotting the odds. I then took that observation and made some money from it. Below are profits for this model for the 2015/16 season.

 

I tripled my money over the season. Well, actually I didn’t bet throughout the season. But I had doubled my money by Christmas.

Soccermatics came out in May 2016, just as the Premier League was coming to a close. I monitored how it went for my model the season after. Here is the result.

 

Not so good. There was a small profit to be made in the first few weeks, but then it flatlined for the rest of the season. Not losing money is a small achievement in itself, where the odds are in the bookmaker’s favour, but obviously making money is the objective for most bettors.

Lessons learn from using my model

There are four lessons to be learnt from my model.

Firstly, I didn’t make money by creating a magic formula. Although I did write down a single equation that I then used to decide my bets (it is footnote 17 for chapter 12 in the book if you don’t want to read the rest of it) this equation came from an analysis of the odds.

The basis of my model was far from complicated. It didn’t come from me working out the strength of the teams based on past performance, advanced metrics, expected goals or anything else. It came from a small error in how the odds were being set.

If you want to create your own model of sporting outcomes you need to use the odds as the starting point.

Secondly, I wasn’t just lucky. The original model was consistent with the previous four years of bookmaker’s odds. I downloaded my odds from Oddsportal and then double-checked my model against those on football-data.co.uk. I then made a prediction and applied it to the next year and it continued to work.

There is a lot of randomness in betting and it is possible to win for quite a long period of time with luck alone. But this was a long-term trend that was profitable.

Thirdly, nothing lasts forever. In moments of self-aggrandising I like to think that my book led to a market correction. Maybe the traders at Pinnacle and other bookmakers read my book and thought “we’ve been pricing draws wrong. See those odds for Liverpool at home against Manchester United at the weekend….move the draw odds up by 0.1.” That’s all it takes and my small margin disappears. 

This is just one explanation, though. Another is that managers realised that in those big matches between equally good teams they should go for the three points (this is also something I look at in the book). There are other explanations too. The fact is, I will never know for sure, but the odds bias I found has gone. 

My fourth and final conclusion is: I am a total idiot. I spent three months developing a betting model. I found a way to win. But instead of placing all my free capital on the model, I published a book with the secret in it, only to see the profits disappear.

Yes, I got paid for writing the book. Yes, I have enjoyed talking about soccer and engaging in the analytics community, but the money would have been nice too.

There is no secret equation for predicting the outcome of soccer matches. Not an equation that ignores the odds, in any case. If you want to create your own model of sporting outcomes you need to use the odds as the starting point.

Wisdom of the crowd tells us that the betting market can be hard to beat, but sometimes it makes a few small mistakes. It is these you have to look for.

In part two of this article I will see if I can find one of those cracks using a combination of an expected goals model and potential biases in recent odds.