Wednesday, 29 February 2012

I Have A Dream

Unfortunately my dream is nowhere near as lofty and as worthy as Mr. King's. Our man, Martin Luther dreamed that his four little children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.

And my dream? Well, it's that after a full day's trading, my P&L is exactly zero.

Er... what?

Yes, a little bizarre, I realise. Surely my dream should be a P&L of £50,000? I can't really explain it, but for some reason, I've often thought it would be kind of cool if I traded for a full day and after all the wins and losses, I ended up dead on £0.00p. I just think that would be excellent.

Admittedly I didn't trade a full day today - this evening, I only had three trades, trying my hand on some of the friendly internationals, but I came just about as close as I've ever come to my dream scenario.

Football: -£3.05 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  -£3.05 


Football Showing 1 - 3 of 3 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / England v Netherlands : Correct Score 29-Feb-12 20:00  29-Feb-12 21:52  50.65
Football / Wales v Costa Rica : Correct Score 29-Feb-12 19:45  29-Feb-12 21:42  -104.16
Football / Croatia v Sweden : Correct Score 29-Feb-12 19:30  29-Feb-12 21:24  50.46

Maybe next time... Maybe one day, my dream will happen.


Incidentally, there was nothing amusing about the horrible clash of heads during the England v Holland match between Huntelaar and Chris Smalling, and I sincerely hope they'll both be okay... but I couldn't help a small guilty giggle at seeing Huntelaar lying on the ground with a mouthful of grass. Couldn't quite work out how that had happened.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I See Deep Patterns

SoccerDude:      I see deep patterns.
Malcolm Crowe:   In your dreams?
                 [SoccerDude shakes his head no]
Malcolm Crowe:   While you're awake?
                 [SoccerDude nods]
Malcolm Crowe:   Deep patterns like, in games? In leagues?
SoccerDude:      Floating around like regular patterns. They don't
                 see each other. They only see what they want to
                 see. They don't know they're patterns.
Malcolm Crowe:   How often do you see them?
SoccerDude:      All the time. They're everywhere.

Nice movie quote to make my point, huh? Yes, today’s post is all about patterns. And I do see deep patterns all the time. Can you see a pattern?

Well punk…? Do you?

Sorry, I seem to be stuck in movie land at present. But as mentioned, I do see patterns. And before we go any further, this is not me looking at Rorschach tests during my therapy sessions (if you must know, I’m now fully over my alien abduction), and it’s not my failure to understand the latest crochet outline that I’ve received from Knitting Weekly. No, the patterns I’m talking about are those that may be found within football data.

So how about you? Do you look and see patterns?

Football data is a funny old thing. On the surface, it looks quite basic: there’s a home win, a draw or an away win; and there are a number of goals scored in each match. None of this appears too complicated and, if anything, is rather superficial.

But let’s dig just a little bit deeper, and see what possibilities we’re faced with. Yes, there are only three possible results in a match, but what about these questions:

  • What is the percentage of home wins, draws and away wins for each league on a month-by-month basis?
  • If looking at ten years of historical data, does the percentage of home wins, draws and away wins change at any point in the season? Is there a trend?
  • What is the percentage of home wins, draws and away wins for each league over the season when a top four team is playing a bottom four team?
  • What is the percentage of home wins, draws and away wins for each league for each month of the season when a top four team is playing a bottom four team?
  • If looking at ten years of historical data, does the percentage of home wins, draws and away wins when top four face bottom four change at any point in the season?

These rather basic questions took me about thirty seconds to think up, but I’d guess that you don’t know the answers. There are also easily drawn-up questions for Unders and Overs and also for goal time stats, although these would inevitably lead to even greater proliferation than the ones I’ve just posed, and would doubtless prove to be more complex. You may also want to draw-up questions based around the half-time/full-time, win-both-halves and clean sheet markets.

So look what’s just happened. In double-quick time, we’ve found ourselves completely overloaded (swamped) with questions, and - if we’re prepared to do the donkey work - also overloaded with stats that attempt to answer these questions.

I say, "if we're prepared to do the donkey work", because these are all questions that you won’t generally find on free websites such as, and the like. Excellent though these sites are, if you're interested in finding the answers, you'll either have to pay for them or else create the data yourself.

But why bother? Why is the standard data (league tables, goal expectation, etc) not good enough? Well, it's unlikely that the standard data will highlight any hidden patterns - and patterns are fantastic. If you are able to draw together football data and view it in a unique way (or even in a non-unique way but in a manner that the majority don't have access to), then certain patterns or trends may come to light that can be taken advantage of. With these patterns, you are then in a position to do a number of things. Value bet and/or automation are the two that most come to mind.

So question the data around you. Try and look at the things everyone has access to in a different way - and who knows, you may just stumble on to something that will make it worth your while.


It's early days, but two of my winners tonight in my "away-from-home" type trading method are as a result of viewing the data in a different way. I've used that different view and applied it using a couple of the methods that I highlighted in my Correct Score Overview. This method has been profitable so far throughout this season, has a defined level of risk and a defined level of profit. If you can conjure-up these kind of strategies, they can become part of your bread-and-butter betting and can really provide an uplift to your P&L:

Soccer: £115.83 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £115.83 


Soccer Showing 1 - 3 of 3 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Soccer / Macclesfield v Plymouth : Match Odds 28-Feb-12 19:45  28-Feb-12 21:41  14.91
Soccer / Stevenage v Huddersfield : Correct Score 28-Feb-12 19:45  28-Feb-12 21:37  50.46
Soccer / Chesterfield v Charlton : Correct Score 28-Feb-12 19:45  28-Feb-12 21:09  50.46

I really do see deep patterns.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Don't Eat Yellow Snow

Okay, that's my first tip out of the way.

Yes people, you've guessed it. I am now a top-class tipster and I suggest you all follow my amazing advice and tips (for a reasonable fee, of course). My ROI is currently 110% (over a defined, selected period of time) and I have a long history of picking winners (I also have a long history of picking losers, but I won't mention those).

Whoops. Can I start that again? I need to make myself sound a bit more "corporate", giving the impression that, perhaps, I am in a group of seasoned professional tipsters. Okay here goes:

WE here at Tips-R-Us have countless years of experience and an unmatched record of success. Join US in a proven, profitable system where results are guaranteed.

Okay, I'll stop talking bollocks and explain what this is all about. I received this comment yesterday:

Hi sir, is there anyway to follow your tips ?

I must say, I like the "sir" bit. Very polite and it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Unfortunately, there seems to have been some kind of mistake.

M'lud, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a tipster of any kind. Furthermore, your honour, I do not intend to become a tipster at any time in the future.

Right, I think that's cleared that up. I'm not quite sure how this chap got the impression that I provide tips, as I've never even hinted at doing so. Even if I did, why the hell would anyone want to listen to them? My blog has only been up five minutes, and I have no track record of any kind before it started. If the person who asked this question has read my blog, then they would be fully aware of the abundancy of mental weaknesses that I carry as my burden when it comes to betting and trading. So, if you must seek tipsters, my "tip" for you is to go and look somewhere else.


And as if to prove my point, my P&L today has been a bit of a roller-coaster disaster. Started off well, then had a couple of largish losses, followed by some decent wins. Frankly, I'm absolutely amazed to have come away today with a small profit. At one point, I was staring a £300 red in the face. All in all, with the effort I put in today, it's all felt like a waste of my time.

Football: £33.36 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £33.36 


Football Showing 1 - 10 of 10 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Cardiff v Liverpool : ET - Correct Score 26-Feb-12 16:00  26-Feb-12 18:34  42.90
Football / Cardiff v Liverpool : Over/Under 2.5 goals 26-Feb-12 16:00  26-Feb-12 17:59  -7.64
Football / Cardiff v Liverpool : Correct Score 26-Feb-12 16:00  26-Feb-12 17:58  3.81
Football / Cardiff v Liverpool : Match Odds 26-Feb-12 16:00  26-Feb-12 17:56  100.47
Football / Arsenal v Tottenham : Match Odds 26-Feb-12 13:30  26-Feb-12 15:27  38.03
Football / Arsenal v Tottenham : Over/Under 4.5 Goals 26-Feb-12 13:30  26-Feb-12 14:45  -185.29
Football / St Pauli v Braunschweig : Correct Score 26-Feb-12 12:30  26-Feb-12 14:23  -82.62
Football / Paderborn v Eintracht Frankfurt : Correct Score 26-Feb-12 12:30  26-Feb-12 14:21  50.46
Football / Arsenal v Tottenham : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 26-Feb-12 13:30  26-Feb-12 14:16  22.78
Football / Inverness CT v Rangers : Correct Score 26-Feb-12 12:45  26-Feb-12 14:15  50.46

... One last point. I absolutely do NOT want to discuss the Arsenal v Spurs match. I switched it off well before the end and went out to wash my car. I felt like throwing myself under it. The only sensible thing I can say about the match is fuck, shit, piss, wank, hairy bollocks and smelly snatches to the lot of you.

Two people were walking past a cemetery when one of them stopped and pointed out one of the graves.
"In that plot lies a good man and an Arsenal supporter", he said.
"Jesus!", exclamed the other man, "I didn't know they were putting two people in one grave now!"

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Stroll In The Park

I painted the picture you see on the left during the Man City v Blackburn match. This is a real-life, accurate portrayal of the actual match, with all the Man City players relaxing and strolling around the Etihad "park" with not a care in the world (that's Balotelli hanging from the branch).

I do realise that Steve Kean had probably written this game off even before it had begun, preferring to keep his powder dry for more "winnable" matches - but really. Show just the smallest amount of pride, for your travelling fans if nothing else.

Did Blackburn have a single shot on goal? I'm not sure. Gutless fuckers.

Still, I wasn't there to entertain myself (I must keep reminding myself of), I was there to trade, and trade I did.

Football: £120.46 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £120.46 


Football Showing 1 - 8 of 8 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Man City v Blackburn : Correct Score 25-Feb-12 17:30  25-Feb-12 19:25  40.46
Football / Man City v Blackburn : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 25-Feb-12 17:30  25-Feb-12 19:24  4.30
Football / Man City v Blackburn : Over/Under 2.5 goals 25-Feb-12 17:30  25-Feb-12 19:10  18.74
Football / QPR v Fulham : Correct Score 25-Feb-12 15:00  25-Feb-12 16:53  10.02
Football / Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim : Correct Score 25-Feb-12 14:30  25-Feb-12 16:19  10.78
Football / West Ham v C Palace : Over/Under 2.5 goals 25-Feb-12 12:45  25-Feb-12 14:46  8.23
Football / West Ham v C Palace : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 25-Feb-12 12:45  25-Feb-12 14:46  3.76
Football / West Ham v C Palace : Correct Score 25-Feb-12 12:45  25-Feb-12 14:43  24.17

Friday, 24 February 2012

Trading Habits

Been reading this month's Traders magazine, which has a two-part article on the "Habits of Wealthy Traders". This, of course, is directed towards traders of the stock and financial markets, but there is much in the article that can be successfully applied to us sports bettors and traders. I'll list the first ten here and briefly go through them.

1. Wealthy traders are patient with winning trades and enormously impatient with losing trades.
Nothing new here. This is a well-worn motto about letting winning positions run and cutting losing positions quickly. Yada yada.

2. Wealthy traders realise that making money is more important that being right.
This is a bit more interesting. I think Peter Webb had a way of putting this, and it was something like, "Don't fall in love with a position because it will never love you back". Essentially, be completely and utterly prepared to stand your position on its head. Don't stick with something just because you judged it that way at the start. Look what's actually happening and react accordingly. Always good advice.

3. Wealthy traders view technical analysis as a picture of where traders are lining up to buy and sell.
This also is of interest. Here they are saying that charts and trendlines should not necessarily be viewed as indications that a price is going to turn or change direction, but rather as snapshots of where other traders are lining up to buy or sell (back or lay) - a mental shift of thinking in other words. Not sure how useful this is for me however.

4. Before they enter every trade, wealthy traders know where they will exit for either profit or loss.
For me, this is common sense. If I open a trade, I know how much profit I am looking for in advance - although this can change if things turn in my favour (see point 1). The loss should also be pre-calculated.

5. Wealthy traders approach trade number five with the same conviction as the previous four losing trades.
This, I suppose, is all to do with mental toughness. If we really believe that we have an edge of some kind, then we have to play that edge out in the market. Sometimes the market will go against us (variance) but there should be perserverance and the same, steady approach should be adopted come what may. You've lost the last four? Don't allow your confidence to be knocked. Work your way through the variance and come out the other side.

6. Wealthy traders use "naked" charts.
Not so relevant to us exchange bettors, although I'm sure there are some out there who employ "too many" tools and end up clouding the issue. This can lead to a "cannot see the wood for the trees" scenario.

7. Wealthy traders are comfortable making decisions with incomplete information.
Isn't that just trading full-stop? Complete information is having the final result at hand, and I don't know too many people who have access to that. Unfortunately I don't have the Sport Almanac for the years 2000 to 2020 (like Biff did in Back To The Future), so I'll have to settle for making judgements on the information I can get. Not really sure what they're saying here.

8. Wealthy traders stopped trying to pick tops and bottoms long ago.
I like this one. They're saying that the masses look for indications of the top of the peak or the bottom of the valley, hoping to ride the wave - whereas wealthy traders simply wait for it to happen and grab the middle of the move.

This is much more difficult than it sounds of course. On the occasions when I've tried to trade the GGs (which I'm not very good at), by the time I've reacted to a change of direction, it's already bottoming/topped out. This may be more applicable to the financial markets than the betting exchanges, I don't know.

9. Wealthy traders do not think of the market as expensive or cheap.
To apply this to sports trading, I would say they are implying that value is not necessarily the right judgement when trading. Instead the question should simply be "Can I buy or sell this for a profit in the next five/ten seconds/minutes?" There is no "value" in the eyes of the trader, only the knowledge that they can make a profit in the next immediate period.

This one will, I'm sure, open up a right can of worms. I'm sure there are many people who will agree with this, and a ton of people who won't.

10. Wealthy traders are aggressive with size when they are doing well and modest when they are not.
This is the absolute opposite of chasing losses. When confident of a position that is starting to go well, increase the stake. When you've lost a trade badly, scale right back until a real and definite opportunity next arises.

Okay, well that's the summary of part one. I have chased my way through it, and with my superficial brushstrokes, may have lost some of the original meaning, but at least one of these should prove to be relevant to all of us.


Another good, solid night for me on the markets. I seem to have got my steady approach back that I had in January but seemed to have temporarily lost at the beginning on February. Pleased with tonight's trading:

Football: £134.90 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £134.90 


Football Showing 1 - 5 of 5 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Mgladbach v Hamburg : Over/Under 2.5 goals 24-Feb-12 19:30  24-Feb-12 21:21  1.19
Football / Mgladbach v Hamburg : Correct Score 24-Feb-12 19:30  24-Feb-12 21:20  21.21
Football / Angers v Bastia : Correct Score 24-Feb-12 19:00  24-Feb-12 20:52  50.46
Football / Mgladbach v Hamburg : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 24-Feb-12 19:30  24-Feb-12 20:45  1.09
Football / Dynamo Dresden v Duisburg : Correct Score 24-Feb-12 17:00  24-Feb-12 18:49  60.95

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Well Supported

Like our good lady friend in the picture here, I was in need of strong support yesterday with my last post. At the time, I couldn't see how to provide a download link for the data file accompanying my entry on Dyads and Triads, but I received a great deal of help, via comments and also direct by email.

Boro and Ken both offered to host my Excel file on their sites, so particular thanks to them. As it happens, I'd already got off my arse and sorted it out.

I did also get a question from Cloppa about Goal Supremacy:

Eddie - going back to goal supremacy, what is your preferred method for the last 6 games? i.e last 6 both home and away, or last 6 home for home team and last 6 away for away team? I am leaning towards the latter.

This doesn't necessarily have to be an either/or answer. You could actually do both. For example, you could decide to have 60% of the evaluation based on home games for the home team and away games for the away team, and the rest for overall games.

        Home Team                                 Away Team
(Last six home games * 0.6)            (Last six away games * 0.6)
          +                                            +
(Last six overall games * 0.4)         (Last six overal games * 0.4)

Of course, the 40% is already taking some of the home games (for the home team) and some of the away games (for the away games) into account, so you may want to change that part to away games (for the home team) and home games (for the away team). Anyway, you get the point. You can weight them anyhow you like.

Got home tonight and traded the Europa League games, which went nice and easy. Man Utd started off well, but were probably lucky in the end that they didn't go out of the competition. They were subdued for some reason - complacency perhaps.

Football: £98.26 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £98.26 


Football Showing 1 - 5 of 5 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Man Utd v Ajax : Correct Score 23-Feb-12 20:05  23-Feb-12 21:57  32.81
Football / Man Utd v Ajax : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 23-Feb-12 20:05  23-Feb-12 21:55  10.89
Football / Man Utd v Ajax : Over/Under 2.5 goals 23-Feb-12 20:05  23-Feb-12 21:49  26.72
Football / Valencia v Stoke : Over/Under 2.5 goals 23-Feb-12 18:00  23-Feb-12 19:54  15.51
Football / Valencia v Stoke : Correct Score 23-Feb-12 18:00  23-Feb-12 19:52  12.33

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Compiling Match Odds (Part II)

In the first part of this series (HERE), we looked at Goal Supremacy. This produced match odds based on the goal difference of each team in question over the last six matches. Taking a match at random (and it really was random), the compiled odds weren't too far away from the odds that the bookmakers were offering. So this would indicate that we've made a decent enough start on the path to generating our own match odds.

This was all fine and dandy, but it's not too difficult to see some problems with this first method. Chief amongst these is that bookmakers are really pretty good at pricing up matches (the bastards), and if we perform our own pricing just based on goals scored and conceded, we'll probably not gain any real ground. Relying only on such an obvious and basic method may not throw-up any value bets for us to get our teeth into.

Also, as discussed in the comments after the initial posting, there is the issue with the type of goal scored. Should a goal scored against Man Utd or Man City be given the same points value as a goal scored against Wolves or Bolton? And not discussed but just as relevant is whether to use all the goals for all the past six matches. By that I mean should we use all the last six matches, home and away? Or should we just use the last six home matches for the home team and the last six away matches for the away team? Yes, yet another weighting issue to consider. Sorry about that.

In essence, we can say that Goal Supremacy was a good start at trying to price up a match, but if we're serious about our pursuit of finding value, then we probably need to delve just a little bit further.

The next method, detailed below, sadly does not address all the issues just outlined, but does provide another way of looking at football data and another way of compiling match odds. This can only help us to build-up an overall calculation. Later methods should begin to address more of our concerns.

Dyads and Triads

You'll be pleased to know that this is nothing to do with gang culture. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I stole this method from, so am not able to give due credit and reference to the originator. This doesn't really matter. I'm sure whomever I stole it from probably stole it themselves. That's how these things work. I do seem to remember, however, that this was a system devised by some professor or other when he was trying to formulate an effective way to play the Pools.

So what is a dyad and a triad? Nothing too dramatic: a dyad is a sequence of two matches and a triad is a sequence of three matches. If we look at dyads first, we can see that from the three possible results, we can acquire six possible outcomes depending on whether we're dealing with the home team or the away team:

  1. Home Win    (HW)
  2. Home Draw   (HD)
  3. Home Loss   (HL)
  4. Away Win    (AW)
  5. Away Draw   (AD)
  6. Away Loss   (AL)

A dyad is a combination of any of these two, and the triad is the predicted third result. These groupings have been looked at in detail over the course of several seasons, and back-tested to predict the result of the third match in the sequence. 
Now my stolen... erm I mean acquired, data for this method was taken from 10 years worth of English football league results, and looked at the percentage of home wins, draws and away wins based on every single dyad combination. For example, the triad result for the dyad "HW, AL" showed the following:

   Home Win = 47.38%, Home Draw = 26.19%, Home Loss = 26.43%

Of course, this is not too far from the long-term average anyway, but it's these relationships and the results recorded for each combination that going to be is the basis of our predictions, allowing us to draw-up probabilities for each outcome. Opportunities will arise when the dyads throw-up odds away from the norm.

Right, so when looking at Goal Supremacy, we used the upcoming Arsenal v Spurs match. So let's now use the same match for this method.

   Arsenal's current dyad (EPL only) is: HW, AW
   Spurs' current dyad (EPL only) is     : AD, HW

Note, that the latest match always comes last in the dyad (this is important). Using the data available, this equates:

   Home = 49.30%, Away = 25.10%, 25.60%

And if we divide 1 by all these percentages, we get match odds of:

   Home = 2.03, Away = 3.98, Draw = 3.91

It's about now that you may be groaning and saying to yourself, "Well, how the hell am I going to generate all this data that he's talking about? I might as well stop reading now."

That's your decision, of course, but I would like to just mention that I will be providing all this data for you in a spreadsheet. Please find the link to download the file at the end of this post. The data comes in the form of an Excel workbook. Inside the workbook are the following worksheets:
  • "Config" - contains each combination to be looked-up with a lookup number (defined as "dyad_lookup" name)
  • "Triad HW" - Every dyad combination that resulted in a home win triad over the last ten years
  • "Triad AW" - Every dyad combination that resulted in an away win triad over the last ten years
  • "Triad D"     - Every dyad combination that resulted in a draw triad over the last ten years
  • "Analysis"   - contains an example of how I perform the lookup. Examine the H9, I9 and J9 for the lookup itself. If you're an Excel wiz, then you may have a superior method to the one I've used.

And that's it. This method, even if used on it's own, is still good enough to raise any predictions well above random. Good luck.

Download the data in Excel spreadsheet format =>  HERE

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Don't Overreact

I suppose this entry has some relation to my Red Is Bread post the other day. The reason I say this is because there's something else red that can be good news for us traders, and that's a red card given in a match.

Today was a perfect example of this in the Crawley v Stoke match. The first fifteen minutes proved to be a typical giants v minnows match, where Crawley started off with all the over-eagerness of a lower league team, and Stoke couldn't really find their feet within the unfamiliar territory of a crappy ground. Despite the fact that Crouch nearly scored an own goal, I couldn't really see Crawley winning this match - although at that point I didn't really do anything about it.

Then Delap got sent-off (perhaps a little harshly) and Crawley's odds dropped dramatically. It's here we should remember that, although Cup upsets do happen, this was a mid-table Premier League side against a League Two team. In my opinion, the red card should not have caused Crawley's odds to move from 3.5 down to the low 2s. That was just a silly and massive over-reaction. Opportunity knocks.

So as soon as the game was unsuspended, I immediately started trading the match odds by laying Crawley and backing them as their odds started moving back up.

I would have been happy to settle for this kind of trade, but for some reason the sending-off seemed to galvanize Stoke and they started playing much better. This helped because it meant Crawley's odds started drifting a little more quickly. I was then a bit lucky as Stoke were awarded a penalty when I had an open position.

After the goal, I fleetingly thought about trading-out, but that would have been foolish. Creepy-Crawley now needed two goals for my open position to lose (which is the beauty of a lay position), so I decided to just leave the bet running until the end. Happy days for a smallish stake trade.

Absolutely cracking day today (Gromit) on the three televised F.A. Cup matches which, along with some other matches, meant a successful days trading, capping off a good, solid weekend.

Football: £243.81 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £243.81 


Football Showing 1 - 14 of 14 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Liverpool v Brighton : Correct Score 19-Feb-12 16:30  19-Feb-12 18:01  -0.07
Football / Liverpool v Brighton : Over/Under 4.5 Goals 19-Feb-12 16:30  19-Feb-12 18:01  4.68
Football / Liverpool v Brighton : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 19-Feb-12 16:30  19-Feb-12 17:46  14.78
Football / Liverpool v Brighton : Over/Under 2.5 goals 19-Feb-12 16:30  19-Feb-12 17:15  14.05
Football / Stevenage v Tottenham : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 19-Feb-12 14:00  19-Feb-12 16:01  11.31
Football / Stevenage v Tottenham : Over/Under 2.5 goals 19-Feb-12 14:00  19-Feb-12 16:00  9.98
Football / Stevenage v Tottenham : Correct Score 19-Feb-12 14:00  19-Feb-12 15:58  24.93
Football / Crawley Town v Stoke : Correct Score 19-Feb-12 12:00  19-Feb-12 13:58  8.28
Football / Crawley Town v Stoke : Over/Under 2.5 goals 19-Feb-12 12:00  19-Feb-12 13:56  1.98
Football / Crawley Town v Stoke : Match Odds 19-Feb-12 12:00  19-Feb-12 13:56  97.72
Football / Lecce v Siena : Correct Score 19-Feb-12 11:30  19-Feb-12 13:24  3.62
Football / Crawley Town v Stoke : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 19-Feb-12 12:00  19-Feb-12 13:15  2.09
Football / Lecce v Siena : Over/Under 2.5 goals 19-Feb-12 11:30  19-Feb-12 12:55  0.00
Football / Granada v Sociedad : Correct Score 19-Feb-12 11:00  19-Feb-12 12:45  50.46

Saturday, 18 February 2012


schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\ , noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of Arsenal Football Club.

Aaah! Yes indeed. This has got to be one of the best seasons ever to regale in a spot of malicious satisfaction. The tables seem to have well and truly turned. Getting ready to go out now, so only a quickie.

Football: £128.85 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £128.85 


Football Showing 1 - 10 of 10 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Sunderland v Arsenal : Over/Under 2.5 goals 18-Feb-12 17:15  18-Feb-12 19:12  16.94
Football / Sunderland v Arsenal : Correct Score 18-Feb-12 17:15  18-Feb-12 19:08  36.39
Football / Sunderland v Arsenal : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 18-Feb-12 17:15  18-Feb-12 18:52  5.72
Football / Leeds v Doncaster : Match Odds 18-Feb-12 15:00  18-Feb-12 17:03  0.00
Football / Nottm Forest v Coventry : Match Odds 18-Feb-12 15:00  18-Feb-12 17:01  -8.20
Football / Barnsley v Portsmouth : Match Odds 18-Feb-12 15:00  18-Feb-12 16:56  -6.84
Football / C Palace v Watford : Match Odds 18-Feb-12 15:00  18-Feb-12 16:55  3.27
Football / Norwich v Leicester : Match Odds 18-Feb-12 15:00  18-Feb-12 16:54  0.14
Football / Chelsea v Birmingham : Correct Score 18-Feb-12 12:30  18-Feb-12 14:26  29.41
Football / Chelsea v Birmingham : Over/Under 2.5 goals 18-Feb-12 12:30  18-Feb-12 14:24  52.02

Friday, 17 February 2012

Red Is Bread

Yes, I want to talk about red tonight. It the colour none of us are interested in. We all hate red don't we? As bettors and traders, red is our least favourite colour, but is it a case that under some circumstances red can be good for us?

Well, if your testicles are the colour of a tomato then I'd have to say, no, that's not good.

If the whites of your eyes are red, then I'd also suggest that's far from ideal. Perhaps you need some sleep.

I suppose there's no way that we can say a lifetime's P&L is a good thing either. It's certainly not something I would be happy about.

So what am I talking about? I'm referring to red in certain situations. I'm talking about making an active decision to take a red and then to move on. For me, this has been one of the hardest lessons to have had to learn, but it all comes with a dispassionate disposition towards your trading. If you're able to iron-out the highs and lows of trading (emotionally that is), so that you're not too affected either by wins or losses, then taking a red won't hurt too much - and in the long run it will help to move you into profit.

I took a red tonight. A situation went against me, and I am pleased to say that I had no hesitation in closing my position, before moving on and looking towards my other markets. Without trying to teach anyone how to suck eggs, I'd humbly suggest that until you are able to do that, accept a loss and move on, then it's unlikely that you'll be in a position to become profitable on a long-term basis.

It's one of the hardest lessons to learn, but I'd also say that it's one of the most important lessons. Take the hit, dust yourself down, and carry on.

Football: £94.19 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £94.19 


Football Showing 1 - 5 of 5 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Reading v Burnley : Correct Score 17-Feb-12 20:00  17-Feb-12 21:58  28.76
Football / Reading v Burnley : Over/Under 2.5 goals 17-Feb-12 20:00  17-Feb-12 21:54  7.69
Football / Inter v Bologna : Correct Score 17-Feb-12 19:45  17-Feb-12 21:38  50.46
Football / Hoffenheim v Mainz : Over/Under 2.5 goals 17-Feb-12 19:30  17-Feb-12 21:20  -43.18
Football / Karlsruhe v Cottbus : Correct Score 17-Feb-12 17:00  17-Feb-12 18:50  50.46

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Back To Business

After the long debates on how to rate football matches and compile match odds,  I felt I really should get back to actually doing some trading. Before I give a report on my activities, however, I'd like to refer to a post by Dave at Betfair Football Trading - The Highs and Lows

In his most recent post, he's been kind and "bigged" me up somewhat regarding my Match Odds post. This of course is very nice of him, but I did feel compelled to respond. I repeat what I posted as a comment on his blog:

Hi Dave

Thanks for the plug of my post - always welcome.

I feel that perhaps I've dug myself into a hole with these kind of posts, or else people reading them have made certain assumptions about me.

The fact is that I am absolutely no expert of any kind. I have been betting for probably less than six years and I make no claims at being better (or indeed) worse than anyone else.

If you've read my other posts, you'll see that I am at the mercy of the same vagaries and emotional weaknesses that seem to strike many bettors. I bet really for fun only and consider it a hobby. My P&L, whilst generally in the green, is largely unimpressive. My average winnings probably don't equate to more than £50 per session. Hardly earth-shattering.

I make all these points just to drive home the fact that all I'm trying to do is make my blog a little bit interesting to read, and one way to do that is to share any information I have gathered along the way. As mentioned on the blog, there is really nothing new in what I'm saying (thus I'm not giving away any edge).

I read lots of other blogs and try and get from those what I hope others get from mine. Everyone has their own style and own way of betting that they feel comfortable with. But sometimes, someone in one of their blogs, will divulge an interesting nugget of information that can lead me into new areas.

This is all I'm trying to do with mine. So I suppose the point I'm making is don't expect too much from these posts of mine. I'm sure I'll make mistakes and show my naivity and lack of knowledge on a constant basis.

To whomever reads my blog, take what you will from it, but I make absolutely no claims of any kind.

Okay, Job done. I have now successfully wormed out of all responsibility. :-)


I think that just about covers it all.

Okay, well I think I last reported on my activities last Saturday. My lack of time hasn't really improved a great deal, but I have traded since then. On Sunday, I managed a small amount before having to go out for the rest of the day:

Soccer: £81.30 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £81.30 


Soccer Showing 1 - 4 of 4 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Soccer / Wolves v West Brom : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 12-Feb-12 13:30  12-Feb-12 15:05  3.56
Soccer / Wolves v West Brom : Over/Under 2.5 goals 12-Feb-12 13:30  12-Feb-12 14:53  25.67
Soccer / Wolves v West Brom : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 12-Feb-12 13:30  12-Feb-12 14:18  1.61
Soccer / H Rostock v Duisburg : Correct Score 12-Feb-12 12:30  12-Feb-12 14:10  50.46

I also managed a small trade on the correct scores market whilst stuck in my hotel on Tuesday night. I was also just about to run the exact same trade on the AC Milan v Arsenal match, but came in too late from work and missed my opportunity.

Soccer: £50.46 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £50.46 


Soccer Showing 1 - 1 of 1 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Soccer / Middlesbrough v Nottm Forest : Correct Score 14-Feb-12 19:45  14-Feb-12 21:43  50.46

Finally, I got down to some decent trading this evening when I got back from my travels. Pretty much as soon as I walked in the door I managed to grab a few small bits and pieces on the Ajax v Man Utd game. I then had my evening meal and relaxed for a bit, thus missing the first half of the Porto v Man City match, but then traded the correct score market on this and did quite well:

Soccer: £102.98 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £102.98 


Soccer Showing 1 - 4 of 4 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Soccer / Porto v Man City : Correct Score 16-Feb-12 20:05  16-Feb-12 21:58  80.29
Soccer / Ajax v Man Utd : Over/Under 2.5 goals 16-Feb-12 18:00  16-Feb-12 19:50  8.34
Soccer / Ajax v Man Utd : Correct Score 16-Feb-12 18:00  16-Feb-12 19:50  5.25
Soccer / Ajax v Man Utd : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 16-Feb-12 18:00  16-Feb-12 19:43  9.10

I'm hoping to get a good crack at the F.A. Cup matches this weekend, but we'll just have to see how things go. Unfortunately, life just keeps getting in the way.

BTW, In answer to Dave's plea, I am still writing subsequent posts for my Compiling Match Odds series. I do a little bit at a time and am presently writing two at once, so hopefully these should be ready to go out in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Compiling Match Odds (Part I) - UPDATE

Nice to see my last post generating some interest, and it’s always good to receive comments whether they be good or bad. I’ll answer the comments I did receive now

Dave from Betfair Football Trading  said this:
Nice post Eddie - I've been looking for something like this for a while and am looking forward to the other methods hinted at. But... I'll be damned if I can see the home calculation - I'm getting 46.54 indicating odds of 2.15....

Initially I just assumed that in my rush to get the post out, I'd made a basic mistake (not unknown for me). However, on looking at it, I realise that my original post was not as clear as it could have been. I mentioned average home/away win percentages and then used those in calculations. What I should have done is to convert those for the reader. So 46.47% should be 0.4647 in the given calculations. Apologies for any confusion, and as I say I have now changed the original post to make it clearer.

I also had a comment left by Cassini from Green All Over:
Surely your goal differential numbers need to account for the strength of the opposition? Last six games versus Wolves, Bolton, QPR etc. is a lot different to playing the Manchesters, Arsenal, Chelsea etc.

Cassini is of course absolutely right – if we’re trying to manipulate our match odds into being as accurate as humanly possible, then it only makes sense to factor in the quality of opposition that our teams have previously faced. However, before we go rushing off and start changing the Goal Supremacy algorithm, there are a couple of things to consider.

First off, I purposely didn't include any additional weightings for this when constructing the Goal Supremacy match odds for Arsenal v Spurs. Initially I just wanted to show just the raw Goal Supremacy calculation. The way I have shown it is without any extra weighting for strength of opposition, which is its unadulterated form. It can always be built upon later.

This leads me onto the second point. Adding-in further weightings for the strength of opposition is jumping the gun. We've only just started exploring this area and we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. Cassini is obviously experienced and, by the sounds of it, has worked hard to acquire a mature set of algorithms for his ratings. Not everyone is in such a position.

Furthermore, the post on Goal Supremacy is one in (hopefully) a series of posts on the subject of compiling match odds - and the other areas I intend to cover, such as Rate Form, are more suited to determining the strength of opposition.

As such, this leaves us with a choice to make: should we insert additional weighting for each and every ratings method that we use? Or should we allow the other rating methods that we will be exploring to themselves act as the additional weights in an overall calculation of match odds? You’ll have to decide for yourselves which method you prefer, but personally, I don’t add weighting to each and every method – I allow each method to counterbalance the other, which then allows an overall determination to be formed.

An argument in Cassini’s favour here is that if we backfit each method as a standalone calculation, using weights to determine a “best-fit” for past results, then each method should eventually be stronger in its own right. Then in combination we could have an even more powerful and accurate prediction method for determining the odds.

Then again you may say that if some of these ratings methods are specific in their dealings with opposition strength (and some are), then trying to also shape those ratings that don't naturally lend themselves to that aspect could warp or skew an overall calculation. Perhaps we should allow each rating to do what it's best at?

Each of these argument has its own merits, I suppose; and you’ll have to decide for yourselves which camp you belong to. You should be aware, however, whichever one you choose, you will still be raising yourself above the massed throng of bettors out there who make their selections on little more than gut feeling or hope.

The final comment that I want to show is this one from Cloppa:
Great post. So you just look at the last 6 games regardless of competition? Should you be looking at league games only if you’re focusing on a league match.

Cloppa is absolutely right. Cup competitions should be looked at in isolation, and I don’t generally take notice of them when calculating Goal Supremacy for league matches. My post did include cup competition scores so this was a mistake. You, however, may decide otherwise.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Compiling Match Odds (Part I)

As mentioned previously, I was slightly reluctant to embark on this subject as it's such a well-trodden road. However, due to a few people saying they would be interested, here I go. Please feel free to attack and mock at will; I promise to not get offended.

Before I dive in, it should be borne in mind that there is nothing new here (I just ain't that clever), so effectively this posting, and the ones that follow, will simply be a review of common methods for deriving match odds that are already out there. Some of these are used to good effect, whilst others are, shall we say, less successful. Some that I will probably be covering are:

  • Goal Supremacy
  • Rate Form (more commonly known as Elo)
  • Poisson (already largely covered in a previous post)
  • Dyads and Triads
  • Power Rating
  • Game Form
  • Score Ability

There may be others that I will cover, but that will depend on how bored I (and you) get with all this. Compiling match odds is undoubtedly a dry subject, so I've decided to break it down in to small(ish), easily-digestible, chunks. I’ll do one (or a few) at a time,depending how involved each one is:

Goal Supremacy
I'll start with goal supremacy because it is generally effective (and by that I mean it will immediately take you above random guessing), and it's very quick and easy to calculate. It does, however, also provide a graphic example of how easy it is, despite the relative simplicity of the algorithms themselves, to get caught-up in the finer detail of tweaking and weighting. And this is one of the reasons I've chosen to start with it.

I should also point out that when drawing-up this post, I have taken as my starting point material from the excellent "Fixed Odds Sports Betting" by Joe Buchdahl. If you don't have a copy of this book then I would strongly recommend it. Personally I found it one of the best books on betting and statistical analysis when I first started out, and it opened-up all sorts of new thinking when I first read it. So go out and grab yourself a copy.

Goal supremacy is achieved by simply totting-up the goals scored minus the goals conceded for each team over the course of the last six matches played. There have been quite a few tests run to determine the optimum number of matches to go back over, and it is now widely recognised that six matches is the most accurate guide to the eventual outcome of a match.

So let's take an example. We have the North London derby coming up between Arsenal and Spurs, so let's use that. Arsenal have scored 15 goals and conceded 9 goals over the last six matches. Spurs have scored 12 goals and conceded five goals over the last six matches. This equates to:

   Arsenal_diff    = 15 - 9 = +6
   Spurs_diff      = 12 - 5 = +7

Now we could go rushing off and try to derive match odds based simply on this, but due to what is termed "noise" in the overall figures, we could end-up with some anomalous results. To overcome this, a "best-fit" relationship is identified with the given match ratings. Happily, I don't need to bother you with all that, as this has already been done for us by some nice intelligent people and all we need to do is plug in a given  "noise-reduction" figure alongside our two "diff" figures. The value I’ll be using for home win is 0.0156. These figures are then used in conjuction with the average home win percentage and the average away win percentage values for the league in question.

Okay, so before we construct our algorithm, let's look at these average home/away win values for the Premier League. This year in the EPL, we have a surprisingly low home win percentage up to today:

   Home Wins   = 42.0%
   Draws       = 24.8%
   Away Wins   = 33.2%

Wow. as you can see, the home win percentage for the season is markedly low. At this point, you may feel like shrugging your shoulders, assuming that this figure will slowly rise up during the last part of the season (in which case that could be an opportunity in it's own right), or you may decide to stick with that for your calculation of Goal Supremacy match odds. Before you decide however, I'll just point out the averages for the previous three seasons:

   2010/2011:  Home Wins=47.1%, Draws=29.2%, Away Wins=23.7%
   2009/2010:  Home Wins=50.8%, Draws=25.3%, Away Wins=23.9%
   2008/2009:  Home Wins=45.5%, Draws=25.5%, Away Wins=28.9%

Hmm, what should we do here? Use the current season’s very low figure? Use last season? Or perhaps take an average over several seasons? This is where some of the tweaking and weighting can come in. Indeed if you start getting into these kind of algorithms in any serious way then, if you're like me, you'll end-up crawling up your own arsehole in the endless pursuit of the perfect values for each league. It's a never-ending source of inspiration and frustration, but I'll leave the full discovery of that particular joy up to you.

For now, it's recommended that you stick with an historical average of 46.47% for home wins and 29.48% for away wins. If you get further into this, you'll see that some leagues perform better than others using historical averages, in which case you may want to add-in extra "weighting" on a per-league basis... But as I say, I'll leave that delight up to you.

Okay, so I may have stretched your patience too thin already with this diversion into averages. I did promise that calculating goal supremacy was not difficult, and really it's not. Below, I’ll start throwing out some calculations, but the only figures you’ll need to provide are the ones in green. Home win odds are calculated like this:

   Home Win Odds = (home_noise_reduction_figure *
                   (Arsenal_diff - Spurs_diff)  +

So let's plug in the actual values that we've worked-out so far:

   Home Win Odds = (0.0156 * (6 - 7) + 0.4647)

This gives us a percentage chance of Arsenal winning on Sunday equal to 44.91%. If we divide 1 by this (1 / 0.4491) we see that Goal Supremacy is estimating Arsenal's odds at 2.22.

Right, onto Spurs odds. This looks on the surface slightly more difficult as we have two noise reduction figures to throw in here. The first is 0.0003 and the second is 0.0127. Really you don’t need to concern yourself with them.

   Away Win Odds = ((noise_reduction_fig1 * (Arsenal_diff -
                    Spurs_diff)) 2) - (noise_reduction_fig2 *
                    (Arsenal_diff - Spurs_diff) +

Yuk. This looks a bit daunting but probably because it's spread over several lines. Again, you really only need to worry about the goal diff values that we’ve already calculated and the league away win average. The rest is all boiler-platestuff. Plugging in the actual values for this, we get:

   Away Win Odds = (0.0003*(6 - 7)2 - ((0.0127*(6 - 7)) + 0.2948)

If you were going to do this in Excel (recommended), then this would simply be:

   =(POWER((0.0003*(6 - 7)), 2)-SUM(0.0127*(6 - 7)) + 0.2948)

So the only items here you would need to replace would be the “6” and the “7”, which would be the goal_diff figures for the two teams you’re interested in, and the league average away win percentage. Not that hard, is it? Running this calculation, gives us an away win percentage chance of 30.75%, which is match odds of 3.25.

Alright, so we only have the draw calculation now, and this is the easiest of the lot. Because we have no overround to incorporate, we can provide a 100% book. Therefore the draw percentage chance is simply 1 minus the percentage chance of Arsenal winning and Spurs winning:

   Draw Odds = 1 – (0.4491 + 0.3075)

This means Goal Supremacy has calculated a 24.34% chance of a draw, which equates to 4.10 match odds. So, we now have:

   Arsenal  = 2.22
   Spurs    = 3.25
   Draw     = 4.10

Looking around the bookies, the best odds I have seen for this match are:

   Arsenal  = 2.30
   Spurs    = 3.25
   Draw     = 3.40

Taking the overround into consideration, this is not a million miles away from our Goal Supremacy calculation.

Okay, if you haven’t fallen off your chair with the stultifying boredom of it all, then you’ll be pleased to know that we’re all finished. As mentioned, part of the fun/nightmare of this technique comes when you start playing around with any additional weighting factors you may decide to add-in for a particular league, and also what league average figures you want to use.

I’ll finish here because this has taken a bit longer than I expected. I’ll pick this up again shortly with other ways to compile match odds.


Update: You can find the other posts on this subject here:

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Men Can't Multi-Task

Okay, my post heading is a sweeping statement which you may feel outraged by... so I'll change it to something more pertinent: I can't multi-task. There. That's better.

The unsustainably hectic nature of my life has continued unabated this week. Consequently I haven't had a great deal of time for my beloved footy - and the little I have had has been successfully kiboshed by my inability to know my arse from my elbow.

I think it was on Wednesday that I suggested Sunderland could be decent value at 3.70, as their home form was excellent and Arsenal had an up-and-coming Champions League match against AC Milan on Wednesday. A pre-match trade may be in order, I boldly suggested.

Thinking back, at that point I should have backed the draw with the hope that it would come in during the week, but instead I threw £500 onto Sunderland and then left it that. My intention was to look for their odds to come in right up to the last half-an-hour before kick-off, and then trade-out regardless. I should point out here up front that I don't believe the odds really moved at all in my favour, but at this point this was okay.

I was out this morning, but managed to get back in about ten minutes after the Man Utd v Liverpool game had started. Consequently, I missed the now infamous "swerve" of the handshake by Suarez, but did catch it on sky sports later. To my mind, Suarez must be something of a tosser to want to continue with all this. Either he's a thick as cow shit or he's knowingly decided to perpetuate the sorry saga for his own strange reasons. Personally, I'd guess at the former. Anyway, I managed to get a decent amount out of the game before having to bolt out of the house again.

I came back in about 3:30pm, and felt a bit disappointed that I hadn't had time to set up my bot for any of today's matches - but then suddenly remembered my, ahem, pre-match trade on Sunderland. Aaaaah, great big hairy testicles!

I jumped onto the PC and saw that thankfully Arsenal hasn't scored in the meantime. I traded-out immediately because, even though I thought Sunderland were in with a shout, I don't make straight bets, and certainly not for £500. Well, this immediately wiped-out the profit I'd made on the Man Utd game, which was a right royal pisser and incontrovertible proof that I'm no good at multi-tasking. More than one thing on my mind then I turn into a basket case. For those of you who are computer-minded, my brain is like a processor register, with only one value able to be stored in it at any one time.

Also a little bit galling was the fact that Sunderland took the lead in the 70th minute. If I'd been late enough getting back in, then I would have had a five minute window before Arsenal equalised where I could have greened-up for approximately £400. Ho-hum.

Anyway, all was not lost. My beautiful Spurs were playing in the evening, and I decided to trade that. Of course Spurs started like an absolute runaway train, which was fantastic to see, but made things a little difficult to trade on. In a normal frame of mind, I would have just closed my lappy and watched the match as a fan, but for some reason, I had some misplaced confidence in myself and carried-on regardless.

I hate these moments, where I have a quick conversation with myself, and almost say out loud the words, "Hmm, I should stop trading this game. It's too lively". This is the sensible part of my brain, but I'm not quite sure why I didn't pay any attention. So off I went, 3.5 goals, 4.5 goals and... SPLAT! Nice hefty loss. I did manage to claw a small part of it back on the 5.5 goals, but seeing how well Spurs played, it was somewhat spoiled by my poor decision-making on the game.

In the final analysis, I realise that I've just had too much going on at present, and I should have just shrugged my shoulders, accepted that trading was not really on the menu and then left it there. Trying to squeeze in bits and pieces here-and-there just doesn't work for me.

And as we've seen, I'm certainly no multi-tasker.

Football: -£52.48 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  -£52.48 


Football Showing 1 - 10 of 10 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Tottenham v Newcastle : Over/Under 5.5 Goals 11-Feb-12 17:30  11-Feb-12 19:26  57.17
Football / Blackpool v Portsmouth : Over/Under 2.5 goals 11-Feb-12 17:20  11-Feb-12 19:12  1.95
Football / Tottenham v Newcastle : Over/Under 4.5 Goals 11-Feb-12 17:30  11-Feb-12 18:55  -135.84
Football / Tottenham v Newcastle : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 11-Feb-12 17:30  11-Feb-12 18:05  13.24
Football / Sunderland v Arsenal : Match Odds 11-Feb-12 15:00  11-Feb-12 16:55  -88.54
Football / Dortmund v Leverkusen : Correct Score 11-Feb-12 14:30  11-Feb-12 16:22  23.80
Football / Man Utd v Liverpool : Correct Score 11-Feb-12 12:45  11-Feb-12 14:39  45.54
Football / Man Utd v Liverpool : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 11-Feb-12 12:45  11-Feb-12 14:38  4.67
Football / Man Utd v Liverpool : Over/Under 2.5 goals 11-Feb-12 12:45  11-Feb-12 14:25  17.17
Football / Man Utd v Liverpool : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 11-Feb-12 12:45  11-Feb-12 13:53  8.36

Incidentally, someone has asked me about compiling match odds. This is perhaps a rather well-worn subject so I'm a little reluctant to embark upon it, but if there is enough interest, then I may do a post on this subject. This would include a variety of ways - some better than others - on how to generate match odds.

I'll await of bit of feedback before I decide either way.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

It's Good To Lie

For reasons that will not interest you, I have my brother-in-law coming to stay with us for a while, and I absolutely know what's going to happen when he arrives. Yes folks, I'm here to tell you that, with complete confidence, I can predict the future.

So what does my crystal ball say? Well it tells me this:

My brother-in-law is a nice enough guy - quiet but likeable. I also happen to know that he has absolutely no interest in football whatsoever. I'm also pretty sure that he's never placed a bet in his life. And that's all perfectly fine of course. There's nothing wrong with either of those things. The problem, however, is that his lack of knowledge and interest in football and betting will in no way prevent him from bombarding me with dumb questions when he sees me sitting in front of a match, clicking away on my laptop.

"What are you doing?"
"Really? How much do you lose?"
"I generally make money.
"Really? How does it work?"
"Well, it's complicated." (it's not really)
"What's that blue column? And what's that pink column?"
"One is backing, the other is laying."
"So what is laying?"
"It's the opposite of backing." (unhelpful)
"Hmm, perhaps you could teach me or give me a few tips?"
"No. It's too difficult (lie) and I wouldn't want to drag you into it." (another lie)

So on an so forth. His rat-a-tat questioning will continue, only to be met with as monosyllabic, disingenuous answers as it's possible to give. But why should I be so laconic and unhelpful, I hear you ask? Well, I'm sure you've had many similar conversations with your friends or members of your family who have visited. And if you're like me, then you'll find yourself in the position of having to defend your activities. Either that or you may do what I tend to do on these occasions, and simply lie.

"I don't do it much."
"It's just a bit of fun."
"I don't make any money doing it."

Lie, lie and lie.

The truth is that they're not interested in how much I make. The only answer they want to hear is that I'm losing money. They have absolutely no desire to hear that I'm succeeding. Oh no, that is the horror of all horrors - and of course they won't believe it anyway.

So my defence mechanism is to try my best to curtail the conversation as quickly as possible. I don't want to be rude, but I also don't want to be given the third degree over my "dirty little secret" as they would probably describe it.

And when they scuttle back to their homes, they doubtless re-tell their tale to their friends. "Oh, by the way, did you know that he's addicted to gambling? Yes, that's right. I don't know how his wife copes with it all."

Actually she copes very well, thanks very much.


Looks like my hope of Harry Rednapp's court case tarnishing his chances of becoming the next England manager (as detailed HERE) has been well and truly dashed. For some reason I didn't really expect him to be found innocent by the jury, but the timing of this favourable decision has been, erm, shall we say fortunate. On the very day he walks out of court with his name totally cleared, Capello resigns on a point of principal, leaving the way open for Rednapp to immediately take up the reigns.

As a Spurs fan this is all a bit of a bummer, but if he does take the job it will be interesting to see how he gets on. I hope he does a good job and we go a bit further in the European Championships this summer.


Think I agree with Andrew Atherley's opinion (over at HERE) on the forthcoming Premier League match between Sunderland and Arsenal, in which he suggests Sunderland are over-priced. The recent form table has Sunderland riding high, and they are unbeaten at home in their last six at the Stadium of Light. My own stats also show the given odds for a Sunderland win are extremely generous.

Not mentioned in the article but also highly relevant is that Arsenal have a vital Champion's League match away to AC Milan next Wednesday, so there's a good chance of them resting players on Saturday in preparation for that.

Good opportunity for a pre-match trade?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

There are lies, damned lies...

I was reading an article the other day on the BBC website HERE that discusses the old fallacy of there being more people alive today than all the people who have ever lived. Yes. Complete bullshit I'm afraid, so be a good boy and stop casually dropping this misnomer into conversations.

When reading this article I was reminded of another well-known "fact": that 95% of all gamblers lose money. On this point, sadly I cannot direct you to another BBC link exploding this one as a myth also, but perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea if we all took this little nuggest of information with the same pinch of salt.

  • Statistics are like whores, play with them long enough and they'll do anything for you.
  • Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed. All polar bears are left-handed. If your car is stolen, there's a 10 percent chance it was nicked by a Polar bear
  • Statistics means never having to say you're certain.
  • Statistics is the art of never having to say you're wrong.
  • 97.3% of all statistics are made up.
  • A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion.
  • A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he will say that on the average he feels fine.

Alright you get the point. I'm not saying this "95% losers" notion is false and I'm not saying it's true - I've never seen any definitive proof either way. But what purpose does it serve knowing it? Does it help you as a gambler/trader? I personally know a lot more winners in the gambling world than I know losers. Of course this doesn't tell us anything either, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to be downtrodden by the weight of supposed facts. We shouldn't allow this often posited "truth" to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So how do you view yourself? Do you lump yourself in with this supposed 95%?

We all pursue this hobby or job because we love the idea of it. We love trying to get one over on the system; we love trying to compete in a tough and demanding arena; we love the notion that our view of a particular market was the correct one; we love the idea that we were right.

If you have a negative P&L or you have lost money continually over the last few years, well at this precise moment in time that doesn't really matter. Because in the very next moment there is a chance of stumbling upon a method of betting/trading that suits your character and can be adapted successfully to the market.
We are all losers at a particular snapshot in time, just as we are all winners. Overall you may be down or you may be up, but it's the strong pursuit of improvement and refinement that is key. The urge to find something that hasn't yet been attained is the important thing. And if you're doing that, then there's no way you can be considered a loser.
That's a 100% statistical fact.

Monday, 6 February 2012


I realise that I've been absent without leave recently, but it's been absolutely manic in my house and I've had to resort to grabbing some trading here and there whenever I could get a chance. As normal when I do fall back on this "get in quick" type of trading, my results have been decidedly mixed. This has led to a rather flat start to February after a nice solid January.

Okay, so despite being utterly exhausted, it's buckle down time from now. I'm still very busy, but I'll try my best to steady the ship and see what happens.

I was up at 4:00am this morning and I have to get up at 5:00am tomorrow to travel to my place of work, so this post will be decidedly short. No real apologies for that. I do, however, have some more "meaty" posts on the way, which I'm writing bits of whenever I get some time. I'm back in my hotel tomorrow evening and Wednesday, so I should have the time to be a little more diligent then.

So do please stay tuned and I'll try and reward your patience. My P&L is from Friday up to the stunningly disappointing Liverpool v Spurs game this evening. Not great reading, as you can see.

Football: -£18.58 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  -£18.58 


Football Showing 1 - 20 of 28 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Liverpool v Tottenham : Over/Under 2.5 goals 06-Feb-12 20:00  06-Feb-12 21:55  8.43
Football / Liverpool v Tottenham : Correct Score 06-Feb-12 20:00  06-Feb-12 21:55  26.95
Football / Liverpool v Tottenham : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 06-Feb-12 20:00  06-Feb-12 21:54  15.58
Football / Liverpool v Tottenham : Match Odds 06-Feb-12 20:00  06-Feb-12 21:53  4.96
Football / Chelsea v Man Utd : Correct Score 05-Feb-12 16:00  05-Feb-12 17:55  -56.69
Football / Chelsea v Man Utd : Over/Under 4.5 Goals 05-Feb-12 16:00  05-Feb-12 17:29  4.67
Football / Chelsea v Man Utd : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 05-Feb-12 16:00  05-Feb-12 17:18  2.14
Football / Chelsea v Man Utd : Over/Under 2.5 goals 05-Feb-12 16:00  05-Feb-12 17:10  18.32
Football / Chelsea v Man Utd : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 05-Feb-12 16:00  05-Feb-12 17:06  1.85
Football / Juventus v Siena : Correct Score 05-Feb-12 14:00  05-Feb-12 15:55  22.83
Football / Newcastle v Aston Villa : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 05-Feb-12 13:30  05-Feb-12 15:30  6.41
Football / Newcastle v Aston Villa : Correct Score 05-Feb-12 13:30  05-Feb-12 15:26  -51.19
Football / Newcastle v Aston Villa : Over/Under 2.5 goals 05-Feb-12 13:30  05-Feb-12 15:04  25.07
Football / Newcastle v Aston Villa : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 05-Feb-12 13:30  05-Feb-12 14:23  1.51
Football / Genoa v Lazio : Correct Score 05-Feb-12 11:30  05-Feb-12 13:27  33.63
Football / Getafe v Real Madrid : Correct Score 04-Feb-12 19:00  04-Feb-12 20:55  4.25
Football / Birmingham v Southampton : Correct Score 04-Feb-12 17:20  04-Feb-12 19:30  14.90
Football / Birmingham v Southampton : Over/Under 2.5 goals 04-Feb-12 17:20  04-Feb-12 19:27  8.85
Football / Man City v Fulham : Correct Score 04-Feb-12 17:30  04-Feb-12 19:26  58.96
Football / Man City v Fulham : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 04-Feb-12 17:30  04-Feb-12 19:25  36.95

 Pages: 1  2   of 2 Pages 

Football Showing 21 - 28 of 28 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Man City v Fulham : Over/Under 2.5 goals 04-Feb-12 17:30  04-Feb-12 19:02  1.60
Football / H Berlin v Hannover : Correct Score 04-Feb-12 14:30  04-Feb-12 16:27  50.46
Football / Wolfsburg v Mgladbach : Correct Score 04-Feb-12 14:30  04-Feb-12 16:20  -132.51
Football / West Ham v Millwall : Correct Score 04-Feb-12 12:30  04-Feb-12 14:31  48.51
Football / West Ham v Millwall : Over/Under 2.5 goals 04-Feb-12 12:30  04-Feb-12 13:59  1.23
Football / Arsenal v Blackburn : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 04-Feb-12 13:00  04-Feb-12 13:42  -197.04
Football / Nurnberg v Dortmund : Over/Under 2.5 goals 03-Feb-12 19:30  03-Feb-12 21:26  15.08
Football / Nurnberg v Dortmund : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 03-Feb-12 19:30  03-Feb-12 21:12  5.71

 Pages: 1 2   of 2 Pages 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Never mind the quality...

Just one match traded tonight, Novara v Chievo in Serie A. What a pile of crap. I can't believe this is the standard of football from Italy's top flight. Take any match in the Premier league, even between teams you may feel are inferior, and there is absolutely no comparison in the quality.

Poor ball control, slip-shod defences, wayward shooting - you name it. The first half was dull as dishwater even if the second-half warmed up a little - especially with two goals in about a minute. This however just papers over the cracks of what was a poor quality game. And it shows the inferiority of Serie A. Remove the top half-a-dozen teams, Juventus, Milan and the like,  and you could just as well be looking at the Scottish third division.

Sound miserable, don't I? Hah, I should change my tone as it's not particularly how I'm feeling. The trading went okay. I felt a bit annoyed at one point because I just traded out of a back of Chievo when they scored their second goal - but I needn't have felt too aggrieved because, as just mentioned, the home side equalised immediately after. The first half was good for trading the Unders as very little happened.

Soccer: £51.41 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £51.41 


Soccer Showing 1 - 3 of 3 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Soccer / Novara v Chievo : Match Odds 02-Feb-12 19:45  02-Feb-12 21:39  28.46
Soccer / Novara v Chievo : Over/Under 2.5 goals 02-Feb-12 19:45  02-Feb-12 21:25  10.21
Soccer / Novara v Chievo : Over/Under 1.5 Goals 02-Feb-12 19:45  02-Feb-12 21:25  12.74

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Being Careful

Not too much to report this evening. Traded the Sunderland v Norwich match. I expected Sunderland to win but was surprised just how lacklustre Norwich were. There hearts didn't seem to be in it at all.

Anyway, I have taken my own advice tonight (see yesterday's post) and taken it extremely steady. No impulsive entries into the market, no opening a position without seeing an exit route. All calm and measured.

This really is how it should be all along - and when it is like this, it's often difficult to understand why it should be anything else. However, sometimes it's all too easy to get swept away by the action within a match, and it's possible for the trading activity to start to mimic the erratic and dramatic nature of a game. This of course is not the sensible way to trade.

So, as I say, a decent start to the new month. I realise it's an arbritrary measurement, but it's still nice to start the first day of the month with a win.

Football: £68.92 | Tote: |  Total P&L:  £68.92 


Football Showing 1 - 3 of 3 markets

Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Sunderland v Norwich : Over/Under 3.5 Goals 01-Feb-12 20:00  01-Feb-12 21:53  14.24
Football / Sunderland v Norwich : Correct Score 01-Feb-12 20:00  01-Feb-12 21:51  39.42
Football / Sunderland v Norwich : Over/Under 2.5 goals 01-Feb-12 20:00  01-Feb-12 21:12  15.26