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Top10 supported soccer teams – Looking for edges – Part 3 of 3

This is the third post in the following series:

1. If many “play-for-fun” supporters bet on their favorite team, can laying them pre-game be a winning strategy?
2. What if one of these teams take a one goal lead in-play. Should I back or lay?
3. What if their opponent takes the lead by one goal. Should I back or lay?

In this last exercise we examine the situation where the Top10 team suddenly is trailing by one goal. This doesn’t happen often so there is only a small amount of data.


There seem to be value in laying the Top10 team if it is the home team, and the match is a domestic league match. It seems like the market overestimates the comeback potential in those cases!

Now we have mined through some data and found a few angles that could be interesting to exploit, so in the next blog post I intend to create some strategies from these insights for 2017 – and will follow up on them during the year. So check back in a few days!

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Top10 supported soccer teams – Looking for edges – Part 2 of 3

This is the second post in the following series:

1. If many “play-for-fun” supporters bet on their favourite team, can laying them pre-game be a winning strategy?
2. What if one of these teams take a one goal lead in-play. Should I back or lay?
3. What if their opponent takes the lead by one goal. Should I back or lay?

The data is from in-play match-odds from 2013, and the bet is calculated from the first recording after the first goal that also has an over-round of maximum 2 %.

I mined through the data and found something interesting when I separated league matches from other matches (cups, champions league etc). Domestic league are marked as “Y” and others as “N” in the table:

post20161203

Backing the top10 teams in other matches but league-matches has been a good profitable strategy the latest years, and has worked well both when the top10 team is playing home and when playing away.

The league matches show the opposite trend, backing the top10 team would have been something similar to setting fire to your money. On the other hand, laying them would have been profitable (including the negative yield laying away in 2016).

In the next post I will deep into the situation where the opponent to the top10 team takes a one goal lead…

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Top10 supported soccer teams – Looking for edges – I/III

I decided to look into the European soccer teams with the biggest supporter base. Doing a quick google on the subject I found the top10 teams to be:

1. Manchester United
2. Real Madrid
3. FC Barcelona
4. Chelsea
5. Arsenal
6. Liverpool
7. FC Bayern Munich
8. AC Milan
9. Juventus
10. Paris Saint-Germain

I found the list at totalsportek.com, it is their ranking (based on followers on social media, TV-viewership, shirt sales and sponsorship deals), and I decided to go with that. I have three questions I want to explore:

1. If many “play-for-fun” supporters bet on their favourite team, can laying them pre-game be a winning strategy?
2. What if one of these teams take a one goal lead in-play. Should I back or lay?
3. What if their opponent takes the lead by one goal. Should I back or lay?

I will split this subject into three different blog post, starting with the pre-game question. My hypotheses is that when big amounts of supporter money hits the line the odds on the big team will get eaten, therefore there might be an edge laying the big team.

I use my own recorded data on Betfair with the following notes:

1. The pre-game odds that I use is recorded a few minutes before the kick-off.
2. If it’s a match between two top10 teams, then it’s excluded.
3. Data from 2013 until today.
4. Not complete data, some matches have not been recorded and I know nothing about them.

The result I get is seen in the the table below:

post_20161128_1

I am looking for a strategy that have been consistent over time, and where I have some exposure. Both Premier League and Primera Division have a history of positive yield when laying any of the top10 teams. Maybe this could be an interesting pre-game strategy for 2017? It’s big markets and you can probably get large sums matched pre-game.

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Market efficiency – looking for a niche

I calculated the implied probabilities from the pre-game odds (1/odds), and distributed the over-round evenly over the three scenarios. Then I summed them together with the actual wins.

This first table shows that the market had the most problems with the Away predictions. Market predicted the Away teams to win corresponding to 29027 times, but they actually only won 28192 times (which is a diff of 2.9%).

I dug a little deeper to see how the situation is when dividing by pre-game favourite:

Now I start to identify some areas which the market seems to have bigger problems with… such as the probability for an Away win when the pre-game favourite is a Home win.

This could be a starting point when designing a new strategy. Find a niche where the market has problems, and try to be the best in that niche 🙂 Now I will continue to mine my data, and see if I can find a new niche area.

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Average matched sums by league

The average is calculated from 2015 and 2016 data, and the top 25 leagues/events are:

The average matched is in SEK. The Premier League stands out as the number one preferred betting markets with an average matched 44.5 MSEK per match on the Match Odds market. That is more than twice the amount in Primera Division and four times Serie A!

The Community Shield is the match between Arsenal and Chelsea held on 2.august 2015 (won by Arsenal with 1-0 by the way).

Especially the Scandinavian markets are interesting for me, and the top3 there are: