**How high should be a starting bank?
Is 5,000 units enough?**

Well, there is no standard answer to this question. It all depends on the individual strategy.

Image: Sergey Novikov (Shutterstock)

However, what is possible, is to calculate bank fluctuations *(i.e. winning and losing sequences)*.

With the help of knowing the best and worst case scenarios you can determine the ideal starting bank for any betting system of your choice.

At the end of the article you will find a few useful exercises to practise, with the solutions available as a free download to all of you who would like them.

It stands to reason that the smaller the probability of an event occurring *(i.e. higher odds)*, the longer the likely losing streak will be *(in between winning bets)*.

However, the big question is how often and for how long will the losing (and winning) streaks transpire?

It is possible to mathematically calculate many things with statistics, including streaks of luck and bad luck. However, it is important to note that no matter how accurate the results may appear, they are ‘models’ *(a formal representation of a theory)*.

In this article, we are talking about probabilities; what can we ‘predict’ about how things may develop in the future. Please bear in mind that any such hypothesis is always a “could happen” not a “will happen”.

Of course, the larger the sample size *(i.e. number of bets)*, the more likely the prediction is to be correct. But apart from the bookmakers themselves, who else has a betting portfolio comprising thousands of bets every weekend?

The longest expected losing streak *(or winning streak)* can be calculated using the following formula:

**n** = number of trials *(i.e. total number of bets)*

**ln** = natural logarithm^{1}

**P** = probability^{2}

**| .. |** = absolute value or ‘modulus’

^{1}*Suffice to say, explaining what natural logarithm is would be worthy of a series of articles. For the time being, use Excel to calculate this for you.*

^{2}*For winning streak calculations use the positive value (i.e. the probability of winning). For losing streak calculations use the negative probability value. For example, if the probability to win the bet is 33% then the probability that the bet loses (negative probability) is 67%.*

In practice, the formula is best applied to situations where you constantly bet repeatedly on the same probability, for example, on ‘red’ at the roulette wheel: its probability remains exactly the same with every new spin of the wheel.

For football betting the concept is much more difficult to apply as each bet is likely to have a different probability (e.g. one Over 2.5 Goals bet with a 55.3% chance, and the next with a 62.1% chance, etc.).

However, you can group bets in probability clusters – for example, bets with a 55%-60% expected hit rate, bets with a 60%-65% expected hit rate, and so on.

Longest Winning and Losing Streaks, depending on the number of bets (Examples for 50, 500 and 1,000 bets shown)

The tables above show the calculations of the expected maximum number of winning and losing streaks, depending on the expected hit rate *(probability of the bet to win)*.

To read the tables, let’s explain the 70% line *(odds in the region 1.4 and 1.45)*; in other words, bets with a 7 in 10 chance of winning.

The table on the left calculates the expectations of 50 tries *(50 bets in a row, one after the next)*. You can see that the player will experience at least one streak of three lost bets in a row somewhere in the sequence.

On the other hand, he can expect at least one series of 11 winning bets in a row during the same sequence of 50 bets.

In contrast look at the 30% line *(odds in the region of 3.2 to 3.4)*. In a series of 50 bets the bettor must expect at least one sequence of 11 consecutive losing bets, but will probably see only one set of three consecutive winning bets.

To develop a sense of probabilities and sequences, you can experiment with a dice. It has six faces; in other words, a probability of 16.67% (1 in 6 chance) of successfully landing on a chosen number.

Choose a number and count the number of throws until you succeed to roll it. Count also the number of consecutive successful rolls.

Choose two numbers that you do not want to roll (e.g. 5 and 6).

This means you have a 66.67% chance that one of the remaining four numbers is rolled.

In football betting terms, this equates to wagering on something like the full-time ‘Under 3.5 Goals’ market at odds of 1.50. (This experiment is just a little faster than waiting for 50 games to finish!)

Take a pen and paper and record 100 throws of the dice. If one of your four chosen numbers arrives mark a 1 on your paper; if the 5 or 6 are thrown, mark a 0. Count the number of winning and losing streaks you experience.

What is the maximum number of winning and losing streaks you experience in a sample size of 100 throws (bets)?

*Having learned how to calculate the expected length of winning and losing streaks, the next question to ask is: *

**How many bets is it likely to take before I encounter ‘X’ losses in a row?**

This formula is actually very simple:

= **1** divided by **P**, **to the power of** **a**

**P** = probability (expected hit rate or loss rate)

**a** = number of won or lost bets in a row

In the tables below you can see how many attempts (bets) it needs to experience a specific, expected length of luck or bad luck. Again, the assumption is that the bettor bets all the time on the same probability:

Expected time of occurrence of winning and losing streaks, depending on the hit rate

Looking firstly in the right-hand column at the Losing Sequences, if the expected hit rate is 45% *(what you should ‘expect’ at odds of around 2.2)*, then it is likely that you will experience a sequence of three losing bets in a row by the time your sixth bet is settled.

After 20 such bets it is likely that you will have seen a losing streak as long as five bets in a row.

Looking at the Winning Sequences column: you will win three times in a row at some stage during a series of 11 bets.

However, winning five in a row may only be seen once in every 54 bets.

As we mentioned before, in football betting it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find bets, all with the same probability of success.

However, you should at least try to understand the theory behind winning and losing streaks, as it will be **easier on your nerves** when you do encounter the inevitable run of bad fortune.

In particular, a thorough understanding of losing streaks is of enormous importance when setting both the size of your starting bank and stakes per bet.

**Example:**

A bettor prefers bets within the odds range of 2.0 to 2.5 with a hit rate between 40% and 50%. He plans to place 50 bets *(e.g. two bets per round on 25 rounds of matches)*.

After looking at the tables, he knows that the maximum losing sequence expected is likely to be as long as six to eight lost bets in a row. Therefore, he knows that there may be at least one sequence of three or four consecutive rounds *(weekends)* when all bets lose.

After every 5^{th} to 8^{th} bet, he is also aware that he is likely to experience a loss of three consecutive lost bets *(e.g. one weekend loses both bets, the following weekend only one loses)*.

He also knows that every 13 to 32 bets there will even be a streak of five losing bets in a row.

The bettor is fully aware that he has to take this into consideration and plan the starting bank accordingly to be able to ‘sit through’ these losing streaks.

Of course, he also knows that winning sequences will arrive too. In his case, with some ‘luck’, he may experience a winning sequence of five bets in a row after 32 bets. Every eight to 16 bets he will have a ‘lucky’ streak of three wins in a row.

This is certainly quite a fluctuation. When these ‘bad luck’ and ‘good luck’ streaks actually happen, nobody knows. However, what we do know is: They will happen!

A starting bank should be approximately five times the maximum expected losing streak. The reason for this is that a losing streak can happen right at the beginning, immediately followed by another bad run of luck. We are talking statistics here!

So if a bettor wants to stake 10 units per bet, the starting bank must be nine times (expected losing streak) the stake of 10 units multiplied by five = 450 units. Then he can risk 2.2% of his bank each time he bets (10 divided by 450). If losing, the stakes will remain constant at 2.2% and, if winning, raised gradually.

**Questions to ask before setting the starting bank:**

- What hit rate is expected
*(probability to win the bets)*? - How many bets are planned for the season?
- How long will the longest losing streak be?
- What is the desired stake per bet?

**Calculation of the starting bank:**

- A bettor pursues a strategy with a win probability of 60% per bet
*(e.g. Under 3.5 Goals)*. He places one bet after the other; in other words, he waits for the outcome of each bet before placing the next. In total he places 50 bets.What is the longest ‘losing streak’ (bad luck) that he can expect? How long is the longest ‘winning streak’ (luck) that can be expected?

- Same example as in (1): A strategy with a probability of 60% per bet; placing one bet after the other.
This time our punter is hoping for a ‘winning streak’ (luck) of 5 consecutive wins. How often does that happen?

- A gambler pursues a strategy with a probability of 20% per bet
*(e.g. ‘betting on the underdog’)*. Again, he places one bet after the other.With a total of 500 bets, how long is the longest ‘losing streak’ that he must expect? After how many bets can he expect the longest ‘winning streak’?

- Same example as in (3): Strategy with a probability of 20% per bet; placing one bet after another
The bettor was hoping for a ‘winning streak’ (good luck) of five consecutive wins. How often does that happen? After which bet number should he expect ‘bad luck’ of five consecutive losses?

- Following the above two strategies
*(one with a 60% chance to win, the other with 20%)*our bettor stakes 10 units per bet.How high should the starting bank be for the 60% strategy, and how much for the 20% strategy?

*Note: The initial bank should be approximately five times the maximum losing streak based on a total of 500 bets placed.*

*Just click on the button above and click on “Proceed to checkout” button in the new tab, then enter your name and e-mail address. Our automatic service will then deliver the file to you via e-mail, free of charge. The size of the PDF file is 320KB.*

The factor **5** used in this article to determine the betting bank is a risk variable for risk-averse bettors. It is also the factor advisable for strategies with a 45% to 55% win probability *(odds between 1.8 and 2.2)*.

Here is another article: **How to Calculate Losing Streaks & Optimal Bankroll** in which we provide a more detailed account of setting the ideal starting bank.

Risk management in sports betting is the foundation stone upon which all of your betting transactions should be built.

Risk management encompasses risk assessment, risk control and capital requirements, all of which cannot be addressed until you understand how winning and losing streaks are likely to impact upon your starting bank.

]]>These FAQ’s refer to the: **Fundamentals of Sports Betting: Betting on Over Under ‘X’ Goals** course.

*Click on the arrows to reveal the answers.*

What’s the point of calculating odds yourself?

This is a very, very popular question and is answered in a dedicated article:Are Betting Odds Worthwhile Calculating? Are Betting Odds Always Fair?

Am I correct in assuming that you don’t use the usual criteria that 98% of ‘hobby punters’ employ when forming their opinions? I mean the last 6 games, the H2H stats, team news, etc.

Are your parameters different from the usual bog-standard criteria?

Yes, absolutely. The gambling industry as a whole relies to a large extent on the ignorance of its customers.This course is designed to give the reader the essential, fundamental knowledge necessary to understand the bookmaker market.

We teach descriptive statistics and the reader learns how to look at data sets, calculate own probabilities and odds, analyse the market odds on offer, and make informed decisions when predicting football results.

Many false beliefs that the majority of gamblers and fans of football have about betting will be exposed and stripped away.

If team news, injuries, suspensions, recent form, etc. would have any relevance to setting odds how would bookmakers, who publish their prices weeks in advance, stay in business?

Will the course help identify value in-play?

With respect to in-play value the course is very helpful as you can apply the knowledge of calculating probabilities to both the half-time and full-time goals market.Then you can choose, for example, matches with a high probability to score during the first half. These matches you can back, say Over 2.5 goals before kick-off, and lay them as soon as the first goal has been scored.

We are going to address this in more detail in an article to follow.

Can odds be calculated for Over 1.5 and Over 2.5 using this course?

Yes, the odds for all Over and Under options can be calculated using this course including Total Goals.

The course is about the German Bundesliga. Why not the EPL?

Yes, we are fully aware that the majority of our readers are far more interested in the EPL than the Bundesliga, but the problem is that the average punter is very influenced by his/her opinion and ‘knowledge’ about their own supported league.It was therefore important to choose a more neutral league for the course, one where gut feelings and emotions are less strong. It had to be a league which is also well known, with plenty of bookmakers offering odds, and at the same time one where the majority of our English speaking audience is unlikely to connect emotionally.

Thus, the Bundesliga it is!

Are the principles and analytical techniques in this course transferable to other European football leagues?

Absolutely! The principles and techniques are transferable to any football league worldwide.

Is it correct to say that the course is exclusively for the Over/Under Goals market or are the skills learned from it transferable to other bet types, such as 1×2 betting or Asian Handicap?

Yes, that is correct.Fundamentals of Sports Betting – Over/Under ‘X’ Goalsis the first of a series of books educating the ‘Fundamentals of Sports Betting’.There are more topics planned such as ‘Betting on Home, Draw, Away’, ‘Asian Handicap’, or ‘Betting In-Play’, and so on. Of course, it will take a while until all of these books have been written and published, but we reassure you that more course books are on their way.

For the first volume we have chosen the Over/Under goal market because this is the easiest betting market to teach statistics and maths without the need to dive any further into much more advanced formulas and concepts. You will need a basic grounding before moving on to more complex calculations for bet types with multiple options such as 1×2, HT/FT and the Correct Score market.

The course explains everything using European odds. Can I get the course with fractional odds?

Sorry, but we don’t offer the course in any other odds format than European odds.

The majority of calculations are carried out using probabilities (percentages) and these can easily be converted into fractional odds, or any other odds format. See our article here:Understanding Betting Odds – Moneyline, Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds, Hong Kong Odds, IN Odds, MA Odds

The automated Excel file sounds particularly interesting. What exactly is automated?

The tables in the Excel file are fully automated. Just select a team from the list in the ‘Betting Tables’ tab (cells B3 to E3) and every calculation in the workbook will update automatically to those of that team’s stats. How this works exactly and what the numbers mean is explained in greater detail in the course.

Is the course only available as a PDF or can I get a printed version like the one shown on the advert?

The PDF has been professionally optimised for double-sided printing. Just print your book in full-colour with a cover and add a binding of your choice.

There is a heading “Value Betting using the Value Calculator”. Does that mean that I will receive the Value Calculator (VC) for free when I buy the course?

You don’t need the Value Calculator to understand the course, therefore the VC is not supplied with the course.When we refer to the ‘Value Calculator’ we explain how it works and what the calculations mean in terms of Over/Under bets. Of course, the VC also contains a wide range of other bet types such as FT and HT 1×2, Correct Scores, HT/FT, and many more. The goal of the course is to enable the learner to create his/her own Excel application which works for him/her. Empowering learners to think for themselves is one of our ethics.

Having worked through the course you should be able to build a Value Calculator yourself, if your Excel skills are good enough.

If I purchase the course, what else do I get?

The course comes in an electronic format and the bundle includes thecourse book (PDF)and aBundesliga cluster table (Excel), which the examples are based upon.In addition, you will receive for free the

very latest Bundesliga table for the current season(valued at £27.50).

Within the course you will find adiscount codeenabling you to download for free the German Bundesliga sheet in future seasons, meaning that you will always have access to the most current Bundesliga cluster table,forever: it doesn’t matter when you bought the course.

Could you tell me where I can buy the Value Calculator if I can’t build one myself?

Here’s a link to the sales page:True Odds & Value Detector: League Games with H2H History

How can I pay for the course? I have neither a PayPal account nor a credit card.

Details of alternative payment options can be found here:Payment Options. They include Skrill (Moneybookers), Neteller and bank transfer (EFT).

What is the price equivalence in USD?

To find out the exchange rate please follow thislink to Google, which gives you the exchange rate of the day.

I live in Hungary; if I understand you correctly, the purchase price is therefore £59.00 * 1.27 = £74.93. Is that right?

Yes, this is correct. Soccerwidow Ltd is obliged in accordance with applicable law to charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on sales of digital products and services to customers within the European Union (EU).

The VAT rate applied to these products and services is based on the location of the customer. See the current.EU VAT Rates

When will my credit card be charged?

Your credit card will be charged at the time your order is placed.

Is it safe to use my credit card on your site?

Yes, it is safe.For processing orders we use the services of

GetDPDwhich is a fullyPCI Compliant Service Provider. During the checkout process you will be offered to choose payment by Paypal or credit card.

If you choosecredit card, then the platform integrated with GetDPD isStripe; here istheir security documentation.

Can I cancel my order?

As long as you have not paid there is no order. You can always return to your shopping cart and simply delete any items you don’t wish to see in your shopping cart.However, once you have paid you will get the product download link delivered immediately to your inbox. As long as you don’t download the course and cluster tables you have a cancellation period of 14 days and the right of a full return. Otherwise, once downloaded, there are no returns for digital content.

If you have made a genuine mistake, it’s worthcontacting usto see if you can get a refund. Normally, we will offer an exchange for another product or supply a discount code for future purchases.

How long will it take my order to arrive?

As soon as you have paid you will get the product download link delivered immediately to your inbox.You will receive an email from

GetDPD, our digital delivery partner.Should your download link not arrive within 10 minutes after purchasing, please check your spam folder. We do sometimes receive reports from our clients that GetDPD emails land there occasionally. You can play it safe and allow within your email program emails with the endings: digitalproductdelivery.com (GetDPD) and soccerwidow.com (us).

‘Allowing’ communications fromdigitalproductdelivery.comandsoccerwidow.comis actually quite important because we do upgrade products from time to time and you certainly don’t want to miss the free download link we will send out to buyers.

When filling out my address details in the shopping cart order form, the field ‘State/Province’ is mandatory. I cannot see states or provinces from my country.

Try pressing the F5 button to refresh your screen. Failing that, clear your cache and refresh again. If the problem persists, please contact us.

I purchased your book but I have not received the download link for the item.

Please check your Spam folder; sometimes our automated emails from GetDPD appear there. If you can’t find it please email to support[at]soccerwidow[dot]com, and we will get it sorted.

My download link has expired. Is a reactivation possible?

The download time limit is set to two weeks from the moment you purchase. The reason being that customers have a cancellation period of 14 days with the right of a full return as long as they haven’t downloaded the product within this period.Therefore, if you have not downloaded your product, after a period of two weeks has expired you can either apply for a refund or send an email to support[at]soccerwidow[dot]com for a link reactivation.

However, we sometimes get reports that the download link was received straight away but after opening it, a message appears stating that the download is ‘expired’. This is usually a problem associated with your browser. Please clean your cache and press the F5 button to refresh the screen.

Another request we occasionally receive is from buyers who have lost their original product or forgotten to download it, and then many months later wish to reactivate the download link. We are really sorry, but our grace period is 6 months only. After this time a fee of £10 will be charged for us to trace you in the system and manually reactivate the purchase.

I am having trouble at the beginning of the course. I don’t know how to calculate answers to some of the exercises.

Although this is a beginner’s course aimed at people with little odds calculation knowledge and basic Excel skills, it may be quite hard for those who have always found maths quite a challenge at school. Just take your time, read each chapter several times, repeat the practice areas, solve all the exercises, try to understand everything. You will be rewarded with knowledge.To keep it simple, the course contains no shortcuts. All calculations need to be done manually. Once you master the course and understand everything you will certainly develop a method to make it easier for yourself.

All formulas are given in the course either in the chapter of the exercise, or at the end of the book together with the solutions of the exercises.

If you need help, you are welcome to ask specific questions here on this FAQ page.

Regarding the historical odds you’ve used to calculate the Home/Away quotient – Are these the opening odds of the bookmakers or the odds after adjusting to market conditions?

The course uses football-data.co.uk data. These odds are taken on Friday evenings before the weekend games, and on Monday evenings for the midweek games.Our approach is to have plenty of time to do all the calculations and make decisions, and totally remove the need to sit in front of the computer just before a game starts. There are loved ones to share time with and lots of other nice things to do than spend time in front of a computer on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Anyway, if you wish to use opening odds then you would have to adjust the tables accordingly. However, even if the clusters move slightly, there really shouldn’t be too much of a movement because odds don’t change so much that they significantly affect the HO/AO quotient. To play it safe, for fast moving odds you can always use two adjoining clusters when calculating odds.

You describe in the course two different methods to find value bets. Is it true that there are only two options to calculate value? The Value Calculator method and the Cluster Table method?

The course explains two different approaches to find value bets:

(1) Value Calculator

(2) Cluster grouping with HO/AO quotientIn reality, there are many more than just these two methods. However, these two are perfectly adequate, and they both work.

There is nothing wrong with admiring complexity, but solutions should be sought in simplicity. The course provides “simple” answers.

Can I e-mail you with any questions I might have about the course?

Please always ask any questions via the comment functions at the bottom of any article in this blog. You will receive our answer submitted directly to your inbox, with no need for continuous checking. Or see ourContact Uspage for more information.

How do I get support?

You can ask questions via the comment functions in any articles on this site. We normally reply within a few hours. The answer will be submitted to your inbox.

In addition, if you subscribe to a post which interests you, then you will also receive questions and replies other readers have posted on the same article, and of course, our replies too.

How much do you earn based on your theories? Do you have any statistics for your betting history?

We simply don’t have any ‘theories’. We educate the public about bookmaker maths – bookmakers certainly don’t grow their businesses based purely on ‘theories’.Regarding how much we earn: Sorry to disappoint, but we don’t like to brag about our personal successes – there are far too many websites already blinding their readers with such information. However, we have published results of our past value betting exploits located in our

match preview archive. Here you will find plenty of articles with previews, maths and statistics, and this particular article is also worth pointing out:

Soccerwidow’s Value Betting Results: 274 Bets, from 07/12/2011 to 30/06/20122011-12 was a time when we were writing match previews for Betfair Germany based on our ‘theories’. Unfortunately for our growing band of followers Betfair withdrew from the German market in October 2012, and our match previews stopped. Why?

Because we lost our client (Betfair) who paid us for match previews.

Why didn’t we just simply continue publishing match previews on Soccerwidow?

Time limitations, mainly. Writing a single match preview, including all the necessary calculations, takes up to 6 hours. People love reading match previews but they are somewhat reluctant to pay for them…

I keep asking myself if your ‘system’ works so well, why don’t you earn your own money with it instead of selling it?

This is a question that probably interests many readers and it appears in the blog every now and then.Firstly, the course is not a ‘system’. It is a ‘simple’ maths book (at least for us). A little statistics, a little probability theory, a little about standard deviations, etc. This is what odds compilers do in their sleep when they calculate their odds.

Secondly, there are enough people who teach financial analysis without ever trading professionally in shares. If every professionally trained person would trade, then there wouldn’t be any teachers. And if nobody wanted to teach, what then?

Thirdly, a day has only 24 hours and we too sometimes have to sleep. We run two websites (Soccerwidow and Fussballwitwe). Running these blogs takes an enormous amount of time. Everybody has to make a decision what they want to do in life… We run websites, write courses and develop betting tools. When we have time, we occasionally place a bet or two, but that’s our personal business – betting itself is purely a hobby for us.

In the betting business, in order to win, somebody must lose. Do you consider the moral side of betting, or is it just a numbers game?

The moral side is a very good question…The intention of this blog is to educate people about gambling. Indeed, to teach them everything they need to know about gambling because our strong belief is that the more educated people are, the more informed decisions they will make.

We truly believe that people who buy our products and read our articles will eventually follow one of two paths:

(1) they will become far more successful punters (winners) than they were, or

(2) they will reduce their betting habit or stop it altogether. There are many qualities required to be a successful bettor and unfortunately, not everyone has them or can/will ever attain them.

If we can point you down either road then this is the achievement we are looking for. It’s our own way of fighting gambling addiction; we help people to better themselves and succeed, or to face facts and shed their habit to save money and free time for family and friends.

]]>

Have you ever wondered how bookmakers set their odds? They must be pretty good at it to remain trading in a high risk industry built on small margins!

Remember folks it’s all about finding the “edge”.

Image: Cartoonresource (Shutterstock)

Image: Cartoonresource (Shutterstock)

It is common knowledge that the gambling industry as a whole relies to a large extent on the ignorance of its customers and, only by understanding how bookmakers think and act, will you ever be able to compete with them on a level playing field.

This course is designed to give you the essential, fundamental knowledge necessary to understand odds calculation and the bookmaker market.

It deals with relatively simple descriptive statistics and teaches you how to look at data sets, calculate your own probabilities and odds, analyse the market odds on offer, and make informed decisions when predicting football results.

Amongst the topics you will work through are distributions, deviations, graphs and charts, odds calculation, financial terminologies, risk management, and of course, how to identify ‘value’ in the betting market.

You will gain a deep understanding of the many different elements required to understand the bookmaker market and odds calculation. Many false beliefs that the majority of gamblers and fans of football have about betting will be exposed and stripped away.

Readers will also be enlightened to learn about how odds are set in the market, where to find ‘errors’ in market prices, how to evaluate data and graphs, and much, much more.

The course comes in electronic format and the bundle includes the **course book (PDF*)** and a **Bundesliga cluster table (Excel)** for studying. This course employs a didactic method of teaching, which is an educational technique. It is a very structured style of learning and as such, each section of the course should be mastered before moving on to the next.

To further encourage you to learn, there is a plethora of exercises to practice what you have learned, and the solutions to the exercises are found at the end of the book, sometimes embellished with further explanations.

All of the course lessons are presented in a pragmatic, easy-to-follow, step-by-step fashion, with no more than passing respect towards the sport of football and the passion of its fans. After all, this book has been written by a lady who loves maths but dislikes football…!

In addition, you will receive **the very latest Bundesliga table for the current season**, so that you can put into practice what you have learned and within the course, you will find **a discount code** enabling you to download **for free the German Bundesliga sheet in future seasons**, meaning that you will always have access to the most current Bundesliga cluster table, **forever**: it doesn’t matter when you bought the course.

**By the way, the PDF is a professionally formatted document and if you have a double-sided printer you can print your own book for studying.*

Course with Cluster Tables for the German Bundesliga

Over/Under ‘X’ Goals

PRODUCT SUMMARY

- Format:
**PDF & XLS** - Download Size:
**Course (PDF): 5.2 MB & Excel file: 782 KB** - Publisher:
**Soccerwidow Ltd; 2nd Edition***(July 2016)* - Pages:
**169***(almost 38,000 words)* - Tables and graphs:
**70** - Example tasks:
**more than 80***(with solutions)* - Language:
**ENGLISH**

* 0% VAT to UK customers, 0% VAT to Non-EU customers **Read more:** EU VAT Legislation

For traditionalists, the PDF has been professionally formatted for double-sided printing. If you like, you can print your book in full-colour with a cover and add slick spiral binding.

Those who prefer to read the document on their computers will find the chosen font *(Myriad Pro)* easy to read on the screen. Myriad Pro has a clean sans-serif aesthetic which makes it highly accessible.

The electronic version also contains a plethora of easy-to-navigate links to help the learner find his way around the document.

**Probability, Betting Odds, Value, Yield, Profitability**

**Basic Statistical Terminology**

- Goal Distribution and Percentage Calculation
- Deviation from the Mean
- Standard Deviation – The Main Measure of Variability
- Precision, Trueness and Accuracy

**Betting Odds Calculation**

- Probability and Betting Odds
- Opening Betting Odds Range
- Calculation of ‘Zero’ (Fair) Odds

**Risk Management Control**

- Financial Terms: Yield, ROI and Profitability
- Risk Forecasting and Evaluation: Value of a Trade (Bet)
- Preventative Measures: Setting the Starting Bank

**Market Dynamics, Cluster Groups and Betting Tables**

**Market Dynamics**

- Betting Odds are Prices of Bets
- Falling Odds represent Price Increase
- Bookmakers adjust Betting Odds to Public Opinions

**Building of Cluster Groups**

- What are Cluster Groups?
- Clustering Depending on ‘Strength’ of the Team

**Betting Tables: Over/Under ‘X’ Goals**

- Goal Distribution by Team
- Team Calculation Tables
- Standard Deviation Tables
- Using Calculation Tables to Determine Betting Odds

**Finding Value Bets**

- Everything that Glitters is not Gold
- Method I: Value Betting using Cluster Group Tables
- Method II: Value Betting using the Value Calculator
- Cluster Groups, Value Calculator and Bets Identification

…or ask any questions in the comment section below. ]]>

**Do you know how bookmakers set their odds? We do! And we will happily teach you too!**

Image: Cartoonresource (Shutterstock)

The 2nd edition is not just a ‘revised’ version, it is a **total overhaul** answering many questions raised by our original audience such as deviations and correction factors, which are explained in great detail.

The updated version is now a hefty document at **169 pages** and **almost 40,000 words**, three times the length of the first course.

One enormous enhancement is that in this new version, we actually give away **two proven methods of bet selection**, making it as easy as possible to spot candidates for successful value betting portfolios.

Another substantial upgrade is that buyers of the 2nd edition will now automatically get the current, up-to-date German Bundesliga cluster table supplied with the course. In addition, you will find a discount code within the course enabling you to download **for free** the German Bundesliga sheet in future seasons, meaning that you will always have access to the most current Bundesliga cluster table, **forever**: it doesn’t matter when you bought the course.

**Attila**

The course is really very well done! Concentrated expertise that cannot be found anywhere else.

**Socrates**

Finally an unbiased contribution to football betting, which goes beyond a simple description of betting options and also explains bookmaker calculations as well as betting odds formation in detail.

What really surprised me is how easy it actually is to calculate odds and even predict Betfair market prices to find value bets. However, I will still need a long time to work through the entire course, but now I have some guidance about how to change my betting behaviour.

**Onheimlech**

Hello Soccerwidow,

Your course is written very well. My bet portfolio now considers mathematical formulas and somehow I like this.

It is amazing to see how close my own calculated odds come to the actual odds for different bookmakers. Without your course I wouldn’t be able to find value.

**André**

I just working through the Over/Under X Goals course.

The examples described are simply fabulous. When I look back and see what I have previously evaluated and what is recommended by you – they are worlds if not galaxies apart.

**Marcel Brand**

Dear Soccerwidow,

Firstly many thanks for the great Over/Under Goals course. I would already personally call myself an advanced bettor, but your course has brought me further forwards, especially in the topic of cluster grouping.

**Pete**

Just bought your guide, and learned a lot. Many, many thanks! I can recommend it.

Worth every penny!

**Ian**

I’ve just purchased the Over/Under course and Value Bet detector. They are both excellent products and bring together all the knowledge that I have accumulated over a few decades.

Unfortunately, it has taken me this long to figure out the simple fact that value bets + staking plan = steady profits

**Janice**

When I bought your course I was completely overawed by it and didn’t read it properly for a couple of months – in fact I stopped betting altogether…

But when I had nothing to do one day I re-opened it, gradually overcame my fear, and began making some satisfying progress.

The exercises and questions really are a great idea and help to commit the concepts to memory, and having the answers provided at the back of the book is hugely reassuring, especially when you get them right.

The course **Fundamentals of Sports Betting – Over/Under ‘X’ Goals** explains statistical applications required to calculate odds and find value in the market.

All the concepts explained apply basic maths, financial management, quantitative analysis, and statistics to football betting.

The course reinterprets maths covered in A-levels at school *(such as analysing graphs, calculating the mean, etc.)*, and also introduces some statistics from the first year of university studies *(e.g. standard deviation)*.

Bankroll management is one of the most important pillars for success in sports betting.

Image: Alex Roz

A portfolio of sports bets placed over time can be compared to investing in the money markets on a portfolio of stocks and shares.

Indeed, the term ‘bankroll management’ comes from the financial sector and describes the use of the *seed capital* (i.e. in betting terminology, the *initial stake*).

Bankroll is the ‘starting bank’, and the intention is to manage it and increase it at the same time.

Bankroll management therefore deals with how to properly manage your starting bank.

**The good news**: It is actually possible to calculate the required starting bank mathematically.

**The bad news**: The calculations are naturally dependent upon statistics, and the ‘significance’ of the results relies on the amount of data used.

For example, any strategy based on one German Bundesliga team’s home games during a season produces a sample of precisely 17 sets of data, which is a very small number, statistically speaking.

The **Law of Large Numbers** is omnipresent so far as statistical accuracy is concerned: The larger the data sample, the more accurate the final results are likely to be, although a line has to be drawn between sample size and an acceptable level of error.

One way of coping with small data sets is to incorporate a **risk discount** into the equation. More about this later…

On face value, you might assume that calculating the necessary starting bank for a betting strategy can be derived solely from the stake multiplied by the number of bets (n).

With the 17 matches from our example above, and a constant stake of 100 units per bet, the bank would then be: 100 x 17 = 1700 units. But is this maximal amount *really* needed?

Although this may be true where returns from winning bets cannot be immediately re-invested, such a bank can never be optimal because an inordinate amount of capital would be tied-up.

What you should look for is the most cost-effective bankroll where all the money you have at your disposal is working for you as efficiently as possible.

Optimal bankroll is characterized by two things:

- Cash holdings (i.e. money in reserve) is kept as low as possible
**Gambler’s ruin**is avoided

There are five vital criteria you will need to establish:

- What is the size of your stake per bet?
- How many bets does your strategy expect to be placed?
- What is the expected hit rate of your strategy?
- What is its expected longest losing streak?
- Determine the risk variables and incorporate a ‘risk coefficient’.

Okay, we will stick with the German Bundesliga for demonstration purposes and use a system gleaned from its latest full-time 1×2 **HDAFU Simulation Table**.

If you have already bought this table, you can see the full and detailed analysis of **backing the underdog whenever Hamburg plays at home**: This strategy has realised a yield in excess of 58% over the course of five complete seasons from 2010-11 to 2014-15.

In addition, there has been profit produced in every one of those same five seasons.

It’s an ideal candidate for incorporating into a large portfolio of other systems. (When we say ‘large’ we mean a portfolio that will generate at least 500 bets in a season.)

**(1) Size of Stake per Bet:**

This is determined by your own liquidity, and to keep this calculation simple, a **Constant Stake** (CS) of 100 units per bet will be used.

**(2) Number of Bets:**

For this mini portfolio of Hamburg home games, the **Number of Bets** (n) is 17 for the new season.

**(3) Hit Rate:**

The HDAFU Simulation Table reveals that from 85 Hamburg home games over five seasons, 32 underdogs triumphed: a **Hit Rate** of 38%.

The random selection of only 85 matches is a relatively small sample and the possibility of ‘random sample error’ is therefore relatively large.

To compensate, it is worth applying what is known as a ‘risk discount’ to reduce the actual hit rate experienced and to build-in an extra level of security if statistical expectations for the new season are not realised.

Taking a risk discount figure of 5%, the expected hit rate becomes: 38% – 5% = 33%.

[Have a look at **this article** for more information about hit rates].

**(4) Longest Losing Streak Expected (LLSe):**

The longest expected losing streak *(or winning streak)* can be calculated using the following formula:

**n** = number of trials *(i.e. total number of bets)*

**ln** = natural logarithm*

**P** = (negative) probability^{†}

**| .. |** = absolute value or ‘modulus’ *(see Wikipedia if you would like to know more about these mathematical symbols)*

**Suffice to say, explaining what natural logarithm is would be worthy of a series of articles. For the time being, use Excel to calculate this for you: to make life easy, the formulas to use are included in the free spreadsheet download below*.

^{†}*For this calculation, the negative probability or hit rate is used. In this case, having adjusted our hit rate down to 33% using a risk discount, the probability that the bet loses (negative probability) is 67%*.

rounded down to

From a pool of 17 bets, you can therefore statistically expect that a maximum of seven in a row may be lost without winning one in between.

**(5) Risk Coefficient (RC):**

The determination of risk variables depends primarily on your **risk aversion**. Risk-averse bettors choose a high coefficient figure (e.g. 5), whilst gamblers who are happier taking risks choose lower coefficients (e.g. 2).

But why are we including a risk coefficient at all?

We can assume that the longest expected losing streak *(in our example, seven lost bets in a row)*, may already start with the first bet.

Although one bet may win after that, with the gains reimbursing the loss and allowing for reinvestment, there can still be a second stroke of bad luck directly after the first bet that you have won.

Neither winning bets nor losing bets ever line up in a uniform manner; they will always appear in a random pattern, so always better to be safe than sorry.

The formula is:

Our Bundesliga example is an underdog backing system, which by its very nature, is risky. However, as there are only a maximum of 17 bets in this mini system, we will choose a risk coefficient of 1.5: we are happy to take the risks!

It is not very likely that there will be two losing streaks of seven games in a row when betting 17 consecutive times. However, we are aware that it may be quite challenging for the nerves to sit through losing streaks watching the bank balance reduce before your eyes!

The optimal bankroll required to run this system for a season is as follows:

If you remember the sub-optimal bank strategy at the beginning of the article where we touched on a bankroll of 1,700 units (100 units per bet x 17), you can see we have now released 650 units for investing in another strategy elsewhere.

With this **free Excel table download**, you can easily and quickly discover what the longest losing streaks are for your own strategies. Just enter your stake, number of bets, and risk coefficient figures and let it calculate everything for you!

**>>> Excel Workbook – Losing Streaks <<<**

*Click on the above button – in the new tab click on the ‘Continue Checkout’ button. Enter your name and email address to allow our automatic shopping cart to deliver the file by email to you, free of charge. The .xls file size is 93 KB. When you receive your confirmation email, just click on ‘View Purchase Online’ (in the email text) to download the file.*

This is contrary to other forms of gambling loaded in favour of the house such as lottery and roulette, where success tends to rely more on luck than strategy.

Image: PhotoSky (Shutterstock)

With football betting, there are only three possible half-time and full-time outcomes (home/draw/away) for example, and sometimes just two sides to a football bet (e.g. over/under ‘X’ goals).

In contrast, the UK National Lottery has 45 numbers providing over 14 million combinations of the six needed for a jackpot, meaning the chances of winning are drastically low.

Indeed, football betting is a little like stock market shares where it is possible to select profitable investments, and traders can forecast with a deal of accuracy whether prices are more likely to rise or fall.

Whereas in stock markets prices sometimes rise or fall unexpectedly, freak results also happen in football as every fan will have observed.

I was fortunate enough to receive tutoring on financial and quantitative analysis of stock markets at university but of course, football betting is not on the syllabus. However, the more I study betting and its underlying statistics, the more parallels I can draw with stock market analysis.

The secret of long-term financial success in the stock market is not necessarily always about buying the right shares or options.

Obviously, a good selection of instruments naturally influences the profit margin in a positive manner but, long-term financial success is not guaranteed if the portfolio is wrongly structured. The same applies to football betting.

A professional stock broker would not dream of investing all of his clients’ money in just * one* share or option. Indices such as DAX, MDAX and TecDAX all include at least 30 companies in their portfolios. The DAX 100, as its name suggests, contains 100 companies.

Why, therefore, does the stock broker look to invest in a wide range of markets? The answer is obvious: This is done to reduce or spread the risk if one or another share price develops in the wrong direction. And, even in the very unlikely event that the whole stock market collapses, the indices will never totally drop to zero.

Translated into gambling, these principles indicate that you should **never ever put all your bank on one individual bet**, however ‘sure’ it appears. You must always bet on

One interpretation reads: …”A bundle of investments in the possession of an institution or an individual… Usually, an extensive analysis precedes the structuring of a portfolio… A portfolio is typically part of the strategy to reduce the risks of financial investments by diversifying”…

**Translated into betting language:**

…”A portfolio is a package of bets where extensive analysis has determined the choices (picks)…This is an essential part of the whole betting strategy in order to reduce the risks of losing by diversifying”…

You should not be dazzled by their mechanisms because * none* of these staking plans will work at all if your betting system has no mathematical ‘edge’. Indeed, with a blunt selection strategy the only mark even a highly sophisticated staking plan will make on your betting experience is how long it will be before your bank is lost.

Image: Ninell (Shutterstock)

In this article, I will not be analysing the myriad staking plans as there is plenty of information already on the Net. For example, just key in the words “staking plan”, or any of above names into the search engine of your choice. Our **introductory article** is also worth a read…

I have said many times before on this blog that there is no way to make money in the long run from betting without having an edge over the market. Therefore, honestly, if you have arrived on this blog and you are reading this article because you hope to find a staking plan to turn your luck, then please forget it. First of all you need to find a * selection system* that works for you and which contains that magical ‘edge’!

If you have found your betting system then there is no need for any complicated staking plan, simply plump for a **level risk/stake**. All other staking plans contain one or another problem and please rest assured that there is definitely not a single staking plan in existence which makes a failing betting system work.

It’s only your **knowledge** of the market which will determine your success, and this means a * good understanding of probabilities and betting odds* and the knowledge of how to use them to your advantage.

**The benchmark for any betting system is the level risk staking plan.**

This means risking a fixed unit per bet. A selection system that does not produce a profit to level risk simply does not have a positive edge, and is doomed to lose in the long run.

There are two varieties of this staking plan:

This means risking the * same amount* of money with each and every bet. This applies to back as well as to lay bets.

**Back bets** are pretty easy. You risk, for example, 10 units per bet and it doesn’t matter how low or high the odds are.

**Lay bets** require some calculation as you need to calculate the stake for each bet individually in order * to risk* the same amount every time (e.g. 10 units) to minimise losses.

*Congratulations to those ‘mad’ scientists at the International School of Management (ISM) in Frankfurt and the German Sports University in Cologne whose predictions we followed throughout Euro 2012.*

Image: Pikoso.kz (Shutterstock)

*Those of you who also followed suit reaped the benefits of their statistical predictions realising a yield of between 19.7% and 25.5% depending upon which style of staking plan you employed (either fixed stake or fixed risk/win).*

However, some of their prophecies did not materialise…

For example, co-hosts Poland did not make the semi-finals.

There were plenty of goals in the England v. Sweden match but not a huge goal difference for England and in the end they struggled to win at all.

Alas, the scientists’ beloved Germany did not get a chance to dethrone the defending champions in the final despite saying, “chance, luck and statistics are favouring zis”.

Never-ze-less, ze predictions from ze Frankfurt and Cologne think-tanks produced handsome profits.

As mentioned in our original article * not all predictions will win*. Indeed, it would have been miraculous if they had all won as the mathematical likelihood was just 0.00000031% (326 million to 1 – that’s definitely the way to bankrupt the bookies!).

**Soccerwidow’s pre-tournament profit/loss estimation of the scientists’ predictions using a fixed risk/fixed win staking plan:**

*Total risk of all bets (stakes): 106.55 Units
Maximum potential profit: 140.52 Units
Realistically expected profit (10%-15% yield): 10.66 to 15.98 Units*

However, things turned out better than expected with profits of 27.22 units (25.5% yield) based on our favoured fixed risk/fixed win staking plan:

The second table represents the same bets using a fixed stake staking plan.

We feel that a **Fixed win/Fixed Risk staking plan** is the most solid and reliable form of staking for maximised profits and minimised losses, and we have just found this article **Raceadvisor.co.uk: Fixed Profits or Fixed Stakes?** which includes a mathematical experiment comparing a fixed stake with a fixed risk/win staking plan. It’s an interesting read and a similar outcome to our own findings.

However, the **Fixed Stake Staking Plan** tends to be a more popular method and although this would have also brought a nice profit of 22.65 units (19.7% yield), the **Fixed win/Fixed Risk staking plan** remains ‘smarter’ in our humble opinion.

*If you would like to analyse these calculations in a little more detail you can download our Excel spreadsheet which complements the above tables, free of charge. However, please kindly return the favour and either Twitter this article, like it on Facebook, or Google+ it.*

Excelspreadsheet Euro 2012 Simulation – Staking Plan Comparison

In our original ‘mad scientists’ article we recommended a fixed win/fixed risk staking plan and as we have seen, this method performed better than a fixed stake staking plan.

However, both staking plans produced fairly similar results due mainly to the fact that betting odds between 1.5 and 3.5 were in play. Especially at the lower odds the differences between the stake amounts in both plans were not huge, which ultimately led to similar results.

Whichever staking plan you choose is down to you and it then remains to follow it religiously without emotion and to never chase losses…

*If you now have a great void in your life following the completion of Euro 2012, instead of developing withdrawal symptoms or falling into post-Euro 2012 depression, remember that you always have therapy available by reading this blog from cover to cover. Then, if you are very brave you may wish to dive into Soccerwidow’s Fundamentals of Sports Betting course in order to learn the skills of professional odds calculation and prepare yourself for next season!*

June was indeed an exceptional month realising a **yield of 16.4%**. The formulas and spreadsheets we rely upon for league club games were modified for the neutral venue environment (for most teams) of Euro 2012 with an unprecedented level of success, which led to continuing bank growth:

From this graph, it can clearly be seen that football betting in general is a **very volatile** venture. The jagged curve tells continual stories of success and failure, but the direction of the curve indicates that the **portfolio system** of ‘value’ betting tends to play according to statistical expectations, although an individual match may sometimes hold surprises.

The mathematical advantage or edge (i.e. ‘value’) achieved in June was **55.8%** meaning that **for every 1 unit lost 1.558 units were recovered**. The **average winnings per bet were 1.47 units** making June from this perspective the best performing month so far.

Our entire experiment is based on a **fixed win/risk staking plan** (equal win, equal risk). This staking plan takes probabilities into account, meaning that there is a higher stake (i.e. risk) for bets with a higher chance of winning, and a proportionately reduced stake the lower the chance of winning a bet becomes (i.e. providing for more attempts to get a ‘hit’ at higher odds).

In essence this means the stakes employed depend upon the odds, but the risk and attainable profit remain constant. Our wagers in this public experiment have therefore always been limited to a maximum risk per bet of 10 units, or to a maximum win of 10 units.

**Back Bets at odds of up to 2.0:**Example 1.69; the stake (risk) is 10 units; if the bet wins, the winnings are 6.90 units; if bet loses, then 10 units are lost.**Lay Bets at odds of up to 2.0:**Example 1.69; winnings are capped at 10 units; if bet wins, the winnings are 10 units; if bet loses, the loss is 6.90 units.**Back Bets at odds over 2.0:**Example 3.5; winnings are capped at 10 units; if bet wins, the winnings are 10 units; if bet loses, the loss is 4 units.**Lay Bets at odds over 2.0:**Example 3.5; loss is capped at 10 units; if bet wins, winnings are 4 units; if bet loses, then 10 units are lost.

The next illustration * (click to enlarge, opens in a new tab)* shows computations of “Yield”, “ROI” (return on investment), and “Value” (mathematical advantage or “edge”):

From bet number one on 7th December 2011 to the close of play on 30th June 2012, a total of **274 bets have produced a net profit of 252.81 units from a starting bank of 50 units**. The starting bank has been recycled several times with total turnover reaching 2,166.77 units at the end of June.

The **average “Yield” is 11.67%** (profit divided by total turnover), equating to an average of **0.93 units won per bet** transaction.

The proportional increase of the 50 units starting bank comes to **505.63%** (ROI 1) over 7 months, simply meaning that the bank has ‘quintupled’ in size. The average rate of return per month (ROI 2) calculates to **29.91%**.

In 7 months a total of 694.66 units were lost and 947.47 units won, corresponding to a **profit of 252.81 units**. The achieved mathematical advantage or **‘value’ therefore equals 36.39%** (252.81 units net profit divided by 694.66 units lost in achieving it).

Sorting the 274 bets into their respective probability cluster groups shows the corresponding hit-rates have still not always achieved the exact calculated expectations (those highlighted in pink), purely because the sample sizes remain relatively small.

Nevertheless, the deviations are not huge, except in the ‘90% and above’ cluster group. We mentioned last month that this may be an indication of error in the probability calculations. Unfortunately, time has not permitted us to investigate this anomaly and we have therefore decided to suspend betting in this cluster group and paper-test some adjustments before reintroducing these bets into our recommendations.

The best performing groups were the 70-80% and the 80-90% probability clusters, which contain primarily **“Dutch” lay** bets, **Over 1.5 goals** bets, and **Under 3.5 goals** bet recommendations. Low odds, but high profits.

Overall, we can say that everything ran as expected.

There were no real nasty surprises and the games played out more or less statistically correct. Of course, appreciating that not every recommended bet can win helped us construct a betting strategy to make money in spite of this truism.

As explained in the article **Probability, Expectation, Hit Rate, Value, Mathematical Advantage** it is unrealistic to hope that every bet wins. For example, a 64.6% probability means precisely a 64.6% expected hit-rate; no more and no less! **The VALUE lies in the odds (price), not in the hit-rate.**

In the whole seven months since we started publishing match previews, **not a single month has finished in the red** and, as we have mentioned on several occasions throughout this website, successful value betting is purely a numbers game.

Although value betting on statistics is one of the most reliable approaches to football betting (and pretty much the same strategy the bookmakers employ), individual events have a habit of producing erratic results from time to time. Therefore you must never drift away from your staking plan and never chase losses.

Well, that’s the end of our public experiment for now. The time it takes to analyse each game, pick out bet recommendations, publish each article, and follow up with monthly summaries is, we can assure you, a huge burden on our time. However, we have proved a point over the last seven months that with the right tools and the right application it is definitely possible to make money with value betting.

Go back one month to **May’s summary**

If you you are not already aware, Soccerwidow has developed a sophisticated Excel spreadsheet which automatically calculates the probability of bet success and whether the odds for the bet carry positive or negative ‘value’. All of our football betting predictions are based on this tool:

**TRUE ODDS AND VALUE BET DETECTOR SPREADSHEET**

The spreadsheet relies on inputting historical results for the game you are analysing in order to see how accurate the odds are being offered by the market. The formulas do the rest and display the value bets available for more than 100 betting options (including Asian Handicap HT and FT), leaving you to decide which ones to include in your portfolio.

]]>The spreadsheet relies on inputting historical results for the game you are analysing in order to see how accurate the odds are being offered by the market. The formulas do the rest and display the value bets available for more than 100 betting options (including Asian Handicap HT and FT), leaving you to decide which ones to include in your portfolio.

May was the first month we published our value bet articles and predictions in both Betfair’s German blog *and* the Soccerwidow site.

To be honest it was a pretty difficult month. The major European leagues all came to the end of their seasons, concluding with various cup finals. These games although popular with the football betting masses were difficult in terms of finding ‘value’. This was probably because odds compilers and betting exchange users alike were able to find and use a plethora of available information to compile often uncannily accurate odds.

Nevertheless, despite the lack of value bet opportunities, Soccerwidow’s bank continued its upward trend. The mathematical advantage achieved in previous months was between 25-40%, but in May Soccerwidow achieved only **15%**. The average bank gain in previous months was between 1.20 and 0.80 units per tip, but last month it was only 0.41 units.

As we have already mentioned, finding bets with big slices of value attached was tricky due to the statistical accuracy of the offered odds, and as many of our tips held only small mathematical advantages (value), profits were always going to suffer:

We are using a **level win/risk staking plan (fixed win, fixed risk)**. This means the stakes employed depend upon the individual odds, but the maximum risk and attainable profit are constant. Depending on the odds, our wagers are always limited to a maximum risk per bet of 10 units, and where necessary also ‘weighted’ to win a maximum of 10 units.

**Back Bets**at odds of up to**2.0**: Example 1.69; the stake (risk) is 10 units; if bet wins, the winnings are 6.90 units; if bet loses, then 10 units are lost.**Lay Bets**at odds of up to**2.0**: Example 1.69; winnings are capped at 10 units; if bet wins, the winnings are 10 units; if bet loses, the loss is 6.90 units.**Back Bets**at odds over**2.0**: Example 3.5; winnings are capped at 10 units; if bet wins, the winnings are 10 units; if bet loses, the loss is 4 units.**Lay Bets**at odds over**2.0**: Example 3.5; loss is capped at 10 units; if bet wins, winnings are 4 units; if bet loses, then 10 units are lost.

The next illustration * (click to enlarge, opens in a new window)* is a table showing computations of ‘Yield’, ‘ROI’ (return on investment), and ‘Value’ (mathematical advantage or ‘edge’):

As at close of play on 31st May 2012, a total of **207 bets have produced a net profit of 154.36 units** from a starting bank of 50 units. The starting bank has been turned over several times and totals 1,567.15 units at the end of six months. The **average “Yield” is 9.8%** (profit divided by total stakes), or an average of **0.84 units won per bet** transaction.

The proportional increase of the 50 units starting bank computes to **308.7%** (ROI 1) over six months, meaning simply that the initial bank has ‘trebled’. The average rate of return per month (ROI 2) calculates to **32.2%**.

In six months a total of 518.09 units was lost and 672.45 units won, corresponding to a **profit of 154.36 units**. The mathematical advantage or **‘value’ was therefore 29.8%** (154.30 profit divided by 518.09 units lost in achieving it).

Sorting the 207 bets into their respective probability cluster groups shows the corresponding hit-rates have not totally achieved the exact calculated expectations, purely because the sample size remains relatively small. The clusters which remain slightly awry have a pink background.

Nevertheless, the deviations are not huge, except in the ‘90% and above’ cluster group. We mentioned last month that this may be an indication of error in the probability calculations.

The best performing group is the 80-90% probability cluster, which contains primarily * “Dutch” lay *bets,

In May we made an adjustment to the ‘90% and above’ betting formula and comparing the May analysis above with April’s below you can see that there were 3 new bets in this group, all of which won. Thus, the hit-rate improved from 76.2% to 79.2%. However, we will keep monitoring this group.

Overall, we can say that everything is running as expected. There have been no nasty surprises and the games have played out more or less statistically correct. Of course, calculations can always be improved, but a Yield of 9.8% is not such a bad result.

In the whole six months since we started, **not one month has finished in the red**.

Of course, just 17 matches in a whole month is a very small number, even if we choose two to three per game. In May we recommended a total of 48 bets but for more relevant conclusions, this is far too small a portfolio. We feel there should be at least 100 matches each month containing up to 300 value bets. Unfortunately, such match analysis is very time consuming and any more analyses are beyond our personal capacity.

- Go back one month to
**April’s summary** - Go forward one month to
**June’s summary**

If you you are not already aware, Soccerwidow has developed a sophisticated Excel spreadsheet which automatically calculates the probability of bet success and whether the odds for the bet carry positive or negative ‘value’. All of our football betting predictions are based on this tool:

**TRUE ODDS AND VALUE BET DETECTOR SPREADSHEET**

The spreadsheet relies on inputting historical results for the game you are analysing in order to see how accurate the odds are being offered by the market. The formulas do the rest and display the value bets available for more than 100 betting options (including Asian Handicap HT and FT), leaving you to decide which ones to include in your portfolio.

]]>The spreadsheet relies on inputting historical results for the game you are analysing in order to see how accurate the odds are being offered by the market. The formulas do the rest and display the value bets available for more than 100 betting options (including Asian Handicap HT and FT), leaving you to decide which ones to include in your portfolio.