Learning Centre – Soccerwidow http://www.soccerwidow.com Football Betting Maths, Value Betting Strategies Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:47:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Are Betting Odds Worthwhile Calculating? Are Betting Odds Always Fair? http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-odds-worthwhile-calculating-to-check-if-fair-4713/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-odds-worthwhile-calculating-to-check-if-fair-4713/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2018 04:05:01 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=4713 more »]]> Why are there more Losers than Winners in the Sports Betting World?

A vast amount of gamblers never achieve betting returns high enough to crossover to the exclusive group of people who make a living from betting. Even worse, the majority of sports betting practitioners consistently lose more money than they win.

Punters learn the hard way that they lack knowledge and understanding of probabilities. They constantly overestimate their skills in judging the chances of predicting an outcome.

Want to Win more than you Lose? Go Back to School...Collage of Shutterstock images: 3Dmask

Bookmakers remain in business and thrive at the expense of the majority of gamblers who possess two perfect flaws in their thinking:

A ‘strike it rich’ mentality which, in its most advanced state becomes ‘greed’

    and

A degree of ignorance when it comes to calculating betting odds

This particular human behaviour guarantees bookmakers their profits but, it’s devastating for the bank balances of bettors. Does this sound familiar to you?

Good Knowledge and Understanding of Probabilities Required

To make money with sports betting, determining the probability of a bet outcome and calculating the corresponding odds for it are unavoidable.

Comparing the betting odds offered in the market with the expected fair price is a constituent part of discovering whether the odds offered for a bet are too high (containing value) or, too low (without value).

Here is an example:

The screenshot below shows an excerpt from Soccerwidow’s Value Calculator for the EPL game on 25/10/2014 between West Ham and Man City.

HDA Odds Calculation via Soccerwidow's VC: West Ham vs Man City - 25.10.20141×2 Odds Calculation via Soccerwidow's VC: West Ham vs Man City on 25.10.2014

The statistical probability of a Man City win was 49%, corresponding to ‘true odds’ of 2.04 (100/49).

Translated into layman’s language the chance of Man City winning this match was approximately 50/50. Of course, this meant West Ham had a 50/50 chance of avoiding defeat (i.e. West Ham winning or drawing the game).

However, at kick-off the highest odds on offer for Man City to win were only 1.65, equating to a 60.6% chance (100/1.65).

Everyone who bought a bet on Man City to win placed their bets at the price corresponding to a 60.6% chance, whilst in truth City’s chances were only 49%.

Without a satisfactory knowledge and understanding of betting odds and probabilities, there were probably tens of thousands of punters backing Man City, clearly priced as the favourite in this match, at massively under-priced odds.

People who bet like this over and over again shouldn’t wonder why they lose more money than they win over the course of a season.

In contrast, the bookmakers make a good profit from bets of this nature. In this particular example, offering odds of 1.65 equates to a mathematical advantage over the punter in excess of 20%, meaning that their profit on a whole portfolio of bets like this is, in the long run, at least 20% or above.

Are you still with me?

You need to understand that the ability to calculate probabilities and odds is crucial and will enable you to better judge if odds are over- or under-priced (i.e. worthwhile or not).

Sports Betting Odds – How to Know that Odds are Fair

Betting odds which correspond to the theoretical calculated probability are called ‘fair odds’.

Young woman opening empty coin purse / Junge Frau, die eine leere Geldbörse öffnetImage: alexkatkov (Shutterstock)

The West Ham v Man City match is by no means a one-off or even a rare example.

The market odds offered on any event very seldom represent fair odds. They are regularly either over- or under-priced.

Considering that there is always ‘error’ present in statistical calculations (deviation of predicted distributions to the actual observed results), any betting odds within a corridor of +/- 5% of the calculated probability can be called ‘fair’.

Soccerwidow’s Value Calculator has an error rate of approximately 3%. Translating this to our example, consistently betting on teams with a 49% chance of winning will produce an expected hit rate for similar matches of somewhere between 46% and 52% (49% +/- 3%).

As we have seen, the highest odds available for Man City to win prior to kick-off were based on a 60.6% probability. This was way outside the acceptable probability corridor and, therefore, the 1.65 betting odds were hugely ‘unfair’.

Laying Man City in this case would have been a ‘value bet’, certainly not backing them to win.

Compulsory Maths Lessons for Bettors

I am really sorry but, for anyone seriously interested in betting for a profit, a thorough and practical understanding of betting odds calculation is absolutely necessary.

Sadly, maths, statistics and probabilities have never been the most popular subjects in schools.

If you want to be a winner you need to make a stark choice: either force yourself to learn everything you can about probabilities and betting odds or, accept the fact you are gambling for entertainment purposes only with a strong prospect you will lose more than you will win.

If you value the money in your pocket there is no sense to continue betting on gut feelings alone waiting for the next ‘lucky streak’.

So long as bettors remain ignorant of betting odds calculation, bookmakers will continue to grow their businesses whilst bettors will continue to pay for it.

Conclusion

Betting odds are the prices for bets which very rarely represent the true probabilities of an event actually occurring. For the majority of bets offered in the market, odds are either over- or under-priced.

The ability to compare odds and buy bets at the best available prices is crucial for betting success, as is a deep understanding of probabilities and odds calculation. Without these attributes bettors are doomed to lose more money than they win.

However, before you decide to delve deeply into learning betting odds calculation, please consider carefully whether it is in fact a good use of your time. If you are not put off by the maths involved I can certainly assure you that the learning curve ahead is very, very steep and long.

Perhaps you can think of other things to concentrate upon and make money in a profitable, but more socially acceptable way?

If I haven’t persuaded you otherwise and you are still serious about wanting to make money with betting, then it is certainly worthwhile reading my other articles on this topic (see selection below) – and consider buying our Over/Under Betting Course and/or Value Calculator to help you master this subject.

Check out our store for more educational products on betting odds calculation: Soccerwidow’s Products

Here’s a selection of relevant and free explanatory articles delving deeper into the subject of betting odds calculation:

How do Bookmakers Tick? How & Why do they Set Their Odds as they do?
How Bookmakers’ Odds Match Public Opinion
What is Value? What is Value Betting?
What is the Ideal Sample Size for Accurate Predictions?
Probability, Expectation, Hit Rate, Value, Mathematical Advantage: Explained

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Frequently Asked Questions – Over Under Cluster Tables http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/frequently-asked-questions-over-under-cluster-tables/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/frequently-asked-questions-over-under-cluster-tables/#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:39:31 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=6233 more »]]> Here are the most frequent questions asked by our readers and customers about the Cluster Tables for Over/Under Goals betting. If you can’t find an answer to your particular question, then please feel free to ask us using the comments section at the bottom of this page. We usually reply within 24 hours.

These FAQ’s refer to the: OVER/UNDER ~ HO/AO Cluster Tables.

Click on the arrows to reveal the answers.

Popular Questions

Can I use the Cluster Tables for Trading?

Yes, you can! 🙂

For example, you can ‘guesstimate’ the direction of odds movements prior to kick-off.

Let’s look at that a little bit closer with an example game, West Ham vs. Stoke on 16/4/2018. Here’s a screenshot calculating the ‘Zero’ odds just by using the home & away statistics of the two teams but, at this stage, without using the HO/AO clusters:

West Ham vs Stoke - expected odds movements 16.4.18

As you can see, all of the odds moved in the expected direction.

However, please be aware that this doesn’t happen every time. This match was an exceptional example with all prices (odds) moving in the ‘right’ direction. Therefore, if you are going to develop a strategy trading on odds movements prior to kick-off you’ll need to have a stop-loss mechanism in place should the odds move in the wrong direction.

Another trading scenario is to use the knowledge on how a match is expected to finish after 90 minutes to make an informed betting decision at half time. This time you have to use the calculations that take the HO/AO quotient into consideration:

West Ham vs Stoke - odds calculation using HO/AO wuotient - 16.4.18

You can see that the expected probability for this game (in 90 minutes) having over 0.5 goals was 93.7%. Even though it may challenge a few preconceived ideas about probabilities, you must understand that at half-time, when the score was 0-0, the probability for match ending with over 0.5 goals was still 93.7%!!

Even though the match had already reached half-time, the overriding probability for one goal hadn’t changed. But, the odds for over 0.5 goals certainly had changed – the price will have risen, not by a huge amount, but enough to turn the bet into a lucrative value bet.

AT kick-off the odds matched the zero odds expectations at 1.09 (first screenshot: without HO/AO clusters) and were just slightly above the expected range of ‘fair odds (second screenshot: taking the HO/HO clusters into consideration), but at half-time, they were around 1.20 and therefore contained very healthy value.

Just as a side note, there were two goals scored in the second half of this match.

Of course, there are many other benefits that the Cluster Tables give to traders. To be able to estimate pretty accurately the probabilities on the total number of goals in 90 minutes is immensely useful for many trading decisions!

Can I also use the HO/AO cluster tables for other markets e.g. 1X2 or BTTS etc.?

The HO/AO Cluster tables have been developed exclusively for Over/Under goals bets.

You can use them to identify value bets, to compile portfolios for the Over/Under market, to predict odds movements in the ante post market; they are even useful for trading as you can estimate the total number of goals expected in the game, but not for any other markets.

You are selling HDA Tables as well as Cluster Tables. What is the difference? Can they be used in conjunction?

The HDA Tables and the Cluster Tables are two totally different products, not only because one has been developed for 1×2 betting and the other for Over/Under betting but especially because one is focusing on system betting (HDA tables) and the other on value betting (Cluster Tables).

That doesn’t mean that system betting if carried out properly doesn’t contain ‘value’. Of course, it does! There is no system in this universe that can earn money if mathematical advantage is not on your side.

However, as we frequently receive this question it must confuse many readers, so here’s a brief explanation on the differences between ‘system betting’ and ‘value betting’.

System betting is a predetermined selection of bets that when combined represent a profitable betting scenario. Systems allow the gambler to have an edge or an advantage.

However, system betting requires a huge amount of discipline and follow through from the start to the end (or to a suitable closure point in profit), preferably without missing betting on any matches included in the system. This means that if the system requires you to place 17 bets through the whole season on a certain selection criterion, then you really should place them all for best results!

Here’s an example: In 2015, a German HDA table user wrote to us suggesting that he could get a positive return by backing the underdog in all 17 home games of SV Hamburg with 100 unit flat stakes. This was a very simple system and he regularly updated us about his progress. The problem was that after three consecutive losses he abandoned the system and here you can read what exactly went wrong: The Gambler’s Worst Enemy: Emotions!

If only he had continued without faltering, he would have received a very good return!

Therefore, system betting is only for those who are dedicated and fully able to switch-off their emotions, or who are capable of programming a bot to place automatic and unemotional bets for them.

A big challenge with system betting is, that at some point the bookmakers will have adjusted for the system to make it no longer profitable. This means that a former well-working system may cease to work and the system bettor needs to completely review his/her system.

Value Betting is a totally different approach and it is said that it is one of the best techniques for gaining profit with betting. A value bet is the one where the chances of the bet winning are better than the odds suggest and all you need to do is to take advantage of this situation.

On contrary to system betting, value betting doesn’t require constant attention to any league and fixture lists can be dipped into entirely at your leisure. There are no time constraints or pressure to have to place bets.

Value betting relies on identifying over-priced or under-priced bets. For example, find as many of them as possible and play them as a weekend portfolio. This provides diversification of risk and with a proper staking plan and maybe weighting the stakes accordingly, all bets can be placed at the same time and then left alone.

Normally, when the calculations have been carried out correctly, each round of matches should produce a positive return. Only in very exceptional circumstances may a round turn out to be negative – in cases where there are more outliers than usual, which is always possible.

I wrote about an anomaly that happened on the 5/2/2011 in the EPL; an anomaly that happens statistically only once every 760 rounds of matches, or the equivalent of once every 20 seasons! Heart Beats Brain – Is Accurate Forecasting of Specific Results in Football Matches Possible?

Therefore, you’ll have to make a decision:

Do you feel that System Betting is more suitable to your needs and personality (there you don’t have to calculate so much but simply stick to the system), or are you more into Value Betting (calculating each individual match and compiling a portfolio of bets for each round)?

Can you guarantee that you will be able to follow through the same system for an entire season without deviating, or would you prefer to do some experimenting as you go along?

It really depends what your answer is to enable you to decide if you prefer the HDA Tables (system betting) or the Course book and Cluster Tables (value betting). Please don’t make the choice because one is 1×2 betting and the other Over/Under betting. We simply have not yet published a course book on 1×2 odds calculation (value betting) or Over/Under inflection point tables (system betting).

Did you try this method of calculation of goals before producing it?
If yes, what results did you have?
I understand the concepts presented in it, but I am very sceptical about getting good results. I’ve seen a lot of so called experts selling products and services relating to gambling.
Do you think someone can succeed long term with this method?

First of all, neither the Over/Under course book nor its accompanying cluster tables are a ‘method’ or system! The course book teaches statistics and explains in great length how bookmakers use statistics to make profits; and the cluster tables contain a very practical application of statistics for those who wish to find an edge when making betting decisions.

Statistics is a mathematical science that pertains to the collection, analysis, interpretation, explanation, and presentation of data; statistics is a collection of mathematical techniques and not a ‘method’!

It’s a long while ago that we did public match previews, but here is one of our records: Soccerwidow’s Value Betting Results: 274 Bets, from 07/12/2011 to 30/06/2012

At this time, I was writing match previews for the German Betfair blog (until Betfair withdrew from Germany due to a change in the gambling laws there). The 274 bets relate to matches I reviewed and provided tips for in my Betfair articles.

With the closing of the German Betfair blog I was forced to stop the public match previews, not because they were unsuccessful, but because they were hugely time-consuming and I lost the client who paid me for my time to do them. Each preview article cost perhaps five to six hours to carry out the calculations, choose the picks, and then write an article each time.

Therefore, I had to make at that time the decision if either I’m going to become a (paid) tipster service or if I better develop Soccerwidow to an educational website and a reliable source of mathematical and statistical knowledge for bettors.

I’ve chosen the second option! Because I strongly believe that it is better to teach people to think for themselves than encourage them to blindly follow someone else’s picks!

As a side note, readers of Soccerwidow as well as its German language sister site, Fussballwitwe, have been nagging me for years to reveal how I selected these hugely successful tips, which is why the Odds Calculation course came into being.

So, yes, you will get good results by using statistics! 🙂

Do I really need the course book to understand the Cluster Tables?

The course is designed to introduce readers to the essential, fundamental knowledge necessary to understand odds calculation and the bookmaker market. Its intention is to introduce the subject of odds calculation to punters. A whole realm of statistical methods, distributions, graphs, financial terminology, and so on, are included in the course to show the reader how professionals (such as bookmakers) go about setting their odds.

Studies Grades Bachelor - Master - PhDStudies Grades Bachelor – Master – PhD

To put the Odds Calculation Course into perspective please look at the image above. Although the course serves as an ‘introduction’, if there were such a thing as a ‘betting degree’ available at universities then the mathematics and concepts contained in the course would be suitable for students at ‘Bachelor’ level.

However, the Cluster Tables and utilising them properly and to their full potential is on the ‘Masters’ level, but like any degree, you first need to attain Bachelor status before attempting a Masters degree.

Learning is hard for a great many people and you will really need to work fully through the course until you comprehend absolutely everything. Buyers of the course also receive the German Bundesliga Cluster Table, which is a fun tool to test on paper and for real money. We give it away as part of the course package as the Bundesliga is just about the most statistically compliant league of any you can find. Only, when you are comfortable with its use and applications should you consider purchasing more volatile leagues such as the English Premier League.

In summary, you must thoroughly understand the fundamentals of bookmaking (e.g. odds calculation) before you can use that knowledge to your own advantage and, like everything worthwhile having in life, it will take time.

Here’s a comment from a statistician who checked the course book before we put it on sale:

“Overall, I think the book is an excellent introduction to the subject. It is very compelling that the bookmaker odds are based so clearly on the statistics, not the minute details that fans are so focused on. How close the fair odds calculations come to the actual posted odds is really striking. I can see why it is so eye-opening for the casual bettor.

Just as an aside, probably four different times, I tried to jump ahead and not do some portion of the earlier exercises, because I was convinced I knew the probability calculations already. And even though I did, I still found I really needed to work through everything methodically if I wanted to fully understand it. I bet other readers will probably try to do the same thing! However, my advice is to go through everything slowly and steadily; it is very well laid out and each piece builds on the next, just as it is intended to.”

Therefore, yes, you should really consider purchasing the course book if you want to fully understand and make the most of the Cluster Tables.

Once I have worked through the course and bought a few Cluster Tables, will I be able to earn money from betting?

At the end of the course there are a few suggestions (examples) on how to select value bets, and there are purposely included a few contradictory examples to make the statement that “many roads lead to Rome”. Each of those examples finishes with a profit but the approaches to pick ‘value’ bets are totally different.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ strategy that applies to every league in this world and to every bettor in each country. A blueprint suitable for everything simply doesn’t exist. Sorry!

Make sure you truly work through the whole book and carry out each of the exercises in the course. Then, at the end, applying all your newly gained knowledge and experimenting with various selection criteria (firstly on paper, of course) you should reach a stage where you should be able to recognise value.

It’s not easy, I know, but I’m sure that you will eventually utilise the knowledge in the course about odds calculation and the bookmaker market to figure something out that works for you.

>>> 5 simple steps to use the tables <<<

Product-Related Questions

What is the HO/AO quotient?

The division of HO (Home Odds) by AO (AO Odds) reflects the “strength” of the teams perceived by the public and makes upcoming games comparable with past matches, of which the results are known.

When building the quotient we’re not asking ourselves the question, “Are these teams really equal?” or, “Is the favourite priced correctly?” We do not check the 1×2 odds at all; we simply use market prices and assume that the Bookmakers have taken statistics into account and reflected public opinion (e.g. team ranking) as well as they possibly could do when setting their odds.

The HO/AO quotient is therefore an ideal method of comparing an upcoming match with the nearest batch of equivalent games against teams of a similar perceived strength to the opponent under analysis.

If Hannover are 7.52 to beat Bayern Munich and Bayern Munich are 1.50 to beat Hannover, it makes sense to look at comparable matches where other teams carried similar prices in their respective home and away games in the past.

What’s the significance of each HO/AO quartile? What do the clusters say about the comparative strength of teams?

When looking at the tables in the Bundesliga for any team, the following categories become apparent when dividing games into ‘perceived strength’:

  1. HO/AO: up to 0.2918
    The home team is the clear favourite with a very good chance of winning (the weight of money makes the home team the overwhelming favourite)
  2. HO/AO: 0.2919 to 0.5292
    The home team is definitely stronger than the away team, but there is also a good chance of a draw in the game (fluctuating opinion between home or draw)
  3. HO/AO: 0.5293 to 0.7830
    It is not really clear in which direction the game will develop (no overwhelming favourite)
  4. HO/AO: 0.7831 to 1,3172
    The chance of a draw is quite high as both teams are perceived to be of equal strength (no overwhelming favourite)
  5. HO/AO: over 1,3173
    The home team is perceived as being much weaker than the away team; the public feels that it could be an away win (the perceived favourite is the away team)

Take any Bundesliga weekend and cluster the matches according to the above HO/AO quotients (before kick-off) and check against the distribution of results. You will see that they hardly distribute according to the expectations (HO/AO clusters). That’s what makes 1×2 betting so very tricky.

However, there is a strong correlation between the HO/AO quotients and the observerved O/U results!

Unfortunately, the explanation is not short and/or sweet enough to pack it into an answer in the FAQs section. You’ll just have to believe that the HO/AO quotient is a very important factor when judging if OU odds contain value or not and, of course, you’ll find lengthy explanations in the course book.

If I want to calculate the odds, say for Chelsea vs Arsenal coming up soon, would it be wise to get the Value Calculator AS WELL AS the Cluster Tables so I can get the more accurate figures for over/under goals?

If you want to calculate the odds quickly for various betting markets, and you already have a good statistical knowledge and understanding, the Value Calculator is enough.

However, if you are not so familiar with mathematical terms like ‘deviation’, ‘range’, ‘median’ or find it challenging to judge if prices (odds) are fair, then you should certainly consider the course book (not the Cluster Tables at this stage! They are an auxiliary product to the course book – You won’t be able to utilise them to their full potential without having worked through the course).

For teams without five season histories, can I take the league average as a benchmark for deciding whether or not value exists in the given match?

Unfortunately, not.

Here’s a screenshot for the German Bundesliga Over ‘X’ Goals averages for five seasons:

BL - averages- 2012-13 to 2016-17 - Over goals frequencyBundesliga averages 2012-13 to 2016-17 – Over goals frequency

And here’s a screenshot for five teams (playing in all five of those seasons) and their respective frequencies of Over ‘X’ goals:

BL - playing at home - 2012-13 to 2016-17 - Over goals frequencySome BL teams playing at home – 2012-13 to 2016-17 – Over goals frequency

You can clearly see that the frequencies for the different teams are all very different.

Please look closer at the Over 1.5 Goals curve: Wolfsburg, with the highest frequency of 88.24%, is still lower than the Bundesliga average frequency (93.2%). How can this possibly be?

The explanation is the overwhelming influence of Bayern Munich’s performance. Here’s another screenshot:

BL - playing at home - 2012-13 to 2016-17 - Over goals frequency - with BMBL teams playing at home – 2012-13 to 2016-17; incl. Bayern Munich

Bayern’s results tend to skew the Bundesliga averages and ‘corrects’ them to a level no other team achieves if looked at individually.

Have a look at the Over 4.5 Goals curve: Bayern achieved 28.24% during the period shown, whilst Augsburg, for example, achieved only 8.24%.

To reiterate therefore, it is not advisable to take the league average as a benchmark for deciding whether or not value exists in any given match. Even if you remove Bayern from the Bundesliga statistics, the results will be skewed by the next most extreme outlier, and so on.

And unfortunately, this is the case in any league, not just in Germany.

If the given match provides value above the league average, is this not also a value bet?

League averages should never be a benchmark for any betting decision, neither in the Over/Under goals market nor in any other betting market.

League averages contain all matches: those between very strong favourites and poorly performing outsiders; matches between equally strong teams, etc.

Any team’s performance is totally different to another team’s performance: every football fan knows this. Only because ‘on average’ the probability for over 2.5 goals is 52.58% (e.g. the EPL), it doesn’t necessarily follow that every match has a minimum (or maximum) probability of 52.58% (odds 1.90) as well.

For example, the match Manchester United against Liverpool on 10th March 2018 had a ‘true’ probability of 62.50% (odds 1.60) to finish with over 2.5 goals. The highest over 2.5 goal odds at kick-off for that match were 2.00 and therefore it was a ‘value’ bet, but not because the odds were ‘above the league average’ but because they were above the expected ‘zero’ odds for that individual match.

On the other hand, the match West Ham vs. Stoke on 16th April wasn’t a ‘value’ bet although its over 2.5 goals odds were 2.21, well above the league average (1.90). However, using the Cluster Tables and calculating the ‘true’ probability for that game (according to their HO/AO cluster) the probability was actually only 39.50% (in odds: 2.53) and therefore well under-priced.

As a side note, Man Utd vs Liverpool finished with three goals (2-1) and West Ham vs Stoke with two goals (1-1). The ‘Over 2.5 goals’ bet for Man Utd vs Liverpool had a probability of 62.5% to win and the ‘Under 2.5 goals’ bet had a probability of 60.5%. That’s the reason why these two examples were chosen. At the time of writing these FAQs I was especially concentrating on EPL matches that had a probability of over 60% in the O/U 2.5 goals market. That both randomly chosen example games finished ‘statistically correct’ was a lucky stroke as there was also a good 40% probability in both cases that they wouldn’t.


Purchase Questions

The Cluster Tables for different leagues have different prices. Why?

The price of each league is dependent on the number of possible matches available for analysis during the current season.

Remember, only matches between teams with five complete seasons in the league immediately prior to the season under analysis qualify for value bet detection using the Cluster Tables.

For example, the 2017-18 England Championship (EC) Cluster Table contained only six teams (out of 24) with five seasons of data spanning 2012-13 to 2016-17: Birmingham, Derby, Ipswich, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, and Sheffield Wednesday. Only games between these teams would be available for betting using the Cluster Table approach.

Therefore, from the full complement of 552 EC games during the full 2017-18 season only 30 (5.4%) were available for betting, hence this league’s low price of just £7.50.

However, the 2017-18 England Premier League (EPL) contained 12 teams (out of 20) with five seasons of data: Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Southampton, Stoke, Swansea, Tottenham, West Bromwich Albion, and West Ham United.

These 12 teams accounted for a total of 132 matches between each other, against the total number of 380 games in the whole EPL season. Therefore, 34.7% of games were available for betting in this league, and accordingly the price of the EPL Cluster Table was £27.50.

The prices of the Cluster Tables will therefore vary each season from league to league as the number of games available for betting fluctuates with the numbers of teams playing in at least their sixth consecutive season.

What does “valid for the 2017/18 season” mean?

Leagues spanning two calendar years are what we term ‘Winter Leagues’.

This means that the Cluster Tables will expire when the 2017-18 season finishes (different times for different leagues).

However, timing your purchase of these Cluster Tables is not critical as we email to all clients who bought Cluster Tables in the second half of a season the updated and usually upgraded tables for the following season free of charge just as soon as they are published.

What does “valid for 2018 season” mean?

Leagues taking place within just one calendar year are what we term ‘Summer Leagues’.

Again, timing your purchase of these Cluster Tables is not critical as we email to all clients who bought Cluster Tables in the second half of a season the updated and usually upgraded tables for the following season free of charge just as soon as they are published.

As a purchaser of your fine book on football statistical analysis several years ago, I understand that I have lifetime access annually to the tables for the German Bundesliga league when they are renewed each summer. I was wondering if you might be agreeable to a swop from the Bundesliga to the English Premier League instead please?

The reason the course book centres around the Bundesliga and why we give away the Bundesliga table as a free, fully working Cluster Table is primarily that the German league plays more statistically correct than just about any other league we know of. The free lifetime download that comes with purchasing the course book is therefore a download to the most reliable league, which should produce the most reliable results using the Cluster Table for betting.

In contrast, the EPL is just about the most unpredictable league of all, but of course the most popular too when it comes to liquidity and low margins.

When deciding whether to choose the EPL or the Bundesliga for over/under goals analyses, our advice is to stick to the Bundesliga for prediction making purposes. However, of course, if you wish to extend you betting endeavours to the EPL then here’s the link to buy the table: Soccerwidow’s Shop

Can I make the Cluster Tables by myself? It would be time consuming but much cheaper for me.

Of course, theoretically it is possible to make Cluster Tables by yourself but believe me, your time is much better spent trying to figure out a selection system using the tables that works for you. Time is money, after all.

Furthermore, the data collection is very time consuming. Spend the time more wisely making the tables work for you and hopefully at the end of the season you’ll find it easy to pay for their updated versions using some of your winnings.

Let us worry about compiling the tables – they are complicated mechanisms, which need to be checked for accuracy by more than one person. Even if you’re an Excel expert, one mistake in the programming will give you false results.

Do you have discounts for multiple purchases?

Of course, we have! Here they are:

Buy 5 Tables, get 25% off – Code: 5CLT
Buy 6 Tables, get 30% off – Code: 6CLT
Buy 7 Tables, get 35% off – Code: 7CLT
Buy 8 Tables, get 40% off – Code: 8CLT
Buy 9 Tables, get 45% off – Code: 9CLT
Buy 10 Tables, get 50% off – Code: 10CLT

To purchase the tables just go on the shop, put the tables you would like to buy into your shopping cart, and then apply the discount code depending how many tables you are buying. The code will reduce the total price to an amount which gives you the tables for the prices displayed above.

>>> buy your ho/ao cluster tables <<<

Ordering & Delivery

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

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I am unsure of the Cluster Table’s purpose. They seem to provide the probability of over or under goals but doesn’t the Soccerwidow Value Bet detector do this as well? Therefore, what is the advantage of using the Cluster Tables over the Value Calculator? They both rely on different data as Value Calculator takes into account the last 25 league games of both teams plus the correction factor of head-to-heads, and the Cluster Tables take into account the team’s results against all other teams over multiple seasons. Which is more accurate?

The Cluster Tables accompany the Odds Calculation Course and relate directly to its teachings. The betting tables within the Cluster Tables group the Over/Under bets into their correlation (mutual relationship or connection) with the strength of the teams. This being the case, they are much more accurate than the Value Calculator, but to fully understand why, you’ll need to purchase the Course.

Furthermore, the Cluster Tables require minimal data input, whilst the Value Calculator requires gathering data manually and inputting it for the last 25 matches for both teams (plus the respective head-to-heads) for every match you wish to analyse.

On the other hand, the Value Bet Detector estimates the probabilities for many more bet types and not just for the Over/Under goals. It provides an excellent rough guide to whether there is any value in the odds on offer in over sixty different betting markets. (1X2, Over/Under, Correct Score, etc.)

If you are looking to estimate the probabilities of many bet types, choose the Value Calculator.

However, if you’d prefer a deep-dive approach and would like to learn more about odds calculation and the market dynamics of the bookmaker market then you should consider purchasing the Course.

I am concerned about correctness of the HO/AO quotient. There are some bookmakers that constantly offer ‘heavily inflated odds’, e.g. 1.18 on Bayern at home whilst the next best price is 1.10. If we are using these odds as “public opinion correction factor”, and we have 79 bookies showing odds between 1.08 to 1.10 and just this one with 1.18. I wouldn’t feel comfortable using their price for any calculations. Of course, this only becomes an issue when it affects in which cluster group a game falls, but I already saw it happen twice in few matches I checked. Am I wrong to dismiss their odds in such situations?

The Cluster Tables are using ‘Maximum Odds’ to calculate the HO/AO quotient, and for thus, we are using the data provided by Football-data.co.uk. The data comes from Joseph Buchdahl and is taken on Friday evenings for the weekend games and on Mondays for the week games.

Following bookmakers are used to calculate the maximum odds:

Bet365
Blue Square
Bet&Win
Gamebookers
Interwetten
Ladbrokes
Pinnacle
Sporting Odds
Sportingbet
Stan James
Stanleybet
VC Bet
William Hill

Therefore, if you want to be absolutely on the ‘safe’ side, then check the odds of above 15 bookmakers on Fridays for weekend games and on Mondays for week games, and then use their highest odds when choosing the applicable HO/AO cluster.

Alternatively, just use the odds of all bookmakers (including the bookmakers with ‘heavily inflated odds’) and use their average odds for deciding which HO/AO cluster to pick. Despite the outliers you should find your match in the right cluster.

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Over/Under Goals Market – Betting with Cluster Tables http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/systems/case-studies/over-under-goals-betting-cluster-tables/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/systems/case-studies/over-under-goals-betting-cluster-tables/#respond Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:30:16 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5973 more »]]> The Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course has long since been Soccerwidow’s flagship product. It is the most comprehensive guide available anywhere explaining the mysteries of bookmaker mathematics and how to profit from understanding the concept of ‘value’.

In conjunction with the course and based on its teachings, Soccerwidow also publishes a set of dedicated Over/Under Goals Cluster Tables (summer and winter leagues), which are a one-touch solution to identifying value within the over/under ‘X’ goals market for individual matches in a particular league.

>>> cluster table discount codes <<<

What is a Cluster Table?

A Cluster Table is an Excel spreadsheet containing an interactive data set, which displays goal distributions in a particular league during the five complete seasons immediately prior to the season currently in play.

Results are split into four equal-sized groups, or ‘clusters’, according to the historical home and away odds of each match within the five-season-data-set (highest odds at close of ante post market), which act as a gauge of public opinion (perceived strength of the teams), for the match under consideration.

Here are two cluster examples taken from a game in the English Premier League (EPL) during the 2017-18 season. The screenshots come directly from the EPL 2012-17 Cluster Table.

Click on the images below to enlarge them in new tabs:

Man Utd Home - Over 'X' Goals Cluster Table 2012-2017 - Over 2.5 Goals Highlighted

Man Utd Home – Over ‘X’ Goals Cluster Table 2012-2017 – Over 2.5 Goals Highlighted

Liverpool Away - Over 'X' Goals Cluster Table 2012-2017 - Over 2.5 Goals Highlighted

Liverpool Away – Over ‘X’ Goals Cluster Table 2012-2017 – Over 2.5 Goals Highlighted

As you can see, the four clusters representing 95 respective home and away games over five seasons are divided into almost equal sets (3x 24 games; 1x 23 games), which determines the division of their HO/AO quotients (Home Odds divided by Away Odds).

Two rows are highlighted: these are the corresponding rows for the match between these two teams on 10th March, 2018.

The home odds of Manchester United were 3.30. Liverpool’s away odds were 2.61. The HO/AO quotient was therefore 1.26 (3.30 divided by 2.61).

How to Interpret the HO/AO Figures

The HO/AO clusters for all teams are different from one another. But why?

Odds are determined according to a team’s historical (statistical) strength (success), or lack of it, and no two teams perform exactly the same, which will of course produce different quotient figures.

How then is it possible to compare two teams in this fashion?

The home odds and the away odds are set by the bookmakers according to historical distributions (statistical results) and therefore provide a constant benchmark to a team’s past performance (looking backwards).

By the time the ante post market closes, they also contain a deal of public perception in terms of demand for the bet in question (looking forwards).

Therefore, the HO/AO clusters take the correlation between the ‘perceived’ strength of the teams involved (based on historical results) AND the market pressures (demand and supply) faced by the bookmakers when setting their odds.

The HO/AO quotient is therefore an ideal method of comparing two teams by selecting from their historical results the nearest batch of equivalent games against teams of a similar perceived strength to the opponent under analysis.

If United are 3.30 to beat Liverpool and Liverpool are 2.61 to beat United, it makes sense to look at comparable results where both teams carried similar prices in their respective home and away games in the past (i.e. the closest United home games to their price of 3.30 in this game, and the closest Liverpool away games to their price of 2.61).

Splitting five seasons’ worth of games into four clusters does not divide exactly. Each team plays 19 games at home and 19 away per season. This makes a total of 95 home and 95 away games for each team, hence why for United’s home games and Liverpool’s away games (and any other team) there are three clusters of 24 games grouped together, and one cluster of 23.

In our example, it is coincidental that the most relevant clusters for both teams to the calculated HO/AO quotient of 1.26 each contain 24 games over the last five seasons.

What the Clusters say about the Comparative Strength of Teams

When looking at the tables in the EPL for any team, the following categories become apparent when dividing games into ‘perceived strength’:

  1. HO/AO: up to 0.2248
    The home team is the clear favourite with a very good chance of winning (the weight of money makes the home team the overwhelming favourite)
  2. HO/AO: 0.2249 to 0.4902
    The home team is definitely stronger than the away team, but there is also a good chance of a draw in the game (fluctuating opinion between home or draw)
  3. HO/AO: 0.4903 to 0.7730
    It is not really clear in which direction the game will develop (no overwhelming favourite)
  4. HO/AO: 0.7731 to 1.6922
    The chance of a draw is quite high as both teams are perceived to be of equal strength (no overwhelming favourite)
  5. HO/AO: over 1.6923
    The home team is weaker than the away team; it could be an away win (the perceived favourite is the away team)


Why are ‘Zero’ odds important?

After the setting and publishing of opening odds for sale, the price of a bet is then influenced by:

  • The popularity for that bet amongst punters (demand)
  • A balancing act of monies received between the outcomes carried out by the bookmaker via price fluctuations to create its margin/profit (supply)

The price fluctuations (changes in the odds) from the opening of the market right up until the end of the event are therefore driven by both demand (punters) and supply (bookmakers), and contrary to popular belief, not dictated solely by the bookmaker.

If the zero odds of an event are known it is possible to identify temporary or lasting pricing ‘errors’, large and small, caused by these fluctuations in demand and supply. These errors can then be used to ensure that every bet placed contains ‘value’, the essential element in making long-term profits from gambling.

As a reminder:

  • Prices offered above zero odds represent value back bet opportunities
  • Prices offered below zero odds represent value lay bet opportunities

Zero odds are those at which, if every bet were placed at this price, the overall outcome of any number of bets would be a ‘zero’ sum game.

Finding ‘value’ is therefore about determining the implied (actual estimated) probability of an event (based on historical results), and obtaining odds representing a lower probability (i.e. higher odds) if backing, or a higher probability (lower odds) if laying.

Of course, the higher the odds obtained above zero odds are, the more profitable your long-term back bet portfolio should be and the lower the odds obtained below zero odds are, the more profitable your long-term lay bet portfolio should be.

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

The HO/AO quotient was 1.26, suggesting that public perception of the event was that the draw was probably the most likely outcome.

In the images above, the Over 2.5 Goals bet type is highlighted.

HO/AO 1.26 sits in the fourth cluster of United’s cluster table, and the percentage chance of Over 2.5 Goals for their home games within this cluster was 37.60%

HO/AO 1.26 sits in the third cluster of Liverpool’s cluster table, and the percentage chance of Over 2.5 Goals for their away games within this cluster was 62.40%

Calculate the average of these percentages: 37.60% + 62.40% = 100.00% / 2 = 50.00%

Calculate the zero odds: 1 / 50.00% = 2.00

It just so happens that the highest Over 2.5 Goals odds on offer for this event were also 2.00, providing no value in backing or laying.

The result was 2-1 to United, meaning that public perception of the event most likely being a draw was proved to be wrong. Public perception of likely outcomes and the eventual reality are very difficult to reconcile, which is why odds movements should never be relied upon as a guide to potential outcomes.

You should also note that the most popular games to bet on are usually those most intensely analysed (United vs. Liverpool is just about the most high-profile club game in the world). Because of this, the highest pre-match odds available for many of the different bet types are usually very accurate compared to the statistical likelihoods. In this case, we calculated 2.00 as the zero odds and indeed, 2.00 was the highest pre-match price available.

Once again, we reiterate just how accurate the Cluster Tables are in calculating probabilities.

Try the Power of the Cluster Tables for Only £2

The Cluster Tables are an extremely powerful tool for checking market odds against ‘true’ odds in order to select bets containing ‘value’ for long-term profit.

The tables can also be utilised for predicting odds movements before kick-off and much, much more, but we will write about these benefits in other articles.

A German reader once commented that he couldn’t believe we were selling the Cluster Tables because to him, “these five season tables are something like a ‘money printing machine’!“.

If you wish to play around with the table used in our example above, you can purchase the EPL Cluster Table for the 2017-18 season here for just £2:

>>> epl cluster table 2012-17 <<<


This table comes with the added bonus of a £5 discount voucher applicable to the Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course – Over/Under Goals.

You can use this table for backtesting the 2017-18 EPL season. Randomly select any weekend and carry out the calculations as demonstrated in this article. Try experimenting a little and perhaps compile different portfolios such as:

  • Choosing only Under 3.5 Goal bets
  • Choosing bets which have at least a 60% probability to win
  • Choosing bets with a strong home favourite only
  • … and so on! Use your wits and imagination to find a system that actually works for you!

Once you understand how the Cluster Tables work and have found a system to focus on, picking bets for a weekend becomes truly very easy!

Please note that after the 2017-18 EPL season finishes this sample table will expire and should not be relied upon for betting purposes after that. Sorry, you will have to buy the 2018-19 replacement table. However, the 2017-18 version will certainly give you a good idea of the table’s full functionality.

If you have any further questions on how to use the cluster tables, please use the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your value betting!

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The Science of Calculating Winning and Losing Streaks http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/science-calculating-winning-losing-streaks/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/science-calculating-winning-losing-streaks/#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:46:20 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=5514 more »]]> This article is a short journey to the theme ‘risk management’ as we are often asked…

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.

Young woman pointing on a calculatorImage: 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.

Length of Winning and Losing Streaks

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?

Winning and Losing Streaks Formula

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

Formula longest losing streak

n = number of trials (i.e. total number of bets)
ln = natural logarithm1
P = probability2
| .. | = absolute value or ‘modulus’

1Suffice 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.

2For 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.

Winning and Losing Streaks TableLongest 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.

Exercise:

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?

Timing of Winning and Losing Streaks

This formula is actually very simple:

Formula for Winning and Losing Sequences

= 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:

Winning and Losing Sequences CalculationsExpected time of occurrence of winning and losing streaks, depending on the hit rate

Reading the table:

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 5th to 8th 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!

Starting Bank – Rule of Thumb

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:

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

Calculation of the starting bank:

Length of maximum losing streak X planned stake per bet X five


Exercises: Losing & Winning Streaks

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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’?

  4. 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?

  5. 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.


Answers to the Exercises

>>> download answers <<<



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.

Optimising Your Bankroll

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions – Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/frequently-asked-questions-fundamentals-of-sports-betting-course-over-under/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/frequently-asked-questions-fundamentals-of-sports-betting-course-over-under/#comments Sun, 15 Apr 2018 06:32:38 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5602 more »]]> Here are the most frequent questions asked by our readers and customers about the course. If you can’t find an answer to your particular question, then please free to ask us using the comments section at the bottom of this page. We usually reply within 24 hours.

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.

Popular Questions

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.

>>> read an excerpt from the book <<<

Product-Related Questions

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’ Goals is 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.


Purchase Questions

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 the course book (PDF) and a Bundesliga 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 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.

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

>>> product specifics <<<

Ordering & Delivery

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 this link 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 GetDPD which is a fully PCI Compliant Service Provider. During the checkout process you will be offered to choose payment by Paypal or credit card.

If you choose credit card, then the platform integrated with GetDPD is Stripe; here is their 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 worth contacting us to 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 from digitalproductdelivery.com and soccerwidow.com is 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.


Trouble-shooting

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.


Support Questions

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 quotient

In 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 our Contact Us page 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.


Ethical Questions

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 30/06/2012

2011-12 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.

>>> buy the ebook <<<



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Understanding Goal Lines in Over Under Betting http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/understanding-goal-lines-in-over-under-betting/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/understanding-goal-lines-in-over-under-betting/#comments Sun, 25 Feb 2018 11:45:19 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5796 more »]]> Have you ever wondered what the different Goal Lines mean?

You can bet on Over/Under 2.5, or Over/Under 2,25 or Over/Under 2. But what are Over 2.5 bets, or even 2.25? There are no half goals! Or quarter goals! It doesn’t seem to make sense. Does it?

We will explain what the different Goal Lines signify and after you’ve finished the article you will never be confused again!

Betting on .5 Goals

One of the most common bet types is Over/ Under .5 goals.

Obviously, there is no way for half a goal to be scored in a game. The expression .5 is just an aid to ensure that it is clear on what you are betting.

For example, if you place a bet on Over/Under 2.5 goals, then the .5 is the ‘turning point’. You win if there are at least 3 goals scored, and you lose if the match ends with less than 2 goals scored.

Here’s an example…

Betting on Over/Under 2.5 Goals - illustration

If you still have difficulties understanding the concept, here’s another article on the .5 bet: A Brief Introduction to Over Under Goals Betting.

Betting on Goal Lines with Whole Numbers

Bets on whole numbers are often called Goal Lines or Asian Goal Lines. Although, technically, this isn’t correct as all bets described here are ‘goal lines’, but we will be using the term as it’s widely used by punters and bookmakers.

They are somewhat similar to Asian Handicap betting on the 1×2 result. As the name suggests, the possibility of a refund exists if a certain result comes in, in this case the ‘Goal Line’.

Similar to the AH, if the match finishes in a draw result (= ‘goal line’), it’s a “push”. The punter gets their money back. Otherwise, if there are less goals scored than the goal line, the stake is lost, and if more goals are scored, it is a win.

Illustration: Over 2 Goal Line Bet

In the above example, if you were to bet on Over 2 Goals then you get your stake back (push) if the final score is exactly 2 goals (e.g. 2-0, 1-1, 0-2).

All the other Goal Lines naturally follow the same pattern.

Betting on .75 Goals or .25 Goals – or – Whole Number, .75 or .25

If the .5 bets are combined with Asian Goal Line bets, then you get .75 or .25 Goals bets. Half of your stake is placed on the .5 bet whilst the other half is placed on the Asian Goal Line bet.

These bets are often shown as either Over 2.25 – or – Over 2, 2.5.

Illustration: Over 2.25 Goals / Over 2, 2.5 Goals

For example, if you place a bet of £20 on Over 2, 2.5 it means that you are placing a split bet. £10 on the 2 Goals Asian Goal Line, and £10 on Over 2.5 Goals.

If the match finishes…

  • with 3 or more goals, then you will receive the winnings of both bets
  • with exactly 2 goals, half of the stake will be returned as it was a push (2 Goals Asian Goal Line), and you will lose the other half (Over 2.5 bet)
  • with less than 2 goals… your entire stake is lost

The same applies to the .75 bets, as shown below:

Illustration: Over 2.25 Goals / Over 2.5, 3 Goals

In this example you place a £20 bet on the Over 2.5, 3 goal line. Again, you would be placing a split bet. £10 on the 3 Goals Asian Goal Line and £10 on Over 2.5 Goals.

If this match finishes…

  • with 4 or more goals, you will receive the winnings of both bets
  • with exactly 3 goals, half of the stake will be returned as it was a push (3 Goals Asian Goal Line), but you will win the other half (Over 2.5 bet)
  • with 2 or less goals… your entire stake is lost


To be honest, I would recommend keeping your hands away from these bets, although it may sound tempting to get half of the stake back. Although these are referred to as being a single bet they are actually two completely different bets rolled into one!

If you do not really understand odds calculation and probabilities, then it is definitely a bet which bookmakers love! They can adjust the pricing as they like, without the average punter fully understanding the maths behind it, ensuring that the mathematical advantage lies with the bookmaker.

Anyway, the silver lining is that it is quite unlikely to be exposed to the temptation as these bets are rarely offered by European bookmakers.

Here is another diagram to demonstrating split bets:

Illustration: Goal Line visualisation

Betting for Profit on Goals

At the end of the day the goal of each punter should be betting for profit. Am I right?

Bookmakers make a living from betting by using maths. They analyse and calculate the chances of an outcome and then price their bets. Of course, they make sure that the mathematical advantage is on their side, just like anyone operating a game of chance (e.g. Casinos).

The punter who relies only on gut feeling does not have a chance against the bookmakers.

However, with Over/Under Goal bets the punter at least has a chance to start understanding the statistics behind the bet. It isn’t too difficult to calculate the probabilities of the various results and number of goals in a game and to then find value bets.

If you are interested in starting to bet for profit, then you should seriously consider buying our Fundamentals of Sports Betting course. For the first volume, we have chosen to write about the Over/Under goal market as this is the easiest betting market to teach the fundamentals of statistics and maths on, without the need to dive deeper into more advanced formulas and concepts. Give it a try!

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A Brief Introduction to Over Under Goals Betting http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/introduction-over-under-goals-betting/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/introduction-over-under-goals-betting/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 06:11:18 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5647 more »]]> Over/Under is a very popular form of football betting and where a lot of new football punters start. But just because it is simple doesn’t mean that it can’t be a good way to make money.

Football and moneyImage: Gts (Shutterstock)

Over/Under is a great way for people new to betting to get their feet wet…

What Does Over/Under Mean?

With over/under betting, the first thing to understand is that you are betting in relation to the number of goals scored in the game. It doesn’t matter which team scores the goals or even who wins.

You just take the number of goals scored by each of the teams and add them together to get the total goals scored during the game.

The simplicity of this bet is what makes it such a common wager.

When you place an over/under bet, you have to choose two things:

  1. What “goal line” you want to bet, and
  2. Whether you bet that the total goals scored in the game will end over or under that goal line.

It doesn’t matter how close the result is to the goal line either, the bet pays the same whether the end result is close to the bet’s goal line or far away.

Why the “Point Five”?

Over/Under bets that end in “.5” have only two outcomes.

You either win the bet and get paid an amount equal to your stake multiplied by the betting odds or you lose the bet and your stake.

Because you can’t score half a goal, every bet is either a win or a loss.

Let’s take the most popular goal line in football: 2.5.

If you think the total goals in the game will be three or more, you would want to bet “Over 2.5”. If you think the total goals in the game will be two or less, you would choose to bet “Under 2.5”.

Over/Under bets without the “.5” or with different fractions (such as 2.25) may return part or all of your stake to you even if you don’t win.

For example, with a Total Goals bet, if you bet “Over 2” and exactly 2 goals are scored, you will not win the wager but you will get your stake refunded.

The graphic below shows which bet (over or under) will win given a certain score in the game for various goal lines.

Over-Under distribution visualisation

Attention Please! Some Goals Don’t Count!

When you are betting in football, the only goals that count towards over/under bets are the ones scored during the regulation 90 minutes of each match.

If the game ends tied after 90 minutes any goals scored in extra-time or a penalty shoot-out do not count towards the over/under goals tally.

The result of the match itself does not matter; drawn matches with scorelines like 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, etc., also contribute to over-under bet results.

Over/Under 2.5: The Most Popular Bet in Football

We are using 2.5 as an example here because although there are many possible over/under bets, 2.5 happens to be the most popular goal line for football bets.

It turns out that when you look at a long history of football games, even across different leagues, the average number of total goals scored per game is very close to 2.5.

As a result, you often have a similar number of punters backing each side of the 2.5 goal line where the odds are similar no matter which choice of over or under is made.

Choose Your Bet Using Statistical Information

Bookmakers set the odds of over and under for each available goal line using statistical information on the teams who are playing each other as well as football games in general.

Demand on each side of the bet can change the bookmaker odds and knowing what the statistics say can help you determine whether a particular bet is a good or bad one to take.

The best bet is not always the bet that is closest to the actual score you expect.

In fact, it is often the bets further away from expectations that offer the greatest difference between the betting odds offered in the markets and the true statistical predictions.

Making Money at Over-Under Betting

Some punters are surprised at how important the underlying mathematics are, but long-term success at over/under betting is much more science than art!

Continue to follow our blog to learn more, or check out our book: Fundamentals of Sports Betting.

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What is a Bet? What are Odds? What is a Stake? http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/bet-odds-stake-what-is-that/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/bet-odds-stake-what-is-that/#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:50:13 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=3619 more »]]> The only one of these terms which is obviously straightforward is ‘Bet’, and I am sure all of you understand what a bet is.

Woman on rolling Euro carpet

Even the term ‘Stake’, at least so long as it is money related, is easily understandable.

Whatever level your stake is, there are only two options: you either lose the bet and your stake, or you win the bet, retrieving your stake and adding to it your winnings.

However, the term ‘Odds’ is far more difficult for most bettors, especially as odds are connected to market prices, fluctuations, probabilities, expectations, etc.

Hand on heart, can YOU reliably define the terms “bet”, “odds”, and “stake”?

What is a BET?

Definition of ‘Bet’: Technically speaking, a ‘bet’ is an agreement between two parties that the one who makes an incorrect prediction about an uncertain outcome will forfeit something stipulated to the other – a wager.

Betting is all about risking something, usually a sum of money, against the money of someone else based on the outcome of a future event, such as the result of a race or other competitive event.

Typically, most bets are made prior to the start of an event, and this has been the practice used by gamblers and bookies from the advent of bookmaking. However, over the last few years a new way of wagering has developed, that of in-play betting.

In this highly dynamic process wagers are placed after the race or match has started with betting odds changing dynamically according to the perceived trends and events in the match / game. There is a growing plethora of bookies offering in-play bets across more and more betting lines and markets.

What are ODDS?

The term, ‘odds’, is somewhat ambiguous.

Here are two definitions from well-known dictionaries:

Macmillan Dictionary: The chances that are used for calculating how much money you will get if the person or thing you bet on wins a race or competition.

Oxford Dictionary: The ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way.

The problem with the above definitions (and many other definitions found in dictionaries) is that odds are not necessarily connected to the real chances of something happening, not even to ‘expected’ probabilities.

Just think of British odds, European odds, and US Moneyline odds.

British odds show the net return of a bet, European odds display the net return of a bet plus the original stake, and US Moneyline odds exhibit the money wagered either to win 100 units, or the money which will be won from a 100 unit stake.

Another deviant example is that bookmakers adjust their odds to public opinion in order to balance their books.

Therefore, it is simply incorrect to say that ‘odds’ display the chances of something happening. Odds are not even necessarily based on expected probabilities.

Soccerwidow’s definition:
Betting Odds are the Prices for a Bet

Learning Point: There is NO connection between the market odds of a bet and the real probabilities of the event occurring.

What does the term STAKE mean?

Definition of ‘Stake’: Money or property risked on the result of a horse race, card game, match outcome, etc.

Stake (or ‘wager’ in America), is straightforward terminology.

You bet with your friend on a game of pool, and stake £5 each. Whoever wins the game gets £5 from the other party, and whoever loses is £5 poorer.

In betting, the stake (or ‘wager’) usually means money, which is countable.

The concept of stake becomes much more complicated if property is wagered, such as houses, cars, or in some countries even wives! If you gamble property then you not only have to calculate the true probabilities of a bet to compute the odds, but also convert the staked property into a monetary value.

In these cases bets are very often lopsided and unfair, with a huge advantage to the person who is better in maths than the other. (Read an example: Arsenal fan staked his house on a bet with a Manchester United fan, who offered his wife and Toyota car in return )

Bet, Odds, and Stake – Conclusion

The only honest advice I can give – Do not bet if you do not understand odds!

Unless money is no object, few people will go shopping and load their basket with goods without checking and comparing the prices of different brands. Most of us need to ensure we have enough money available to pay for the purchases, and some of us like to ensure we are getting the best value for the money we pay.

Understanding Odds is CRITICAL! If you constantly go shopping without paying attention to the prices (ignoring the significance of odds), or do not bother comparing brands before buying them (failing to shop around for the best odds), you will certainly end up paying more than others (failing to capitalise on your betting investments), and in the long run be able to buy fewer products for your money (losing more money than you win).

Always remember: Odds are the price for a bet, they very rarely stand for the real probabilities, or chances.

Of course, odds available in the market can be converted into their ‘implied’ probabilities, which can then be compared to your own calculations of the ‘real’ expected probabilities, and vice versa.

If you want to become a winner you MUST understand odds and be able to compare and distinguish between the implied probabilities suggested by the odds offered in the market and the real (or true) probabilities suggested by historical statistics. There is no alternative – a lucky gambler is never lucky all the time.

If you wish to learn odds calculation, please check out:

Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course: Betting on Over / Under ‘X’ Goals

Soccerwidow’s Value Betting Store

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Stake, Yield, Return on Investment (ROI), Profitability – Definitions and Formulas http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/stake-yield-roi-investment-definitions/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/stake-yield-roi-investment-definitions/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 05:25:00 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=1131 The terms Stake, Yield (Revenue) and ROI (Return on Investment) confuse many people. We have also noticed many online publications using these terms incorrectly.

This article is therefore a definitive guide to put the record straight…

funny man with calculatorImage: hightowernrw (Shutterstock)

Stake

The sum of money gambled on the outcome of an event. The amount of money played with, or placed as a bet.

In the online world of gambling, stakes are electronically placed on a desired outcome with another party that has agreed to accept your stake, whether this be a bookmaker or an anonymous person/group in a betting exchange.

These ‘adversaries’ are effectively backing with their own money against your selection, hoping to make a profit of your stake if your selection in the event turns out to be wrong.

Once the outcome of the event is decided, stakes are returned to you in full if your bet has won (plus the winnings), or, if you lose the bet, the stake is lost and either retained by the bookmaker, or transferred to the winning side in the betting exchange.

Technically speaking, stakes are guarantees! This means that they are short-term deposit payments to guarantee that the losing party can and will honour his debt obligation to the winner of the bet.

Yield

The Profit/Loss* ratio applied to the total capital employed (total staked)

*This is Profit or Loss, NOT Profit divided by Loss

ratio = the quantitative relation between two amounts showing the number of times one value contains or is contained within the other.

Literally translated, the term YIELD means profit, earnings, harvest, income, revenue…

When applied to gambling, Yield measures betting efficiency compared to total turnover.

If your aversion to risk is low, you will select bets with higher probabilities. Bets with higher probabilities of winning carry lower odds. Lower odds means a smaller yield.

If you enjoy higher risk strategies, the opposite will apply.

Generally speaking and depending upon the strategy employed, a good bettor will yield between 5 and 10 percent profit in the long run.

In football betting any yield over 7% is considered to be a very good result.

Yield Formula:

PL divided by ∑MS (written as a percentage):

Yield Formula

PL = profit/loss (MW minus ML = net profit or loss); equivalent to your bank growth
∑ = the sum of
MS = money staked
MW = money won (purely winnings; returned stakes are ‘neutral’, not winnings)
ML = money lost (stakes lost)

Example #1: YIELD

A bettor places 38 bets with stakes of 20 units each. The total amount staked [Capital Employed] is 760 units (38 x 20). 33 of the bets win and 5 of the bets lose; the net result [Profit] is a bank growth of 65 units.

Yield Formula Example

Yield in this example is 8.55%

We come across many forum threads with people talking about their betting strategies; It is also easy to find plenty of websites offering betting systems for sale.

What many of them have in common is claims of high yield results, probably intended to impress the reader.

If they are to be believed then this is an indication of high risk strategies employed.

It must be remembered that in the Yield formula, the sum of money staked (∑MS) includes all stakes, even those that have not been lost. (In other words, the refunded ‘guarantees’).

People tend not to understand this fully and as a result mistakenly overstate their yield results.

Yield is NOT the same as ROI (Return on Investment)!


Return on Investment (ROI):

The ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. In other words, the profit/loss ratio as a function* for investment (capital employed).

*function = a relation or expression involving one or more variables; in this case, investment, profit, loss.

investment = long-term employment of tangible, financial, or other assets that are not meant for immediate gains but are intended to generate benefits (normally earnings or profits) in the future.

ROI is also known as ‘rate of profit’ or sometimes just ‘return’.

ROI Formula:

ROI Formula

If you bet systematically, your starting capital will be turned over again and again: It is effectively the same money you are investing. (So long as you don’t lose every bet!).

The ROI formula resembles the yield formula, but here, profit/loss is related to the actual investment (starting bank) instead of the total of all stakes (turnover).

For a more accurate ROI calculation, in an ideal world, you should also factor in to the investment all other costs of ‘setting up the business’. For example, hardware/software costs (computers). However, we will leave this out of our calculations for the time being for the sake of simplicity; you can always include these costs once you have mastered the concept. 😉

Example #2: ROI

Returning to our previous illustration, 38 bets were placed, each with a stake of 20 units (760 units staked in total). 5 bets lost but the overall bank growth was 65 units. Let’s assume the starting bank [investment] was 200 units.

ROI Formula Example

ROI in this example is 32.5%

ROI is always calculated for a certain predetermined amount of time; in finances usually for one whole year, but it is also common and acceptable to calculate the ROI monthly or, in a betting sense, for only the number of bets within a specific time scale.

The return on investment index is especially suitable when the amount of capital has a strong influence on the result (e.g. with arbitrage).

However, this is probably rarely the case for the majority of punters. Therefore, it is the next formula, profitability, which is the most important one for the normal bettor.

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Over/Under Goals Football Betting – Course Book Testimonials http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/over-under-goals-football-betting-course-book-testimonials/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/over-under-goals-football-betting-course-book-testimonials/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:26:33 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5606 more »]]> We are very pleased that the 2nd edition of our comprehensive betting course Fundamentals of Sports Betting (Betting on Over/Under ‘X’ Goals) is now available for sale. It incorporates four more years of research and development and replaces our old flagship version.

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

Cartoon: Maths! Why did it have to be maths?!Image: Cartoonresource (Shutterstock)

the upgrades at a glance

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.

What Customers Say

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.

>>> product specifics <<<

what level of education does the course provide?

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).

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