Our HDAFU tables have evolved tremendously over the years – the 5th Generation of Summer Leagues is **now available for sale**.

They are a complete statistical analysis of historical performance over the previous five seasons of the **H**ome win, **D**raw, **A**way win, **F**avourite win and **U**nderdog win (H-D-A-F-U). They serve to identify the most profitable odds ranges in each bet type.

To help you understand why we value this product so highly, here is *the* Definitive Guide for using the tables to their maximum potential.

If you wish to work along with the example in this article you can download an **abridged version** of one of those tables here (the one used for this analysis):

*Just click on the button above and click on “Continue Checkout” button in the new tab, then enter your name and e-mail address. Our automatic store will then deliver the file to you via e-mail, free of charge. The size of this Excel workbook is 864 KB.*

It’s difficult for us to put into words how important the HDAFU tables are to us and our own betting adventures. But what we can say is that we have complete confidence in them to do their job. And from testing them in a live setting, we know that they are an extremely reliable method of building lucrative betting portfolios.

Quite simply, they are the best and most user-friendly tools available for nailing down value betting systems in **every league you apply them to**.

They reveal the DNA of a league, and provide a hidden level of detail that makes finding and exploiting the sweet spots so easy and so rewarding.

The next four steps will probably change the way you think about betting…

## Step 1 – Observation

The first thing you will see when opening any of the HDAFU tables is the Data Tab summary of each bet type.

**(Click on the image below to enlarge it in a new tab):**

The totals along the top row show the effects of betting on every match over five seasons. In our example league the totals are (from left to right) Home win (-7,329), Draw (-835), Away win (+8,236), Favourites (-2,594), and Underdogs (+3,501).

You can see from this graphic that away wins look the most promising backing system with a profit of 8,236 units from 100 unit stakes.

To customise the stake amount enter what you want in the Fixed Stake box at the top of each bet type in the Data Tab.

The image above shows the full five season cold analysis. If you enter a different stake amount the financial values will change, but the percentages will always remain the same. This being the case, we have fixed these percentages as a benchmark to better gauge the improvements we will make with our filtering exercise later.

The **Odds Toggle** is for testing the effects of the odds you are getting when playing the systems for real – you can ignore it during your analysis.

You can also leave the betting exchange commission rate at zero. Again, use it for backing system monitoring purposes when you start betting on or paper testing your systems of choice.

Okay, we fancy away wins in this particular league but let’s now have a look at the Inflection Points Tab to see if this backs-up our observation.

**(Click on the image below to enlarge it in a new tab):**

Away wins are certainly financially the most profitable bet type but the profit curve doesn’t really begin rising until odds of 3.30 are reached. Overall profit at this point is 463 units and this rises to a peak of 13,502 units around odds of 8.60.

These two points on the graph would therefore be our two inflection points: Odds of 3.30 where the curve begins to rise; Odds of 8.60 at the pinnacle, the point at which profits begin to fall again.

However, notice there is a big portion of the away wins curve which is a zero-sum game. This ‘hole’ in our profit curve begins around odds of 3.75 (6,653 units). At this point, the curve falls away again, encounters what we call ‘statistical noise’, and only recovers at odds of around 6.52, when the profit figure surmounts its previous high at 7,184.

In between these two points is the potential for a lot of wasted effort and not a lot of gain.

We can see the extent of this by scrolling down and looking at the inflection point intervals.

**(Click on the right-hand image to enlarge it in a new tab):**

This image shows the start of the 3.75 odds sector at the top and the end of the 6.52 odds sector at the bottom.

The yellow column indicates the running total of matches up to each cluster of matches.

We can see that our two odds of 3.75 and 6.52 encompass roughly 330 matches – the difference between 1,115 indicated at the 6.52 break-off point and 785 at the starting point of the 3.75 cluster.

That’s 330 bets over a five season period that are simply not worth making; or 66 bets in a season.

We can see this clearer by looking at the same snapshot between our original inflection points of 3.30 and 8.60.

**:(Click on the left-hand image to enlarge it in a new tab)**

In this odds range, we have roughly 587 bets (1,221 minus 634). We now know that more than 56% of these (330 bets) are not worthwhile making.

This leaves only 257 bets but the away win profit sectors between the inflection points seem to be split into two areas of the curve: from odds of 3.30 to 3.75 (medium risk system, accounting for around 160 bets), and then from odds of 6.52 to 8.60 (high risk system; around 100 bets).

If we were to continue our analysis of away wins we would eventually see that the three elements (the medium risk sweet spot, the high risk sweet spot, and the statistical noise in-between) combine to give us a bumpy ride.

Our expected hit-rate will be tempered by that area of noise, and yield will be lower because of the size of the zero-sum area and the number of pointless bets within it.

This means a lot of unpaid work to perform, placing many bets that maintain the status quo and not much else. On top of this, the losing streaks will be greater.

### Therefore, why not split into two systems in this league?

The synergy we have mentioned before about many systems supporting each other is what makes the HDAFU betting systems so viable.

However, we also mentioned that you should find the **single best system in a league** to play alongside the other best systems in the other leagues within your portfolio.

In our away win example, we would need to choose the better of the two systems we have identified. Either backing away wins at odds between 3.30 and 3.75, or between 6.52 and 8.60. Choose one or the other, not both.

We recommend never to play multiple systems in the same bet type. The synergy effect is diminished as ultimately, one of the two systems is not the best we can find.

Ideally, we are looking for synergy between the absolute single best systems in each league within our portfolio, without creating a situation where one system supports another within an individual league.

With different bet types in the same league (e.g. 1×2 market and over/under goals market) this is not an issue, but we would go as far as avoiding the conflict of interest between HT and FT 1×2 systems in the same league, for example.

### Away wins initially looked great but is there something better?

Have a look once again at the Inflection Points graphs to try and see what it is.

As is typical of an **underdog** backing profile, the high risk/high return nature of this bet type produces a noisy curve, one full of jagged peaks and troughs. There are only small rising areas to analyse. Anything you can analyse into promising profits will contain few betting opportunities in a season, with long runs of losing bets to cope with.

Backing the **favourite** has one area between odds of 1.90 and 2.10 but we can see at these odds not a huge profit is created over five seasons (less than 3,500 units).

The **home win** is a misery for backing. Again, the sweet spot is between 1.90 and 2.10 but the profit is less than 2,000 units.

That leaves us with backing the **draw**. There is a large, rising area in the curve beginning at draw odds of 3.32 (-2,008 units), and peaking at 3.65 (7,170 units). It represents a potential profit chunk of 9,178 units over five seasons.

This is better illustrated by superimposing our inflection points onto our graph – We are interested in only the portion of the curve in-between the red arrows:

The shape of this curve is what you should be looking for when identifying the first system to analyse in your leagues of choice.

It is the classic gently rising curve from bottom left to top right. It is relatively smooth, with a far smaller amount of statistical noise.

Therefore, this is the bet type we will analyse as our example.

**Next Page: Step 2 – Hiding, Sorting & Filtering**

hi,

i think there may be typing error .

backing home sweet spot is between 1.90 and 2.10 in inflection points graph and in article is between 1.90 and 3.10 for home backing.

Thanks for that Zin,

Duly corrected!

hi ,

in this example, we will back the draw between 3.33 and 3.63 odds range and i found the match in draw odds of 3.33 before one day kick-off. i place the bet and in kick-off day for example the odd change and become 3.32 may be 3.31. how can i do now?thanks

Hello again Zinphyosein,

We place our bets within the hour before kick-off. If a bookmaker is offering odds within our range, we place the bet regardless of whether the price then drops outside the threshold.

If a bookie is willing to offer a price we need within the final hour of the ante post market then that is good enough for us.

What is more of an issue is seeing a price just below our minimum requirement, which never rises. In these cases, we sometimes use an exchange like Smarkets or a multi-bookie platform such as Vodds to request a higher price.

If it gets matched then all good and well, but if not, we cancel the bet as the match goes in-play.

Hope this helps!

Hello

Ive seen that you are using the highest closer odds at the market to look for the inflection points. Since i switched over to use the asian bookmakers – should it be possible to only use the pinnacle odds from football.data?

Which leads to my second question. You are using the CLOSER odds. So wouldnt it be necessary to only bet the closer while doing this system? Especially the summer leagues would be a problem since a alot of matches start while europe is asleep.

So i would take the pinnacle (not pinnacle closer odds) and since theire collected on fridays for weekend matches and on tuesdays for midweek matches i would only place my bets at these days. Unfortunately football.data only provides us with winter leagues.

PS: What would you do if only bookmakers you dont have an account with offer an odd which is within your inflection points and all the others you use are over/under the needed odd? Would you still bet on it? Of course, this problem wouldnt occure only using pinnacle odds

thank you for answering 🙂

MB,

By CLOSER odds I guess you mean the odds just as the ante post market closes? (and not closer as in ‘nearer’?).

I suppose it really depends on your commitments but we certainly have no problem with the kick-off times of games. This is a full-time occupation for us, so we adjust our working hours to suit.

If you want to use Pinnacle odds, then you will have to use them in your analysis and re-program the HDAFU tables (good luck there!).

BUT, we no longer use football-data.co.uk odds for the tables because of the irregularities of when they are recorded. It is impossible to be consistent with any analysis when odds are taken at two separate times per week, with these ‘frozen’ figures sometimes three days old before the match even kicks off.

It would be a huge juggling act to get the analysis correct and then bet on the games around the same times the odds are taken. There is too much time in-between for odds to fluctuate wildly.

With betting in the final hour before kick-off, we get the advantage of seeing odds change with the team news as it is released, which is always a major factor in swaying public opinion and influencing the weight of money placed on certain outcomes.

Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you are totally consistent with both your analysis and then your follow-through.

Thanks for your question and I hope the reply makes sense!

Hi Right Winger,

in Summer league Inflection points simulation table of MLS 2016 season you bet at odds of 1.84-3.71 Home win. After reading this article, I understand that zero odds must have been below 1.84 after sorting, filtering etc. of 11-15 MLS seasons data. When I do my own sorting, filtering etc. of 11-15 MLS seasons I end up with 2.105 zero odds. Since it’s above first inflection point value of 1.84, that would suggest this system is not going to work. Am I missing something? Can you tell what was your zero odds after you sorted, filtered and etc. 11-15 seasons of MLS?

Jo,

Thanks for your important comment. I have amended the article as a result.

Zero odds should ‘preferably’ be below the first inflection point. It’s more important to get close with this criteria on your medium and higher risk systems such as the draw, away win or underdog.

With home wins and favourites where the hit-rate is higher, it is not so vital as you will usually have many more bets to contend with and the weight of numbers should be good enough to give you the hypothetical value from concentrating on the sweet spot.

Yes, USA was 2.10 zero odds as you mentioned, but achieved a nice profit regardless. Again, the 100 lower priced (i.e. below 2.11), higher probability bets (50 won) provided the synergy we needed to get into profit with the 142 higher priced, lower probability bets (65 won) in this league.

Nice profit in this league during 2016 season, but look at the low yield of only 5.59% – below our expectations partly because we surrendered some of our value by having the zero odds point for this league in the middle of our two inflection points. But, the hit-rate was higher than expected suggesting that the odds we achieved were worse than expectations.

Every league will be different – all we hope for is to be there or thereabouts with the majority of our systems at the end of the season. The chances of all the systems failing was less than 0.01% (i.e. no chance at all). The chance of all the systems being in profit was also relatively small. But, like the standard distribution bell curve, we will end up somewhere in the middle (if the analysis is sound to begin with!).

Thanks again for you work Jo!

As usual, I make some progress with my excel tables to accelerate the filtering process. 🙂

Glad to see your new articles in soccerwidow site and congrat with the 2016 summer leagues campaign.

With your new free excel sheet’s datas, I investigate the Paraguay league and found far greater profit amount in the underdog market than in the draw market. What’s your opinion about that?

But my main question: Over the years have you found an automatic odds scraper process to download the odds form oddsportal?

Sadly, I just use the odds from betexplorer, but the odds from this site (also higher odds) are smaller than yours from oddsportal.

Hi VB,

Glad to see you understand what you are doing.

Yes, underdogs look good in Paraguay too, but it’s a high risk scheme with potentially large losing streaks. Just be careful of including something like this in your portfolio – there are an awfully large number of bets, which could see your longest expected losing streak occur more than once.

Personally with underdog systems, we prefer shorter runs of potential bets, with not so many needed to be correct!

Regarding odds, we still scrape from Oddsportal. Getting a whole season’s data for one league such as the EPL (380 matches), takes approximately 12-15 minutes.

Betexplorer odds should be similar to Oddsportal as they are (or were) run by the same company, although I have noticed some differences since Betexplorer recently changed the theme and appearance of their website…

Thanks for your question!

Hi

Very interested in your tables but I have a question.

You use the odds and place the bet one hour before the match starts, but which bookmaker do you use? There can be a difference in odds between bookmakers that could either make an unwanted selection part of the system or take a desirable bet out.

Kind regards

Timmyp

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your question.

With such a small starting bank, we had to keep our initial number of accounts low to ensure there was enough money in them without unnecessary transfers between accounts.

As the bankroll grew, we were able to spread the money around more accounts. Right now, we use just one betting exchange,

Smarkets, but I would say that they account for less than 10% of our bets.The multi-bookmaker platform,

Vodds, definitely comes in handy (includes access to Pinnacle), whilst the rest of our portfolio of accounts includes Marathonbet,Bet365, BetVictor and5Dimes. We will undoubtedly add others as bankroll grows further.Regarding unwanted selections, this really isn’t a concern. If we can get a price that sits within our two inflection points then that’s job done. It doesn’t matter if it then drifts out of one end the scale.

The important thing is that a bookmaker was prepared to offer odds within our threshold at a time which was close to our analysis point (i.e. within the final hour of the ante post market). Of course, it’s of even less concern if the odds we buy are above our zero odds for that system (i.e. a value bet).

As mentioned in the

2016 Campaign articlecomments section, we are scrutinising whether a wholesale approach to picking odds within our inflection points threshold as and when they become available is viable (rather than limiting ourselves to the final hour of the market).We will let you know when our exercise on this question is finished at the end of 2016-17, but for the time being we are still telling everyone to do their best as close to the end of the ante post market as possible.

Thanks for your question and your interest in Soccerwidow.

Hi Right Winger,

Matchbook has complicated commission charge – 1.5% for accepted and 0.75% for posted odds regardless you win or loose. If you win you pay 1.5% or 0.75% from your profit, if you loose, you pay 1.5% or 0.75% from your stake or potential winnings whichever is lesser. How do you calculate real odds for Matchbook after complicated commission fee is deducted? Formula would be very helpful. I didn’t find it anywhere.

Also, have you had any problems with Marathonbet, their odds are probably the best in the market, but I read a lot of reviews how dodgy this bookie can be. You wrote somewhere in the comments that you withdraw winnings through betting exchanges using matched betting technique. But with dodgy bookmaker you might win just a few times and they won’t give you the chance to show loosing pattern. I would like to have an account there, but after reading reviews online I don’t know is it worth the risk to get money frozen for I don’t know how long or even confiscated for some hypothetical “problem”.

Hello again Jo,

Thanks for your comment regarding Matchbook.

Soccerwidow has just informed me that she is aware of their problematic commission rate structure (I have to admit it was news to me), and that Smarkets is currently the only exchange that we use. I’ve therefore amended my comment above to reflect this. Thanks again.

Regarding Marathonbet, we have also read a few negative stories but with stakes as small as ours we haven’t encountered any problems yet.

But bear in mind that negative comments are usually the only ones you read about, and never the plaudits of the 99.9% of satisfied customers.

I think it also helps that the 2016 portfolio hit-rate overall was less than 50% and substantially less than this with Marathonbet (as they are underdog specialists).

For definitive opinions on bookmakers we use:

SportsbookreviewHistorically, we have used exchanges to withdraw bookmaker winnings and we may do so again in the future, but following the 2016 campaign, we had money spread around various accounts and had not withdrawn anything.

The overlapping 2016-17 Winter League programme of course utilises these funds too.

Of course, if we encounter problems we will let our readers know but, for the relatively small amounts we have been betting and winning, things have been pretty plain sailing so far.

However, I am sure that as our portfolios grow larger and larger we will experience choppier waters, but the thing is we don’t necessarily need to increase the stake amounts to ridiculous levels: We can instead achieve enhanced results with a greater number of bets.

Hi Right Winger,

it’s always a pleasure to read your comments.

Today I learned some news about MLS – it has expanded to 22 teams. And there plans to expand it to 28 teams in the future. It’s definitely not the first time when you deal with situation like this. I checked more previous seasons of MLS and it looks like it gets expanded every 2 seasons in the recent years. How leagues expansions affect betting results and HDAFU tables reliability?

Jo,

Yes, the two new teams are mentioned in the MLS table (Backing by Teams tab).

I really don’t think it will make much difference. The MLS is definitely an unique league from the perspective that the distances between teams equate to many long trips for the away teams.

I truly believe this is a huge contributory factor to the percentage of home wins in this league. It’s always high compared to other leagues, and I expect it to be high again in 2017.

We will see if there is any noticeable change at the end of 2017, but I am really not expecting any surprises.

With other leagues, I don’t think it makes much difference, but we do have a tendency to rely more on the whole season analyses for leagues that experience expansion or contraction, rather than splitting their data into first and second halves of the seasons.

Hi Right Winger,

what do you do if offered price in the last hour before kick off time is a little bit out of your desired inflection points range? For example, inflection points are 1.5-2.5, price 1 hour before kick off is 2.55. Do you come back later to check again if the price moved in your inflection points range, or do you check the price only once?

Jo,

The last hour before kick-off, when the large majority of our bets are placed, can be a very hectic time depending upon the number of bets to be considered for inclusion.

At the other end of your question, if a price is a point or two below our first inflection point, then we will use an exchange to request a higher price (taking commission into consideration). If it gets matched then fine, if not, then it usually remains outside our spectrum.

With prices that are slightly higher than our second inflection point, we have to keep an eye on any movement. We check the prices constantly during the final hour. If you adopt this habit you will quickly see which ones are active (and more likely to move) and which ones remain stable.

But we are not talking about huge numbers of bets to monitor. It might be one or two in a league. The rest will already have been placed (as well within our range) or discarded (as well outside our range).

It’s a valid question and, with time, you will develop enough of a sense to make these kinds of judgements. For us, it was like being in a maze, exploring avenue after avenue until finding the shortest path to our goal. Our sense of direction has therefore been honed over several years.

Hopefully, we have saved others a lot of this time already by outlining exactly what our current processes are.

Hello Right Winger,

how do you deal with championships that uses a playoff format in their season? Do you analyze only the regular season, or maybe you analyze every playoff separate from the rest of the season?

Thanks for your answers!

Hello again Daniele,

We don’t include play-offs or any other non-regular league matches.

Play-offs are akin to cup matches and are far more volatile than the regular rounds of a league season.

We also prefer to deal with the premier leagues in each country only. In lower leagues, there is too much statistical noise created by having promotion at one of the table and relegation at the other.

The content of lower leagues therefore becomes far more diluted by the fact that there are many more teams competing over a five season period than in the top leagues where only relegation is a factor in altering the statistical composition.

Hope this is self-explanatory, and thanks for your question.

Hello,

Great Job Right Winger !

How many bookmakers do you select on Oddsportal to find the best odds:

only premimum bookmakers automatically selected by Oddsportal;

Every bookmaker;

Another selection?

Thanks a lot.

Hi Sellig,

Good question.

We have no choice with those automatically selected by Oddsportal as they do not allow you to deselect them.

We add a selection of the more reliable bookmakers to this list, but not all of them.

We scrape our odds from a selection of around 30 bookmakers in total (including the compulsory ones).

There is a problem with Oddsportal where odds do not update from certain bookies, or sometimes they update after the match has started with in-play odds, which have to be discounted.

Our odds are therefore carefully checked and compiled – it takes hours to scrape the odds we want and to check that they are viable.

I hope this helps!

“The number of betting opportunities and the hit-rate should both show fairly consistent figures throughout the five seasons.”

How do we know that it’s consistent ? Minimum number of bets for a season ?

Hello again Sellig,

By consistent we mean that the numbers of bets in each of the five seasons should be more or less equal.

This also applies to the hit rate, which should be fairly even over the five seasons, with no huge anomalies.

Hi Right Winger,

how do you determine if betting opportunities or hit rate has too big deviations?

Hello again Jo,

I’ve been trying to backtrack for the answer to your question as, after many years of analysis and betting, identifying deviations almost becomes second nature.

Firstly, I think that ‘anomalies’ is probably a more useful word to use than deviations.

The number of potential bets covered by a system and the expected hit rate from it are usually pretty uniform when looking at a filtered set of data from five seasons.

Anything that stands out from the pack should be looked at more closely. Was it an anomalous season that caused the deviation? Is there a history of anomalous seasons in that particular league? Are there any other reasons for the anomaly?

Certainly, if the betting opportunities are anomalous in one of the seasons analysed this can point to a change in odds setting for that season, perhaps due to the composition of the league (i.e. an historically strong team is relegated and replaced by a far weaker team, which has a knock-on effect in the odds compilation).

Filter the results in your chosen system by team, and see if there any anomalies there. You may even be able to filter out certain teams from your analysis – ones that continually let the system down, for example. See if this makes any difference to the deviations you can see.

I hope this helps!

I have a few questions regarding the HDAFU tables:

– Would it help to add in more seasons to the analysis?

– Would it help to weight the seasons?

– Do you backtest your picks? For example, omit betting on the first 25% of the season, use these matches to validate, and then start betting on them. And if so, how about splitting the season in half?

Thanks!

Thanks for the good questions, JVR,

Yes, we performed literally years of analysis before settling on five full seasons of data. It doesn’t seem to make a significant difference adding any more. In fact, adding further seasons tends to dilute the data pool with information that becomes more irrelevant the older it is.

So, five seasons is enough to provide a data pool which carries statistical significance, and that’s all we need when analysing any snapshot of past performance. You can add more seasons if you want (and create more work for yourself), but the fringe benefits of the extra stats become more and more negligible the further back in time you go.

And don’t forget, maths is not an exact science. Our aim is to get as close to the answer as we can, knowing that there is never an absolutely correct one.

My feet are different sizes for example. Most peoples’ are. Almost all people buy their shoes from a shop. We buy shoes that fit as best they can but they are never a ‘perfect’ fit for both feet. But they do the job they are intended to do. This end result metaphor is all we can ever hope to achieve with a statistical analysis – it will never be pinpoint accurate is what I am trying to say.

Weighting the seasons again doesn’t make much sense as we want to compare ‘apples with apples’ and see how they stack up against each other on their own merits. By doing this, we get a more rounded picture of what is likely to happen in the future, without any bias being placed on past performance.

For example, there is no point identifying an anomalous season and compensating for it. We want to see the effects of that season in all its ugliness as such a season could quite easily repeat itself in the new season we are analysing for.

I could write a book longer than the Bible with the amount of back-testing we have performed over the years, and the benefits of this are that we now split the seasons at their natural mid-season interval. The 2017 Summer League HDAFU tables started this trend and in a few weeks, when the Winter Leagues end in Europe, we will again be providing three tables for each league (the whole season analysis, first half split, and second half split).

Hope this helps and thanks again for contacting us!

One question though. How can I obtain Betfair ‘s odds from the data?

Thanks in advance.

Hi JVR,

We can work out roughly how an exchange would operate by increasing all the bookmaker odds by one tick.

This is fairly simple, and involves entering figures in the Odds Toggle and Commission Rate fields in the Data Tab.

Procedure:

Calculate the

harmonic meanof each column of odds.For example, the home odds are in column S beginning at row 10 and ending at row 484 (I’m using a random choice, Finland 1st Half season, as my example – of course, the last number will be different according to which table you’re looking at).

The harmonic mean formula for this range is

=harmean(S10:S484)Whatever result you get, in this case 2.27, you need to increase by one tick (or whatever you prefer). In this case to 2.28.

The percentage difference between 2.27 and 2.28 is 0.4405%. (2.28 minus 2.27 = 0.01, divided by 2.27, multiplied by 100).

Enter the outcome of your calculation in the Odds Toggle field for the bet type you are analysing.

Enter your usual Betfair commission rate in the Commission Rate field below the Odds Toggle figure.

Once you’ve done this, all figures in the spreadsheet for the home win will change automatically.

It’s not an exact science but it will give you an idea of the effects on the likely results of using an exchange.

Hope this helps!

Hello Right Winger,

i will quote a fragment of this article to formulate my question.

“As is typical of an underdog backing profile, the high risk/high return nature of this bet type produces a noisy curve, one full of jagged peaks and troughs. There are only small rising areas to analyse. Anything you can analyse into promising profits will contain few betting opportunities in a season, with long runs of losing bets to cope with.”

Looking at the underdog graph, i notice two particular areas that looks interesting. The first is from 4.59 to 5.40, with a potential profit of above 7000 units and 25 average bets to place. The second is from 6.50 to 8.50, with a potential profit of around 9000 units and 29 average bets to place. This particular points are rising with little to none statistical noise. But you mentioned that this segments carried only few betting opportunities and a risk of long losing streaks. Looking at your summer HDAFU campaign summary i see that you included 5 underdog systems with as little as 10 bets to place (and 20 on average). The maximum losing streak though is 10, and the only time you picked a high odds range was on the second half of the brazilian Serie A (odds from 6.50 to 8.22), with a losing streak of just 9 bets (i noticed that usually at these high odds the losing streaks are much higher, around 15 or so). So the reason why you didn’t consider the aforementioned systems in this article is because of the longer losing streaks? Did you analyzed it first and then realized the risk was not worth it? Is it safe to assume that when choosing higher odds system (higher risk and fewer bets) you try to keep the losing streak lower than you would usually do (for example here you chose the draws system with a maximum losing streak of 16, but lower odds/risk and more bets to place)? Let’s say i find a system with odds from 6.30 to 7.80, 20 games expected and 14 losing streak. Would you try to find something better and less risky?

Sorry for the long long question, but if you feel as much excited as i do when talking about betting (and i’m sure you do), i know you will not mind.

Thanks!

Right Winger,

the first system i mentioned in the Paraguayan League, after filtering it, shows a potential profit of 1515 units, maximum losing streak of 7, 5 seasons in profit, and every other value is excellent as well. 23 games expected. Can you explain why you didn’t consider it?

Hello again Daniele,

Some good points in your last two comments.

We chose the Paraguay league as our example, and as the free download table, because we thought that it would not be so popular when customers considered buying our HDAFU Tables. (In other words, we thought not many people would buy it anyway, so it would do as a ‘loss leader’).

To be honest, the time it took to write an article explaining how to use the tables to find systems was enormous.

Not only did we have to explain in minute detail every step of a process that has become second nature to us, we also had to include all the additional things to think about when analysing the tables rationally to find reasonable systems.

Paraguay is therefore a catch-all example. It does the job in illustrating the entire process. If there are other systems you have found that seem more appealing to you, then great – we’ve done our job to put you in a position to understand and find them.

Our primary intention was therefore to explain things as clearly as possible.

Every individual has his or her own level of risk aversion or acceptance. Personally speaking, I must admit that I am certainly not in a position to discuss how I decide what level of risk is acceptable to me. There are so many factors that are involved in this decision: time available to deal with the risk; starting bank size; revenue targets; staking plan; stop loss and ratchet mechanisms; when to bet; what to bet on…etc., etc…

I think what I am trying to say is that we’ve given you all the tools to make those decisions for yourself. I can’t give you my clothes to wear as you’re probably a different size and they won’t fit you as well as they do me. Hopefully this analogy is clear.

This is the reason why we don’t offer picks or sell definitive systems. It is impossible for us to know the individual needs of each and every customer. All we can do is supply everything on a plate for you to decide what is palatable to you personally.

I am at a loss to understand why people would ever subscribe to a picks service and play it blindly, not knowing how the picks are made, or what the likely long-term prospects are.

In contrast, our approach enables you, the customer, to stay in control at all times, which is one of the key foundation stones for successful gambling – staying in control.

Advocating this mindset is why Soccerwidow is so unique. 🙂

I hope this helps!

Hello Right Winger,

do you use every bookmaker available on Oddsportal when compiling the odds for the HDAFU tables? What should i do if i don’t have access to this bookmakers and my selection would be much more limited (with considerably lower odds)? Let’s say on a particular match the higher odd on Oddsportal for an outcome is 7.50. My highest odd available is 7.20 and my system tells me to play odds from 7.40. Should i use the Oddsportal reference (the same used for my analysis) and place the bet anyway, or should i skip this match? Wouldn’t the last option make me miss many betting opportunities, sabotaging completely the analysis and the system predictions? Should i just bet an odd even if it’s not in the range, if it is in the range on Oddsportal? Maybe using the odds toggle function to check my expected profits before choosing the system, to see if it is still profitable at lower and more realistic odds?

I hope my question is clear enough, and thanks in advance for your reply.

Hi Tony,

I think I’ve understood your various points.

Firstly, our Oddsportal bookmakers comprise the compulsory list of 16 (although these do tend to change regularly at the whim of Oddsportal), plus 16 of our own choosing:

188bet; 888Sport; Betclic; Betfred; BetVictor; Betway; BoyleSports; Comeon; Coral; Expekt; Island Casino; Ladbrokes; SBOBET; Sportingbet; Tipico; TitanbetThe historical odds we use are set in stone, so it really doesn’t matter if some of Oddsportal’s compulsory list interchange with others during the season we are betting on. Just set your optional pool of bookies to resemble ours.

You should always go with what Oddsportal tells you is the benchmark for that game. If your system says play odds from 7.40 to say 8.50, and Oddsportal’s highest odds show as 7.50, then this game is ripe for selection.

If you can only get 7.20 from your list of personal accounts, then you should still place the bet, but you’ll need to reassess as you go along whether you can get good enough odds all round to make your system worthwhile.

Check out our article on the

Odds Toggle functionof the HDAFU Tables, and also see my reply dated 6 May 2017 to JVR above.If you are consistently experiencing such gulfs between best odds available in the market as a whole versus your own personal bookmaker portfolio, then keep tabs on the situation and measure its effects to save yourself from pursuing a no-win strategy.

Try out

Vodds(featured halfway down the Eastbridge article) if you are struggling to get near best odds. You get access to Pinnacle there, so you should be near the top of the pile when it comes to obtaining best price…Hope this helps!

Thanks for your answer Right Winger.

This question is just for personal curiosity, but would it be possible to base the HDAFU tables only on Pinnacle odds, for example? Would the analysis be reliable using only one bookmaker as benchmark? I’m not talking about the difficulty of isolating Pinnacle odds and inserting them in the tables, but just about the validity of the tables using only one bookmaker as a benchmark. If i understand correctly, since only the higher odds are used for each system this should not be a problem since is not a matter of averages. Also, i noticed that the oldest seasons tend to have less odds on oddsportal then the newest ones. So (i guess) this can alter the balance between each season, even slightly. Using only one bookmaker can fix this problem, even if maybe is not relevant like i think. I am very curious to hear your thoughts about the matter.

Hello again Tony,

I understand your questions and believe me, it is something we have pondered about ourselves before deciding to use a spread of bookmakers.

Ultimately, the answers lie in many hundreds of hours of looking at Oddsportal odds and identifying trends, the various ways bookmakers set their odds, and seeing how the market moves throughout the ante post period. Also, looking at bookmaker sites and watching how their odds move, sometimes from minute to minute.

Although I can’t expand upon all of these things in a short answer (indeed, such a discussion is worthy of a whole series of articles), I can say that there are definite and separate approaches bookmakers use when they enter a market with their opening odds, and then go about garnering market share whilst keeping their books balanced.

The basic laws of supply and demand dictate that if they all did the same thing, there wouldn’t be any competition in the market. As there are several hundred bookmakers all vying for as much market share as they can get, then you can understand that they will certainly compete with each other as strongly as possible using many different tactics in order to survive and grow.

To use one solitary bookmaker for any analysis would be misleading, especially when it came to deciding upon which team is truly posted as the favourite and which is the underdog. For example, if you scan a page of Oddsportal odds for a particular game, in the majority of cases where teams of “similar strength” play each other, you will see some bookies set (and/or finish with) the home team as favourite, whilst others the away team. Some will start with one team as favourite with opening odds, and change to the other by the end of the ante post market.

Add to this the fact that some bookies

deliberately reverse their oddsfor the favourite based on where they believe the weight of money will come from – in other words, on public perception of who is favourite, rather than the statistical favourite.All of these factors add up to a need for a wider data set to provide a better view of what has happened with historical games, which is why we use a spread of bookmakers when compiling the tables.

Your second question about using, say, Pinnacle as the benchmark for identifying games to fit your chosen system is, I’m afraid, beset by the same problems. Pinnacle does not have one approach to its odds setting. Like all bookies, it uses several different methods depending on the popularity of the league in question, the popularity of each individual game, public opinion, and so on.

Even finding odds from one bookmaker all representative of the same moment in time is problematic as all you will really achieve is a cross section of its various (and perhaps individual) approaches to odds setting.

Whichever way you look at it, getting a more rounded view of the situation is better, which is why we use a range of bookies for both setting the HDAFU tables and for implementing them in the betting arena.

As for the number of bookmaker odds on Oddsportal reducing the further back in time you go, I agree, but this is only due to the fact that they continually drop bookies from their list – ones they don’t succeed to connect with in terms of lucrative affiliate programmes. These bookies then disappear from the list of providers of historical odds too. It is therefore important to ensure you obtain odds from a league no later than as soon as each season finishes to ensure they are as fresh as possible.

Of course, you then have to go through every individual game to iron out the many errors created by Oddsportal’s API’s. As I have mentioned before, getting reliable, timed, historical odds’ data is the single most important factor to any successful betting enterprise – the bookies understandably don’t want this data published, and the very few sites who provide or sell their data probably aren’t even aware that most of it is unreliable or unusable.

Tony, I hope this is detailed enough to answer your questions, and thanks again for bringing these topics to our readers’ attention. It takes a lot of time and understanding of how the market operates before you can take advantage of it…

I was reading in a previous comment that you use over-round calculations to determine which odds needs to be manually corrected. As far as i understand, if a set of odds presents a negative over-round, you check it manually to see if the odds displayed on Oddsportal were updated? And if they looks outdated and considerably higher than the rest you change it accordingly. Is that correct? How can you be sure that a particular odd displayed is not updated to the closing value? Sometimes i see that they display only the opening time, other times they display a change several hours before kick off. Does that mean that they are outdated, or maybe they remained the same until kick off time?

Hi Tony,

We use over-round calculations as a final check to ensure a set of odds we have recorded is in order. Also, when you’ve looked at tens of thousands of separate matches (I’ve personally inspected probably more) and reviewed their odds, you develop a feel for what is right and what is wrong.

Oddsportal are the only provider of historical odds including time stamps confirming exactly when they were recorded by each API. (Just hover over any of the odds of a particular bookie for any match).

To get a set of odds timed as close to the end of the ante post market as is possible means looking at each match individually, and correcting most of the odds according to their time stamps.

I conservatively estimate we have to correct more than 95% of Oddsportal’s odds in this fashion to get a more realistic picture of what the odds were at the close of the ante post.

Oddsportal’s highest odds are supposed to mean the highest odds reached at the end of the ante post period. We are not even sure what their average odds mean, as they are neither the mathematical average nor the harmonic mean.

Yes, sometimes, the opening odds for a bookie are recorded as the highest – purely because this was the peak figure reached for that outcome throughout the ante post market.

But they are certainly not the closing odds, otherwise they would stick out like a sore thumb and everyone would buy them (as punters seek best price) – the book of that particular bookmaker would then be grossly unbalanced.

Bookmakers dip in and out of the market all of the time to continually ensure they have enough money to pay to winning customers, and hopefully retain a small percentage of the deal as their own profit.

Spend an hour or so just watching Pinnacle’s odds. The best time is the final hour before kick-off. They move all the time depending upon the weight of money being proferred by their customers. The odds have to move because Pinnacle is one of the lowest margin bookmakers – their over-round is perhaps just 2% in most cases. To defend their position they have to continually juggle their odds to maintain a balance. They have to work hard to earn their money – they offer higher odds than most but take a smaller percentage out of each match in an attempt to ramp up volume.

Once you’ve spent years watching odds move you begin to see the different strategies (sometimes several) each bookmaker employs.

Insurance is exactly the same, but in reverse. For example, there are hundreds of motor insurers all competing with each other for the same piece of business where usually the cheapest price wins the deal. But no insurer will stay the cheapest all the time for certain risks – all insurers need a balance of risk in their portfolios.

Bookmakers lay-off certain liabilities they need to cover by placing bets with each other. Insurers lay-off the top end of their liabilities by buying reinsurance. Both run very similar business models, and usually the majority of profits come from investing monies held at any one time, rather than the front-end business itself.

If you want to understand bookmaker maths and how they operate, then an insurance career is a viable alternative. Thankfully, I’ve had 25 years in top-end corporate insurance, and thankfully, I no longer work in insurance! 🙂

Hey,

First of all – great blog and awesome spreadsheets.

I went a bit further and removed odds 3,57 – 3,6 (where the big dip came). Results were pretty good, Profit growed only 252 units, but all seasons were in profit now (first one still a lot less than others). Also zero odds decreased to 2,5, yield up to 19,73%, hit rate to 40% and ROI to nearly 33%. Longest losing streak from 28 to 14.

Games played from 556 to 460, so nearly 100 useless bets less and a little bit more profit.

Hi, Would you mind explaining how do you correct the odds from Oddsportal using over-round? For example, if the converted odds to probabilities show more than 100%, it the data correction as simple as taking this, for instance, 102% and distributing them proportionally between 1×2 possible outcomes? Or it is another thing completely different?

Thanks!

Hello again Gabriel,

The time stamps of every set of 1×2 odds are checked and the odds are then adjusted individually in order to get a market snapshot as near to the close of the ante post market as possible.

The overround calculations then provide a benchmark for accuracy.

I can’t explain the process in a few lines, but suffice to say that each bet type is different, and the levels of overround differ from game to game depending on the liquidity/popularity of that particular match.

Therefore, what you have suggested in your comment is not the case – I am not even sure what proportional distribution of the overround would achieve.

I hope this helps!

When you have settled on your odds and systems, when would you recommend placing your bets?

Hello Jamie,

The bets are placed on the day of the events in question, and usually within the last hour before kick-off.

Hi,

I’ve downloaded the example spreadsheet and followed through with the guide. You have done a top notch job explaining the general method to go through to find a profitable system in a given league. When all the steps are broken down, and things pointed out to look for, it all is nice and easy to follow.

I’m very much looking forward to the release of the 2017-18 winter league tables in order to analyse and find good systems to take into the portfolio.

In order to get to the point where you have 500 bets in total for a season, how many leagues would you need to be looking at realistically?

Also, just planning ahead here, when would you be in a position to make these tables available for sale?

Thanks in advance.

Hello Simon,

Thanks for your kind words.

The Winter Leagues (20 in total this year) will be ready and available to buy sometime during this weekend.

To achieve a portfolio of 500 bets is easier to do with the Winter Leagues as many more of them tend to be larger in terms of numbers of games than most of the Summer Leagues. This means perhaps greater numbers of betting opportunities per system chosen. (But this of course relies on your attitude towards risk).

It is difficult to answer the question of how many leagues to buy. We use all of them – the larger the portfolio the better as far as we are concerned. But each user’s decision-making process regarding losing streaks and acceptable risk differs.

I would say purchasing a minimum of five leagues is a start, and then add-on additional systems until you have a portfolio with a nice balance of risk and acceptable losing streaks.

Simon, more than that I cannot say – everyone is different. Everyone will balance their portfolios differently. Some will choose low risk systems with greater numbers of bets; others will opt for higher risk systems with fewer bets; others still will blend low, medium and high risk systems into optimum numbers of bets to suit their own personal tastes.

I hope this helps! All the best.

Hi,

I got your England Premier League HDAFU table.

I try to unlock the workbook structure using the provided password at Legal worksheet but i got the message “The password you supplied is not correct”.

Appreciated if you can let me know the soonest. Thanks.

Hi.

When you say, in the Checklist that “Average Profit/Loss Per Season should preferably be in four figures (when analysing with a 100 unit flat stake).”, I understand that it means for a full season analysis, right? So, in other word, it means for 1st half analysis, four figures divided by two, right? Or, 500, in the case of half season.

Thanks!

Hello Gabriel,

No, we like to see our average profit/loss per season figure in four figures (with 100 unit stakes) for any of the three types of analysis, whether it be on the whole season, 1st half, or 2nd half table.

It’s not a rule that is set in stone but, for us, it is a personal benchmark for deciding whether to include a system.

Thanks for your question.

Hi. I’m very excited to start using the knowledge kindly posted in soccerwidow. My approach towards soccerbetting changed dramatically after reading the many posts here.

Here are my questions: is it worthy to add, in addition to HDAFU, lay bets? I added 3 more bet types to my analysis: lay home, lay away and lay the draw. Sometimes, it is the best way to go and since it covers 2 results instead of 1, the noise is reduced drastically. The downside is that one has to place so many bets sometimes and also, one has to calculate these odds manually, since oddsportal do not place these odds directly like 1×2 odds. What do you think about this?

Another related question: sometimes, the curves look alike each other. In other words, they show high linear correlation between each other. Back away and underdog look alike a lot when we analyse though leagues, such as Brazil or South Korea. Is that part of the job or is there a way to eliminate these sometimes unnecessary steps?

Thanks a lot and congrats!

Hello Gabriel,

Thank you for your kind words, and we are glad to have had such a profound effect on your thinking towards gambling.

We are not fans of ante post lay betting for a number of reasons. Firstly, you have to use a betting exchange, which charges commission, and therefore robs you of a good chunk of your profits. Add the fact that the lay prices have to be above the backing odds, which surrenders even more of the value. Lastly, the psychology is different because each losing lay bet sends your betting bank backwards perhaps two or three steps at a time, whilst each winning bet provides smaller increases as it is effectively the same as backing on the double chance market. (where odds are typically less than 1.35).

At least with backing, the losses are manageable and known (fixed stakes), whilst the wins can advance the bank further than the losses can erode it. There is less stress on the bank, especially if you hit a streak of losing bets.

In our opinion, lay betting is best in an in-play environment, but if you’re still keen on ante post lay betting, just remember that this is effectively what the bookmakers do themselves when offering any bet for sale. And their profit margins are typically 5% or less. Bear in mind also that they don’t have commission to pay on their winnings or need to take a price over and above the price of backing.

We have tried so many lay betting systems in the past, but they are time-consuming (more bets to place as you have mentioned), produce more jagged profit curves (exaggerated peaks and troughs – more statistical noise, not less), and are particularly disheartening when the losing streaks arrive, knowing how many winning bets you then need to climb back to where you were before and begin building again.

It’s just a personal choice for us, but straightforward-backing-only does provide a much more controllable position and a more stress-free ride.

Have a look at my answer to JVR dated 6 May 2017 in the

older commentsin the list above. This will give you a rough guide on how to simulate exchange odds using the HDAFU tables.In answer to your second point, yes, in some leagues the home win curves can resemble the favourite curves (as the home team is more often the favourite), whilst the away win curves can resemble the underdog curves (as the away team is more often the underdog).

However, some leagues are different, and splitting the analysis into season halves can also produce stark differences in these curves – the curves are therefore not always similar. I am constantly surprised with how much detail this sort of analysis can reveal.

Thanks again for your questions!

Hi, Right Winger! I have a question which sound the same one I’ve read here, but it is not.

Let’s say my range to bet is 2.40 to 3.00 and the majority of bookmakers show 2.90 odds before kick off, except one, Marathon, for example, that shows 3.05. In your answer before, you say in this particular case to trust the majority of bookmakers and place the bet, and if possible, at 3.05 odds.

First question: if you used historical highest odds (including Marathon), then that must have included these situations in the data to create the systems and therefore, in the analysis, this bet should not have been placed. Why did you say the bet should have been placed? Is that because you corrected all situations like these, excluding outliers one by one, like marathon or 5Dimes?

Second question: what if the situation is a little bit different, let’s say the majority of bookmakers are showing 2.30, but Marathon shows 2.45. Should I place the bet?

Thanks a lot!

Hi Gabriel,

Sorry for the delay in replying to you.

Yes, you make a good point about Marathonbet, and this also applies to the other Russian based bookmaker, 1xBet.

Because they are both low margin, high volume bookies, their odds tend to move faster than most other bookmakers, but what you see on comparison sites is not always the case when it comes to trying to place a bet at the odds you have seen elsewhere.

We use Marathonbet but do experience occasions where we wish to place a bet at odds advertised on comparison sites only to find that when logging-in to our account, the odds on offer are drastically different.

Our general rule for these two bookies is that if you can place the bet with them at higher odds than the rest of the market, then do so. But exclude their odds when making the judgment to place the bet in the first place – rely on what the rest of the market tells you instead.

This should answer part two of your question. In the case you described, I would not place the bet with Marathonbet if the rest of the market tells me their odds are outside the parameters of the system.

Hope this is useful, and thanks for you questions.

Hi. I saw myself in the following situation: my range for betting the draw is 3.5 and 3.7. One hour before the match begins most bookmakers showed 3.4 average and Pinnacle (yes, Pinnacle – not one of the bookies with errors) showed 3.75.

What to do? Thanks.

Hello again Gabriel,

The answer is to ensure you can get the odds with Pinnacle before committing to placing the bet.

They are usually very accurate (rarely out of kilter with their advertised prices), so if Pinnacle say 3.75 and your cut-off point is 3.7, then don’t place the bet.

I hope this is self-explanatory.

RW, thanks for the answers. No problem about the delay. I’ve been studying a lot and finding so many more questions. 😉

Ok. I understood everything that was said. But just one thing wasn’t clear. You said:

“We use Marathonbet but do experience occasions where we wish to place a bet at odds advertised on comparison sites only to find that when logging-in to our account, the odds on offer are drastically different.”

My point is: you did consider Marathon in the HDAFU historic tables, right? And because of that, your range for a certain strategy would be 2.20 to 2.50, for example. When applying the strategy in the following season in a certain game, Marathon shows 2.25, and you say we should not place the bet because most bookies show 2.05, for example, or because these odds aren’t true when you login to Marathon and check the odds. Alright, understood!

But, when this new season ends and goes to HDAFU table for building the new strategy for next year, this match will show the highest odds as being 2.25 and not 2.05. Isn’t that a flaw of this system?

Couldn’t we use odds toggle and reduce the highest odds to correct that? In my strategies a see marathon as highest odds many times and I keep asking myself if I am doing the right thing.

Sorry about being insistent and thanks for the comments again.

Hi Gabriel,

Just to iron out the whole Marathonbet issue once and for all.

When collecting and correcting odds at the end of each season, almost all of the Marathonbet and 1xBet odds are downgraded or discarded in our search for odds which are more realistic and/or closest to those at the end of the ante post market.

In your example, the historical odds would have been recorded by us at 2.05 and not 2.25.

This is why we tell you to rely on the majority of bookmakers rather than using Marathonbet’s prices as a guideline.

Use Marathonbet to place a bet only when the rest of the market indicates the match in question is inside your inflection points.

I hope this is clear! 🙂