Value Betting Academy – Soccerwidow Football Betting Maths, Value Betting Strategies Mon, 17 Aug 2020 07:00:26 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Coronavirus Experiment: Over Under Betting after Interruption Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:08:34 +0000 more »]]> After the first wave of the coronavirus, most of the leagues have now resumed their games and Soccerwidow started a public experiment to see whether old statistics can still be used and what can be observed after this unexpectedly long break.

Since the 1st of July, we have been running an HDAFU Tables experiment on Soccerwidow, and a parallel Over/Under Goal betting experiment on our German-language sister site

Whilst it is too early to say whether the HDAFU Tables will perform to expectations, the Over/Under picks are doing outstandingly well. The original starting bank of 3,000 increased by over 50% in 25 betting days.

Profit/Loss graph after 25 rounds - Corona experiment July 2020

Slideshow Picks

The picks for the respective day appear here around 1 p.m. (sometimes earlier) as well as the results of the previous day.

Please click on the arrows to scroll through the entire history of the picks.

Below are all the picks that were published during the July 2020 Corona experiment (the 2019-20 Winter League seasons finished now). The bank grew from a starting point of 3,000.00 to impressive 4,617.56 during just one month. It was very pleasing to see that the statistics taught in the coursebook in combination with the Cluster Tables did so reliably well despite this Corona outbreak and very long breaks of the leagues.

A summary article with a video tutorial as well as some explanations of how the picks were chosen will be published by August 8th.

To ensure that you always read the most updated version of the article…

  1. Clear browser cache
  2. Press the F5 key

The expected probability and zero odds are calculated exactly as described in the coursebook using the Cluster Tables. The selection criteria is:

  1. if it has a minimum probability of 60%, and
  2. if it has a positive value, and if not,
  3. the bet with the lowest negative value in the 60% – 80% cluster is selected
  4. only 1 bet per match is selected

The basis for calculating the stakes is the following risk adjustment

  • Odds up to 1.1: 5% from the bank
  • Odds between 1.1 – 1.16: 4% from the bank
  • Odds between 1.16 – 1.39: 3.8% from the bank
  • Odds between 1.4 – 2.25: 2.5% from the bank
  • Odds between 2.25 – 7.50: 1.5% from the bank
  • Odds over 7.50: 0.5% from the bank

Stakes are always rounded to the nearest whole number.

However, not only are the stakes calculated according to the risk but a ratchet system is also applied. This means that the stakes increase with each round in accordance with the highest bank total achieved and remain at the same level even if the bank then decreases again. The stakes are only reduced if the bank erodes to 60% of the starting bank (i.e. starting bank loses 40%).

Starting Bank (at the start of the experiment on July 1, 2020): 3,000
Highest Bank (25th July 2020): 4,729.44
Bank will increase each day if there are winnings; bank for calculating stakes will only reduce when it drops below 2837.66 (60% of starting bank).

Duration of the experiment

We all know that the coronavirus interrupted/paused the leagues for different lengths of time.

The EPL broke on March 9th and, after a 100-day break, started playing again on June 17th.

Italy also stopped on March 9th and started playing after a 103-day break on June 20th.

Poland suspended on March 13th; their break was only 81-days and they started playing again on May 29th. The league concluded on 19 July 2020 and all matches of 31–37 round have been played with “no more than 25 percent of the number of seats allocated to the public”.

Spain suspended on March 10th and started playing again since June 11th after a 93-day break. There were matches played nearly every day for 39 days – concluding on Sunday 19 July.

Each league will make up the lost time differently, however, the last game of this winter season is scheduled to be played on August 2nd. This will end our experiment. In summary, we are expecting from the 1st July until the close a total of 85 matches for cluster table betting.

Important information about the current risk!

Even if we trust our own coursebook and statistics and are actually pretty sure that the published picks will lead to a profit, we are currently playing safe by not risking real money on this experiment.

Just like everyone else at the moment, we can only guess what effect playing in empty stadiums will have on match results. Will home advantage be affected?

How do psychological factors affect results? Like all of us, the players were locked up in their houses for months and subjected to strict curfews.

Did everyone continue to train equally? What effect has this break on the fitness of the players?

There are currently so many questions and unknown factors that could potentially affect game results. Therefore, be careful! Should you follow our picks with real money, then please stake only as much as you can afford to lose and please adhere strictly to the staking plan!!!

Fingers crossed that things go our way! 🙂
Enjoy & share, Your Soccerwidow

P.S. Those who follow the picks with real money have to check each one shortly before kick-off. In exceptional cases, it may happen that we change the picks during the day. This happens because I (Soccerwidow) do the Over/Under picks and Rob takes care of the HDAFU picks; we crosscheck each other’s calculations and, since we are just human as well, mistakes may happen.

It is therefore always safer if you even re-calculate the picks yourself. Just stay safe, with your health in these troubled times but also with your money! 😉

Over Under Betting as of 15 July 2020 ~ 11 days Picks: 42 Games

Since the 1st of July, 42 matches have been evaluated and ‘live’ betting recommendations ahead of the games were published.

Graph - 11 rounds Over Under Picks Soccerwidow - Corona experiment July 2020

After 14-days into this trial what can be said is that, at the moment, it is debatable whether one can take past statistics and select bets based purely on mathematical formulas and calculations.

Here are our observations so far:-

People who bought the coursebook know about the recommended use of the Profitability/Yield quotient. Unfortunately, the quotient currently proves to be very volatile and using it for choosing bets may lead to losses.

Selecting by ‘value’ only is also backfiring at the moment. There is a clear trend of more goals than usual in the matches and bookmakers are adjusting their odds to reduce their payout risks. Hence, bets that look on paper like they contain ‘value’ are probably ‘valueless’.

Nevertheless, every cloud has a silver lining and, although the probabilities seem to have shifted a little, it seems that the 60% to 80% probability cluster has an especially higher hit rate than actually expected (i.e. mathematically speaking, using past statistics). If the expected Zero-odds are calculated using the Cluster Tables, it can be clearly observed that bookmakers are reacting to this current change by lowering their prices (betting odds).

Therefore, the current course of action suggested is to consciously search in this probability cluster (60% to 80%) and to include bets in the portfolio within this range that have a low or even negative ‘value’.

As you’ve seen in the above graph, with these conditions in place, the bank grew from 3,000 units to a respectable amount of 4,308 units in just 14-days…

Fingers crossed that these observations and conclusions are correct. We are only halfway through this experiment so time will tell.

Report II as per 24th July 2020 ~ 19 days Picks: 67 Matches

The Coronavirus experiment is coming to its end and it can definitely be said that it is going very well indeed… So far, in just 19 days of betting, the bank has increased from a starting point of 3,000.00 to 4,642.44 units (54.7%).

Profit/Loss graph after 19 rounds - Corona experiment July 2020

I have been asked by some in the comments section below why I have been including not only positive values but also negative ones in the published picks.

The reason was that I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to see how and if statistics (and my coursebook) are still applicable both during the pandemic itself and when taking into consideration some pretty long lockdown suspensions/breaks of various leagues.

Below is a graph showing the profit curve applied to the Profitability/Yield quotients:

Profit/Loss graph after 19 rounds - Corona experiment - including Profitability/Yield quotient

As you can see on the red curve the point 2.0 is the transition point (Profitability/Yield Quotient: 2.0). The profit up to this point is 1,421.78 (84.4% of a total of 1,684.04), achieved with 36 (of a total of 67) bets (53.7%).

The lesson therefore is… Past statistics are certainly still applicable and so are the teachings in my coursebook. Should you be using the Cluster Tables then it is prudent to choose the bet selections by applying the Profitability/Yield quotient (do not choose any bets below a P/Y quotient of 2.0!).

Nevertheless, for the public, I will continue to publish the picks until the end of this experiment using the same criteria (positive as well as a negative value), but from now on I will also publish the P/Y quotient with the picks.

]]> 27
Coronavirus: Its Effects on Football Matches & Results Fri, 28 Feb 2020 07:37:20 +0000 more »]]> With the current outbreak of Coronavirus spreading throughout the world, many punters are very worried about the effects this may have on football tournaments and results.

Illustration Coronavirus Effects on Football Matches

Will match results be more volatile? Can past statistics still be applied to predict the outcome of a forthcoming match? May leagues be abandoned mid-term?

Value and System Bettors… All having the bland main question in the back of their heads:

How will this virus effect my betting?

What we know at the moment of writing is that the starts of the new league seasons in China, South Korea and Japan have been postponed. Many of Italy’s Serie A matches are currently being played in empty stadiums. Which leagues will follow suit?

The problem is that no-one truly knows in which direction things will develop. There is a great amount of uncertainty everywhere and the press is filled with reports about new outbreaks and rising numbers of infected people. It is no wonder that many of us feel a slight sense of panic creeping up.

But please remember, the Soccerwidow website is purely about numbers and we will, therefore, look at the statistics pragmatically (although always with a sympathetic nod to the growing situation).

Current Trends of the Coronavirus

As per 26th February 2020, some countries have started to mass test for the Covid-19 virus. At the time of writing, the UK had concluded 7,132 tests, 13 of which, were positive (0.2% positivity rate). Italy had concluded 9,462 tests, 470 of which, were positive (5.0% positivity rate). France has also been carrying out mass tests as well as Austria and the United States. No doubt more countries will follow.

The virus has the potential to reach pandemic levels and, therefore, every single country in this world is taking this threat very seriously and working very hard to reduce the risk faced by their populations in order to halt the spread of the virus.

Despite the apparent hysteria, as per the 26th of February…

  1. Worldwide, the number of newly recovered patients has been greater than the number of newly infected patients every day since February the 19th (for the past week).
  2. The number of serious and critical cases, as well as of deaths attributed to the virus, is declining worldwide.


The Facts We Know About the Coronavirus

  1. In China and other parts of the world, 82% of the infected people don’t show any or only very mild symptoms; the majority of them don’t even notice that they are infected by the virus. 10% come down with stronger symptoms, and only 8% of all the infected people show such severe symptoms that they have to be hospitalised.

    The group of people with severe conditions are mainly elderly persons or people with pre-existing medical conditions.

  2. At the time of writing:

    China: 78,514 cases total >> 1.386 Billion population = 0.0057% of China’s population affected by Coronavirus

    South Korea: 1,595 cases total >> 51.47 Million population = 0.0031% of South Korea’s population affected by Coronavirus

    Italy: 470 cases total >> 60.48 Million population = 0.0008% of Italy’s population affected by Coronavirus

    To put these numbers into perspective: In the UK 364 players won the National Lottery in 2019 and became millionaires – that’s a millionaire for practically every day of the year [Source] >> 66.44 Million population = 0.0005% of Great Britain’s population become National Lottery millionaires each year (and this is only one of the many lotteries in that country).

You can see from the numbers above that the risk of catching this virus is as low as it is to win the lottery and become a millionaire. It is a cold fact that there is a statistically lower chance of dying from Coronavirus than winning at least a million on the UK National Lottery.

Then Why Is There So Much Hype?

The really serious problem with this highly infectious virus is the very high amount of people (82%) that are carriers of this potentially deadly infection but don’t notice it because they don’t have any symptoms. That’s a real big problem because if not controlled it will lead to a massive spread of the virus and collapse the medical systems in the countries affected.

Hence, the very strong control measures that are currently being observed all over the world. And strong control measures include high public awareness and, therefore, mass-media press coverage. That’s simple cause and effect, a phrase you may be familiar with.

However, please remember that high-level press coverage doesn’t mean that the real risk is higher than the actual statistical numbers show.

Therefore, in my opinion, as a scholar of numbers, there is absolutely no need for panic (on a personal scale).

With all of the precautionary measures currently being put in place (closing schools, closing towns and even regions, limiting travel, self-isolation, putting places into quarantine, etc.), it is very unlikely that the virus will spread in an uncontrolled manner.

No Need for Any Panic. Life Will Go On as Usual!

I have been criticised for the title of this chapter but it is a cold fact that life will go on as usual, just with a few more precautions in place.

Look to The Facts We Know About the Coronavirus and, as per its date, just 0.0057% of China’s population is affected by Coronavirus, with the trend in decline. There is a sharp increase in cases outside of China and the two trends need to be analysed separately. For example, 0.0031% of South Korea’s population is affected by Coronavirus and, as harsh it may sound, these numbers will rise but are very unlikely to topple China’s figures.

Looking at all of this statistically, what can be probably said is that the maximum expectation is an infection of 0.01% of the population of any country and, the good news is that from these infected people, 82% will only suffer from very mild symptoms.

The numbers for each country with stronger symptoms:
0.01% * 18% = 0.0018 %

A maximum of 0.0018 % of a country’s population may come down with severe symptoms from this virus outbreak but probably far less.

0.0018% means that of 100,000 people there may be up to 2 cases. As stated previously, it is much more likely that you (or your favourite football player) will win a substantial amount on the UK National Lottery than suffer severe symptoms from Coronavirus.

There Shouldn’t Be Any Notable Effects on Match Results

Of course, all these quarantines and lock-downs do affect the economy and businesses but the psychological effects of the situation are probably worse.

However, please always keep in mind that professional football clubs are businesses and, like every other sound business, they will do everything possible to continue performing at the same high level as usual and not be affected by any virus outbreaks and panic.

In Italy, for example, many Serie A games have recently been played behind closed doors. However, there shouldn’t be any noticeable adverse effect on match results.

Do you remember the Japanese Tsunami in 2011 that caused a mighty number of 15,899 deaths? Although the league was halted after one round for seven weeks this pause had no effects on the statistical patterns of the J1 League during that season. And neither will Coronavirus; not in Japan or anywhere else.

Please be careful about making hasty judgements! At this stage, with comparatively low numbers of virus-related severe illnesses in each country, it is very unlikely that the virus will have any effect on the long-term outcome of a group of matches.

Currently, the newspapers are full every day with this topic (public awareness has to be raised! Newspapers have to be sold!) but please force yourself to think statistically and put everything into perspective.

Precaution and Risk Management

Please bear in mind that seasons always have the habit of starting somewhat unpredictably, with or without Coronavirus. It always takes six to eight rounds to start rolling ‘statistically correctly’. Just have a look at our League reports each season.

People who calculate matches individually, using the Value Calculator or the Coursebook and its Cluster Tables, should find that any effects of Coronavirus (if there are any) will be taken into account when following the calculations as usual. The odds offered will always be a measure of the possible outcomes whatever the extraneous circumstances may be.

System betters, using the HDAFU Tables, also don’t need to worry. There shouldn’t be any impact on the distribution of the results, neither for the 1st or 2nd half of season systems.

As a suggestion, perhaps pick your Summer League systems this year in a normal way but only monitor them for a while without committing big money. It doesn’t do any harm to start betting with real money a little bit later.

My general advice is: The first 6-8 weeks of every season always tends to be a bumpy ride, with or without something like Coronavirus in the background. There is no shame in abstaining from betting during this period and using the time for paper testing.

]]> 10
Value Betting in Operation: Why the HDAFU Tables Work Fri, 11 Oct 2019 18:36:52 +0000 more »]]> We recently received a very valid question from a reader who went through our 2017-18 Winter League Report with a fine-tooth comb:

“I have a question for you since your strategy in the German Bundesliga was Underdog Whole Season, why do you show only Home Underdog bets in the system’s performance?”

So, why?

The answer is very simple: Because the HDAFU Tables identify Value Bet clusters. Although an HDAFU Table may be perceived as a ‘System Betting’ tool the most profitable historical betting clusters are the ones packed with Value Bets. And in the German Bundesliga, in the last five seasons (and beyond) these have mostly been home underdog bets.

It doesn’t matter which angle you approach betting from, to make a stable profit you must always ensure ‘value’ is on your side.

You may now ask Why do certain clusters of the HDAFU Tables contain Value Bets?

To shed light on this you really need to understand…

How do Bookmakers Set their Odds?

The bookmaker trade is a business aimed at making profits like any other business. Although they claim that their odds are ‘fair’ this doesn’t implicitly mean that their odds represent the ‘true’ probabilities of each event occurring.

Something classed as being ‘fair’ means only that it is carried out without wishing to cheat or to achieve an unjust advantage. However, it is neither ‘cheating’ nor ‘unjust advantage’ to optimise profits, is it? Otherwise, you could blame every profit-making company for setting ‘unfair’ prices only because they calculate with high-profit margins.

Take the example of a popular team like Bayern Munich. Playing at home, they win approximately 85% of their matches give or take every season. The ‘true’ average odds should, therefore, be in the region of 1.18 (1/85%). However, with the weight of money (the majority of bets being placed on the most probable winner), the bookmakers can reduce the odds on Bayern to win, say, to 1.15, increasing their profits in the long run, but still offering ‘fair’ odds on a match to match basis.

Of course, this also applies to Bayern’s away games. When playing away, Bayern wins approximately 65% of their matches, which in odds is 1.53 (1/65%). However, the average odds offered by the bookmakers for Bayern to win away are 1.44. That’s a clear and significant reduction. Are you with me?

Now, let’s dive a little bit deeper into odds calculation to help you understand what makes the HDAFU Tables so very special…

Changing One Side Affects the Other Side

Effect on odds and implied probabilities

To show you the above illustration in numbers we will look in more detail at one of the Bundesliga matches in our 2017-18 Winter League Report.

On the 9th September 2017 Bayern played away against Hoffenheim. Bayern’s ‘true’ chances to win that game were 47.78% (see Value Calculator results below):

VC 1x2 Calc Hoffenheim vs Bayern 2017.09.09

The ‘true’ odds corresponding to a 47.78% probability are 2.09 (1/47.78%).

The problem bookmakers probably had with this particular game, especially if they would have offered odds in the region of 2.09, 2.0 or even 1.9 for Bayern to win, is that there wouldn’t have been enough bets on either of the two other possible results, the home win and draw: The book would be unbalanced with the bookmaker facing a huge potential liability if Bayern were to win.

Football followers with a low understanding of probabilities know that Bayern, even playing away, will probably win the match. Regular punters would be expecting odds in the region of 1.5 or 1.6.

Odds around 2.09 would have encouraged far more money on Bayern as punters would have perceived the odds as an opportunity to cash-in on ‘higher than normal’ odds for a Bayern away win.

Therefore, to avoid too many bets on this outcome the bookmakers were literally forced to reduce Bayern’s odds to match public expectations.

So, instead of pricing the odds close to their ‘true’ probability of 47.78% (in odds: 2.09), the bookmakers had to offer the away win close to the ‘expected’ probability (65%). Hence, they offered odds for Bayern to win of 1.46 – an implied probability of 68.5% (1/1.46).

Of course, Bayern’s statistical chances didn’t suddenly increase by 20% to win that match, although the odds offered may have swayed people into believing this.

Probabilities: Home Win + Draw + Away Win = 100%

Statistically speaking, the sum of the probabilities for any match outcome is always 100%; it is either a home win, a draw or an away win.

Therefore, if the odds (applied probabilities) for an away win are changed due to market pressure, it naturally affects the draw and home odds (implied probabilities).

In this example:

  • The ‘true’ probability for Hoffenheim to win of 24.5% (in odds: 4.07) was reduced to 14.9% (odds increased to 6.72)
  • The ‘true’ probability for the draw of 27.7% (in odds: 3.61) was reduced to 20.3% (odds increased to 4.92)
  • The ‘true’ probability for Bayern to win was increased from 47.8% (odds of 2.09) to 68.5% (odds reduced to 1.46)

The ‘true’ probabilities add up to 100%: 24.5% plus 27.7% plus 47.8%
The ‘fair’ probabilities add up to 103.7%: 14.9% plus 20.3% plus 68.5%

The 3.7% difference is called the bookmakers’ overround, but that’s another topic. However, what you should have learned by now is that if the probability (odds) of one side is massively changed the probabilities (odds) of the other two outcomes must consequently be affected.

In this example, the ‘underdog’ at home (Hoffenheim) became even more of an ‘outsider’ and hence a Value Bet (the price offered was much higher than that of its statistical probability).

Just as a side note, Hoffenheim won the game 2-0

The HDAFU Tables Help You to Discover Value Bet Clusters

As shown in the example above there was a clear gap between public expectations and the ‘true’ probabilities, which literally forced the bookmakers to adjust their odds for Bayern, who were shown as a much stronger away favourite than they actually were.

In the EPL the same can be said of the Draw expectation; in Italy, it’s the Away Win and so on. For specifics, you will have to dive deeper into the analysis of the 2017-18 Winter League Report, where the patterns in the leagues chosen for that season are revealed.

Each league has its own betting patterns and punter preferences and the bookmakers react accordingly.

What makes the HDAFU Tables so special is that they highlight where the odds or HO/AO (home odds divided by away odds) clusters are profitable for the bettor if bets are placed constantly and consistently within the parameters of these clusters. The majority of bets made within these clusters are Value Bets.

So, just remember: There is a public expectation of match outcomes and the bookmakers react by reducing or increasing odds and balancing these changes by changing the odds for the other two outcomes. It’s as simple as that.

>>> buy your hdafu tables <<<

Time Saving ~ Risk Diversification ~ Value Betting

Value Bettors who calculate each game individually will find it very challenging to identify enough bets for each weekend to diversify risk sufficiently enough. Every match requires time to be analysed.

The calculations for just one match and checking its bets for viability could take as long as two to three hours. If you’re adept at using our Value Calculator, one match might take you 15-20 minutes to analyse. Even then if it takes only 25 minutes per match in total to identify, choose and place a single bet, if you want a Saturday portfolio of at least 15 matches for diversification, it’s going to take you more than six hours to achieve – every Saturday.

With the HDAFU Tables life is much easier. You don’t need to carry out any individual calculations once you have identified the profitable clusters and checked them carefully before you start placing real bets – and you only need to decide upon your systems once (whole season systems) or twice (half-season systems) per season. Once you have prepared a large enough and diversified portfolio of systems from different leagues, you can let the statistics do the work for you.

Of course, an additional finishing touch for those of us with time when compiling the weekly portfolio of bets is to cross-check those highlighted by the HDAFU Tables (portfolio builder) against the Value Calculator (individual match investigator) and ensure that the majority are actual Value Bets on the day.

One thing you can take for granted is if a cluster has been packed with Value Bets during the previous five seasons it’s likely that the same cluster will continue to churn out Value Bets in the following season.

Many thanks, João, for your question and I hope this article helps clarify things for a wider audience!

]]> 0
1X2 System Betting: Key Articles – HDAFU Tables Sat, 28 Sep 2019 19:49:28 +0000 more »]]> System betting using a portfolio of strategies from several different leagues is for most people a difficult subject to master.

The following series of key articles is aimed at helping you fully understand the fundamentals of profitable 1X2 portfolio betting using our revolutionary HDAFU Tables.

Jump Link Menu:

(1) Introductory Articles
(2) Building Profitable Portfolios of Bets
(3) The Scale of Rewards on Offer
(4) The Mechanics of the HDAFU Tables
(5) All Other Important Matters


(1) Introductory Articles

Puppy watching goldfish jumping into a bowl

Football Betting System Concepts

Explore the realities of constructing promising betting strategies together with the mathematical expectations involved.

The absolute basics of system betting.

Learn the principles of acceptable accuracy, and the advantages of filtering a data set for a targeted, more successful approach to football betting. << read more >>

Illustration of an Inflection Point graph

Why Inflection Points are Vital

An inflection point is a point in a profit/loss line graph where the curve changes direction, either from rising to falling or vice versa.

What does this have to do with betting?

Inflection point graphs are the heart of our HDAFU Tables and highlight the various profit and loss areas visually. It is then easy to identify where significant changes from either profits to losses, or from losses to profits occur. The turning points in each curve indicate the natural cut-off points in the odds or odds quotients showing us where to bet (in profitable areas only) and where to stop (before entering unprofitable zones). << read more >>

Snowbound football pitch seen from the back of the net

Why Mid-season Breaks Matter

The HDAFU Tables contain automated analyses from three different perspectives: the whole of season analysis; the first half of season analysis; the second half of season analysis.

Why is it important to split the analyses in this fashion?

Especially in leagues with distinct mid-season or winter breaks, statistics are sometimes vastly different in each half of a season. Explore why this should be and why it is good sense to analyse historical statistics in this much detail. << read more >>


(2) Building Profitable Portfolios of Bets

HDAFU Table System Picker Tab Illustration

Finding Systems using the HO/AO Quotient

HO/AO means home odds divided by the away odds, and the resultant figure is known as a quotient. In order to identify the likely outcome of a future game, an historical benchmark of some description has to be used.

But why use the HO/AO Quotient?

The HO/AO quotient is by far the most powerful method of clustering groups of matches together for comparison purposes based on the perceived strength of the teams involved in a match. Because the ratios between the home and away odds don’t alter that dramatically during ante post it is a more reliable benchmark than using a comparison of each team’s odds alone. << read more >>

Judging the Risk of a Football Betting Portfolio

Risk and reward are inherently linked and their relationship should be thoroughly understood before committing money to any betting adventure.

How risky are my individual systems or my portfolio in general?

Gain control over your portfolio with a grounding in risk diversification and learn the relationships between its likely hit rate, winning and losing streaks and potential yield in order to gauge the overall risk involved. << read more >>

Flat Staking Profit and Loss Curve Illustration

Sound Staking Strategies

Learn about the different results of flat staking, and ratcheting with a stop-loss mechanism.

What are the differences between flat and progressive staking?

When things are going well, ramp up the stakes! And choose a stop-loss percentage of bank to haul the stake size back in when your campaign hits a sticky patch. << read more >>

Distribution of Bets by Bookmaker Illustration

Bank Management and Stake Size

No one bookmaker or betting exchange will give you best price (or close to it) every time. For best results, a portfolio of accounts is needed.

But how large should the initial starting bank and stakes be?

Find out what the optimum stake size should be for any size of starting bank and how to divide and manage the money in your various bookmaker and betting exchange accounts. << read more >>

Winning and Losing Sequences Calculations

Calculating Winning and Losing Streaks

A specialist article detailing the calculations to establish longest expected winning and losing streaks.

Why is this important?

In addition to explicit formulas to help you calculate the maximum expected winning and losing streaks, the relationship between these and the size of the initial starting bank is explored. The article comes with a free ‘examination paper’ download so you can test yourself until it becomes second nature. << read more >>

Interrupted Betting Campaign Results Illustration

Starting or Pausing in the Middle of a Season

Can I afford a break and then restart the campaign again after a holiday? And what happens if I miss the start of the season or the start of the first or second half?

Does a campaign require ‘whole Season’ betting?

So long as you play with mathematical advantage on your side, a betting campaign can be started at anytime during the year/season. You can also take one or more breaks and resume again whenever you wish. Or just quit when you have reached a predetermined target. << read more >>


(3) The Scale of Rewards on Offer

2017-18 Winter League Campaign Results Graph

2017-18 Winter League Report – 35k in 138 Days

Our own campaign report on the 2017-18 Winter League season encompassing 138 match days.

Comes with an Excel workbook download (paid) detailing all systems in use and each individual bet.

A full league-by-league report detailing how the profits were achieved and showing the ratcheting system in action to improve results exponentially beyond a flat staking approach. << read more >>

2016-17 Winter League Campaign Results Graph

2016-17 Winter League Report – 20k in 214 days

Our own campaign report on the 2016-17 Winter League season encompassing 214 match days.

Comes with an Excel workbook download (paid) detailing all systems in use and each individual bet.

A full league-by-league report detailing how the profits were achieved using flat stakes only. The Excel workbook also simulates what would have been achieved with basic ratcheting and stop-loss mechanisms in place. << read more >>

2016 Summer League Campaign Results Graph

2016 Summer League Report – 10k in 178 days

Our own campaign report on the 2016 Summer League season encompassing 178 match days.

Comes with an Excel workbook download (free) detailing all systems in use and each individual bet.

A full league-by-league report detailing how the profits were achieved using flat stakes only. << read more >>


(4) The Mechanics of the HDAFU Tables

Signpost with multiple direction arrows

Summer and Winter League Calendar

Date information for every league brought together in one place so that you don’t miss a match.

Are the mid-season breaks mentioned?

Yes, here you will find the start and end dates of each half of each league season together with notes on excluded matches, if applicable. (Usually, most end-of-season play-off games are excluded unless they include every team in that league). << read more >>

Oddsportal Settings Screenshot

Understanding the Settings in Oddsportal

To identify which games to bet on in the leagues of your choice, you will need access to a live odds comparison site. is by far the most comprehensive odds comparison site on the Net at present.

A guided tour around the Oddsportal website including detailed summaries of how to handle each of its settings. << read more >>

Table showing the calculation of odds toggle figures

Understanding the Odds Toggle Function

The Odds Toggle is an important feature of the HDAFU Tables and allows you to adjust the results of each simulation.

Why would I wish to adjust the figures?

As the HDAFU Tables are powered by bookmaker odds, you may wish to simulate betting exchange results by inputting an adjustment figure in the System Picker tab. You will also find there a commission rate input feature. Adding figures to these fields will automatically change the simulations across the entire workbook. << read more >>


(5) All Other Important Matters

HDAFU Tables - Frequently Asked Questions - Pre-sales

FAQ’s – Before Purchasing HDAFU Tables

A selection of reader’s questions answered in full.

Product-specific, general, and online store checkout questions answered.

Everything you need to know before purchasing your first HDAFU Table. << read more >>

HDAFU Tables - Frequently Asked Questions - After-sales

FAQ’s – HDAFU Table Owners

A selection of user’s questions answered in full.

Bet timing, troublshooting, and miscellaneous questions answered.

A selection of user questions to further help you understand the nature of the product you have purchased. << read more >>

Businessman shooting himself metaphorically in the head

The Gambler’s Worst Enemy: Emotions!

It takes a particular mindset to be a successful gambler.

But isn’t compiling a very promising system enough?

Unemotional follow-through is vital to the success of any betting strategy. Explore the worst of what can happen if your nerves of steel turn to rust and you allow emotions to get the better of you! << read more >>


Hopefully this article provides a logical walk-through the mechanics and the power of Soccerwidow’s HDAFU Tables.

However, if you still have questions or would like to share with other readers your experiences of using the tables, please use the comments section below.

It’s an opportunity to blow your own trumpet or let off a bit of steam! 🙂

>>> buy your hdafu tables <<<

]]> 0
What are Inflection Points and their Use in System Betting Fri, 06 Sep 2019 14:22:17 +0000 more »]]> An inflection point is a point at which the curvature of a curve changes direction, that is, the curve changes from being concave (concave downward) to convex (concave upward), or vice versa.

What does this have to do with betting?

Sexy female teacher with abacusImage: FXQuadro (Shutterstock)

We speak about ‘Inflection Point graphs’ in our HDAFU Profit/Loss simulations because these graphs have turning points. Turning points are points at which a significant change occurs.

In layman’s language – Turning points are the points in the ‘inflection point graphs’ where profits turn to losses or, where losses turn to profits.

For the mathematicians amongst you, we use the term ‘turning point’ although the academically correct mathematical expression would be ‘maximum’ and ‘minimum’.

However, ‘maximum’ and ‘minimum’ in normal language signifies ‘best’ and ‘worst’ but turning points in a curve have nothing to do with any judgement of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Apologies for any academical incorrectness in the use of the terminology, but somehow we have to make ourselves understood by everybody…

Home ~ Draw ~ Away Profit/ Loss Curves

If you have ever calculated your own odds you will certainly have noticed that bookmaker prices often do not show the ‘true’ picture.

In other words, their odds seldom adhere to mathematically calculated values (the statistically expected values).

In the majority of games, odds are either higher than mathematically expected or lower…

Is That Really True? Can You Prove That?

Here’s an image showing the Profit/Loss Curves for betting on the Home win ~ Draw ~ Away win with equal 100 units stakes over a period of five seasons; the straight red line is the bookmakers’ profit trendline:


English Premier League – Profit/Loss curves by ODDS for 2013-14 to 2017-18 seasons


What you can see in the above graph is that if one curve rises, e.g. betting on the away win if the home odds are between 1.7 and 2.15 (orange curve), then another curve falls.

In this example, betting on the draw (brown curve) produces a loss for the bettor and hence, a profit for the bookmakers.

What is most revealing in the above graph is the red curve. It shows how the bookmakers profits vary depending on the home odds, but the most interesting part is the straight line, the red trendline. It is positive for all odds and perpendicular. The interpretation of this is that for the bookmakers it doesn’t matter in which cluster a particular match is in (in the example, home odds), their odds guarantee them the same constant profit across the whole spread.

Why Is This So?

A bookmaker’s aim is to make a profit and they price their odds to ensure that sufficient action is taking place on both sides of a bet, with enough profit retained whatever the outcome.

In addition, bookmaker betting odds are often adjusted according to public opinion to guard against a disproportionately large amount of money being placed on just one side of a bet.

How can the Bettor Make Use of This Knowledge?

The bettor can take advantage of the knowledge that each betting market contains certain odds clusters that are regularly under-priced, whilst other odds clusters are habitually over-priced. But attention, please! These under- and over-priced clusters are different from league to league.

Bookmakers take into account gamblers’ preferences and these vary depending on the cultural background (e.g. risk-aversion) of the locals. This is perhaps because local bettors are the majority takers for any league bookmakers, so bookmakers take local tastes into account.

It is obvious that, for example, Italians will be betting primarily on Italian matches; Spanish people on Spanish matches, and so on.

However, please be aware that the EPL, the most prominent league in the world, naturally has a huge amount of supporters worldwide. This makes the EPL the most unreliable league (system betting-wise) in terms of its odds. Although odds patterns can be spotted easily, it is always a gamble whether or not they will be returning a profit the forthcoming year.

Nevertheless, for this article, we will use the EPL as an example.

The Significance of the Turning Points on the Inflection Point Graphs

Profit turning points can be easily spotted in the Inflection Point tabs of the HDAFU Simulation Tables using visualisations (see example below) in the form of Profit/Loss curves based on five seasons’ data within these tables.

For example, the EPL: Between 2013-18, if you had gambled unemotionally and systematically on all English Premier League matches to be away wins (at the highest bookmaker odds) and placed a constant stake of 100 units per fixture, then at the end of the fifth season, you would not have seen a large change in your bank: -125 units after 1,900 bets.

Huge losses would have been incurred, had you backed all of the away teams to win and limited your betting to the zone of odds between 2.31 and 4.53. Within this zone your losses would have totalled -9,189 units (3,714 plus 5,475).

However, if your strategy had been based on away wins at odds from 1.68 and up to 2.31, after five seasons your profit would have been 3,202 units (7,714 minus 512).

That’s quite a difference, isn’t it?


English Premier League – Profit/Loss curve for 2013-14 to 2017-18 seasons


Just as a side note… Can you see yourself betting on an EPL match targeting odds between 2.3 and 4.5 when backing the away win?

Different Leagues = Different Inflection Points Graphs

The above screenshot shows the Profit/Loss curve for the EPL if back bets on the away win were placed on all 1,900 matches between 17/08/2013 and 13/05/2018 (at 100 unit stakes).

You can see from the graph that the first turning point is located at 2.31 on the ‘away odds’ axis. At this point, the P/L curve reaches a peak of 3,714 units profit before starting to fall again. The decrease in profits continues until away odds of 4,35 are reached (P/L value: – 5,475 units), where the curve turns for a spell but remains negative until away odds of 9.5 are reached. Then it experiences a large jump before falling again.

Now, we compare this to the German Bundesliga Inflection Point graph:


German Bundesliga 1 – Profit/Loss curve for 2013-14 to 2017-18 seasons


You can see at a glance that both graphs are very different.

Whilst the EPL shows a rising curve (profits) until odds of 2.31 the Bundesliga P/L curve starts to drop straight away from odds of 1.4.

This indicates that the bettors on the Bundesliga are probably much more risk-averse than EPL bettors and it seems that they prefer betting on favourites (lower odds). Using this mentality bookmakers can reduce their odds in this group to optimise their profits and hence, the draw odds and/or home odds are likely to be increased.

Once you start working with inflection point graphs you will not only see the various profit /loss curves (whole season, 1st half and 2nd half) and start recognising patterns but you will be also amazed to learn about the different mentalities of bettors in different countries.

Working With the Inflection Points graphs using the HDAFU Tables

Here’s a handy little tutorial:

Notes: Adjust the picture quality at the bottom of the screen above by clicking on the ⚙ button (to the left of the YouTube logo), then click on ‘Quality’ and choose a higher resolution as desired. Go to full screen mode by clicking on the box symbol (to the right of the YouTube logo).

How to Use the Knowledge of Turning Points

(1) check your betting pattern

Do you recognise your betting patterns within the most common odds clusters; those which show a falling Profit/Loss curve? (For example, betting on odds between 2.3 and 4.5 when backing an away win in the EPL).

If so, perhaps reconsider your strategy and avoid the odds used by the bookmakers to make their profits. Of course, no matter how hard you try, betting in the zones where bookmakers habitually reduce prices (odds) is asking for long-term losses.

It is very rare for people to succeed in any walk of life by swimming against a strong current and you can safely assume that the bookmakers know their job and have for centuries been making a living from manipulating figures.

(2) don’t even try to “beat” the bookies

Swim along with them. ‘Play’ the market the same way as they do. Start looking at strategies which are not in conflict with the market, but in rhythm with it.

(3) be aware that each league has a different market behaviour

Customs and habits of people vary from country to country. Every nation has different culture or cultures. Surely everybody has noticed regional differences expressed in such tangible goods as food or housing. However, these differences extend into how people think and act.

Unfortunately, differences in betting patterns and the subsequent reaction of bookmakers when setting their odds cannot be spotted without taking a mathematical approach. Customer habits, especially in the betting market, remain well hidden from the bettor.

Whichever league you prefer betting on, identify the odds clusters which are utilised by the bookmakers to turn their profits – and then work around those clusters.

(4) use the market turning points for your own benefit

Concentrate on developing your personal betting strategy by taking the market rules into consideration.

(5) find a strategy and identify matches for producing long-term profits

Using the HDAFU simulation tables and finding the various turning points will provide you with the need knowledge of odds clusters you need to produce a long-term profit when backing.

If you already use our Value Bet Detector for calculating odds for individual matches then the knowledge of profitable odds clusters will help you to pick matches which are worthwhile re-calculating.

]]> 28
Frequently Asked Questions – Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course Mon, 11 Mar 2019 06:32:38 +0000 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: (GetDPD) and (us).

‘Allowing’ communications from and 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.


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 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 <<<

]]> 60
The Science of Calculating Winning and Losing Streaks Wed, 20 Feb 2019 20:46:20 +0000 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.


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.


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.

]]> 31
How do Bookmakers Tick? How & Why do they Set Their Odds as they do? Tue, 05 Feb 2019 08:00:20 +0000 Becoming a successful bettor requires not only a deep understanding of odds calculation but, it is also necessary to understand how the market works and especially how the bookmakers operate.

Of course, bookmakers are in the business of setting odds and determining prices which are offered for certain betting events.

Cartoon: Group looking at a whiteboard with very strange word on it / Karikatur: Gruppe vor einem Whiteboard mit einem sehr seltsamem WortIf I had to use just one word to describe how bookmakers think…

Image: Cartoonresource (Shutterstock)

When viewing odds in betting exchanges such as Betfair, Betdaq, Smarkets, or WBX, you should understand that it is neither the exchange platform or the traders using them who set the odds.

The fact is that the bookmakers are used as the market guide for traders on the betting exchanges, and it is the bookies who compile and publish their odds weeks in advance of the events in question (sometimes even months), and certainly well before the exchanges even open their markets for trading.

If you have ever calculated odds you will have noticed that the bookmakers’ offers often do not represent the ‘true’ picture, in other words, the ‘true’ mathematically calculated values (the statistically expected values).

Only occasionally (probably in less than half of all cases) are odds close to the statistical expectations of the betting event. However, in the vast majority of games, odds are either considerably higher than mathematically expected or far lower…

Why Is This So?

You have to appreciate that bookmakers do not really intend to predict an outcome (correctly). If you enjoy statistical analysis, then take a little time to do a simple calculation for any league of your choice. Simply convert bookmaker odds into probabilities and compare them to the actual distribution of the results.

Bookmakers have been around for thousands of years in one form or another. Their main goal is of course to make a profit. They price their odds to ensure that sufficient action is taking place on both sides of a bet.

If a bookmaker’s betting odds are not aligned to public opinion then a disproportionately large amount of money will be placed on only one side of a bet. This would be a gamble for the bookmaker. However, bookmakers are not in the business of speculating on an outcome.

The role of bookmakers is, strictly speaking, rather the function of an intermediary, similar to a stockbroker. They take money from various people on various outcomes and after the game is finished they pay out the winners.

In return for this service, the bookies take a “fee” known as the overround.

The bookmakers’ priority is balancing their books

The closer to the kick-off of a game, the more ‘fluid’ the odds become, as salient information such as team news becomes public knowledge, and this then has a knock-on effect with bettors’ opinions being confirmed or changed on the outcome of the match in question. Thus, the odds tend to change more as the start of the match gets nearer and nearer and more money changes hands.

Always remember

  1. Bookmakers set odds based on a mixture of statistical probabilities and public opinion.
  2. Bookmakers do not speculate (gamble). Their priority is balancing the books.

In an ideal world, bookmakers would like to see the same amount of money (risk) on both sides of a bet outcome. However, utopia is virtually unknown in the world of bookmaking and firms are rarely able to equalise their level of risk on both sides.

Therefore, you will often see a bookmaker adjusting his odds for an event over time. This fluidity aims to achieve an acceptable money line on both sides of the bet outcome.

Please note! Because it is rarely possible to “equalise” the risk on both sides, bookmakers instead look for an “acceptable” level of risk. This is the only ‘gamble’ bookmakers take.

How do Bookies Manage their Risk?

You will have certainly noticed the plethora of various betting offers used by the bookmakers to woo their customers. Unsurprisingly, these are the bets where they expect to make the highest profits (for example, pushing accumulator bets with offers such as, “If team A (usually a short priced favourite) is the one which lets down your five fold, we will return your stake!”) (how generous of them!!).

Bookmakers apply all kinds of marketing tricks to divert the sports bettor into a direction which is most profitable; for them but not for the bettors!

I risk repeating myself but the truth is that bookies’ odds never aim to predict an outcome of a match with utmost accuracy (therefore the calculated probabilities of ‘true’ odds often do not match the betting odds offered in the market). A bookmaker’s main goal is to balance the books and to do this, public opinion is taken into account.

This is the key to bookmaking success. This is the key to sports betting success.

Of course, each sport is different, but in the end bookmaking methods are always the same. Bookmakers make money with these same methods, regardless of the sport or other type of betting event.

  • Their books are not perfect.
  • They do not have a crystal ball.
  • Bookmakers have a business plan!

The bookmakers’ mantra is very simple:

Calculate the statistical chances of the matches for a weekend and set the odds by taking into account the probabilities and public opinion. Collect enough money to pay off losing bets. Keep the profit.

Learn from the Bookmakers!

Bookmakers are not able to balance their books for each single game. To them, it is always about “acceptable” amounts of money (profits or losses) and spreading risk.

The goal of bookmakers is not to predict the outcome of a game correctly. This means that their odds often do not reflect the expected probability distribution.

Bookmakers’ odds usually reflect public opinion about a match and their primary objective is to ensure a well balanced book.

If you wish to become successful with any form of betting you must understand the way of thinking (the business plan) of the bookmakers.

Why? Because these firms survive and thrive from the money they encourage you to lose through nothing more than your own ignorance of how their ‘system’ works.

]]> 20
What is 1X2 Full-time Betting? Bookmakers vs. Exchanges Odds & Overround Tue, 11 Dec 2018 10:57:47 +0000 more »]]> Both inexperienced and first-time punters new to the world of online football (soccer) betting may be pondering the question, “What actually is 1X2 betting?

Computer mouse attached to football bearing 1X2 symbols / Computemaus befestigt an einem Fußball mit 1X2 SymbolenImage: archideaphoto (Shutterstock)

‘1X2’ is an abbreviation of the three possible outcomes in a football match: home win (1); draw (X); away win (2).

This market is also known as ‘HDA’ (Home-Draw-Away), or sometimes simply ‘FT’ (Full-Time match result).

The act of 1X2 betting is referred to as “betting on the full-time result”, “match betting”, or can be termed a “three-way bet”.

Definition of ‘Full-time’

Full-time is reached in a football match at the close of the second half of 45 minutes’ regulation time plus the time added-on by the officials for stoppages. When the added-time has elapsed, the referee’s whistle signals the end of the game.

All 1X2 (HDA) bets relating to the result of the match then begin to be settled by the bookmakers.

In a fixture requiring an outright winner, in the event of a draw or tied aggregate scoreline at the end of the regulation match time, two periods of extra-time may then be played to break a deadlock.

It is important to reiterate that full-time 1X2 bets are closed and settled on the result at the end of a regulation period of 90-minutes’ play (2x 45 minute halves, plus added time), and after this, new markets will then appear in most bookmaker platforms for extra periods of play (extra-time) or penalty shoot-outs.

Placing a Bet

It is possible to place a match-result bet either before the kick-off (ante-post bet), or whilst the game is in progress (in-play bet).

In the English Premier League (EPL) match shown below (screenshot courtesy of Betdaq betting exchange), we have elected to back the draw at odds of 3.5. (Decimal or ‘European’ odds).

In this case, the bet was requested by clicking on the yellow-highlighted square bearing the odds of 3.5 in the ‘Back All’ column.

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

Betdaq: Example Bet Slip

Having clicked on the draw price, a bet slip opens up to the right of the screen, ready for insertion of our stake. Here, we have entered a figure of £10.

The profit due from our wager should the match indeed end in a draw is shown as £25.

In order to strike this bet, the next step would be to click the purple button ‘Place Bet(s)’.

What do Bookmaker and Betting Exchange Odds mean?

Just as a side note… When we write articles showing mathematical calculations we always prefer to use European odds, also known as decimal odds.

It would go too far to explain in this article the whole concept of betting odds but here’s an article on that topic if you are interested in learning more: Understanding Betting Odds – Moneyline, Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds, Hong Kong Odds, IN Odds, MA Odds

In short, betting odds show how much you will be paid out if your bet wins.

However, odds can also be converted into their ‘implied’ probabilities and here’s the formula:

Betdaq’s prices for our example match (at the time of the screenshot grab) were:

Home win: 2.84 = 1/2.84 = 35.21%
Draw: 3.50 = 1/3.50 = 28.57%
Away win: 2.68 = 1/2.68 = 37.31%

Theoretically, because there are only three outcomes to a match (home, draw or away), the probability percentages of each should add up to 100%.

But, in reality, the percentages on any one match with any single bookmaker will always be above 100%; using our example odds, it’s 101.09% (35.21% + 28.57% + 37.31%).

Why should this be?

Bookmaker vs. Betting Exchange Overrounds

The percentage difference over and above the 100% base probability figure is known as the bookmaker ‘overround’, ‘margin’, or ‘vigorish’ (or ‘vig’). This represents the bookmaker’s expected profit.

In its simplest form, for every 101.09 units the bookmaker accepts as wagers on the odds of our example match, if the wagers remain stacked in the same proportions as the implied probability percentages, then the bookmaker will pay out only 100 units, thus ensuring a profit regardless of the match result.

However, our example here is a betting exchange. Like all other exchanges, it guarantees a profit from every match by charging commission on all winning bets. Here, Betdaq’s commission rate is 2%.

The overround calculations now become slightly different because the commission amount has to be factored in.

Home win (2.84): 1 / (2.84 – [(2.84-1)*0.02]) = 35.67%
Draw (3.50): 1 / (3.50 – [(3.50-1)*0.02]) = 28.99%
Away win (2.68): 1 / (2.68 – [(2.68-1)*0.02]) = 37.79%

You can see that at the same odds, the implied probabilities now add up to 102.45%. Because of the commission element, exchanges tend to have a larger overround than bookmakers, even if it seems at first glance that exchanges have better prices. In fact, rewards are generally higher with a bookmaker.

Here’s the formula to convert odds in an exchange into their ‘real’ odds (after commission) in order to compare directly with bookmaker odds:

Odds minus [(Odds – 1) * Commission] = ‘Corrected Odds’

So, in our example match, the ‘corrected odds’ were as follows:

Home win (2.84): 2.84 – [(2.84-1)*0.02] = 2.80
Draw (3.50): 3.50 – [(3.50-1)*0.02] = 3.45
Away win (2.68): 2.68 – [(2.68-1)*0.02] = 2.65

What do the Implied Probabilities mean?

The important thing to remember is that converting odds into their implied probabilities is not an accurate indicator of the percentage chances of each outcome. Bookmakers adjust their odds (prices) due to demand, which leads to distorted ‘implied’ probabilities. These are normally very small and not easy to spot but enough for the bookmakers to stay in business and make consistent profits.

Implied probabilities reflect much more the public perception of the likely outcome (not the statistical likelihood), being a measure of the volume of money wagered on each outcome rather than its real chances of success.

And odds fluctuate throughout the ante-post and in-play markets according to the weight of money placed and other factors such as time elapsed in the match.

It is, therefore, not advisable to rely on the market odds (at any moment in time) as a totally accurate benchmark of the event probabilities.

In order to more accurately gauge ‘true’ probabilities, it is advisable to take a purely mathematical approach using historical results and statistics.

]]> 7
Correct Score Betting vs. FT Result / BTTS Combination Bet Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:03:16 +0000 more »]]> Backing the full-time home or away win in a match in aggregation with both teams to score (BTTS) has become a popular market offered by many online bookmakers.

The very nature of selecting two variables in what is effectively a combination bet or ‘double’ means that the odds are multiplied creating an opportunity for higher returns than backing each outcome individually.

The attraction of higher odds and the perception that most games in modern football are free-flowing attacking affairs where both defences are likely to be breached have created a market for these types of combination bets.

You may also think that by ‘doubling’ the home or away result and BTTS, the wager is shrewder than simply picking the correct score of the match where the odds are higher but far disproportionate to the probability of a return?

Let’s take a look at these points in more detail.

Table 1 - Summaries: FT Result + BTTS DoubleTable 1: Winning & Losing – FT Result + BTTS Double

Goal-scoring Statistics

We have previously looked at FT score distributions using a sample of almost 11,000 matches from nine different leagues.

If you open the screenshot there you will find that clean-sheet victories (1-0; 2-0; 3-0; 4-0; 0-1; 0-2; 0-3; 0-4, etc.) by either the home or away team accounted for 38.22% of all results.

Draws (0-0 through to 4-4) made up a 25.33% quota of all results.

However, for the sake of this article, we are interested in home and away wins where both teams scored. When tallied, these accounted for precisely 33% (19.76% + 13.24%) of all results:

10,723 Match Sample: Home or Away Wins where both teams scored10,723 Match Sample: Home or Away Wins where both teams scored

A sample size of 10,723 matches is a statistically significant amount and a fair benchmark to gauge other leagues by.

In comparison, of the 1,900 English Premier League (EPL) games that took place in the five seasons from 2012/13, there were 646 matches (34%) when betting on one of the teams to win and both teams to score could have returned a winning bet.

From these indications, there will be ‘around’ a third (33%) of matches in a season in any top-flight league where the combination of BTTS and a decisive match result occur.

But, of course, this assumes that the right teams were selected to win. Without taking account of any assumed preference for the favourite, the probability is as low as 16-17% (50-50) for a winning return across those games.

Win and BTTS Odds on Offer

Typical odds in the market for the Win (home or away) + BTTS can be anything between 3.00 and 6.00 depending on the teams involved, but the average odds are around 4.00.

So, roughly speaking, there is a 1 in 6 chance (16% = 1 in 6.25; 17% = 1 in 5.88) of making a winning selection, which will, at average odds of 4.00, return winnings of three times your money.

But how does this compare with simply backing the correct score?

Correct Score Analysis

The EPL is considered one of the most exciting leagues in the world, but the most common result type, as it is in every league, is actually a (not very exciting) one-goal game (1-0 or 0-1).

One goal games accounted for 348 (18.32%) of the 1,900 EPL matches between the five seasons during 2013-18.

The second most common result is 2-1 either way. During the same five season period, the EPL recorded a 2-1 home win 142 times (7.47%), and a 1-2 away win 123 times (6.47%), equating to 13.94% of all results.

In comparison, adding the 2-1 and 1-2 occurrences in Table 2 above gives a total of 15.94%, but it is safe to say that, across the board, 1-0 and 2-1 score lines are generally the most common results.

Again, taking out any preference for favourites, and using the 50/50 measure to predict the right team winning the match 1-0 or 2-1, the probability of correctly predicting 1-0 either way are around 9% (half of 18.32% in our EPL example), and around 7% for predicting a 2-1 (half of 13.94%).

So, mathematically at least, there is a slightly lesser chance of winning with these bets. However, looking at the disparity in odds, the potential winnings in the Correct Score market are far, far greater.


Taking a typical weekend’s EFL Championship betting fixtures as an example, even allowing for favourites and serial 1-0 winners, the odds for correctly predicting a 1-0 win range from around 6.00 to 34.00, and average out at odds above 11.00.

So whilst there is statistically a 1 in 11 chance (9%) of making a winning 1-0 correct score selection, either way, the bet will on average return winnings of more than ten times your money, and potentially as high as thirty-three times the original stake.

All things considered, betting on the correct score market provides a much larger reward than betting on the combination of match result and BTTS.

]]> 0