Odds Calculation – Soccerwidow https://www.soccerwidow.com Football Betting Maths, Value Betting Strategies Tue, 25 Feb 2020 15:36:59 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Value Betting in Operation: Why the HDAFU Tables Work https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/value-betting-in-operation-why-the-hdafu-tables-work/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/value-betting-in-operation-why-the-hdafu-tables-work/#respond Fri, 11 Oct 2019 18:36:52 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=6573 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!

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What are Inflection Points and their Use in System Betting https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/inflection-points-football-betting-odds/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/inflection-points-football-betting-odds/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2019 14:22:17 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=4654 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.

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Frequently Asked Questions – Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/frequently-asked-questions-fundamentals-of-sports-betting-course-over-under/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/frequently-asked-questions-fundamentals-of-sports-betting-course-over-under/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2019 06:32:38 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5602 more »]]> Here are the most frequent questions asked by our readers and customers about the course. If you can’t find an answer to your particular question, then please free to ask us using the comments section at the bottom of this page. We usually reply within 24 hours.

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

Click on the arrows to reveal the answers.

Popular Questions

What’s the point of calculating odds yourself?

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

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

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

Yes, absolutely. The gambling industry as a whole relies to a large extent on the ignorance of its customers.

This course is designed to give the reader the essential, fundamental knowledge necessary to understand the bookmaker market.

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

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

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

Will the course help identify value in-play?

With respect to in-play value the course is very helpful as you can apply the knowledge of calculating probabilities to both the half-time and full-time goals market.

Then you can choose, for example, matches with a high probability to score during the first half. These matches you can back, say Over 2.5 goals before kick-off, and lay them as soon as the first goal has been scored.

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

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

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

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

Yes, we are fully aware that the majority of our readers are far more interested in the EPL than the Bundesliga, but the problem is that the average punter is very influenced by his/her opinion and ‘knowledge’ about their own supported league.

It was therefore important to choose a more neutral league for the course, one where gut feelings and emotions are less strong. It had to be a league which is also well known, with plenty of bookmakers offering odds, and at the same time one where the majority of our English speaking audience is unlikely to connect emotionally.

Thus, the Bundesliga it is!

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

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

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

Product-Related Questions

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

Yes, that is correct. Fundamentals of Sports Betting – Over/Under ‘X’ Goals is the first of a series of books educating the ‘Fundamentals of Sports Betting’.

There are more topics planned such as ‘Betting on Home, Draw, Away’, ‘Asian Handicap’, or ‘Betting In-Play’, and so on. Of course, it will take a while until all of these books have been written and published, but we reassure you that more course books are on their way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Purchase Questions

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

You don’t need the Value Calculator to understand the course, therefore the VC is not supplied with the course.

When we refer to the ‘Value Calculator’ we explain how it works and what the calculations mean in terms of Over/Under bets. Of course, the VC also contains a wide range of other bet types such as FT and HT 1×2, Correct Scores, HT/FT, and many more. The goal of the course is to enable the learner to create his/her own Excel application which works for him/her. Empowering learners to think for themselves is one of our ethics.

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

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

The course comes in an electronic format and the bundle includes the course book (PDF) and a Bundesliga cluster table (Excel), which the examples are based upon.

In addition, you will receive for free the very latest Bundesliga table for the current season (valued at £27.50).

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

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

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

>>> product specifics <<<

Ordering & Delivery

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

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

What is the price equivalence in USD?

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

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

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

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

When will my credit card be charged?

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

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

Yes, it is safe.

For processing orders we use the services of GetDPD which is a fully PCI Compliant Service Provider. During the checkout process you will be offered to choose payment by Paypal or credit card.

If you choose credit card, then the platform integrated with GetDPD is Stripe; here is their security documentation.

Can I cancel my order?

As long as you have not paid there is no order. You can always return to your shopping cart and simply delete any items you don’t wish to see in your shopping cart.

However, once you have paid you will get the product download link delivered immediately to your inbox. As long as you don’t download the course and cluster tables you have a cancellation period of 14 days and the right of a full return. Otherwise, once downloaded, there are no returns for digital content.

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

How long will it take my order to arrive?

As soon as you have paid you will get the product download link delivered immediately to your inbox.

You will receive an email from GetDPD, our digital delivery partner.

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

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


Trouble-shooting

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

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

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

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

My download link has expired. Is a reactivation possible?

The download time limit is set to two weeks from the moment you purchase. The reason being that customers have a cancellation period of 14 days with the right of a full return as long as they haven’t downloaded the product within this period.

Therefore, if you have not downloaded your product, after a period of two weeks has expired you can either apply for a refund or send an email to support[at]soccerwidow[dot]com for a link reactivation.

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

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


Support Questions

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

Although this is a beginner’s course aimed at people with little odds calculation knowledge and basic Excel skills, it may be quite hard for those who have always found maths quite a challenge at school. Just take your time, read each chapter several times, repeat the practice areas, solve all the exercises, try to understand everything. You will be rewarded with knowledge.

To keep it simple, the course contains no shortcuts. All calculations need to be done manually. Once you master the course and understand everything you will certainly develop a method to make it easier for yourself.

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

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

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

The course uses football-data.co.uk data. These odds are taken on Friday evenings before the weekend games, and on Monday evenings for the midweek games.

Our approach is to have plenty of time to do all the calculations and make decisions, and totally remove the need to sit in front of the computer just before a game starts. There are loved ones to share time with and lots of other nice things to do than spend time in front of a computer on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

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

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

The course explains two different approaches to find value bets:
(1) Value Calculator
(2) Cluster grouping with HO/AO quotient

In reality, there are many more than just these two methods. However, these two are perfectly adequate, and they both work.

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

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

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

How do I get support?

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

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


Ethical Questions

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

We simply don’t have any ‘theories’. We educate the public about bookmaker maths – bookmakers certainly don’t grow their businesses based purely on ‘theories’.

Regarding how much we earn: Sorry to disappoint, but we don’t like to brag about our personal successes – there are far too many websites already blinding their readers with such information. However, we have published results of our past value betting exploits located in our match preview archive. Here you will find plenty of articles with previews, maths and statistics, and this particular article is also worth pointing out:

Soccerwidow’s Value Betting Results: 274 Bets, from 07/12/2011 to 30/06/2012

2011-12 was a time when we were writing match previews for Betfair Germany based on our ‘theories’. Unfortunately for our growing band of followers Betfair withdrew from the German market in October 2012, and our match previews stopped. Why?

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

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

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

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

This is a question that probably interests many readers and it appears in the blog every now and then.

Firstly, the course is not a ‘system’. It is a ‘simple’ maths book (at least for us). A little statistics, a little probability theory, a little about standard deviations, etc. This is what odds compilers do in their sleep when they calculate their odds.

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

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

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

The moral side is a very good question…

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

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

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

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

>>> buy the ebook <<<



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How do Bookmakers Tick? How & Why do they Set Their Odds as they do? https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/how-do-bookmakers-tick/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/how-do-bookmakers-tick/#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2019 08:00:20 +0000 http://www.fussballwitwe.com/?p=2343 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.

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What is 1X2 Full-time Betting? Bookmakers vs. Exchanges Odds & Overround https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/what-is-1x2-full-time-betting-bookmakers-vs-exchanges-odds-overround/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/what-is-1x2-full-time-betting-bookmakers-vs-exchanges-odds-overround/#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 10:57:47 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=6510 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.

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Correct Score Betting vs. FT Result / BTTS Combination Bet https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/correct-score-betting-vs-ft-result-btts-combination-bet/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/learning-centre/betting-terminology/correct-score-betting-vs-ft-result-btts-combination-bet/#respond Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:03:16 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=6505 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.

Conclusion

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.

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Are Betting Odds Worthwhile Calculating? Are Betting Odds Always Fair? https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/betting-odds-worthwhile-calculating-to-check-if-fair-4713/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/betting-odds-worthwhile-calculating-to-check-if-fair-4713/#comments Sun, 18 Nov 2018 04:05:01 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=4713 more »]]> Why are there more Losers than Winners in the Sports Betting World?

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

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

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

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

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

    and

A degree of ignorance when it comes to calculating betting odds

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

Good Knowledge and Understanding of Probabilities Required

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

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

Here is an example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you still with me?

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

Sports Betting Odds – How to Know that Odds are Fair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compulsory Maths Lessons for Bettors

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Use Soccerwidow’s Over/Under Betting Cluster Tables https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/cluster-tables-guide-over-under-betting/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/cluster-tables-guide-over-under-betting/#comments Sat, 15 Sep 2018 07:09:38 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=6198 more »]]> Soccerwidow’s Cluster Tables are an essential tool for identifying value bets and creating a profitable portfolio in the Over/Under ‘X’ Goals market.

They rely on dividing historical data (previous five complete seasons) into clusters according to the “HO/AO quotient” to provide a reliable comparison with future matches under analysis.

Betting odds are a mixture of statistical fact and public opinion (people voting with their money) as to what the likely outcome of an event will be.

Introducing the HO/AO quotient allows us to to ‘cluster’ groups of past matches and with that, to quantify the mutual relationship between the number of goals scored in matches and the strength of the teams involved. (The HO/AO quotients are a practical application of corellation).

This allows us to put an upcoming game into perspective.

In other words, we use the group of past matches bearing HO/AO quotients most similar to the match under analysis in order to make more accurate assessments about its likely number of goals.

The number of goals scored↔team strength relationship is a hugely strong correlation known to the bookmakers and used to a greater or lesser degree when setting their opening odds.

However, as public opinion (market pressure) leads to ‘errors’ in market pricing (odds), using the knowledge of the correlation allows us to spot ‘value’.


Following on from our Betting with Cluster Tables introductory article, here are the four simple steps needed to calculate pinpoint zero odds for intelligent value betting decisions in the Over/Under ‘X’ Goals market:

  1. Find the Home and Away Odds
  2. Calculate the HO/AO Quotient
  3. Record the Cluster Table Results
  4. Perform the Final Calculations

We shall look at each of these steps using the English Premier League as example.

Let’s look in fine detail at the EPL match: West Ham vs. Southampton from 31st March, 2018.

Step 1 – Find the Home and Away Odds

One of the most important components of the Cluster Tables is the HO/AO quotient (home odds divided by away odds), hence the need for both odds before referring to the tables.

To find the latest, up-to-date odds for any fixture you can employ bookmakers or betting exchanges of your choice, or make use of an odds comparison site. For the sake of our example, we are using OddsPortal.com as they are the only site showing time-stamped odds to support our illustrations.

Oddsportal Ante Post Odds Composite Screenshot - West Ham vs. Southampton 31/03/2018

Oddsportal Ante Post Odds Composite Screenshot – West Ham vs. Southampton 31/03/2018

The screenshot on the left is a composite image showing both the home and away odds just before this game started. Click on the image to enlarge it in a new tab.

Betsafe offered a price of 2.90 on West Ham six minutes before kick-off, whilst 5Dimes gave best price of 2.73 on Southampton seconds before the start.

Despite the multitude of odds movements throughout the entire ante post market, you will find in the vast majority of cases that the relationship between the home and away odds will stay pretty much the same throughout the ante post market.

Usually, the HO/AO quotient locates the match firmly between the two ends of a cluster, and the quotient tends to remain in that same cluster group no matter how the odds move during the lead up to kick-off.

This means that the timing of the analysis is not critical; you can perform it at any period during the ante post market before the match kicks-off. And of course, bet placement timing then also becomes just a matter of finding market odds containing value.

Timing only becomes an issue in the very rare event that the HO/AO quotient places the match very close to one of the ends of the cluster range for either team. It is then always wise to check odds close to kick-off to ensure that you have the match in the right HO/AO clusters for both teams.

Most of our tables are based on Pinnacle bookmaker odds, and for these leagues, you need only find which odds Pinnacle is offering at that time.

A small number of our tables use the highest audited bookmaker odds from a select panel included at Oddsportal. For these leagues, you will need to find the highest home and away odds being offered from a small range of bookmakers at the time.

Okay, we have our home and away odds – onto the next step…

Step 2 – Calculate the HO/AO Quotient

Easy! Take a calculator or enter the figures into a spreadsheet and just divide the home odds by the away odds to provide a quotient.

In this case, the quotient is: 2.90 divided by 2.73 = 1.0623 (rounded-up)


Step 3 – Identify the Relevant Cluster and Percentage Result

Cross-checking any team’s HO/AO quotient against their statistical percentages for any of the over/under 0.5 to 6.5 options in any match under analysis is extremely easy.

Within the Cluster Table for the appropriate league, click on the Betting Tables tab. This reveals a one-touch spreadsheet for obtaining both team’s results.

Here is the table of figures for West Ham (click on the image below to enlarge it in a new tab – and then use the magnifier to enlarge again if necessary):

Over/Under Cluster Table - Betting Table Screenshot

Over/Under Cluster Table – Betting Table Screenshot

To change the team, simply click on the orange team name in the top left-hand corner to access the drop-down menu of all teams with five-season data sets.

By clicking on the team you are looking for, the figures in the table will automatically revert to those of that team.

The first half of the sheet contains the home figures: Summary at the top, Over ‘X’ Goals, and then Under ‘X’ Goals. The bottom three panels are the away results.

For this example, let’s decide to go for the most popular ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ bet.

For West Ham’s home figures, using the second panel from the top, you can see on the left-hand side in dark blue, their dedicated HO/AO clusters.

The HO/AO quotient we have calculated is 1.0623 and this fits neatly into the third cluster down. Looking under ‘Running Total Probability’, we simply record the percentage figure, in this case, 73.9%.

Here are West Ham’s top two panels with the relevant cluster row and percentage result for Over 2.5 Goals highlighted:

Over/Under Cluster Table - Betting Tables Tab - West Ham's Cluster Row Highlighted

Over/Under Cluster Table – Betting Tables Tab – West Ham’s Cluster Row Highlighted

And after changing the team name, here are Southampton’s away figures in their fourth and fifth panels:

Over/Under Cluster Table - Betting Tables Tab - Southampton's Cluster Row Highlighted

Over/Under Cluster Table – Betting Tables Tab – Southampton’s Cluster Row Highlighted


As you can see, Southampton’s Over 2.5 Goals percentage for an HO/AO quotient of 1.0623 in their away games is shown as 33.3% in the second cluster down.

You will also note that the HO/AO quotient fitted very firmly inside the relevant cluster group of both teams, and not too close to its edges (West Ham’s cluster group was 0.7301-1.9345, whilst Southampton’s was 0.8211-1.3880).

Again, you will rarely encounter situations that will need monitoring – most games will see the same cluster groups used despite the odds movements throughout the ante post market. This means that neither analysing nor placing the bets is time-sensitive, and both exercises need not be performed at the same time either.


Next Page: Step 4 – Do the Maths!

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Frequently Asked Questions – Over Under Cluster Tables https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/frequently-asked-questions-over-under-cluster-tables/ https://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/value-betting-academy/odds-calculation-en/frequently-asked-questions-over-under-cluster-tables/#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2018 07:39:31 +0000 https://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=6233 more »]]> Here are the most frequent questions asked by our readers and customers about the Cluster Tables for Over/Under Goals betting. If you can’t find an answer to your particular question, then please feel free to ask us using the comments section at the bottom of this page. We usually reply within 24 hours.

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

Click on the arrows to reveal the answers.

Popular Questions

Can I use the Cluster Tables for Trading?

Yes, you can! 🙂

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

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

West Ham vs Stoke - expected odds movements 16.4.18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore, you’ll have to make a decision:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Product-Related Questions

What is the HO/AO quotient?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately, not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Purchase Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does, for example, “valid for the 2019/20 season” mean?

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

This means that the Cluster Tables will expire when the 2019-20 season finishes (different times for different leagues).

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

What does, for example, “valid for 2020 season” mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have discounts for multiple purchases?

Of course, we have! Here they are:

Buy 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 Tables, get 20% off – Code: CLT20
Buy 10 Tables, get 30% off – Code: CLT30
Buy >10 Tables, get 35% off – Code: CLT35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cluster Tables use odds recorded close to or at the end of the ante-post betting market. In other words, just prior to or at kick-off. The majority of Cluster Tables utilise odds courtesy of Pinnacle, the most popular low-margin bookmaker around. A small minority of tables use the highest bookmaker odds from a panel of bookmakers at www.Oddsportal.com using our own personal settings.

For tables utilising Pinnacle odds, you need only check which odds Pinnacle is offering at the time of your analysis to determine which HO/AO quotient applied to your chosen match. For tables using Oddsportal highest odds, it is a matter of determining from our own personal settings list of bookmakers what the highest home and away odds for the match are. In both cases, the best time to carry out this analysis is during the final hour before kick-off and preferably after team news has been released.

Clicking on individual leagues within the Soccerwidow store will allow you to see whether they were compiled with Pinnacle odds or Oddsportal bookmaker panel odds.

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

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

>>> cluster table discount codes <<<

What is a Cluster Table?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Interpret the HO/AO Figures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the Clusters say about the Comparative Strength of Teams

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

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


Why are ‘Zero’ odds important?

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

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

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

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

As a reminder:

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

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

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

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

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

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

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

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

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

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

Calculate the zero odds: 1 / 50.00% = 2.00

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

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

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

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

Try the Power of the Cluster Tables for Only £2

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading and good luck with your value betting!

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