Frequently Asked Questions – Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course

Here are the most frequent questions asked by our readers and customers about the course. If you can’t find an answer to your particular question, then please free to ask us using the comments section at the bottom of this page. We usually reply within 24 hours.

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

Click on the arrows to reveal the answers.

Popular Questions

What’s the point of calculating odds yourself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will the course help identify value in-play?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus, the Bundesliga it is!

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

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

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

Product-Related Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>>> product specifics <<<

Ordering & Delivery

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

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

What is the price equivalence in USD?

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

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

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

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

When will my credit card be charged?

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

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

Yes, it is safe.

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

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

Can I cancel my order?

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

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

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

How long will it take my order to arrive?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

My download link has expired. Is a reactivation possible?

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

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

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

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

Support Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I get support?

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

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

Ethical Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The moral side is a very good question…

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

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

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

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

>>> buy the ebook <<<

Last Update: 11 March 2019

Categories:Learning Centre Odds Calculation Value Betting Academy

62 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions – Fundamentals of Sports Betting Course”

  1. 22 January 2022 at 11:17 am #

    Hello Soccerwidow,

    I have very basic knowledge of maths and excel and i can not work out how to count the different scores up, I’ve looked online and tried a few different options but if i count zeroes for the 2010 Bundesliga season, I get 307? I bought your course and would add that this isn’t what i would call basic maths for me. I have struggled with maths all my life and I think that there should be ether walk-throughs in the book, or an online members page of video walk-throughs. Any help much appreciated thanks, Rich.

    • 11 February 2022 at 1:41 am #

      Hi Richard,

      I am not sure whereabouts in the course you are but I think it is probably the following information you need to help you progress.

      The SUM formula will count the number of goals within a column.

      For example, if your column length were hypothetically spanning the cells A1 to A10, the formula to count the figures within it would be:


      Just type this formula in the formula bar having first selected the cell you want the result to appear in (e.g. cell A12). You will need to change the values within the brackets to suit the column you are analysing. If the column spans the cells C4 to C384, then replace the A1:A10 criteria to match: =SUM(C4:C384).

      This will count the sum of all goals in a single column. If there are a couple of columns side-by-side (i.e. home and away goals), just extend the formula. Begin it with the first cell in the first column and the last cell in the second column. For example, two columns spanning C4 to C384 (home goals) and D4 to D384 (away goals) would produce the following formula:


      I hope this solves your problem but please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you require clarification or assistance on any other matter.

      All the best for now.

  2. 6 August 2020 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi soccerwidow

    Hope you are well.

    Are the cluster tables this year based on just pinnacle odds, or football data as per usual?


    • 6 August 2020 at 7:36 pm #

      Hi Simon,

      it depends on which league. You need to have a look in the ‘Notes’ tab. However, it truly doesn’t matter. Look, I’ve just done the picks in July and I was simply using Oddsportal highest odds at any time that suited me to work on the picks.

  3. 23 June 2020 at 8:16 pm #

    Loving the book so far and I wish I had come across this years ago.

    I’m having problems with rounding differences in the calculations of the sheets which accompany the book I’m looking at the Germany BL 2010-2015 v2 sheet.
    i’m following along completing all the tables but when I get to the REL Deviation and Stand Deviation tables some of the figures don’t match. I have even copy and pasted the whole sheet but the figures when pasted jump to the same as mine and don’t remain the same as on the original sheet, this is making it harder to follow along in the book as these figures don’t match when giving examples.
    I am presuming this is an excel compatibility issue but I am following with the same calculations and as I say the copy and paste move has me confused as it is changing something.
    If this is something that I am doing wrong I would love to know if anybody else is having/had the same issue.
    I am using Microsoft Excel 365 but I cant see the issue and as we are dealing with whole goals something must be going wrong with the calculations or the formatting, but as far as I can see everything is at it should be.

    As an example cell AM23 on the Goal Distributions sheet is 1.82% but on mine it is 1.84% as it is if I copy the whole sheet it magically changes to 1.84%.

    Even cell AM 7 which is a simple calculation is different, 24.23% on yours 24.33% on mine. These just make a lot of the calculations hard to follow.
    If I am doing something wrong or missing something please point me in the right direction

    Please Help.


  4. 9 November 2019 at 6:14 pm #

    Hi soccerwidow, how do I calculate zero odds for Over 2.75, 3, and 3.25 goals? is it as simple as finding the average for 2.5 and 3.5 goals for Over/Under 3 goals? and find the zero odds for 2.75 by finding the average of 2.5 and 3 goals?


    • 10 November 2019 at 5:48 pm #

      Hi Kalib,

      it’s unfortunately not as straight forward as this.

      Betting on, e.g. 2.25 goals (Over 2, 2.5) means that you are placing a split bet: one bet on 2 Goals Asian Goal Line, and another on Over 2.5 Goals.

      The Over 2.5 Goals bet is easy to calculate but the Asian Goal Line has a push.

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

      Here’s more reading on Goal Lines. Here’s an article on that topic: Understanding Goal Lines in Over Under Betting

      Hope this helped.

  5. 16 March 2019 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi soccerwidow.
    I haver bought your materials and learned so much from your site posts. I am trying to apply all the wisdom by myself and starting to have questions. Most of them i figure out out just by searching and reading. My main question is: Um my country i ONLY can count on a little bookie offers(legaly speaking). How do i use the hdafu info if the odds on use are from another bookies That offer much better odds?
    Thabk you very much

    • 29 March 2019 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi Ricardo, you have to adjust the odds in the HDAFU Simulations to match the odds you can obtain in reality. For that use the ‘Odds Toggle’ function in the ‘System Picker’ Tab.

      I’m currently writing an article on that to explain how these calculations are done in detail.

      Briefly speaking…
      (1) Go to the ‘Data’ tab and pick 10 random matches; write down their odds.
      (2) Find these matches on any odds comparison site and write down the odds you could have obtained in reality.
      (3) Calculate the difference; it may be for example 1.5%
      (4) Go to the ‘System Picker’ tab and type in cell D2 your correction (with a minus sign if your odds are lower than the odds used for the simulations), e.g.: -1.5%

      That will recalculate everything and show you instantly the new calculations and graph.

  6. 5 September 2018 at 8:19 pm #

    Hello S.W.i bought your course,just finished excellent read,the maths is way above my head i get a lot of it but putting it into sums and it is explained brilliantly (i wish i went to school now), but i learnt so much,so well worth the wonga, on the strength of the reading the course (which i will read again now after this note to you).

    I bought the value calculator, I have not enabled anything as i am not excel brilliant, i just wanted to ask, is it just Man city v Liverpool, or is a lot of other teams populated within sheet? I know it says if i want to add teams i can, but i thought what teams would i want as i presumed they all should be there or have i bought just man city liverpool and i do the rest?(no probs)

    Also can i make it up to date? as it only goes to 2012 so im 6 years behind as in the notes you can only do certain columns and you say about only prem league and i would hate to do it and the numbers don’t populate within the sheet,i was wondering if you get time can you put up video of how to add the data if possible i know your busy,as i don’t want to mess up sheet,as i did follow your video on excel about getting data from football data,it took you 6 min wow! which i found easy enough,as i can stop start a video,which i think in this day and age is easier for the simpletons of this world like me.

    Anyway thanks for everything kind regards

  7. 3 July 2018 at 11:26 pm #

    Can your book help me become better at picking Stocks?and how?

    • 5 July 2018 at 6:44 am #

      Hi Harish,

      it is a football prediction course that mainly teaches probability theory and how to judge prices (odds) for bets. Although some of the knowledge can be applied to valuing stocks (such as the financial terminology) but really, this is very far-fetched.

      A stock signifies part ownership in a corporation and represents a claim on parts of the corporation’s earnings; to predict the up and downs of a stock you have to evaluate the company itself and its standings in the market. A bet, on the other hand, isn’t ownership of anything and you don’t have to evaluate the team’s assets or value the club itself. With a bet you’re risking money on the outcome of an event that is ‘unpredictable’. Predicting the outcome of a match has nothing to do with predicting stock movements.

  8. 7 May 2018 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi Soccerwidow,

    It’s quite a different pace to be using the cluster tables after only using the value calculator. I’ve only placed ten bets with them so far, so very early days.

    One thing is really bugging me when I look at all the bets I’ve placed. I’ve placed 135 bets in total so far and had 91 hits. That’s a hit-rate of 67%.

    I thought I’d check the average of the market odds across all 135 bets (using Excel’s Harmean). It’s 1.52. The (approximate) corresponding percentage is 66%. That’s eerily close to the actual hit-rate.

    I know it’s early days with only 135 bets but if the pattern were to continue, wouldn’t it undermine the course’s central premise; bookmaker odds do not reflect actual statistical probability, they are manipulated in response to supply and demand.

    Have you ever encountered this type of phenomena before? I’m at a loss to know if I’m doing something wrong. Most of my bets are placed the day of the event

    Sorry for a such dispirited post.


    • 7 May 2018 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Audiendi, to make money with betting you are looking at a very low ‘mathematical advantage’; something between 5-7%. This is the average mathematical advantage bookmakers run with and if you identify the inverse, in other words, ‘value’ bets for punters, the mathematical advantage will be in the same region (5% to 7%) as well.

      So, if the bookmakers’ (harmonic) mean is 66% you’re looking to achieve a hit rate between 69.3% and 70.6%.

      And from what you have said, you have come very close to it already! 🙂

    • 7 May 2018 at 7:52 pm #

      Hi Audiendi, an afterthought that I didn’t mention this morning…

      Here’s the Inflection Point Graph for the Over/Under 2.5 Goal bets (Bundesliga 2012 to 2017). There you can pretty clearly see that if one side of te bet (e.g. Over 2.5 goals) goes up, the other side (Under) goes down, and vice versa.

      Inflection Point Graphs OU 2.5 goals

      The challenge is that you must somehow identify the odds clusters in which bookmakers usually reduce (or increase) their prices in order to know exactly where to back or lay. Unfortunately, the explanation of Inflection Points and their interpretation is not included in the course as I only started to research into that after the course was written and, anyway, the intention of the course was to introduce odds calculation to the world and make punters aware how bookmakers calculate. I think I achieved that! 🙂 But at some stage a follow up course book may be required one day, I guess.

      However, it is planned that the Over/Under 2.5 Goals inflection point graphs will be included in the upgraded Cluster Tables later this year, when the cluster tables for the winter leagues for the next season will be published but unfortunately, we won’t be able to provide graphs for all other O/U goal results as we simply don’t have the data (historical odds for 5 years) in a format that can be analysed and visualised.

      Regarding the phenomenon you observed, of course, the harmonic mean of the bookmaker odds for the whole season will be close to the actual distribution. It often works even for one weekend only. Just build the harmonic mean for all Over/Under 2.5 goal bets for one season (you’ll find the odds in the data) and then you will find that the mean will be pretty close to the real distribution. If you carry out the same exercise with the Cluster Tables, they will do the same.

      As I repeatedly say throughout the whole website and in the course book: Betting is the business of bookmakers and their business is all about statistics! 😉

      • 8 May 2018 at 11:54 am #

        Dear Elena,

        Word of warning about length. Don’t fret about even bothering to respond to these points individually. I’m seriously considering paying you for private tuition when I have a bit less work, myself, to contend with. I’m planning on taking at least a week off betting. Hopefully, I can stop thinking about the stats and so on and just relax. Anyway, before I do so, I’ll just leave my thoughts. I’m not sure any other readers are experiencing these kind of maths understanding problems. But might as well share with the class.

        Also, thanks for giving me such a detailed response. It was very thoughtful and I realise it would have taken you a while to write out. It’s very eloquent.

        Your analysis of the phenomenon of actual distribution of results aligning closely with the harmonic mean of the bookmaker odds squares with the piece I’m reading which Joseph Buchdahl wrote for Pinnacle (on 20 July, 2016)- ‘The maths behind Pinnacle’s winner’s welcome policy’. He talks of Efficient Market Hypothesis. I should point out the bets I placed were on the Betfair Exchange. I gather that would be not dissimilar to Pinnacle in sharpness?

        But I’m missing something (or this is way above my paygrade). Conceptually, this is a real step up for me. The Fundamentals of Sports Betting gave me the impression that dropping odds represent increased demand.The course gave me to understand that this increased demand often represents less likelihood of success.

        I thought most odds start off as fair odds, more or less. Then supply and demand kicks in. At market level, some odds drop, other (usually corresponding) odds increase in market price. And the thing is for me to wait until just near kick-off and bet on odds which are underpriced in the market compared to the cluster tables or value calculator.

        But I have trouble reconciling that with Efficient Market Theory. Wouldn’t efficient market theory suggest that the closing odds are very sharp? And, thus there’s very little value there?

        Yet what if the cluster tables, for example, suggest Over 1.5 Goals for a match has an 77% probability but the market is offering odds of 1.55? Is that a value bet? Or rather, are a thousand bets of that description a sound value betting strategy? In turn, I’m wondering how the cluster tables can match the distribution of closing market odds yet have such differences?

        Every now and then, when I stop thinking so intensely about this. I just breathe and sip a cup of tea, I get a fleeting impression that- maybe, if we look at a single bet as one in a portfolio of thousands, it may be a clearly underpriced value bet for a bettor using the cluster tables. That is to say it will fall nicely into the real distribution and also contain market value. Yet the market odds for this may render it a sharp bet for the bookmaker/betting exchange when it is looked at across a different thousand bets for the bookmaker/betting exchange. I might be barking up the wrong tree there. That notion occurs to me as a kind of fleeting thought like a portrayal in an Impressionist artwork.

        Anyway, before I finish this post, I thought I’d share with (and any other readers) a strategy that only just occurred to me. It might allow a bettor to spread their risk while maintaining some sharpness.

        So I looked at FC Koln vs Bayern Munich with the Value Calculator. Then I looked in the cluster sheets to try to find those two teams. Koln have been consistently in the Bundesliga to be analysed in the cluster tables. I looked at the market. And the only bet I found that appealed to me was Under 4.5 Goals with market odds of 1.50 (then) in contrast to Value Calculator odds of 1.30 (76.71%). But I was hesitant to bet on it as I couldn’t use the cluster tables. And also because Bayern have a habit of scoring a lot. Then I thought, I can “borrow” advice from the Cluster tables.

        So I did the HO/AO Quotient (using Bet365’s 1 x 2 odds). I can’t recall what it was. Suffice it to say, it appeared to place Bayern in a row which gave Under 4.5 Goals a high probability of Under 4.5 Goals (maybe 1.23?).It was still a risk as I couldn’t look at Koln. But against those sort of sides (away), I figured Bayern would dictate terms but not go wild. The bet won (albeit a close call). Anyway, early days but this might be a good risk mitigation strategy.

        Anyway, sorry about that. Best case scenario, this post will pick up on topics for articles going forward. And, thanks for your outstanding customer service and dedication to your field, Elena. For now, I need only only stress about the complexities of my new job for at least a week. While enjoying a nice non betting book to give myself a break and relax, though 🙂

        Kind regards,


        • 8 May 2018 at 1:14 pm #

          Hi Audiendi,

          enjoy your non betting book and permit yourself a true break!

          I often go for a hike and take photos of beautiful plants to clear my head. I know that feeling of overheating with all these mathematical formulas and theories that need to be proved or belied.

          I’ll reply to your comment probably tomorrow, or even later this week to allow you a break. 😉

  9. 6 May 2018 at 5:58 pm #

    Dear Soccerwidow,
    I came to your web site while serching the Internet for some useful advices for the construction of a portfolio of bets, I found your article really interesting. Just a couple of questions before buying your book. Does it provide some insights about how to buid a portfolio? Furthermore, If I have well understood your thought by applying the statistical principles I should be able to bet with some sort of rationality and the book should teach how to read what lies behind the odds given by the bookmakes, is that right? last thing, when you use LAY and BACK, what do you exactly mean?
    Thank you and best regards.

    • 6 May 2018 at 6:16 pm #

      Hi Giampietro,

      Yes, the book provides many insights about how to build portfolios, not just a few. 😉

      Regarding your second question, yes, absolutely yes. The book is all about odds calculation and it teaches in fine detail how to read what lies behind the odds given by the bookmakers.

      Regrading LAYING and BACKING: There is a brief introduction in the course and there is also a brief introduction article on Soccerwidow: Betting Exchanges: Backing and Laying of Bets

      I’m sure that you will find the course book absolutely invaluable. There is nothing of its kind anywhere to be found, neither in the Internet nor in libraries or bookshops.

      Thanks for taking the trouble to write!

  10. 4 April 2018 at 5:12 am #

    Hi Soccerwidow and Rightwinger,

    Its a week since I bought the U/O betting study course and its really insightful. One great lesson I picked is that you encourage the creating of the tables, personally which is what I am very interested in doing and would like to learn. However, with my very basic excel skills, will I be able to have automated tables like yours or I need to know very much more to come up with automated tables?



    • 4 April 2018 at 5:17 am #

      Hi Wilson,

      just work through the course, step by step. As you go along you will learn a lot about statistic and maths and also pick up Excel skills. It will be difficult at times; it will be hard; some exercises may takes days, others weeks. It all depends on your personal learning curve… But one day you will be there. 🙂

      If you struggle with one or another Excel formula, then first try to find an answer searching the Internet and if you don’t find an answer then feel free to ask on Soccerwidow.

      Best regards,

  11. 25 November 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    I am aware that i should use %CV when calculating odds, i just thought that relative stand. deviation values are how much variance we can expect in specific goal category so lets say i have a value bet on O 6.5 goals i just have to realize the variance on that bet is gonna be big but still profitable in the long run.

    But then i was reading your article “Goal Distribution Comparison – EPL, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Eredivisie”

    On page 4 you wrote: “However, from the perspectives of the EPL and the Dutch Eredivisie, betting on over 2.5 goals should be avoided because the results show an average variance of around 6.7% per year. This means the results are statistically unreliable and fluctuate/vary up to four times more than the French and German counterparts.”

    That’s why i’m wondering if using above example betting on over 2.5 goals can still be profitable (ofc. assuming you take value bets only) if you accept the variance could be high or as you stated its statistically unreliable and should be avoided.

    If second statement is true what % do you still consider to be statistically reliable.

    Hope i’m making sense 🙂

    • 25 November 2017 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Gasper, I’m sorry but you have to work through the course another time…

      For example:

      6 goals average = 13.6; therefore a Rel SD ± 27.21% is absolutely normal … 27.21% = 3.7 goals
      6 goals expectation: 13.6 ± 3.7

      3 goals average = 66.4; Rel SD = 7.53%
      3 goals expectation: 66.4 ± 5.0

      6 goals have a RelSD = 27.21% which is much higher that 7.53% for 3 goals, but ± 5.0 for 3 goals is higher than ± 3.7 for the 6 goals result

      It’s because the average for 6 goals is only 13.6 whilst for the 3 goals is 66.4… It’s all “relative”, hence the name “Relative Standard Deviation”

      Hope that makes sense.

  12. 25 November 2017 at 12:04 am #

    Hi Soccerwidow,

    I’m not sure if my question was a bit unclear but what i wanted to ask is that when I look at goal distributions tab for Bundesliga there is a graph that shows “Relative STAND Deviation for O/U X Goals”. If I look at that graph its obvious i shouldn’t be betting on O 6.5 goals in Bundesliga since the value is at 43,18% while on other side O 1.5 is at 4.81% and i can work with that.

    What i’m wondering is what is the highest % that is still reasonable to use.

    • 25 November 2017 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Gasper, please go back to chapter 1.3. in the course (Standard Deviation), especially 5. Practice (page 25). The graph and your question refers to this chapter.

      However, when calculating betting odds you are interested into %CV (page 26 in the course). They are visualised in the left graph in the ‘Goal Distributions’ tab.

      Deviation is tricky to understand. Please repeat this chapter and exercise questions.

  13. 23 November 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Hi Soccerwidow,

    Thanks for the update (and for your explanations on the other article). It’s unfortunate to hear that it’s proving tricky to publish the book in Germany.

    I don’t know know the German regulations at all, I’m afraid, so I can’t be of much help. What I do know is that the book teaches sound mathematics which actually deters the more harmful types of gambling (I hope).

    I wonder if it’s possible to make that case (on the basis of the publication as I know it) so that it’s publication can be justified as within scope of the regulations? Or maybe it’s necessary to edit the content of the book somewhat to that end?

    Out of interest, does the regulation of gambling in Germany make it difficult to make a living there from value betting at all? Are betting exchanges not taxed too highly for it to be feasible?

    Kind regards,


    • 23 November 2017 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Audiendi, there is not one betting exchange that got a licence for Germany. The number of licensed bookmakers is limited to 25 of which none belongs to the bookies that offer occasionally the highest odds. On the contrary, the bookmakers in Germany are probably leading the list for bookmakers offering the lowest odds. 😉 plus… there is a 5% tax on winnings.

      Never mind, I will get this thing published!!!! First in German, and then get it translated into English. It just that there will be the need to massively re-write it in English to get it matched to the UK market.

      Currently I’m preparing a crowdfunding project for this whole project. We will probably try to raise for both, the German edition as well as the English edition. It’s really a challenge!

      • 25 November 2017 at 8:06 am #

        Hi Soccerwidow,

        Off topic, if there are no betting exchanges in Germany that must make things tricky? I mean surely the only way to avoid having your account (with a bookmaker) limited or banned is to match the money out by way of a betting exchange? If you keep taking money off the bookmakers, don’t they just limit/cancel your account.

        • 25 November 2017 at 8:34 am #

          Hi Audiendi, professional betting in Germany is very tricky! Of course, there are ways to get around regional limitations such as hiding your IP, having a virtual office in a country which doesn’t limit betting, but these are not really legal options and Germans risk to be caught and persecuted.

          Therefore, in Germany betting is truly just a paper exercise or more of an entertainment – the occasional bet to very low stakes.

          This also puts me in an awkward position as I’m currently writing the text for the crowd funding… I cannot address as target group the gambler but have to address as target group the people who are against gambling and want to see even more regulations.

          • 26 November 2017 at 4:03 am #

            Hi Soccerwidow,

            I’m sorry to hear that 🙁

          • 26 November 2017 at 4:09 am #

            The only thing I can think of is placing value bets exclusively with, say, Pinnacle. I hear tell that Pinnacle don’t ban their customers who make money and cash out.

            But I feel for the savvy Germany bettors.

            Plus, I want to move to Europe and to have the option of making a living from value betting (as I suspect it may not be so easy for an Australian to find a decent job).

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