Over Under Betting in the Season of the Coronavirus


This experiment in association with Bild.de online magazine was suspended on 5th May 2021.

In July 2020, after the first wave of the coronavirus, when most of the leagues resumed their games Soccerwidow performed a public experiment to see whether old statistics could be still used and if the Over/Under Betting coursebook remained potent.

If you followed our live experiment last year with real money then you would have increased your starting bank by over 50% in just 25 betting days.

Now, many months have passed and the leagues have just about returned to their regular schedules, albeit without fans in most stadiums. What is quite obvious to all observers, as well as punters, is that there are now more away wins than previously: ‘home advantage’ seems to have shrunk.

But what about the goals?

Above are the statistics for the four leagues we tested in our portfolio last summer: Italy, Spain, Poland and the EPL. These were four randomly chosen leagues and our campaign covered the last six weeks of the respective seasons.

This time we are adding the German Bundesliga 1. Firstly, because the BILD (the German broadsheet newspaper) is going to publish our picks on its website and secondly, to allow our course buyers (who are in the possession of the German Bundesliga Cluster Table courtesy of their purchase) to follow the calculations and reasoning.

This season’s campaign will again follow the last six weeks of each featured league and we will once again concentrate on Over/Under selections using our Cluster Tables.

The rules of engagement are the same as last time (for comparison purposes) and are explained a little further down in this article.

What’s pretty obvious this season is that in many leagues the ‘home advantage’ seems to have suffered due to the empty stadiums. Apart from the Bundesliga, the other four leagues, Poland, Spain, Italy and the EPL, have seen considerably fewer home wins than in the previous season – for example, a drop of 17.8% in the EPL thus far.

However, despite the shift in the home and away wins the total goals per match have hardly changed. Italy so far this season is down just -0.7% of goals, Spain -0.4%, Poland -2.7% and the EPL -2.2%. The highest change in the observed goals per match is in the German Bundesliga: -6.9%, although they have exactly the same number of home wins as the previous season.

What is interesting here is that the Bundesliga home goals per match do not show a high deviation – only -3.6% – but the away goals scored per match have dropped by -11.0%. In the other leagues, except in Italy, the away teams are currently scoring more goals on average.

Whatever the reason is for these changes it cannot be solely down to the missing crowds at games. It’s truly fascinating – just have a look at the numbers in the above graphs and make your own conclusions.

Slideshow Picks

The picks for the respective day will appear here around 1 p.m. (sometimes earlier) as well as the results of the previous matchday. For the German audience, the picks are also published by the BILD, so no one will be able to tell us that we don’t publish our picks in advance! 🙂

You may have to press the F5 button to refresh this page if you don’t see the picks for the day. However, please note that there won’t be picks on every day as not every day of the week has qualifying matches.

Sadly, we have had to suspend our live experiment in association with Bild.de on 5th May 2021 after just 18 rounds of games. We were spending an awful amount of time compiling the data and making the picks entirely for free. Bild.de was using the novelty of a female pundit (yours truly) to attract readership and to entice them into buying subscriptions for the full version of its website. Indeed, every Soccerwidow featured article on Bild was attracting between 20-50,000 views each. Yet, an organisation as large and as powerful as Bild was arrogant enough to take our work for free with no guarantee of payment at the end of it. Apparently, we were supposed to be grateful for the exposure we received as a result of having our hard work taken advantage of. Sorry Bild, but that’s not the way to build lasting associations or bonds with your business partners… We are off to spend our time on more fruitful labours!

*Best (Odds): The odds at the time the picks were made/published


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

The original selection criteria was:

  1. the chance to win the bet has a Probability between 60% and 80%, and
  2. the expected Yield is between -15% and 30%
  3. the Profitability of the bet is between -50% and 95%
  4. the Disparity of goals between the home and away team is between -25% and 30%

According to this season’s statistics so far, the following additional rules were to be applied:

  • ITALY >> Avoiding ‘Over 2.5’ bets
  • SPAIN >> ‘Over 1.5 goal’ will be preferred even if they have a negative value
  • POLAND >> Under Bets will be preferred
  • EPL >> Under Bets will be preferred
  • BL1 >> Being careful to place Over 1.5 and Over 2.5 bets

If all the above criteria were applied and there were 2 bets to choose from, then the last knock-out criteria were:

  • bet has a positive value, and if not,
  • the bet with the lowest negative value in the 60% – 80% cluster is selected
  • only 1 bet per match is selected

HOWEVER…

After the first four betting days, our bank reduced by almost 25%.

Rather than waiting for the stop loss margin (60% of the bank) to check the stake amounts and prevent total loss of the bank, we reappraised the portfolio and changed the selection rules with effect from 16th April 2021 (betting day 5).

We are no longer concentrating exclusively on the 60-80% probability range.

We will now focus on two specific ranges of over/under options: from OVER 1.5 goals to OVER 5.5 and UNDER 3.5 goals to UNDER 0.5 (0:0).

If there are two bets with a very similar probability in a single game, such as O 1.5 and U 3.5, both will be played with the stake evenly distributed between them. (For example, if the higher odds option represents 2.5% of the bank, then this amount is split 1.25% on one result and 1.25% on the other).

If there are several qualifying bets in a single game, for example, O 1.5 – O 2.5 – O 3.5 – O 4.5 – O 5.5, all bets that contain value are played. In this case, we will stick to the maximum stake of the bet with the highest probability and split this equally between all of the bets.

With this approach, more bets with higher odds will enter into the scope of the portfolio – for example, Under 0.5 and Over 5.5 goals.

Here is an example calculation of a bet that would have gone really well:

Overall results of betting on multiple over goals options in the same game


The basis for calculating the stakes has changed from this:

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

…To this with effect from 16th April 2021:

  • Over 1.5 Goals = 3.5% of bank
  • Over 2.5 Goals = 2.5% of bank
  • Over 3.5 Goals = 1.5% of bank
  • Over 4.5 Goals = 1.0% of bank
  • Over 5.5 Goals = 0.5% of bank
  • Under 0.5 Goals = 0.5% of bank
  • Under 1.5 Goals = 1.0% of bank
  • Under 2.5 Goals = 1.5% of bank
  • Under 3.5 Goals = 2.5% of bank

Stakes are always rounded up to the nearest whole number.

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

Starting Bank (at the start of the experiment on April 9, 2021): 3,000.00
Highest Bank (9th April 2021): 3,000.00
Bank will increase each day if there are winnings; bank for calculating stakes will only reduce when it drops below 1.600,00 (60% of starting bank).

Duration of the Experiment

The first pick is due on Friday 9th April 2021 and we will continue until the end of the seasons in our five selected leagues.

The EPL concludes on May 23rd 2021.

Germany’s last match is on May 22nd 2021.

Italy’s last match is on May 23rd 2021.

Poland finishes on May 16th 2021.

Spain’s last match will be on May 23rd 2021

So, we are looking to cover seven full weekends and the midweek games in-between them. Whether we continue publishing picks using Summer Leagues thereafter will be decided at a later date.

Important information about the risk!

Even if we trust our own coursebook and cluster tables and are pretty sure that the published picks will lead to a profit, we urge you to play it safe by not risking more money than you can afford to lose.

Please stick to the above staking plan and do not carry out any experiments with the staking. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you and increase stakes if there is a good spell going on. And please don’t chase any losses if there are a few bad days in a row. Please always remember that we are playing statistics and that they never line up in a regular manner.

It is interesting to see that the total goals in the games haven’t really changed despite the fluctuations of home and away wins but what we do not know for sure is whether the Cluster Tables, which are based on the statistics of the last five full seasons of the teams involved, are robust enough to cope with this change.

Therefore, we urge you once more, be careful! Should you follow our picks with real money, then please stake only what you are prepared to lose and stick strictly to the staking plan!!!

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


Last Update: 8 April 2021

Categories:Match Previews Money Management Responsible Gambling Value Betting Academy



3 Responses to “Over Under Betting in the Season of the Coronavirus”

  1. 18 July 2021 at 7:30 am #

    I realise that this has been suspended. However, have you drawn any conclusions from over the last 18 months that would change how you use the over/under cluster tables.

    Would the approach you’ve posted above be the way to go?

    Would you suggest a return for finding value and organising a portfolio that’s in the book?

    How would the disruption of some leagues and premature ending of others affect the CV% and what impact would that have on the accuracy of the cluster tables over the next year’s?

    Thanks

  2. 16 April 2021 at 9:27 pm #

    Dear Soccerwidow,
    thank you as usual for your interesting suggestions. Just a brief question, it seems that the odds are quite different with respect to the period before the pandemic, in a scenario like that is the HO/AO still reliable? otherwise, in your opinion, is there another way to relate all the three odds (H-D-A) to create a more reliable ratio?
    Thank you and best regards.

    • 17 April 2021 at 1:14 pm #

      Dear Giampietro, your question will be answered as we go along with the picks. Right now, we simply don’t know the answer and must guess like everyone else. Hence, we run this public experiment.

      However, the hefty losing streak on the 11.4. is, unfortunately, something ‘normal’ and it’s a great (even if somewhat unfortunate to our portfolio of published bets) example that even bets with high probabilities to win don’t always win. Although to lose 6 out of 8 bets with an average probability of 71% is quite an anomaly.

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