On a Roll – Part 1

Posted: July 31, 2013 by Beaner in Sports betting
Tags: , , , , , ,

After betting on the soccer ‘place bet’ theory until the end of the EPL season, I felt like a break from the round ball and just wanted to work on making a small profit each fortnight instead of chasing a bigger payout at higher risk.  I decided to bet on the NRL, as I am an AFL fan and feel by knowing less about the rugby league I can bet without prejudice.  We are wary about betting on the NRL though after the 2012 season, as there were so many upsets last year, especially in the first half of the season, it was nearly impossible to find a winner let alone land a multi.

The syndicate with my brother Kenny gives us a $50 bet each week, where we usually take turns to bet.  At the end of the year we withdraw the money and split it between us as a Xmas bonus.  Was also document all our bets so we can monitor what we are winning and losing on.  We have been doing this since 2004 now, trying different ideas and strategies to try and make a profit each year.  We have learnt a lot over this time; mainly that sports betting is a frustrating way to try and make money.

So I set the goal of making a minimum of 40% each bet.  With a bet of $50 that is $20 profit.  I wanted to minimise risk, so would keep it to 2 legs in a multi bet and try and stay with the NRL, finding favourites in the range of 1.10 to 1.40.

What I like about the NRL website is the head to head matches include their ladder position, and combined with the odds on the teams you get a pretty good idea of who is going to win.  If I knew more about the teams and their form and expectations, I may avoid certain games and second guess the obvious, but as I know little about what is going on with the NRL, I rely on what seem like good things to the casual observer.

8th July

NRL Manly Sea Eagles v Parramatta Eels

Manly (Head to Head)  1.16

5th July

NRL Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos

Storm (Head to Head)  1.22

$50 Multi bet @ 1.4152 = $70.76

Result: WIN

1.16 x 1.22 = 1.4152, or a 41.52% return.

Now normally I don’t like betting on head to head games this short, as the return doesn’t justify the risk, but with the goal of a min 40%, this is a seemingly safe way to approach it.

Each head to head game has 2 results, either the team you bet on wins or it loses.  With 2 legs in the multi, there are 4 possible outcomes.  So the return you would like where there are 4 outcomes is 4-1.  The teams I selected are paying only 1.415-1.  So even though they are the favourites and expected to win, which is reflected in the odds the bookmakers are offering, theoretically either team can win before the game has started. UPSETS HAPPEN.  They both got up though and I won the bet.

15th July

NRL Queensland Cowboys v Manly Sea Eagles

Manly (Head to Head)  1.38

14th July

NRL Canterbury Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm
Canterbury Bulldogs (Head to Head)  1.22

AFL Western Bulldogs v Essendon

Essendon (Head to Head)  1.10

$50 Multi bet @ 1.851 = $92.60

Result: WIN

The actual odds for these 3 bets is 1.38 x 1.22 x 1.1 = 1.85196.  This is rounded down to 1.851 by Sportsbet, but only on paper, they still pay the odds with all the decimal points intact.  The actual payout is $92.598, which is rounded up to $92.60.

By increasing the bet to 3 legs in the multi, the returns are dramatically less than the outcomes now.  3 head to head games = 2x2x2 = 8 possible outcomes, so you would like an 8-1 return to justify the bet.  The return though is only 1.851-1.

After the success last week, I added the AFL game with the Bombers as a seeming sure thing to increase the payout odds by only 10%.  Essendon won the game, but it was far from convincing with the Bombers only 13 points up at ¾ time, eventually winning by 31 points. When will I learn?

Increasing the multi from 2 legs to 3 legs might not seem like a big difference, especially when all the head to head short priced favourites should win, but it is significant when the possible outcomes now double to 8.

I’ll say it one more time as it begins to explain why so many 3-leg head to head multis don’t win. Regardless of the odds on offer, you are trying to win an 8-1 bet.

The other important reality of sports betting that cannot be overlooked is that UPSETS HAPPEN.  It is up to Round 19 in the AFL this week, and I have picked 9 winners only twice all season, and I’m tipping well this year, running 2nd in the 3 tipping comps I’m in.

27th July

NRL Gold Coast Titans v South Sydney Rabbitohs

South Sydney Rabbitohs (Head to Head)  1.42

29th July

NRL Wests Tigers v Manly Sea Eagles

Manly Sea Eagles (Head to Head)  1.18

$50 Multi bet @ 1.675 = $83.78

Result: WIN

1.42 x 1.18 = 1.6756 (again rounded down on paper)

Back to the 2 leg multi, and again a win and a return above the 40% mark.  I also noticed that this was the 3rd bet in a row where I backed Manly to win on the Monday night, and they’ve done the business to bring home the multi.

Now to analyse this low-ball winning streak.  I’ve bet on 7 games, which is 2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 128 possible outcomes.  I would not lose the lot through if I lost one of the bets, as they were broken up into the 3 multi-bets.  2×2 + 2x2x2 + 2×2.  So you could also look at it that the odds of winning the three multi-bets so far would be 4 + 8 + 4 = 16-1.

The odds for the winners have been 1.22 x 1.16 x 1.38 x 1.22 x 1.1 x 1.42 x 1.18 = 4.3915694.  As far as the bookie is concerned, getting these 7 winners in a row is worth 4.4:1, yet there are 128 possible outcomes from the 7 bets.  Who do you think this favours?

The odds of 4.3916 isn’t what I collected on though, as the bets were grouped; 1.4152 + 1.85196 + 1.6756 = 4.94276 x $50 = $247.138.

The odds I’ve overcome to have not had a loss yet in 7 head to head bets; 128-1.  The odds of winning all three multi-bets; 16-1.  The return I’ve got so far; 4.94:1.

I’ve bet $150 and won $83.78 + $92.60 + $70.76 = $247.14.  A profit of $97.14

So far there is nothing to fault in this approach as there has not been a loss yet, even though the risk is very high for the return.  But let’s say I miss the next multi, the profit will be down to $47.14, and if I happen to miss the one after that, I will have spent another $100 and will be at a loss of $2.86.

And as Kenny found last week, even the surest of things in a head to head event can get rolled.  UPSETS HAPPEN.

Now, if I aim to make a flat 50% profit on average for every multi bet I place, I will need to win twice for every loss to break even.  And if there are 2 legs in every multi, I need to pick at least 4 (if the 2 losses happen to be in the same multi), and usually 5 out of 6 winners consistently just TO BREAK EVEN.

To make a $25 profit every $200 spent, which allows for 3 returns out of every 4 multi bets, I need to get at least 6 out of 8 matches correct, and 7 out of 8 to guarantee the 3 winning bets.

So $25 profit from $200 bet is a return of 12.5%, earned by tipping 7 out of 8 short priced favs to win, with an average return of 1.23.  Unfortunately this is harder than it might appear, as when we bet on upsets only in 2012 (the Upset Theory) with the fav between 1.10 and 1.30, we found that upsets happen at around 30% of the time.

Beaner

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