EPL Soccer – “The Draw Theory”

Posted: September 3, 2013 by Beaner in Sports betting
Tags: , , , , , ,

One of the bet types I like relates to the EPL soccer, and most soccer games for that matter, but The Champ Bros follow the EPL (and the Championship when Kenny’s Newcastle gets relegated).  Great to see Liverpool on top of the table after 3 rounds too!

With the soccer there are three outcomes for a match; win/ draw/ loss.

The odds on the fav winning can be anywhere from 1.10 to 2.50, but what I find interesting is the odds on the draw in the EPL is usually a minimum of 3.30 (on Sportsbet).

The odds on the upset with a short priced fav is always massive too.

E.g. EPL Rd 3 2013 – Man City v Hull 1.15/ 7/ 13, where Hull is paying 13.0 to win.

Even 7.0 for the draw is huge, as there is many a soccer match I have watched in frustration where the short priced fav has bombarded the goal all game yet failed to score leading to an unlikely draw.

The Soccer Draw – A ‘Good Bet’?

Why the draw bet is interesting to me is that for a match with 3 possible outcomes, the odds on one of those outcomes is always above the 3-1 mark.  This is a ‘good bet’, especially if the teams are evenly matched, as you are getting more than a 3-1 payout where there are genuinely three possible outcomes for the game (all things considered).

On Sportsbet, two evenly matched teams will often have the odds of 2.50/ 3.30/ 2.60, where the draw is paying 3.30, or 2.45/ 3.40/ 2.60, where the draw is paying 3.40.

Now the result of a draw in the EPL does occur regularly. In the EPL 2012/13 season, there were 107 draws out of 380 games, which is 1 draw every 3.55 games.  With this raw stat, you would need to get odds of 3.60 to make a profit betting on every game for the result of a draw.  With the minimum draw odds being around 3.30 (Sportsbet), the bookies are keeping it below the 3.60 mark to give them an edge. BUT, it swings in your favour when you get the upset draws like the Man City v Hull match mentioned above, where if Hull do draw, you get a 7-1 payout.  This won’t occur enough though for you to bridge the bookmaker’s gap.  Last EPL season (2012/13), eventual title winner Manchester United drew 5 times out of 38 games, which means the draw would have to pay on ave 7.6 to break even, which you just wouldn’t get over the season.

So what if we just don’t bet on Man U for the season, along with the other teams that had the least amount of draws; WBA with 7 and Newcastle with 8. This would then leave us with the stats of 87 draws out of 266 games, which is 1 draw every 3.06 games.  Now we are getting into some profitable territory!  This is all good in hindsight mind you, but it is relatively easy to keep a track of which teams are having the most draws in a season and just betting on the top 5 of these all the time.

Everton are the draw kings of recent years, where they topped the table last season with 15 draws out of their 38 matches, were ranked 3rd in 2011/12 with 11 draws, and have started the 2013/14 season with 3 draws from their first 3 games!

As I have now pointed this out they probably won’t have a draw for the next 2 years, but previous data and form is all we have to go by when making our punting decisions, and on a good day it holds true and give us the result we desire.

Two out of the Three Results Return a Profit

Interestingly, the same draw odds of 3.40 mentioned above (2.45/ 3.40/ 2.60) can also be seen where the fav is at 2.00; 2.00/ 3.40/ 3.40.

This sort of odds structure is appealing to me for another reason, as two of the three possible outcomes are now paying greater than the 3-1 benchmark to break even.  Now the bookmakers have determined that the fav will win and you are only going to get the return of 2-1, which is always a risk when there are three possible outcomes.  But if you bet on the other two outcomes, either result will give you a profit.  So if you bet $10 on the fav and it wins, you double your money and win $20.  And the odds set by the bookmakers would have you believe that this is the likely outcome and an easy way to double your investment.  However to achieve this you have to avoid the two other outcomes, and if you follow the EPL soccer, you will know that these types of favs get rolled regularly.  Consequently, the other way of betting on the match would be to place $5 on each of the two other outcomes at 3.4 each, where either bet would pay $17 if there is a draw or an upset.  You are now covering two of the three possible results and still getting a 70% return on your investment if you win.

A casino would go broke in a hurry if they were offering these odds for a game where there were three possible outcomes for an event and each result was just as likely, as you would just bet on both 3.4 results all day and night and before long you would be making a killing on that game.  Of course the soccer does not have three equal outcomes prior to the match when one team is deemed to be stronger than another team, and the odds offered by the bookmakers will always reflect this.

NOTE: the odds given on any sporting event by a book making agency will merely highlight where the punters are betting their money, and imbedded in this is the bookmaker’s profit.  The only times the bookies really get burned is when there is a massive plunge on a team where the bet is accepted at fixed odds.  Otherwise, the odds keep being adjusted to reflect where the majority of punters are betting their money.

This happened in the AFL this week in Round 23, in the St Kilda v Fremantle match.  St Kilda opened at 6-1 and Freo short priced favourites early in the week, based purely on form (16th v 3rd), but as soon as word got out that Freo were resting nearly half their team from making the flight to Melbourne, the punter’s money was piled on St Kilda.  So if you got on the Saints at 6-1 fixed odds, the sports bet agency has to pay you out.  And you would have been counting your winnings early when the Saints got out to a 28-0 quarter time lead.

The odds for a Draw at half time v Full Time

The half time odds for a draw are much shorter than the full time odds, usually around 2.10 at HT for the majority of matches, and the reason for this is obvious when you look at the HT and FT results of the games.

The practical reason for this though would be that most teams can maintain their structure and discipline early on, but as the game progresses, players get tired and mistakes occur, and a large proportion of goals scored in games usually occur in the final 10 minutes of play.

In the first round of the EPL season, half the games were draws at half time, but there was only one full time draw.

EPL Round 1 – starting 17th August 2013

10 games played – 5 draws at HT, 1 draw at FT

Liverpool v Stoke HT 1-0, FT 1-0

Arsenal v Villa HT 1-1, FT 1-3

Norwich v Everton HT 0-0, FT 2-2

Sunderland v Fulham HT 0-0, FT 0-1

West Brom v S’hampton HT 0-0, FT 0-1

West Ham v Cardiff HT 1-0, FT 2-0

Swansea v Man U HT 0-2, FT 1-4

Palace v Tottenham HT 0-0, FT 0-1

Chelsea v Hull HT 2-0, FT 2-0

Man City v Newcastle HT 2-0, FT 4-0

In Rd 2 of the 2013/14 season, 5 of the 10 games were draws at HT, with 3 games ending in draws at FT.

In Rd 3 of the 2013/14 season, 5 of the 9 games were draws at HT, with only 1 game remaining a draw at FT.

This is another interesting bet to consider, especially if you have 3 leg multis for the HT draw, as you will be getting greater than an 8-1 return on your bet. Of course you are up against 27 possible outcomes at that point, but so far this EPL season, there has been 5 draws at HT for each of the 3 rounds.


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