Archive for March, 2015

Just to recap quickly, the premise of my sports betting theory is to get better odds than the number of possible outcomes there are for the bet.

For example, in a game of soccer there are three possible outcomes for the game; home win, draw, and away win. When you look at the odds for a game of soccer, the draw will nearly always pay more than 3-1, making it a good bet. Now there is probably good reason for the bookies offering you more than 3-1, in that there aren’t as many draws as wins and losses, but if you do your homework and follow the teams that draw most often in any given league, you are giving yourself an edge to make a profit betting on the soccer.

With the 2015 AFL season about to get underway this Thursday night the 2nd April, I was interested to apply this logic to the line bet. Taking the odds from Sportsbet.com.au, you quickly get an idea of the ‘rake’ Sportsbet are taking from each line bet. Looking at the line bet options for round 1 of the AFL, every bet gives you a return of 1.92 where Sportsbet have determined the line, or what they think the difference between the two teams in terms of the margin. Interestingly, if you look ahead to round 2, every line bet is only paying 1.85!

Let’s run through what all this means.

AFL R1 – Carlton v Richmond: Carlton (+11.5) and Richmond are (-11.5) are both paying 1.92.

Richmond is favourite to win this match in head to head betting at 1.55, with Carlton at 2.45.

With the margin in the line bet, -11.5 means Richmond has to win by 12 points or more, and +11.5 means Carlton can lose by up to 11 points and you still win the bet.

Now looking at this from the perspective of trying to find a good bet, if you think Carlton will win, take the head to head odds of 2.45 and you are straight away getting better odds than the 2 outcomes for the game. There is the slight chance that the game could end in a draw, where Sportsbet have the policy of paying half the value of the ticket.

“Dead Heat Rule – In the event of a Dead Heat or Draw, where such an option was not offered for betting purposes, the ticket will be paid out at face value divided by the number of Dead Heating winners of the event.” Sportsbet.com.au

Important Note – line betting doesn’t have a draw option, so it is a true 2 outcome event.

If you think Richmond will win, betting head to head will only give you a return of 1.55, and if you think Richmond can win by 12 points or more, the line bet will pay 1.92, but both of these options fall short of the minimum 2-1 I am looking for with a 2 outcome result.

With the ‘Pick your own line’ market, I can get my 2-1 or better payout by pushing the margin out a bit further. The Richmond (-14.5) bet pays 2-1, so if Richmond win by more than 15 points I will double my money. This is only 3 points more than standard line bet shown earlier, paying 1.92, and I will risk those 3 points to push my bet into the ‘good bet’ zone.

Now if I think Richmond is a 3 goal better side (18 points), I could choose my own line at -17.5 and get the odds of 2.15.

Going the other way with Carlton, their 2-1 option is at +7.5, so they can lose by 7 points and you still win your bet.

Looking at the ‘Pick your own line’ market compared to the straight line bet, Richmond (-11.5) only pays 1.89 instead of 1.92 for the line bet option, so Sportsbet have reduced the payout when you use the ‘Pick your own line’ option. Carlton’s line bet equivalent of +11.5 pays only 1.82 instead of 1.92, which is an even bigger reduction. Sneaky buggers!

The system I am going to use with AFL this year is to bet on 3-leg multibets, where each leg is a ‘Pick your own line’ bet paying just over 2-1.

An example multibet from round 1 could be Richmond (-17.5) @ 2.15, Gold Coast (-20.5) @ 2.15 and GWS (-24.5) @ 2.20.

This gives me the combined odds of 10.16, which is well over the 8 possible outcomes for the 3 games. So let’s say my strategy is to bet $10 each multibet, a win at these odds would pay $101.69. So I will need to win 1 in every 10 bets on average to make a profit over time, and against the odds of 8 outcomes for each multibet, this swings the chance of making a profit over time into my favour.

If you run a simulator where your return is 10-1 for an 8 outcome event, you will make money over time guaranteed, even factoring in losing streaks and deviations from the expected results. This is how poker players like Chris Ferguson developed their poker theories, by running millions of hands through a computer program to determine which style of play would statistically make a profit over time. So if he encountered a ‘coin-flip’ hand that won even 50.1% of the time, that would be enough of an edge to push all-in with, as Ferguson knew that over time this strategy would see him come out in front.

The trick is finding the right AFL bets to place to overcome the bookies rake imbedded in every bet, but if you know your teams and keep track of their form, scoring potential, how they match up with their opponents, key injuries, form at different grounds and good old crystal ball intuition, you are giving yourself a great chance of making a profit over time from betting on the AFL, which should be every gambler’s ultimate goal!

Beaner

Well it had been a horror start to the system so far, but things finally turned around last night. I had lost the first 3 bets in a row and was quite despondent that I was gonna do my dough on another crackpot system of mine, and had basically resigned myself to losing the next bet (as usual) and possibly pulling the pin on it and starting again with something else.

My starting bet was $20, and the system requires you to double the bet every time you lose at the 2-1 odds until you get the win. For the amount of money I had allocated for the year, I can only lose 6 bets in a row and then I’m bust. But hey, what are the chances of losing 6 times in a row when backing good things?

21/2 – NBA: 2-leg Multi (1.47, 1.39) $20 @ 2.04 – Lost

7/2 – NBA: 2-leg Multi (1.47, 1.39) $40 @ 2.04 – Lost

By now I’m totally over the basketball, where I’d won one leg in each bet, and then watched the other favourite get overrun in the 4th quarter both times to lose. I find the basketball very hard to bet on as the results seem unpredictable, but with the AFL months away I thought I’d give it a try. So I went back to the EPL which I love and have had much success on in the past gambling wise as well.

21/2 – EPL: Man U to beat Swansea $80 @ 2.05 – Lost

Now it might seem like a strange move to use a sport with 3 outcomes to try and win a 2-1 bet, but as I have pointed out previously, there are actually 4 outcomes when using 2 x win/loss events, so in fact I have reduced my chances of losing by 1 possible outcome. Not that that counted for anything as bloody Manchester United lost and gave me even more reasons to hate them. Now I had to wait to build up my bank from the $60 a fortnight available to me to place my next bet, which was going to be $160. If I lost that, then it would take about 3 months to place my next bet of $320, which is too much thinking time for me.

21/3 – EPL: 2-leg Multi (1.33, 1.57) $160 @ 2.08 – Win

I made a move that went against my system, to include 2 EPL games in my bet, which meant there were now 9 possible outcomes from these matches and only one of those was going to be of benefit to me; both favourites actually winning. I bet on Man City to beat West Brom (1.33) and Tottenham to beat Leicester (1.57). I did my due diligence and studied all their home and away form for the last 5 matches, and thought they were good bets. I liked Man City’s fire power to kick a winning score and Harry Kane for Tottenham is on fire this year and again backed him to score. I also really liked Arsenal to beat Newcastle at 1.57 due to Giroud’s form, but I like to stick with the home teams when unsure. I also flirted with the idea of betting the $160 on all 3 teams @ 3.28 to win $524.80, as I figured if I’m going to go bust, then I may as well go down in a blaze of glory. I knew this was ‘tilt’ thinking (being ‘on tilt’ means you start betting recklessly, usually after some close losses/ bad beats) so I summoned my discipline to stick to the plan. Like the Man U bet, I thought this was a sure thing, but I never ever take results for granted now and just hoped like hell that everything played out as it should.

Well City won 3-0 in the first game of the day, scoring at 27’, 40’ and 77’ and not giving me any grief. One leg down and one to go, so I was now in a position to be back to 3 outcomes for the result to win $334.10. C’mon Tottenham!!

My man Kane got the ball rolling with an early brace, scoring at 6’ and 13’, but by the 50 min mark it was 2-2 after goals to Vardy and Morgan, and that all too familiar feeling started to creep into me like the heathen it is that I was destined to lose this bet. How could Tottenham draw with or lose to the bloody bottom team on the EPL ladder?!?! I was furious and seriously frustrated. What a mugs game this is, what an idiot I am, I should have gone with Arsenal who were cruising to a 2-1 victory. Sucker, fool!

Then Tottenham got a penalty where Kane slotted his 3rd for the day and soon after there was an own goal at 85’ to give Spurs a 4-2 lead. I started to breathe and relax; 5 minutes left and overtime, surely that is enough. But no, winning is never that easy and sure enough Nugent scored for Leicester at 90’ and the tension levels hit their peak again. Bloody hell, I thought, this is going to be a draw; defend you Spurs bastards, DEFEND! When the final whistle blew Tottenham had held on to win 4-3 and the bet came through a winner.  Woohoo!

The good news is I can reset to $20 this week and start again, and hopefully not be in this position again where I endure 3 or 4 losses in a row for the rest of the year.  i don’t like to lose any bet but I also don’t lose sleep over $20.  $160 or $320?  Different story.

My thoughts now are to choose head to head games and back the slight outsider at 2-1, or look at the line betting and choose a line that gives me 2-1. This will reduce the result down to 2 outcomes, basically a coin flip with two even teams and see if I can avoid the dreaded losing streak this way. I actually enjoy backing the roughie as it is more rewarding to see the bookies underdog get up and win, as opposed as to watching a sure thing get rolled and blowing your hard earned that way.

Beaner