Posts Tagged ‘EPL Soccer’

If you work on the idea that there are about 10 most likely outcomes for any soccer game, you will cover most results.  There will be a few outliers of more than 5 goals being scored in a game or the outsider winning by a few goals, and they will pay big odds, but very hard to pick.

EPL

Looking at the above odds, there are only 3 results that pay less than 10-1.  If you cover those bets, then you still have 7 bets that will pay 10-1 or more.  With 3 of the results you will lose money, but with all the other bets, you make money.  If the 7 come up more than the 3 over time, you will cover the small losses you will incur and make money.  You will also lose all the money if the result is outside the 10 results you picked.  If this happens you will have to make more money to cover that loss.  If you choose your games wisely, you should be able to avoid this happening.

Example

From the odds above, I’ll check the possible scenarios, betting $100.

Bet Score Odds Return
$10 Bournemouth 1-0 11 $110
$10 Draw 0-0 11 $110
$10 Draw 1-1 6.50 $65
$10 Draw 2-2 11 $110
$10 Chelsea 1-0 9 $90
$10 Chelsea 2-0 11 $110
$10 Chelsea 2-1 8.50 $85
$10 Chelsea 3-0 21 $210
$10 Chelsea 3-1 15 $150
$10 Chelsea 4-0 51 $510

1 of the outcomes you lose $35

1 of the outcomes you lose $15

1 of the outcomes you lose $10

4 of the outcomes you make $10

1 of the outcomes you win $50

1 of the outcomes you win $110

1 of the outcomes you win $410

I don’t know if you would make enough money over time to cover the losses, unless you were prepared to take more risk with the returns by choosing more unlikely results.

The other approach would be to use the lowest odds to determine how many bets you make.

In this case, 6.50, which means you place 6 bets and if any of those choices come up you make a profit, with the smallest winning return being $5 (bet $60 total and win $65).

The danger is that the result will too often be outside of the smaller number of results that you cover.  You could try and target games where the lowest correct score odds were higher, which will give you more scores you can cover. The highest I could see over this weekend in the EPL was 7.50, which would give you 7 options to bet on; maybe still not enough, but then the smaller total being bet is less money to make back if you incur a loss.

Beaner

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Well as luck would have it, all 3 games in the multi I highlighted yesterday actually ended in draws.

Liverpool v Arsenal (3-3)

Chelsea v West Brom (2-2)

Man City v Everton (0-0)

So for the $10 bet, the return would have been $643!  If you had made this bet and were to continue to follow this strategy, you now have 64 attempts to land another 27-1 shot to stay in front of the ledger, which is a great position to be in.

Not one to say I told you so, but one to say I will always tell you so; the math don’t lie and the probabilities don’t change regardless of what you think the outcome may be.  Favourites, sure things, certainties, they are all just educated guesses, and when everyone guesses the same, the odds are adjusted so the returns are always way under the actual odds you should be getting.  They are sucker bets and nothing else, and the sports bet companies make a fortune selling them as the most likely result.

So on the roulette wheel with 26 black slots and one yellow one (paying 5.64-1), my proposal is to change one of the black slots to red, and if the ball lands in the red slot, the return is 64.3-1.  As you can imagine, I will be putting my money on red each and every spin.

Beaner

EPL Trending Picks 140116

Sportsbet now provides a ‘Trending Picks’ quick multi on their homepage. This example is of 3 EPL soccer games to be played overnight.

3 games of soccer provides 27 possible results, so although the odds of 5.67 may seem appealing for these matches, they are way under the 27-1 you should be getting, all things being equal.

It seems in all likelihood that these results will eventuate, but it only takes a draw or an upset to do your dough.

Chelsea should win as they are finding some form again, City should win but Everton are the draw specialists with an inform striker in Lukaku, and Arsenal is pretty good value at 2.70 and with their form should also win. Liverpool at home though are no easy beats so there is no real guarantee of that result either.

As far as Sportsbet is concerned, they will cop the small payout if all 3 teams do actually win, as the odds are so much in their favour that over time, more often than not these 3-leg multis will fail.

As a punter always searching for a ‘good bet’, I would be looking at a payout of greater than 27-1 for this multi, which can be found in choosing 3 draws (4.50 x 4.33 x 3.30 = 64.30), or 2 draws and a City win (4.5 x 4.33 x 1.5 = 29.23).

You could argue that my 2 outcomes are less likely to occur based on the match ups, but I think any bet you put on is a gamble (there are no certainties unless it is fixed), so you might as well aim for a return that exceeds the amount of risk.

So with the $10 bet, you will win $56.70 with Sportsbet’s multi.  My 2 bets would return $643 or $292.30 if either happened to win.  I’m in no way saying they will win, they are just 2 of the 27 possible results.  There are also many other combinations that will return greater than 27-1 that could be backed if you felt there was going to be an upset with Chelsea or City (Liverpool and Arsenal were both at 2.70 when I checked).

The ‘Trending Picks’ multi they are promoting on the homepage is like them waving a ticket that says bet $10 on me and I’ll give you $56.70 if you win.  Fine print – this game has 1 chance in 27 of winning.

If I ran a casino and was paying out 5.67 on a game with 27 possible outcomes, I would make a lot of money over time.  Imagine a roulette wheel with 27 slots on it.  26 of these are black and one of them is yellow.  You are only allowed to bet on yellow and the return is 5.67-1.  To be fair I’d make it known that the yellow slot is slightly wider than all the others, so theoretically the ball should land in it more often.  Otherwise who would want to play?

Beaner

I have set myself a goal of turning $20 into $1000 through sportsbetting.  This is an aside from the Champ Bros syndicate, which is travelling quite nicely in 2015 btw.  The idea is that if I can successfully achieve this, then I could theoretically turn $200 into $10k, and then $2000 into $100k.  The % growth is all the same, it’s just the numbers get bigger by a factor of 10 each scenario. So even though the betting amounts are quite small in these examples, I am looking to the big picture where I could duplicate these strategies with higher stakes in the future.

I started this challenge by depositing $20 into my Bet365 a/c on Saturday 18th April, and have not made any further deposits.  Currently the balance is $146 with some bets pending.  My strategy is to only place ‘good bets’, where the odds exceed the number of outcomes, and I have also been dabbling in the upset theory again, especially with the tennis.

During the last 3 weeks I have also come to the conclusion that the ‘low ball’ strategy is the best approach to maintain my balance and see it grow slowly over time.  This is a poker term for someone who likes to keep the pots small and chip away at their opponents, especially in a heads up situation where there are only 2 players. The theory is you won’t be committing chips into big pots and gambling on outcomes, but instead you believe you can outplay your opponent over time, so you keep the pots small, minimise your losses and eventually win all your opponents chips through superior play and forcing them into making mistakes. How I’ve adapted this idea is to place lots of smaller bets with the aim of making small profits that outweigh the small losses if the bet doesn’t win. Inside this I have also been using combo bets within my selections, which reduces the amount I can win if all the legs happen to get up, but it also is more likely to ensure a return even if I miss a few legs of either small profit or small loss.

E.g. If I pick 6 AFL games over a weekend that I like the lines for when pushed out to 2-1, I might group them into doubles or trebles depending on how likely I think the teams will go. With 6 games into doubles, there are 15 combinations. With 6 games into trebles, there are 20 combinations.

If I was willing to stake $5 for this bet, then I would place .33c on each double or 0.25c on each treble. The sports bet websites and apps are set up now so this easily done by choosing the combo bet you want and the amount you want to stake so you don’t have manually make each bet.

If I happen to miss a leg or two out of these games, I will still make some money or incur a small lose, and I will only get zero return if I get fewer results than the combo I chose, which hasn’t happened yet. It is a conservative approach to gambling, but I am patient and so far I have been very happy to see my $20 investment slowly grow.

The other interesting option I have been exploiting is the new ‘Cash Out’ feature all the sites are offering now. Once you have a few legs of your multi in the bag, you will see that your cash out option will usually be higher than your starting stake, so you have already made a profit if you choose to end your bet there. A few times I have cashed out early and maximised my return, as I didn’t like my chances with the outcomes of the other matches, and if those games went against me the return would have dropped to less than what I staked originally, whereas the cash out option guaranteed me a profit. This works especially well with the upset theory in tennis.

E.g. I have been backing the upset in tennis for short priced favourites. After watching the results for a few weeks it became apparent that there are many upsets in the tennis, even at the odds of 1.10 for the favourite. It was something that I explored a few years ago when I got fed up with my short priced tennis multis getting smashed by one of the odds on favs getting beat nearly every single multi.

The bet on the tennis I made the other day highlighted how a smart use of the cash out option made me a tidy profit.

I chose 5 matches and got the odds of 5.50, 4.00, 5.00, 6.50 and 4.00. I don’t really care who is playing or where, I just look for odds of 4-1 and over in the available games. I staked $5 on 10 x doubles of .50c each. The first 2 results I got happened to be both wins and the 3rd game was underway but not looking good as my player was a set down but had broken serve in the 2nd set. I was still in a great position though with 2 wins on the board, where the 5.50 and the 4.00 underdogs had both got up. Bet 365 was offering me cash out of around $21 at this point. I thought this was great, and here’s why. I had already made $11 I couldn’t lose (5.5 x 4 x .5), so if I let the matches play out this is what I would pocket regardless of the remaining results. I had already made a profit on my $5 investment. If I happened to get one more leg, I would then have 3 x doubles combos and over $30. As I watched the current game unfold it looked more likely that my player was going to lose, and literally after each point the cash out figure was dropping. I cashed in and got $20.10. Now I might have missed out on a potentially bigger payout, but I had also nearly doubled my worst case scenario regardless of the remaining outcomes, and it was this factor that I found most appealing. In these types of bets I only need 2 upsets to make a profit and that’s all I expect with such short priced favs. As it turned out the remaining favs all won easily and my decision to exit at this point was a sound one.

The aspect of my strategy that this highlighted the most is DON’T GET GREEDY, as greed leads to poor decision making.

I have also been using the cash out option to get some money back on bets where I would have ended up with a zero return. I’ll take the small loss at the risk of some massive turn around in the match were the team I chose comes back to win, as this rarely happens.

Remember Low Ball; small bets, small wins and even smaller losses over time equals a growing profit.

I am also using another simple staking approach that I learnt from successful poker pro Erik Seidel. Seidel used to be a backgammon champion, and he then worked in the stock market before turning to poker. What he learnt from his time trading on the share market he adapted to poker with a simple premise; how much should I invest in this hand? If it was a hand with a low chance of winning, he would want to invest less in it, whereas if he had a good starting hand, he would be willing to invest more in it. With this in mind, generally I am going to be investing less on bets that have less chance of winning and conversely I can risk a bit more on bets that I think are a good chance of making me a profit.

E.g. If I am choosing 6 matches and betting on doubles combos, I will stake a bit more as I am more likely to get some doubles and a return on my investment. If I am betting on trebles or 4-folds, I will stake less as these are a bit less likely to win, plus the returns are higher if they do so I can get to the same profit by betting less.

I’ve been trialling a lot of bet types, mainly trying to find good bets in the AFL that look likely to return a profit over time. The soccer draw theory is also doing well, and I haven’t explored too many other sports yet as my sporting interest lies mainly with Aussie rules football and the English soccer. The tennis upset theory is also showing promise, as I like the odds you get backing the upset for a head to head match with 2 outcomes, even if the other player is heavily favoured to win.

Remember, upsets happen!

In the AFL I am taking a few approaches. I am using the Alternative Handicap option (Pick your own line), where I choose the team I think is going to win and then push the line to get a 2.10 return. I am looking for teams that I think will win by more than the bookies margin, and by pushing the line a few points passed that, I get the 2-1 I am looking for. The other approach is to find teams that you think will get closer than the line suggests, so they will lose by less than predicted. When you look at the odds for both teams once you get the 2-1 odds both ways, there is usually about an 8 or 9 point spread which I call the bookies margin, because if the result falls into that points spread, I can’t win no matter which team I backed.

E.g. Carlton v Brisbane Sunday 10th May

Brisbane +21.5 – 2.05

Carlton -29.5 – 2.10

With these lines to get just over 2-1, Carlton has to win by 30 or more and Brisbane has to lose by 21 or less for me to collect, giving the bookies a 9 point spread where they will win.

The other bet I am doing quite well out of is the first score option. There are 4 outcomes for this bet in each match, home goal, home behind, away goal and away behind. What I noticed when I examined the odds for this option is that quite often there were returns of up to 4.50 for one of the options. I like this a lot; a 4.50 return for a bet with 4 outcomes! This is a good bet. I don’t care that that option has been deemed less likely to occur, probably through the data Bet365 has accumulated over the years, and I’m sure the AFL players in these matches aren’t trying to conform to the data either.

E.g. AFL round 6 (still in play)

I went through all the games and picked the first score option that paid the highest odds of 4-1 and over for each match. In some games all the odds are less than 4-1 so I leave them alone. This is what I backed with their odds:

St Kilda Behind – 4.00 (Win)

GWS Goal – 4.25 (Loss)

Gold Coast Goal – 4.50 (Win)

Melbourne Behind – 4.50 (Win)

Essendon Behind – 4.50 (Loss)

Brisbane Goal – 4.25 (yet to play)

West Coast Behind – 4.50 (yet to play)

So there are 7 legs, and I grouped them into doubles, giving me 21 combos. I staked .25c each combo so the bet cost me $5.25. The reason for doubles is that this is a hard bet to win when considering the possible outcomes. A double is 4×4 = 16 possible outcomes, where a treble is 4x4x4 = 64 outcomes; quite a big difference. Obviously the payout is greater for the trebles, but the other thing to consider is that there are 35 bet combos with the 7 legs, so using the min bet of .25 on Bet365, it would cost $8.75 for a less likely win. If I had more starting money I would consider this option as the potential payouts would be nice (4.5×4.5×4.5 = $91.13x.25 = $22.78), but there is a greater likelihood of getting 2 wins and no payout at all, which isn’t the risk/reward strategy I am following in this challenge.

So far I have won 3 out of 5 matches, a great result for the good bet theory with 2 games still to play. If I had of bet trebles, I would already have won $20.25 (4×4.5×4.5×0.25), and one more win out of the remaining 2 matches would give 4 more combos, and 2 wins 10 combos. But this is all speculation and we are in the real world here.

My wins so far have guaranteed me a min return of (4×4.5x.25) + (4×4.5x.25) + (4.5×4.5x.25) = $14.06, a profit of 267.8%.

The current cash out value is sitting at $19.53 which is very tempting. But one more win will increase the combos to 6 and a return of over $24, and 2 more wins will increase the combos to 10 with a max return of $47.28. So to take a $5 gain here at the expense of a much higher payout isn’t such a smart move.

The difference between this and the tennis scenario earlier is that the tennis results were relying on the underdog to get up and win against the heavily fancied favourite, whereas these results are still good bets, where I am getting more than 4-1 on the 4 possible outcomes.

Poker pro Chris Ferguson (aka Jesus) once said something along the lines that it is worse to fold a potentially winning hand than it is to stay in with a potentially losing hand. I like to apply this logic to the cash out option, where it is best to risk losing a small amount if I cash out early by seeing the bet through with the potential to win much more. Over time in this scenario, you will make more money by staying in than cashing out early, as the upcoming bets are good bets where your reward is greater than your risk.

The $20 Challenge betting strategy summary:

  • Don’t make big bets, as you can always lose on any bet you make – there are no sure things.
  • Aim for small wins and lots of them.
  • Use the cash out option to minimise your losses or take a profit above your potential payout if the other bets are likely to lose.
  • Make as many ‘good bets’ as possible and gamble on these.
  • If doing large multi bets, aim for doubles or trebles as you are more likely to get a return instead of an all or nothing result.
  • Don’t get greedy and don’t take any result for granted.
  • Be patient and disciplined.
  • Stay smart.

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

After a disrupted year to the Champ Bros Sports Betting Synd, we are back in 2015 and ready to have a punt to try and win some money.

I’m going to stick with what has worked for me the last few years, which is betting on soccer draws using a horse racing place punting system that I like.  It may not pay huge dividends, but it is more likely to have a regular return with the chance of a big payout.  And it only takes a few big payouts throughout the year to turn a profit, which is always our ultimate aim.

The system dictates that you pick 3 soccer matches that you think could be draws.  You bet $10 on each individual match ($30), $5 on the 3 x double combos ($15) and $5 on the treble, for a total of $50.

Expected Returns

With the draw usually paying around 3.30, getting one draw will pay $33, incurring a small loss for the week.

Getting 2 draws out of the 3 will pay $66 plus the double, which will be 3.3 x 3.3 x $5 = $54.45, for a total of $120.45, which will create a profit for the week.

And the bonanza is getting all 3 draws, which will pay on all bets.  $99 (3 x $33) + $163.35 (3 x $54.45) + the treble $179.69 (3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 x $5) = $442.04.  This payout will cover nearly 9 weeks of zero returns, so even if you can achieve this result once every 8 weeks with no other returns, you will be in front.

2014 was actually a lean year in the EPL soccer for draws compared to the previous two seasons, but so far in the 2014/2015 it is looking ok again.  On the 1st Jan 2015 there were 6 draws and on the 28th December 2014 there were 5 draws, and those are the weeks where you can make some money using this theory.

Kenny

The EPL soccer is back for another season, and the draw theory is going to be the go again.

In round 2 there were 5 draws, and 4 of them were between teams of relatively equal standing, making them possible to predict without too much guess work.

The draws were:

Aston Villa v Newcastle: 0-0

Southampton v West Brom: 0-0

Everton v Arsenal: 2-2

Hull v Stoke: 1-1

Sunderland v Man U: 1-1

So out of the 10 matches played, half of the games were draws.

If you were lucky enough to tip all 5 draws, you were beating odds of 243-1 (3x3x3x3x3). BUT the beauty of the draw system is the odds for the draw in the EPL is always greater than 3-1, usually around the 3.30 mark on Bet365 for close games, and much more where there is a heavy favourite.

So if we use the conservative odds of 3.30 to calculate the payout, you would have received at least $3913.54 for a $10 bet, which is nearly 400-1.

I like to bet on trebles, where you are only trying to beat odds of 27-1, and I’ve had payouts of over 50-1, almost getting double the actual odds of winning the bet (3.5 x 3.8 x 4 = 53.2). Talk about a ‘good bet’!

The other way to increase your odds of getting a winner is to choose 5 games, and then use the Multiple Bet Options. When you choose Trebles, there are 10 possible combinations, so if you bet $5 it will cost $50. If you do happen to pick all 5 draws, you will win all 10 of the treble combinations.

There are also 10 x doubles combinations, 5 x 4-Folds combinations (where you need to get 4 draws of the 5 games to win), 1 x 5-Folds, or the Super Yankee.

The Super Yankee will place a bet on all the combinations, which is 26 bets (10 x Doubles, 10 x Trebles, 5 x 4-Folds and 1 x 5-Folds). This is a good way to get a return, and you will also get a payout on the 5-Fold if you happen to pick all 5 draws. But it won’t be cheap, where if you bet $2 on each combo, the total bet will cost $52.

We will have to see how this season pans out, as last season was not a good one for draws (especially after December), where it was well down on the previous 2 seasons.

2013/14 – 78 draws

2012/13 – 107 draws

2011/12 – 93 draws

Where there are 380 games in an EPL season.

But so far so good, and let’s hope the EPL draws keep on rolling in 2014/15.

Beaner

Kenny Strategy

I’m going to stick with what worked for me last year, which is betting on soccer draws using a horse racing place punting system that I like.  It may not pay huge dividends, but it is more likely to have a regular return with the chance of a big payout.

The system dictates that you pick 3 soccer matches that you think could be draws.  You bet $10 on each individual match ($30), $5 on the 3 x double combos ($15) and $5 on the treble, for a total of $50.

Expected Returns

With the draw usually paying around 3.30, getting one draw will pay $33, incurring a small loss for the week.

Getting 2 draws out of the 3 will pay $66 plus the double, which will be 3.3 x 3.3 x $5 = $54.45, for a total of $120.45.

And the bonanza is getting all 3 draws, which will pay on all bets.  $99 (3 x $33) + $163.35 (3 x $54.45) + the treble $179.69 (3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 x $5) = $442.04

 

With all three possible returns working together, you would need to pick the 3 draws about 3 times a year, along with regular returns from the other bet types, to make a profit.

Kenny

After a successful 2013 where we made our biggest return in the 10 years we have been running the syndicate, the Champ Bros are set for an even bigger 2014 now that we have devised a sports betting system that is both mathematically sound and one we have faith in, having already experienced success with it last year.

We are going to stick with our usual monetary discipline, where we deposit $120 each a month into the a/c, and then take turns betting $50 a week.  On the off week where we aren’t betting the $50, we get $10 to try and land a long shot multi, with a minimum 10-1 return.

This means over the year we will deposit $2880 into our a/c.  Our first goal is to try and break even for 2014, and from there it is about how much profit we can make.  We have been doing this long enough now to know that making a profit on sports betting isn’t easy, in fact it is virtually impossible for the average punter.  Not only do you have to be successful in tipping winners on a consistent basis, you also have to overcome the bookmakers tax (or vig) imbedded in every bet.  Let’s say the vig is a flat 10% which is common for a lot of the online sports betting agencies, for us to make a profit in 2014, we will need to win an extra $288 to cover it.

 

Beaner Strategy

$50 bet: Pick 4 soccer draws and group as trebles:  4 combos @ $12.50 each

$10 bet: Pick 5 soccer draws @ $10 for the long shot

 

Expected Returns

This strategy could very well yield $0 for the year.  But then again, any number of 3 leg multi-bets over a period of time could all be losing ones, you just never know.  The advantage of my method is that if I get a treble, I will get great value for my bet, and if I happen to get all 4 draws, I will have made a profit for the year straight away.

When betting on the soccer draw, I am looking for matches with no clear favourite and a draw value of at least 3.30.  I like to bet across a few leagues so that you are not expecting to get the 4 draws in the one league over a round, although that is just as likely to happen.

One treble will be worth at least 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 x $12.50 = $449.21, which is a 9-1 return on my $50 bet.  So if I get a treble at least every 9 bets (18 weeks), i will be in front.

If I happen to get lucky and pick all 4 draws, then I can expect at least $449.21 x 4 combinations = $1796.85, which is a 36-1 return on my $50 bet.  So I only need to get one of these every 36 bets (72 weeks), excluding any other trebles in that time, to break even.

 

With the $10 long shot bet, I would be looking at a return of at least 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 x $10 = $3913.54.  I am not expecting this to happen very often, but that is the point of the longshot; a risky bet with a huge return.  BUT if I do happen to arse one of these, it is happy times for the Synd!!

Beaner

With the end of the 2013 Champ Bros sports betting synd only a few weeks away, the EPL has delivered us a little Xmas bonus.  The win wasn’t without its share of tense moments, but the reward is always worth the stress.

I have been using my soccer draw theory for most the EPL season so far when it has been my turn to bet (each alternate week with Kenny), and even though the dividends so far haven’t been great, I know that mathematically this system will work over time and I just needed to ride out the lean periods to hit the win that arrived this week.

The basic premise of the system, as has been outlined before, is simple.  There are 3 outcomes in a soccer match; home win, draw, away win.  So to make a ‘good bet’, the odds have to exceed the number of possible outcomes.  In the EPL, this bet is always provided by the draw.

My approach is to cast a net over the games that I think will be draws and then group them into multis.  My preferred method is to pick 5 matches and then group them into 3-leg multis, which creates 10 combinations to cover all bets.  With $50 to bet, this then requires 10 bets @ $5 each.

Below are some of the other combinations that could be used:

3 matches – 2-leg multis = 3 combinations

3 matches – 3-leg multi = 1 combination

4 matches – 2-leg multis = 6 combinations

4 matches – 3-leg multis = 4 combinations

4 matches – 4-leg multis = 1 combination

5 matches – 2-leg multis = 10 combinations

5 matches – 3-leg multis = 10 combinations

5 matches – 4-leg multis = 5 combinations

5 matches – 5-leg multis = 1 combination

6 matches – 2-leg multis = 15 combinations

6 matches – 3-leg multis = 20 combinations

6 matches – 4-leg multis = 15 combinations

6 matches – 5-leg multis = 6 combinations

6 matches – 6-leg multis = 1 combination

Now the idea of putting on 10 or more separate bets and getting all the combinations correctly covered might seem a bit daunting, but Sportsbet.com.au allows you to choose how many draws you want to bet on, and then choose ‘doubles’ or ‘trebles’ which automatically groups all the possible combinations for you, where you then decide how much you wish to wager on each individual bet.

So for my preferred method, I choose the 5 draws I want to group, select ‘trebles’ and then $5.  The 10 combinations x 3-leg multis are then automatically grouped and the total cost is $50.  Too easy.

So in the EPL last weekend, I did my usual research on which teams are drawing the most home and away, how much the teams have been scoring in recent weeks and where the teams are situated on the ladder. When choosing the 5 matches to bet on each week, the easy approach is to exclude the top 5 teams and see how the other matches look.  There are also some teams, namely Everton (the draw kings of recent years), West Bromwich Albion, Southampton and Stoke that are drawing the most so far this season, and then there is Crystal Palace and Fulham, who only have 1 draw each so far, making them the teams to avoid.

It became apparent fairly quickly that this week looked good for draws, with the teams I ended up choosing meeting most the criteria above, with the most significant factor being that the teams in each match were situated close together on the ladder.

If there are only a few matches that fit the criteria in the EPL, I will extend my research to the English League Championship or the Australian A-League and look for matches fitting the same criteria.  This requires a bit of extra work, but it really only takes about 10 minutes or so once you have the resources at your disposal, like league tables and previous results.  We like the ESPN FC league tables as with a click you can see which teams have drawn the most overall, at home or away.

The 5 matches I chose to draw, and their odds, were:

West Ham v Sunderland – 3.30

Newcastle v Southampton – 3.30

Cardiff v West Brom – 3.20

Hull v Stoke – 3.20

Norwich v Swansea – 3.25

  • The odds are from Sportsbet.com.au

So for each match, the odds were above 3-1 which makes them all ‘good bets’.  How this plays out for 3-leg multis or trebles is where my system gets its power from.

If we take the 3 best odds from these matches, we get 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.25 = 35.39.  With 27 possible outcomes from the 3 matches, we are getting odds of just over 35-1.  Professional poker players or casino gamblers would back this scenario every single time, as they know that profit is made by making ‘good bets’ over long periods of time.  There will always be occasions where the losing streak may exceed the odds of winning, but these are accounted for as standard deviations from the mathematical expectation and in the long run they will even out, and theoretically end up in your favour.  What the ‘good bet’ also allows for is some leeway in the payout frequency.  With 27 possible outcomes, you would have to win it once every 27 bets to make money, but when you are getting over the odds, you only have to win once every 35 weeks to still make a small profit.

The math and computer science PhD poker players, like Chris Ferguson, run simulations of millions of hands to get their data and devise their poker strategies (as well as incorporating Game Theory), but in the real world you can’t play that many hands in a life time.  To put this in perspective, the final table of 9 players in this year’s 2013 WSOP main event played 261 hands to determine the winner.  They are creating mathematical models that will work in simulated poker, but when applied to shorter time periods in the real, you won’t always get the expected results, thus you have to ride out the lean times having faith that the strategy is sound.  Poker pros like Ferguson only need a slight edge in the odds to gamble, knowing that if they are pushing their money in with a 51% chance of winning the hand, over time they will be in front.  So to get odds of 35-1 on a bet with 27 possible outcomes is a gold mine waiting to be plundered.

As the matches unfolded over the 2 nights, the draws kept occurring.  After Saturday’s games I already had 3 out of the 4 draws, which meant I had a guaranteed return for one of the trebles.

The results at this stage were:

West Ham v Sunderland: 0-0

Newcastle v Southampton: 1-1

Cardiff v West Brom: 1-0

Hull v Stoke: 0-0

The treble already won equated to 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.2 x $5 = $174.24.  I was a bit disappointed that the Cardiff match didn’t end in a draw, but the results so far were in our favour and some money was already in the bank.  With one match to go on the Sunday, it held a significant return for us if it ended in a draw, as it would create 4 winning trebles overall with the combination bets.

With Kenny watching the Norwich v Swansea match live on Foxtel in Perth, and me keeping track of the score on the net, we got to 1-1 at half time after a blinding long range equaliser by Hooper from Norwich at the 45 minute mark.

I rang Kenny up and he gave me blow by blow updates in the 2nd half, where one shot on goal hit the cross bar and Swansea’s keeper Vorm made some miraculous saves to keep the home team at bay.  When the full time whistle finally blew, the score hadn’t changed and we got our 4th draw and landed a very healthy return on the $50 outlay for the week. We were nervous wrecks by the end but the sense of elation that winning brings never gets old and it sure as hell beats the sense of deflation you feel when your bet gets rolled (mind you, we still get excited winning $5 on a greyhound).

Norwich v Swansea: 1-1

Now for the fun part!  With the 4 combinations @ $5 each, we ended up winning the following:

3.3 x 3.3 x 3.2 x $5 = $174.24

3.3 x 3.3 x 3.25 x $5 = $176.96

3.3 x 3.2 x 3.25 x $5 = $171.60

3.3 x 3.2 x 3.25 x $5 = $171.60

Total $694.40

If the Cardiff game had of also ended in a draw, we would have collected on all 10 combinations for a return of $1716.16!  Maybe next time.

This is the second time there have been 4 draws in a week in the EPL 2013/14 season, and there has also been 5 draws once, after 16 rounds so far.  So with 22 rounds still to go, there is a good chance there will be 4 or more draws again, and if we are lucky enough to be on them, this will put us on track for the expected returns for the year.

Now there is something else to keep in mind.  If we round the win up to $700, we got a return of 14-1, so we have to achieve this every 14 bets to make a profit.   Of course if we get some 3 draw wins along the way of about $170 then this gives us an extension of 3 extra weeks each time.  If we do happen to pick all 5 draws and win around $1700, then this would be at 34-1 and would only have to be achieved every 34 weeks, or nearly once a season, to make money.  If you hit it twice in a season or 3 times in 2 seasons, you will be way in front.

In the past few seasons these are some of the key draw results:

2011/12 – 7 draws once, 5 draws twice, 4 draws six times and 3 draws seven times

2012/13 – 6 draws once, 5 draws four times, 4 draws eleven times and 3 draws three times

2013/14 – 5 draws once, 4 draws twice and 3 draws five times (after 16 weeks)

So if this season catches up over the rest of the fixture to anywhere near some of the draw results of the previous two seasons, there is some money still to be made in the remaining 22 rounds of EPL soccer.

Another approach, if you are an aggressive gambler and are prepared to score a win less frequently, is to just bet on the treble, or 4-leg or 5-leg multi outright.  If I had been good enough to pick all 4 draws this week and bet $50 on the 4-leg multi, I would have done very nicely.

$50 x 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.25 x 3.2 = $5662.80

So if you fancy yourself as a soccer tipster, you would only have to get this right once every 113 attempts, or once nearly every 3 seasons if you are placing one bet of $50 a round, to make some serious money.  And with 4 or more draws occurring 28 times since the beginning of the 2011/12 season, it is possible that you could have achieved this feat more than once in that time.

Now let’s say the Cardiff game was a draw and you had a 5-leg multi of all those games as some sort of tipping genius, you would have won $5662.80 x 3.2 = $18120.96 for your $50 bet.  You only have to land this best once every 362 bets to make a profit, or once every 9.5 seasons if you are placing one bet a round.  There have been 5 or more draws 9 times since the beginning of the 2011/12 season, so if you lucked out and got one of those 5-leg multis, you’d have another 7 years to do it again to be way in front, or another 9.5 years after that to break even.

Actually, after looking at the previous year’s results and the expected payout for getting lucky, I think I’m going to change my system and just go the hack!

Beaner