This post is going to have a look at the varying odds the major Australian sports betting agencies are paying for a soccer game, and how even the best of these odds are still stacked against you.
English League 1: Preston v Oldham 10^{th} September 2013

Home 
Draw 
Away 
Bet365 
1.95 
3.50 
4.33 
Unibet 
1.83 
3.40 
4.20 
Centrebet 
1.89 
3.40 
3.95 
Sportingbet 
1.89 
3.40 
3.95 
Tom Waterhouse 
1.88 
3.38 
3.96 
Sportsbet 
1.91 
3.40 
3.80 
IASbet 
1.91 
3.40 
3.80 
Luxbet 
1.87 
3.35 
3.85 
TAB Sportsbet 
1.85 
3.50 
3.65 
From this table it is easy to see that Bet365 is giving the best value for this match, with the highest fav odds, equal highest draw odds and the highest upset odds.
If you bet $10 on each result with Bet365, you could win $19.50, $35 or $43.30, compared to $18.50, $35 and $36.50 with TAB Sportsbet. The biggest difference between the two agencies is obviously in the upset payout.
As discussed in the previous post on the EPL soccer, 2 out of the 3 outcomes for Bet365 are returning a profit on this match. 3 x $10 bets is a $30 outlay in total, and a draw or the upset are going to return you $35 or $43.30 respectively. The win pays $19.50, which would be a loss of $10.50 (35% loss), the draw would be a $5 profit (16.67% return) and the upset a $13.30 profit (44.33% return).
Is gambling against the fav worth it in the soccer? Even though it looks tempting, for every time the fav does win, you have to recoup that loss of $10.50. This would take a bit more than 2 draws or a bit less than one upset to get back in front. Now if you know your soccer and are an astute tipster (or just plain lucky) you could bet on the draw and upset only in select matches. This would save you $10 from betting on the fav to win, but you risk losing the entire $20 if the fav does get up. So now you have to recoup the $20 every time the fav gets home. This will take 4 draws or 1 ½ upsets to break even again. So if the 1.95 fav (on Bet365) happens to win 4 times in a row, you have got a lot of chasing to do to get back in front.
So what if we just bet on all three outcomes? All things being equal, over time you would still probably make a slow loss, as you are requiring the draw or upset to happen just about as frequently as the fav winning, with the more upsets the better due to their higher return.
Let’s have a look at some simulated results over 10 matches to get a feel for what you need to happen to make a profit. In 10 games you would have outlaid $300 ($30 x 10 games).
Fav wins 5 times in 10 games
Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 5 draws and 0 upsets.
The fav winning 5 times returns $97.50
The draw 5 times returns $175
Your total return would be $272.50 (a loss of $27.50)
Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 4 draws and 1 upset.
The fav winning 5 times returns $97.50
The draw 4 times returns $140
The upset once returns $43.30
Your total return would be $280.80 (a loss of $19.20)
Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 3 draws and 2 upsets.
Your total return would be $289.10 (a loss of $10.90)
Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 2 draws and 3 upsets.
Your total return would be $297.40 (a loss of $2.60)
Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there is 1 draw and 4 upsets.
Your total return would be $305.70 (a profit of $5.70)
Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 0 draws and 5 upsets.
Your total return would be $314 (a profit of $14)
Fav wins 4 times in 10 games
Over 10 games, the fav wins 4 times, there are 6 draws and 0 upsets.
The fav winning 4 times returns $78
The draw 6 times returns $210
Your total return would be $288 (a loss of $12)
Over 10 games, the fav wins 4 times, there are 4 draws and 2 upsets.
Your total return would be $304.60 (a profit of $4.60)
Fav wins 3 times in 10 games
Over 10 games, the fav wins 3 times, there are 7 draws and 0 upsets.
The fav winning 3 times returns $58.50
The draw 7 times returns $245
Your total return would be $303.50 (a profit of $3.50)
If the fav wins 6 times, you can’t even break even with all 4 upsets and no draws.
The fav winning 6 times returns $117
The upset 4 times returns $173.20
Your total return would be $290.20 (a loss of $9.80)
To be able to make a profit betting on all 3 outcomes at this odds level with Bet365, which is the best odds on offer by an Australian sports betting agency (that I have found), you need things to go your way. If the fav wins 6 or more times out of 10 matches, you can’t make a profit. If the fav wins 5 out of 10 games, you also need a minimum of 4 upsets to make a profit. If the fav wins 4 out of 10 times, you also need a minimum of 2 upsets to make a profit. If the fav wins 3 or fewer times out of 10 matches, you will make a profit regardless of the result.
Looking at the odds again on Bet365 (1.95/ 3.50/ 4.33) which are the best odds on offer from the 8 bookies studied in this example, it would nearly be impossible to make money betting on all three outcomes.
Just betting the favourite
With a return of 1.95, the fav would have to win 6 out of 10 times to guarantee a profit (6 x $19.50 = $117, a profit of $17 every 10 x $10 bets). If the fav only wins 5 times or less out of 10 games, you will make a loss.
Why is it so?
Vigorish! This will be covered in detail in the next post, and it is one of the most important factors when trying to make a profit from sports betting.
Duplicate Sports Betting Agencies
Let’s have a look at the odds table again:
English League 1: Preston v Oldham 10^{th} September 2013

Home 
Draw 
Away 
Bet365 
1.95 
3.50 
4.33 
Unibet 
1.83 
3.40 
4.20 
Centrebet 
1.89 
3.40 
3.95 
Sportingbet 
1.89 
3.40 
3.95 
Tom Waterhouse 
1.88 
3.38 
3.96 
Sportsbet 
1.91 
3.40 
3.80 
IASbet 
1.91 
3.40 
3.80 
Luxbet 
1.87 
3.35 
3.85 
TAB Sportsbet 
1.85 
3.50 
3.65 
After seeing the duplicate odds for some of the sports bet agencies above, on a hunch I went through a selection of random sports to compare Centrebet and Sportingbet and they both were offering the exact same odds. This was the case for Sportsbet and IASbet as well. I also found that this was the same situation for the new company in the Australian sports betting market, Ladbrokes from the UK, and another agency that popped up at the same time, Bookmaker.com.au.
If you compare these ‘sister’ sites, you will see that the terminology for how they describe the events is exactly the same, as well as the events available to bet on and the odds they are offering, and after some research I discovered that they are both owned by the same company and are operating under two different names. Centrebet and Sportingbet are both owned by British gambling powerhouse William Hill, whereas Sportsbet and IASbet are owned by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.
This may well be a strategy to entice more punters to sign up with both agencies due to the free bet deals they offer new members, where the punters wouldn’t even realise they are essentially the same bookie. Whatever their motivation, I think it is unnecessary and quite insidious, as it is flooding the Australian market and preying on the punter with a potential (or existing) gambling addiction.
Beaner