Posts Tagged ‘sports bet upsets’

The Martingale betting system has been around since the 18th Century where it originated in France, and is a simple one in principal.  You place a bet on a 2-1 outcome.  If you win, you double what you bet.  If you lose, you double your bet, and you keep doing this until you win, where you will win back all your losses plus make a profit of your initial bet.  After the win you reset and start again.  The Martingale system also assumes that you have an infinite bank roll and that there is no table limit or a limit to how much you can bet.  Let’s take a look at an example:

You bet $10 at 2-1 to win $20 – a $10 profit.

Bet $10 – lose

Bet $20 – lose

Bet $40 – lose

Bet $80 – lose

Bet $160 – win $320

Now if you look at the bet amounts, they are $10 more than the sum of all previous bets, which is how much profit you are going to make when you finally breakthrough for the win. $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 = $150 (lost), plus the $160 you bet = $310, and you win $320 for a $10 profit.

This system was commonly used to play roulette betting on either black or red, but you don’t get a pure 2-1 return as there is a zero or double zero on the wheel which yields no win for either red or black.  This is the house edge imbedded in the odds, so you also have to overcome that when chasing your profit.  You may also find that if you suffer a losing streak you will quickly reach the table limit for how much you are allowed to bet.  Say you happen to lose 10 bets in a row; with the 11th bet you will be wagering $10240 to make a $10 profit.  And losing streaks happen! So if you can find me a gambler who is willing to bet $10240 to be $10 up, you’re finding me a fool.

$10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640, $1280, $2560, $5120, $10240 for the 11th bet.

Sports Betting Variation

This system can easily be applied to sports betting, using the multi-bet with favourites with a win/loss result to get to your 2-1 or more odds for each bet.  There is some merit in this if you think you can tip winners consistently, and you may also feel that you have some control over the result as you can pick the teams you want in your multi-bet.

Let’s look at the simplest ways to get to 2-1.  These are some of the variations you could use for a 2-leg multi if you wanted to cap the fav at 1.7 to get just over the 2-1 odds:

1.7 x 1.2 = 2.04

1.65 x 1.25 = 2.06

1.6 x 1.3 = 2.08

1.55 x 1.35 = 2.09

1.55 x 1.3 = 2.02

1.5 x 1.4 = 2.1

1.5 x 1.35 = 2.03

1.45 x 1.45 = 2.1

1.45 x 1.4 = 2.03

Of course you could back 1.7 x 1.7 to get odds of 2.89, or back just the one outsider at 2.2 if you thought it had a good chance of winning, but basically you’d want to ensure that you’re 2-leg multi yields more than 2-1 each and every bet.  Why only 2-legs?  Well there are 4 possible outcomes for 2 head to head matches, but 8 possible outcomes for 3 head to head matches.  To get a return of 2-1 on a 3-leg multi which has 8 possible results is increasing your risk of losing dramatically.

Another approach is to bet on a single soccer match, with the fav at about 2-1.  Now this may seem more difficult as there are 3 outcomes for a soccer game (home win/ draw/ away win), but as mentioned there are 4 outcomes for a 2-leg multi, so you are actually reducing your possible outcomes by one by betting on a lone soccer match.  Now a 2-1 fav in the soccer isn’t guaranteed to win, but you know what, how many short priced favs in the soccer have cost you a multi-bet when the match has ended in a frustrating draw or even an upset loss.  Never forget there are no certainties and you are gambling with every bet, so you may as well risk a good return on your wager.

From here it is simply a matter of choosing your starting stake, and being disciplined in your betting to stick to the system.  To lose money, you’d have to endure a losing streak where one of the two favs loses for a prolonged period of time in the 2-leg multi approach, or your 2-1 soccer fav keeps getting rolled.  If you know your sport and have a good strike rate as a tipster, then this system could be for you.  But buyer beware; it doesn’t take long in a losing streak to be betting large amounts of money, and if your bankroll isn’t very deep, you could find yourself in a hole very quickly.  You’d also want to find out what the max bet is with your sports bet agency to know how many losses you could endure based on your starting amount.

Let’s say you had a bank roll of $2000 and decided to start with a base bet of $50.  Now assuming the worst and you have a horror run with 5 losing bets, you won’t be able to place the 6th bet to try and recoup your losses thus far, as you would be required to bet $1600 but only have $450 left.

$50, $100, $200, $400, $800 = $1550 down after 5 losing bets.

This is assuming a minimum of one upset a week for 5 consecutive weeks, but if you’ve read the blog or have any experience in sports betting, there is absolutely no guarantee that a favourite will win, no matter how short the odds are.  UPSETS HAPPEN!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be starting to crack after only 3 consecutive losses starting with $50, where I’d have to be betting $400 just to make a $50 profit.

So if you are a gun tipster and think you can avoid the upset regularly, then the Martingale approach to sports betting will make you money over time.  My personal belief though is that you are still gambling, and it only takes the one seemingly impossible losing streak to wipe out all your gains and more when you either exceed your bank roll or you reach the max bet the bookie will take.

Beaner

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 10th 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 10th 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

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