Posts Tagged ‘vigorish’

$814 million was lost on sportsbetting in 2014-15, which equates to $2 230 137 being lost by punters on sports EVERY DAY in Australia.

So if you think you can beat the system then well done and good luck for the future, as the hard evidence clearly shows that a lot of money is being lost by people betting on sports.  With the odds structures always favouring the sports betting agencies, they are taking their cut whether you win or lose, and then with the fickle nature of sports results, picking a winner is still no easier.

The only recommendation I can make to those who enjoy a punt on sports is to bet smart, look for value and ‘good bets’ and seek help if you are losing more than you are winning beyond the budget you have set for yourself.

Beaner

 

Punters lose $23 Billion

Richard Willingham and Benjamin Preiss
Published: August 22, 2016 – 8:02PM

Australian punters lost nearly $23 billion last year, with a 30 per cent growth in sports betting helping to drive a continued rise in annual gambling losses.

New Australian Gambling Statistics figures show Australians lost $1241 per head in 2014-15, with poker machines still the biggest cause of punter losses with $11.6 billion lost, an increase of 4.9 per cent.

The continued growth of punter losses reignited calls for state and federal governments to get serious about tackling problem gambling through action on sports betting advertising and pokies.

The annual compilation of all state and territory data shows that total expenditure, or gambler losses, hit $22.7 billion in 2014-15, an increase of 7.7 per cent on the previous financial year.

There has been an explosion in sports betting, with the sector growing by 30.1 per cent in 12 months – with predictions the exponential growth will continue.

But sports betting is still one of the smallest segments of the market, worth $814 million, compared to pokies, racing ($2.8 billion), and Lotto ($1.7 billion).

Traditional betting on racing was the smallest growing sector at just 2.7 per cent.

The Victorian government on Sunday announced a ban on betting ads near schools and on public transport, while Canberra is moving to crack down on offshore bookies, as well as strengthen consumer protection for local online punters.

There are also renewed calls from Senator Nick Xenophon, the Greens and Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie for poker machine reform.

Gambling losses in total for Victoria hit almost $5.8 billion in the 2014-15, with poker machine losses surpassing $2.5 billion, propping up Treasury coffers by more than $1 billion.

In NSW, punter losses hit $8.9 billion, with $5.7 billion lost on the pokies alone, sports betting worth $162 million and racing $945 million.

Across the nation casinos raked in $5.1 billion of gambler losses, with Melbourne’s Crown Casino hauling in $1.8 billion.

Monash University Public Health expert Charles Livingstone said the growth in sports betting losses was “phenomenal”.

“It demonstrates why we need to better regulate promotion and advertising. Otherwise we’re facing big growth in gambling problems and harm from young men and women,” Dr Livingstone said.

“But the 600-pound gorilla of Australian gambling is still the pokies: $12 billion in losses per year, and still growing, year after year. If we’re worried by sports betting, we should be 13 times more worried about the pokies.”

Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesman Tim Costello said state governments could fix the “poker machine madness”

“[That is] if any of them really cared about the issue,” he said.

The Australian Gambling Statistics 2014-15 shows that in Victoria total per person gambling losses hit $1250. Pokies losses was the biggest segment with $558 lost per Victorian.

In NSW, per person losses were higher at $1517.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the rate of problem gambling in the online sector was three times that of other areas.

“Many Australians love to gamble but we have to make sure the gambling environment is a safe one – that’s why we are cracking down on illegal offshore gambling providers and introducing much strong consumer protection for online gambling,” Mr Tudge said.

Deakin University associate professor of public health, Samantha Thomas, suspected sports betting had grown on the back of heavy marketing.

“While not all losses equal harm, a lot of them do. It’s time for governments to start to seriously consider the factors that are contributing to these growing losses and implement effective evidenced-based strategies to reduce harm,” she said.

“This includes addressing the factors from industry, such as prolific advertising or high intensity poker machines, that may be contributing to harm. Clearly, ‘gamble responsibly’ strategies are not having an impact on reducing losses or preventing harm.”

Victorian Gaming Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz said the state government shared the community’s concerns about problem gambling. She said the government had invested $150 million over four years to support problem gambling services.

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/australian-punters-lose-23-billion-half-on-the-pokies-20160822-gqyiz5.html

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Kenny had a good win for the Champ Bros synd on the weekend betting on the EPL using the ‘Place Bet’ system variation of the soccer draw theory.

The system was derived from a horse racing system where you only bet on the place, and run combinations on the returns to win more money if they all get up.

Going back to the basics of the soccer draw theory, there are 3 outcomes in a game of soccer; home win/ draw/ away win.  In the EPL soccer games, the draw usually pays around 3.30 with most sport betting agencies, so you are getting a greater return than the possible outcomes, which we class as a ‘good bet’.  This is the best scenario you can hope for when placing a bet; just ask any professional poker player.

When choosing our games to bet on for the draw, it is easy to exclude the matches where a strong team is playing a weak team, and it is also easy to check the ladder and see which teams have drawn the most so far into the season (also considering Home and Away results).  The EPL has just completed week 10 of 38, so some trends are starting to appear which gives us more data to make an informed guess at the results.

NOTE:  Anyone who says they can predict winners or how many goals will be scored etc. in the soccer is purely just making an educated guess.  And some of them do get lucky at times and get it right.  The bottom line is though, there is no formula for any sport that picks winners consistently.  Any gurus promising this and backing it up with statistics are probably only showing times where they had good streaks when they promote themselves.  And any betting system promising a guaranteed return is lying and will be flawed in some way.  That is the one thing I can guarantee, as the math never lies.  Over time, the sports betting agencies will beat any system as the nature of sport results is random, the odds rarely reflect how close a match actually is, and the rake or vigorish the bookmakers extract on every bet gives them an edge that is nearly impossible to overcome.  When we say we are making an informed guess, that’s what it is and we don’t bullshit ourselves that we can predict results in any sport, as we’ve been doing this long enough to understand that it is hard, damn hard, to pick winners and use a system to make money from sports betting.

So when Kenny texted me this morning, “Actually looking at the results, I picked the only 3 draws for the round, pretty arsey”, he wasn’t kidding.

Anyway, the system requires you pick 3 soccer matches to draw, where Kenny picked Stoke v Southampton, West Ham v Aston Villa and Everton v Tottenham.  Personally I probably would have picked Hull v Sunderland over the Everton game, but Everton are the draw kings of recent years so it was an astute choice by Kenny in the end.

These were the draw odds for the 3 games:

3/11/13 Stoke v Southampton – 3.25

3/11/13 West Ham v Aston Villa – 3.30

4/11/13 Everton v Tottenham – 3.25

How we adapted the place bet system was to bet $10 on each result, $5 on the 3 double combinations and $5 on the treble, which is $50 in total.

So based on 3.30 for each draw, if you get 1 draw, you win $33, if you get 2 draws you win $66 plus one of the doubles which is $54.45 ($5 x 10.89) = $120.45, but if you get all 3 draws you win all bets placed, which would be $179.67 ($5 x 35.937) + $163.35 ($54.45 x 3) + $99 ($33 x 3) = $442.02.

There are many ways the $50 could be divided up to place these bets, but Kenny likes the idea of getting a good return on the 1 draw and then betting smaller amounts on the higher odds, as these are harder to win, so less money should be risked.

The system allows for smaller returns when picking 1 or 2 draws regularly, and then you get the bigger payoff if you select all 3 draws correctly, which is exactly how the horse system works too.  With no other returns, you would have to pick the 3 draws correctly every 8.84 weeks to break even, but as it is likely you will get other smaller returns along the way, therefore you would have to pick the 3 draws correctly about every 10 weeks on average to make a profit.

If you wanted to be super aggressive, you could place the entire $50 on picking the 3 draws straight out as a treble, so at the odds of 3.30 for each draw, the return would be $1796.85 ($50 x 35.937), where you would have to achieve this once every 35 attempts to make a profit.  The danger of course is that you could go years without winning and get no returns on your investment for a long time.  Alternately, you could get it right much more regularly and make some good money.  Risk v Reward.

 

So in the real EPL world this week, Kenny tipped the 3 draws he bet on correctly and won the following from his $50 outlay:

Single Draws – $32.50 + $33 + $32.50 = $98

Doubles – $53.625 + $53.625 + $52.8125 = $160.06

Treble – $174.28

Total $432.34

The soccer draw theory is the ‘good bet’ theory that we have faith in, and Kenny has stuck with his ‘Place Bet’ system variation all season, which this week reaped the Champ Bros synd a healthy dividend.  Good work Kenna!

Beaner

This is the formula to calculate the vigorish percentage for three-way events:

v = 100 * [(1/p + 1/q + 1/t) – 1] / (1/p + 1/q + 1/t)

Where v = vigorish, and p, q and t are the decimal payouts for each outcome.

This formula is most usefully applied to calculating the vigorish imbedded in the odds of a soccer game, where there are three result possibilities; the home win, the draw and the away win.

To see how this formula works, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at the differences in the vigorish collected by 3 different sports bet agencies for the same soccer match.

 

UEFA Champions League 18th September 2013: Manchester United v Bayer Leverkusen

TAB Sportsbet:  1.62/ 3.75/ 5.00

Sportsbet:  1.83/ 3.40/ 4.75

Bet365:  1.83/ 3.60/ 5.00

 

Using the above formula, the vig results are as follows:

TAB Sportsbet Vigorish

P = 1.62, q = 3.75, t = 5.00

v = 100 * [(1/p + 1/q + 1/t) – 1] / (1/p + 1/q + 1/t)

v = 100 * [(0.6173 + 0.2667 + 0.2) – 1] / (0.6173 + 0.2667 + 0.2)

v = 100 * [1.084 – 1] / 1.084

v = 100 * 0.07749

v = 7.75%

 

Sportsbet Vigorish

P = 1.83, q = 3.4, t = 4.75

v = 100 * [(1/p + 1/q + 1/t) – 1] / (1/p + 1/q + 1/t)

v = 100 * [(0.5464 + 0.2941 + 0.2105) – 1] / (0.5464 + 0.2941 + 0.2105)

v = 100 * [1.051 – 1] / 1.051

v = 100 * 0.04853

v = 4.85%

 

Bet365 Vigorish

P = 1.83, q = 3.60, t = 5.00

v = 100 * [(1/p + 1/q + 1/t) – 1] / (1/p + 1/q + 1/t)

v = 100 * [(0.5464 + 0.2778 + 0.2) – 1] / (0.6173 + 0.2778 + 0.2)

v = 100 * [1.0242 – 1] / 1.0242

v = 100 * 0.02363

v = 2.36%

So it is easy to see from these calculations that TAB Sportsbet is taking the most tax per bet on this game, while Bet365 is taking the least.

The other appealing figure from these odds surveyed is the 3.75 being offered for the draw by TAB Sportsbet.  If you are interested in betting on the soccer draw like I am, it would be in your interests to shop around to ensure you get the best odds for the draw on the matches you want to bet on.

The difference in odds is significant enough to warrant chasing the best price, and if you have learnt anything from the Champ Bros blog so far, you will understand that it is difficult to make a consistent profit from sports betting, so any edge you can find over the bookies will pay dividends in the long run.

The next post is going to examine the difference between Vigorish and Overround, as these terms are often interchanged incorrectly as they actually have different values.

Beaner

It has been very notable to me that the sports betting agencies have upped their advertising campaigns on late night television in the last few weeks.  Now I don’t watch many TV shows, but within the few movies I have watched on FTA TV recently, there have been as many as 2 or 3 sports bet and horse racing ads within any 15 minute block of content.

This is no doubt due to the AFL and NRL finals being underway, and with the annual horse racing Spring Carnival just around the corner, the major Sportsbet companies are zeroing in on the punter to convince them to part ways with their hard earned.

The ads are slick and enticing and reinforcing the myth that Australians love to gamble, and that backing a winner makes you a ‘winner’.  The best scenario for the punter is this growing competition for the gambling dollar will give punters better odds on events, with less vigorish being taken out of the winnings.  This may never happen, but if you are going to gamble, do your research and always try and find the best odds for the bets you want to make.

The Australian version of Bet365 is currently running ads with Samuel L. Jackson walking around in a space-age setting proclaiming that Bet365 is the World’s biggest online sports betting company that is offering great odds on Australian sports.  The UK version of the ads use British actor Ray Winstone as their narrator, so you can see the approach they have taken.

TAB has their ‘walk of fame’ style TV ads where some 20-something hipster-doofus walks in slow motion to collect his winnings in some fictitious TAB/pub that has classy girls in it, or variations on this theme.  The times I have been in a TAB it was always a male only affair, except for maybe the employees, and I could count on one hand how many women I’ve seen in a pub TAB.

Sportingbet is currently offering the best tote + 5%.  “Best Tote Plus gives you an extra 5% on your winnings. Best tote plus guarantees a return that is better than the three national TABs. Available on every Australian thoroughbred race, every day.”  This is a big push to gain a share of the TAB revenue, which may work, and if the punter can bet smart and make more money, then  good luck in taking advantage of this deal.

Sportsbet also run a TV commercial promising the best return on horse racing from the three national TABs.

How long before one of the sports bet agencies offers Bets Odds + 5% on any sporting event?  Dream on.

Tom Waterhouse has been advertising heavily for over a year, but it will be interesting to see if this changes since he sold his business in August 2013 to the British gambling giant William Hill, which paid $34 million in cash for tomwaterhouse.com plus $6 million for the bookmaker’s debt.  William Hill already own Sportingbet and Centrebet in Australia.

Centrebet are currently pushing their AFL bet for the finals, offering your money back if your team is in front at half time and then loses.  Late 2012 Centrebet ran a ‘Fire Up’ campaign using Black Betty by Spiderbait as the music and Australian professional boxer and water skiing champion Lauryn Eagle as their spokesperson.  Shame on you Spiderbait, one for covering a song that doesn’t need covering, and two for selling out even more and promoting gambling in Australia. Hope you are enjoying your retirement from music, as what credibility you had left has retired too.

All the sports bet agencies now have apps for the smart phones, making mobile betting a reality; punters can bet around the clock and from any location.  Think of all that juice imbedded in every single bet…

Beaner

The reasons for why people gamble are many and varied and there is no magic blanket that can be thrown over the gambling population that has a universal explanation for their motivation.  One of the reasons should be to make more money than you gamble, which should be the goal of every punter.  But often it isn’t.  People gamble for many reasons, and making money isn’t always the number one agenda.  Is it fun to lose money to the sports bet outlets regularly?  I wouldn’t think so, but it should still be fun trying to win money consistently and land your occasional white whale.  When it’s no longer fun and dissatisfaction dominates your gambling emotions, you should be examining your motivation for betting.

The Champ Bros have always found it is more fun to be winning money than to be losing it.  It is very frustrating for us to lose money, as Kenny will attest to this year and I have experienced in many previous years.  We don’t see the point in betting money and not caring about losing.  This is not the attitude we carry into the challenge of trying to make a profit from sports betting.  We want to win, and we want to find the strategy which gives us a chance of winning.  And this isn’t easy.  We don’t kid ourselves about this and openly say from the outset that turning a consistent profit is difficult, where most years breaking even is a good result.  But buyer beware, as ‘breaking even’ is actually winning more than you are spending.

Picking winners and finding ‘good bets’ is just the beginning to staying in front and maintaining a profit for the long haul. To do this you also have to beat the bookmaker’s edge (aka vigorish/ vig or take or juice, or in poker terms, the rake), which means that you have to win more than merely breaking even to compensate for what you are giving to the sports bet agency EVERY SINGLE BET.  Just as poker players have to beat other players PLUS the casino rake and time charge to make money over time, the sports bet punter has to pick the winners and surpass the bookies vig as well.

I always look at a head-to-head match as having two possible outcomes.  This is important as the odds often distract the punter from this reality. Ideally you would want to get 2-1 on every bet you make on a head-to-head match; you bet $10 and win $20 if you get it right (which includes the $10 you wagered).  No one else takes a cut of this money and your win is based solely on picking the winning team.  But the book makers would have you believe that no two teams are ever evenly matched (or rarely so).  If you go through all the head-to-head sports it is very rare that two teams will have the same odds.  Have a look through the matches in the AFL, NRL, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NBL etc.  It is uncommon to find two teams with the same odds to win.

And when you do, you will see the bookmaker’s vigorish straight away.  Below is a typical list of odds for head-to-head games from a selection of Australian sports betting agencies (this list is for the MLB):

Bet365:  1.95/1.95

Centrebet:  1.93/1.93

Sportingbet:  1.93/1.93

Sportsbet:  1.92/1.92

IASbet:  1.92/1.92

Unibet:  1.91/1.91

Tom Waterhouse:  1.91/1.91

Luxbet:  1.91/1.91

TAB Sportsbet:  1.87/1.87

As you can see, TAB Sportsbet generally has the lowest returns of all the agencies, but ironically is probably the most popular in Australia.

Note: I couldn’t always find the basic head-head odds at bet365, but I think they call it the ‘Money Line’ and it is at 1.95 v 1.95 (it also shows up as ‘to win’ and ‘result’ with some sports too).

 

With the Tennis qualifiers, there is a drop in the odds offered compared to what is offered above, which was for Major League Baseball, so there is some variance between sports for what odds the agencies will offer when they deem it to be an even contest.

E.g. for the ATP Petange Challenger Qualifiers (9th Sept 2013), the head-to-head odds below were available. As you can see, they are significantly lower than what is offered above for the MLB.

Sportsbet:  1.87/1.87

Centrebet:  1.87/1.87

Sportingbet:  1.87/1.87

Tom Waterhouse:  1.86/1.86

Bet365:  1.83/1.83

My guess as to why this is the case?  The tennis players involved would be relative unknowns and hard to find any form lines on, so the betting agencies offer these matches with lower returns to protect themselves from match fixing, which would be easier to achieve with individuals than team events at this level.  Tanking or not, Bet365 is making 8.5% on any bets for this match, regardless of who wins (see below).

The other easy way to see what the different sports bet agencies are offering for an even bet is to look at the line betting.  When they offer the line, you will see the return for either team will usually be the same, as they have squared them up by offering the points difference.

Vigorish

What all this basically means is that the bookies are making money on EACH and EVERY bet you make, even if you win.

If Kenny and I both pick a team in a match deemed to be even, say with TAB Sportsbet at 1.87, and we each bet $10, one of us stands to win $18.70.  TAB Sportsbet gets $20 out of us, and then gives the winner $18.70, keeping $1.30 on the transaction, which is 6.5% profit for them.  So you can imagine if $100 000 was bet on the match with an even spread of bets between both teams, TAB Sportsbet would make $6500 REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME.  Think about that, wouldn’t that be nice.

Where it gets interesting is when the matches aren’t evenly matched.  Say TAB Sportsbet is offering 1.20 on the fav and 4.60 on the upset in a head to head match.  They have deemed one team to be much stronger than the other and are prepared to gamble on this result.  Now if Kenny and I again both pick a team and bet $10 each, one of us stands to win $12 and the other $46.  TAB Sportsbet get $20 out of us.  On the 1.20 win they will make $8, but on the 4.60 upset they will lose $26.

The same match is listed as 1.23 and 4.40 on Sportsbet and in the same scenario, we can win either $12.30 or $44, and they will either make $7.70 or lose $24.

So how do they make their money in these matches?

The majority of punters will be betting on the favourite hoping to win $12 from their $10 bet (a $2 profit).  Those picking the upset are trying to win and make a profit of $36. For the bookie, they just need to position the odds so that the result gives them a profit no matter what the outcome is, as seen with the odds above.

Say 10 people bet $10 each on the upset.  They have bet $100 and the bookie would have to pay out $360 extra to cover them.  That would require 36 bets on the favourite of $10 each.  So overall there was $460 bet.  If the fav does get up, it has to payout those 36 punters $12 each, which is $432, and a profit of $28.  In this balanced scenario, even if the upset did occur, they still wouldn’t lose any money.  But if say 40 people bet on the fav and 10 on the upset, they will make a profit with either result.  $500 bet.  Fav wins = payout $480 ($20 profit).  Upset = payout $460 ($40 profit).

So as I hope you can see, it wouldn’t be difficult to keep adjusting the odds of either outcome depending on how much money was being spent on which result, so that the sports bet agencies always made a profit on EACH and EVERY bet they offer to the punters.

Vigorish Formula

There is a formula where you can easily calculate this bookmaker’s edge/ vigorish, and it doesn’t take many calculations to see how much profit they make from every bet they offer the punter.

v = 100 * (1 – (p*q/ p+q) )

Where v = vigorish, and p and q are the decimal payouts for each outcome.

In the TAB Sportsbet scenario for an even match, p = 1.87 and q = 1.87

v = 100 * (1 – (1.87*1.87/ 1.87+1.87)) = 100 * (1 – (3.4969/ 3.74)) = 100 * (1 – 0.935) = 100 * 0.065 = 6.5%.

Hey, same as my calculation above!

In the second TAB Sportsbet example, p = 1.20 and q = 4.60

v = 100 * (1 – (1.20*4.60/ 1.20+4.60)) = 100 * (1 – (5.52/ 5.8)) = 100 * (1 – 0.9517) = 100 * 0.04828 = 4.828%

So believe it or not, TAB Sportsbet are still making 4.828% out of the 1.20 v 4.60 match no matter who wins.  Again, an easy way to make money; I’ll take people’s bets on any sport they like, give them odds so they can gamble on winning some money, and then take 5% of every single transaction regardless of the result.

Who Pays the Vigorish

There is some debate as to who actually pays the bookies juice; the winner or the loser.  It is a bit of a perspective dilemma, whether you view it from the winner’s perspective or the loser’s perspective, but I like to keep things simple and this is my explanation.  The winner pays the vigorish.

Let’s use the head-to-head match where both teams are paying 1.87, and Kenny and I bet $10 each on a team to win; he picks Collingwood and I choose Richmond.  At the end of the game, one of us is going to lose $10 and one of us will win $18.70.  When you bet $10, you assume that if you lose, the $10 is lost.  If the odds were a true reflection of an even match, the winner would expect to double their money and collect $20.  However, they are only going to receive $18.70, and are paying a tax of $1.30 to the bookie for handling their money for this bet.

It can be argued that because the bookie was holding both our bets as a $20 pool, the winner gets back their $10 bet and the $8.70 from the odds, which is what they were expecting, and the loser has in fact paid the $1.30 tax out of their losing $10, with $8.70 of their losing bet going to the winner.  The problem I have with this view is say only 1 bet was placed on the event and it wins.  There is no loser to pay the vigorish, so the bookmaker must be paying it for you.  This could be argued theoretically, but the bottom line is, the sports bet agencies don’t EVER pay even money for evenly matched head-to-head events, and the reduction in the odds below 2-1 is what the punter is paying as a tax to the bookies if they win their bet.

With betting exchanges like Betfair, they take a flat rate (5% less incentives) of the NET PROFIT the punter may make on any event they have bet on, where the loser just forgoes their investment with no further loss incurred. This to me is what the sports betting agencies do as well, except they often take more juice and it is factored into the odds before you make the bet.

The next post is going to look at the formula for calculating vigorish for events with 3 outcomes, which will be applied to the soccer.

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