Advanced football pricing – OutsidersBy
Alright BOTW followers, it’s your lucky night.
I have got a stinking cold and as a result cannot sleep. So rather than sit here watching dross TV I thought I would put something a bit more meaty together to have a look at this Blackburn selection.
I am aware I didn’t really do it justice earlier, but I spent so long trying to come up with something additional, I just didn’t have the energy for it.
Well, now I still don’t t have the energy for it, but in the absence Bravo, I guess I may as well do something productive to pass the time.
So, how are we going to start to assess this fixture?
Well, for me you begin to assess again like this by looking at the most predictable side. And in this case I hope everyone would agreed that would be Chelsea.
Check out the table below, which shows the top 5 sides in League football over the last 5 years since 2005:
League away performances 2005 – 2010
|Away Team||Away Win %||Draw %||Home Win %|
No prizes for spotting the out-lier there then! For those that care, click here.
The MK Dons 2007-08 season is one of the most staggering anomalies in recent football history. 57 points from a possible 69 away from home. Wow.
Now, be honest with yourself. Did you realise that even the best teams in the country lose almost a quarter of all their away games?
And that only two teams in the entire league consistently win over 50% of their away games? Think about that next time you are about to back an odds-on away side.
I’m not saying there is never value in doing so – just make sure you have a specific reason to feel that the selection represents a +EV position.
Now that we know we are dealing with the strongest away team in the whole of England, lets have a look at their record in a little more detail to determine, in hope of establishing where our value breaking point is.
Chelsea’s away performances 2005 – 2010
|Opponent||Away Win %||Draw %||Home Win %|
|vs Top 4 (15)||40%||20%||40%|
|vs Non Top 4 (80)||68%||16%||16%|
|vs Similar (40)||55%||23%||23%|
So what does this tell us?
Well, although Chelsea are losing games at a 20% clip, it is to be expected that a greater number of those would be against the strongest home teams. And you would be correct – they lose around 40% of these games (although the sample of 15 games isn’t huge).
Intuitively, the also lose less games against the other teams in the league – their average loss rate decreases to around 16% against the rest of the league – around 1 in every 7.
“Can you tell what it is yet?!” Rolf Harris
Even more interestingly, when I pulled a list of teams which are, in my eyes, “comparable” to the current Blackburn team i.e. teams such as Villa, Fulham and Stoke etc whom are in no way relegation candidates but also not challenging the top 4, their loss rate stands at surprisngly high 23% – almost 1 in 4.
The best team in England losses almost 1 in 4 of it’s home games against medicore oppostion. I know I am labouring the point here, but I don’t think there are many more valuable lessons to be learnt in football betting than this.
Have a cup of tea and a biscuit and take a minute for that to sink in before you carry on reading.
OK, so we should already be pretty comfortable that getting 8/1 on any “league established” home team is almost certain to yield value right?
But before we jump to any conclusions, let’s have a look at Chelsea’s opponents tomorrow, Blackburn.
Again, it is important to ensure that you look at RELEVANT data, not just RELATED data. Remember, carrying out poor analysis is often more detrimental than doing no analysis.
Blackburn’s home performances 2005 – 2010
|Opponent||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|vs Top 4 (15)||27%||27%||47%|
|vs Chelsea (5)||20%||20%||60%|
I have to confess, the strength of these results even surprised me. I was aware Rovers had turned over Man United in the last few years back - ”the David Bentley game” for those with elephatesque memories.
As an aside, my other overriding memories of this game were that:
a) It was absolutely pissing it down. Lancashire stylee.
b) SAF decided to play Rio Ferdinand in central midfield; and
c) Rio got himself sent off pretty damn sharpish whilst looking like a fish out of water.
Back to the betting.
Blackburn have a very respectable home record in recent years, winning almost 50% of their home fixtures. And they stack up very well against the Top 3 as well, recorded 4 wins in total, having beaten both Chelsea and Arsenal (twice) in addition to their wet and wild 4-3 classic against United.
With a further 4 draws to boot, they really do seem to play well against the big guns.
How is your 8/1 looking now then chaps and chapesses?!
Finally, it is vital to also remember that football isn’t played on Excel spreadsheets, but on grass. Unless you are Tony Pulis, and then, for the most part, it is played somewhere about 15 feet off the ground.
It is crucial to make sure you consider how are the teams looking going into the fixture:
How are the team’s respective forms?
- We know all about Chelsea’s supposed relentless form. Well for me wins against Wolves, West Ham, Wigan, Blackpool, West Brom and Stoke don’t count for too much. They expected 16-18 points from those fixtures.
They had a great win against Arsenal to give them credit where it is due, but then they skanked up their fixtures at Man City and Villa. So their form is neutral for me.
- Blackburn have played a lot of tight games this season but have struggled for points. Every game has been settled by a single goal.
The losses at Stoke and Birmgham were disappointing but the single goal reverses against Liverpool and Arsenal are positive results, as was the draw at City and the win at home to Everton on opening day. Also a neutral.
Does either side have injury problems, be that a volume of injuries or crucial players missing?
- Fat Frank is out for Chelsea. Keith Andrews is out for Rovers. Only the staunchest of Rover’s fans would call that a wash!
Will either of the teams be distracted by other fixtures?
- Chelsea have a home tie against Moscow on Wednesday in the CL, Blackburn only face Wigan the following weekend. Little to no impact for either side.
Are either of the teams tired?
Is there a reason to think one team will “want it” more than the other?
-Sadly this is where Chelsea’s earlier away slip ups, both this season and at Ewood Park, may go against us. They should be focussed for this one. Although with a 5 point lead at the top and with the Media sending the trophy back to Roman’s office after 2 games this season, they may not be 100% at it in the cold and rain at Ewood.
- Blackburn are up for every single game. It is what Big Sam does. And we all know he loves to do SAF a favour. He didn’t get the boy Diouf for “nothing” you know…
Finally… the most important piece of the puzzle… pricing the damn game!
Having considered all the statistics, form and intangibles, what do we think each team’s chances of winning are?
This bit is subjective and each individual is entitled to their own opinion. They just need to realise that I am right more often than they are
The bookies/exchange has the game at 11%/22%/68%.
What are you going for?
My line would be 15%/24%/62%, meaning that Chelsea should actually be 8/13 for this game, not the current 1/2.
I don’t think the draw is correct but it isn’t too badly priced. For me the value is in the Blackburn win when the Blues fail to deal with some M0rten Gamst Pedersen and Chris Samba/Ryan Nelson “Shock and Awe” tactics.
As a 15% chance you would be hoping for 6/1 to justify the punt. And when you are getting 8/1 that is a pretty chunky margin.
“Do you want me to draw you a picture?!” Vinnie Jones
Get a small stakes wager on the ‘Burn, sit back, and prepare for them to lose. Because they probably will after all remember. About 60% of the time. And even worse than that, 85% of the time you are going to lose your cash.
But that is why you have a staking plan. Be patient and your time will come.
And it will be gold plated and very, very satisfying.
Hasta la vista.
BOTW: 0.5pts on Blackburn to beat Chelsea @ 9/1