Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Going against the crowd......

I was discussing something with a colleague at work the yesterday about the football bets I have. I was bemoaning the fact that I back a helluva lot of the same teams week in, week out and in my mind, there are some teams that continually cost me money!

Off the top of my head, I quoted to him that I’m sure Accrington never win for me (usually draw I thought!). The reason the topic of conversation came up though was because he’s a Hibs fan and I was annoyed that I had dropped Hibs as a bet on Saturday even though I thought they’d win (they were lucky in the end!). I’m pretty strict with the value bets on lower priced aways and quite simply, I will only go below around 7/4 on Aways if I think there is a great deal of value thrown up by the ratings. i.e. more than I’d normally need to make the team a value selection. This additional value buffer is something I introduced this season after last season’s performance of the lower priced away bets.

Anyway, I mentioned to him that I never seem to be able to get Hibs correct and every time I back them, they let me down.

You can maybe tell where this is going but am I right about the above teams? Which teams are bogey teams for the systems and which teams are friends of the systems?

Below is a table which shows the top and bottom 15 teams from all the backtesting and live results. I’ve sorted it by the number of points won on H/A betting but I could have easily sorted it on ROI or looked at DNB. I’ve also looked at last season and this season in particular since these seasons are live results only.

As you will see, it is interesting reading……..

For the record, I was spot on about Accrington! Last season, they lost the systems 87pts from 155 bets. This season, they’ve lost the systems 19.6pts from 47 bets. Since 2006, they’ve cost the systems 51pts from 386 bets.

As for my mate’s team Hibs, it’s worse than I thought…. Hibs have officially cost the systems the second highest number of pts in the last 6 seasons! A loss of 67pts from 183 bets. The worst team is actually Grays who lost the systems 87pts from 221 bets. Thankfully, this is solely from the early years as they haven’t been in the Bsq Prem the last two seasons, so I haven’t actually ever placed a bet on Grays!

I know I can’t do anything about it but it does make interesting reading. This season, Portsmouth, Plymouth, MK Dons and Braintree have no wins between them from 111 bets! I’ll definitely have lower confidence when I’m backing these teams the next time they appear!

At the other end of the scale, I said to my friend that I thought Aldershot were a favourite team of mines as I know I’ve backed them a lot in the last 18 months or so and they’ve done OK. Looking at the overall picture, Aldershot have won the second highest number of pts which shows my thinking wasn’t too far off! Last season, they won the 5th highest and this season, they are currently ranked 13th.

Oldham have actually won my systems the most points ever with a highly impressive 250pts from 517 games!

I think from looking at the tables, one thing that is apparent is the fact that I back unfashionable teams. When you consider that around ¾ of my bets are on away teams, then you can understand why backing these unfashionable teams away from home creates an edge in itself. They aren’t likely to be bet on from Joe Punter! If you did similar analysis with other people using football ratings on these leagues, I’m sure you’d see the same picture there where we’re all backing unfashionable teams.

I don’t honestly know how much this matters in betting but I honestly believe that an extra little edge is created by backing against teams that Joe Punter likes to back. This will be bigger name sides in the lower leagues against the more unfashionable teams. Hence, by going against the obvious (at the highest level which has to be team name!), then I suspect that you end up creating an edge over other punters anyway.

I’ve said this a lot on the blog over the past 2 years but going against the crowd at betting is definitely the best way to make money gambling in my opinion.


  1. Backing Hibs to win is certainly the quickest way to get skint. Into my 40th year watching them, barring a few wins in Glasgow and the odd season or 2, we must be one of the least profitable teams ever away from home.

  2. Only had a quick look at these figures so far but interesting how Portsmouth are the 6th best team overall yet this season have had a 100% failure record.

  3. I don't know how you would decide which are the unfashionable clubs in, say, division 2. One way which struck me would be to look at their average attendances but according to Football365 Accrington have the lowest average attendance of any division 2 club so unfortunately that doesn't help much.

  4. Anonymous, it seems your thoughts are spot on about Hibs! Being honest, considering this data is based on the last 6 seasons, I suspect it’s not too surprising. Hibs play decent football at times and are always seen as one of the better teams in the SPL by many but when was the last time they challenged for 3rd in the league? Been in relegation trouble more times than they’ve challenged for 3rd in the last few years I suspect.


  5. Hi Laidback. Thanks for the comments.

    Yeah, it is interesting re. Portsmouth. They are thrown up as a bet for this weekend, so maybe the poor run will be broken then!

    I think for unfashionable, you can probably read ‘one of the better sides in the division!’ As you will have noticed, a large number of my bets are away teams in the bottom 6 of the league. This isn’t by chance. It is the teams that the bookmakers often underrate and why do they do this? Well, because people want to back teams who are playing against these teams and who are much higher in the league.

    This season in League 2 for example, Crawley haven’t appeared as a value bet once. They sit top of the league and have been there most of the season. Quite simply, they’ve been underpriced all season effectively which I can sort of understand. Doesn’t stop them winning games as you know.

    Macclesfield are my most profitable team in that league this season with a profit of 36pts, all away bets. They’ve played 11 away from home, won 3 and lost 8!

    I’ve backed them twice this season and they’ve won both times. Odds of 4.90 and 3.20. Not bad for a team who’ve only won 1 from 9 in the other games. :)

    That’s why I love my ratings though. You could never pick the same teams yourself! I’ll be going home to back Nottingham Forest tonight and if you saw them play in midweek, not sure you could ever back them away at West Ham on Saturday (not sure I should either mind you!). However, my ratings say they are overpriced by a point, so I’ll do as they say and back them. Expect them to get stuffed though!