Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Introduction to AH Betting

One thing I’ve not really touched on as yet on the blog is all the work I’ve done on Asian Handicap betting. Being honest, I can’t write one blog post on the subject and expect everyone to know exactly how this will work in future and what help it may be to people following the systems but I feel a little bad at the moment as I’m quoting these returns on the results updates table and people may be looking at them and think, jeez, that’s rubbish!

However, as always, there is a story to go with the numbers and unlike other ways of betting, you can’t just use AH betting across the board and expect the returns to be reasonable. This won’t be the case and more often than not, trying to use AH betting on systems or bets where it isn’t optimal can actually turn a winning system into a losing system quite easily. Hence, it’s not really something people can use unless they have analysed the results for themselves and understand the power of it.

Anyway, as a little taster of what will be coming this Summer (AH betting is on the list of things to cover), here’s a quick look at it in action.

As you know, I’ve commented fairly frequently on the blog this year about systems TOX, STOY and STOZ. I had massive hopes for these systems this season but if I’m honest, they’ve let me down in the sense I thought these would possibly become some of my best systems.

Now, as always, disappointment with TFA systems needs to be considered in context. Some tipsters would cut their arm off to achieve the results these systems have achieved this season during a below average season and if I slot these results into a table of footie tipsters this season, they aren’t doing too badly at all. However, when I slot them into the TFA systems table, they are mid table which is disappointing to me.

Here’s the results this season.

A 4.9% ROI if backing all the games outright or a 3.8% ROI if backing DNB. As I say, over a decent sample of games, if it was being judged against other football ratings or football systems, it would be holding its own this season.

However, as I commented on earlier this season, the Home bets on these systems have actually been much more in line with backtested results. Here’s the Home bet results this season.

A 19% ROI this season from backing the Home bets. Not bad for a system that has been disappointing this season! Interestingly, if backing DNB, a return of 8.1%. Very few of my systems have good returns from backing DNB on Homes as teams are too short when covering the draw also.

So, clearly, Homes have done OK this season. Here’s the results of the Aways:

Again, none of this is news to blog readers as I said earlier on this season these systems have struggled all season with Aways. An ROI of 0.1% if backing outright and an ROI of 2.4% if covering the draw too. Well, the first thing that is highlighted here is the fact that you did better by covering the draw. Again, this is pretty rare apart from extreme cases where you hit an abnormal number of draws.

If you look at the very right hand side of the table, you’ll see the return from AH +0.5. This is basically a double chance (dutch) bet on the draw and selection to win. The ROI from this method of betting is a remarkable 7.7% this season! Clearly, if you can make a 7.7% ROI from backing the draw and the selection to win but you are breaking even backing the selection to win, you are hitting an abnormal number of draws this season.

A quick look tells me the average odds on these away selections are 7/2 this season, so it wouldn’t take a great deal of luck to turn a break-even season for the Aways into a winning season.

Putting aside the fact that the system has probably suffered from a high number of draws, if you were backing the draw (either AH+0, AH+0.25 or AH +0.5), you effectively turn an OK system into a winning system and a good one at that.

Of course, I’m writing this post with hindsight and not foresight. Did I know that this system would create an above average number of draws this season and be more profitable if covering the draw? Clearly, the answer to this is No but similar to those people following DNB this season, people can make informed decisions at the start of the season and as long as their bank reflects the reduced risk, they can still end up with a very decent return on capital and a smoother ride. Running simulations, analysing backtested results, performing What-if analysis etc. are all ways to help people understand which systems suit their betting style.

As we move into discussing AH betting more and looking at ways to smooth our P&L with the systems, we leave ROI behind and move towards comparing systems on ROC as I’ve said before. Of course, you can’t compare tipsters or other footie systems on ROC due to the moral hazard involved (tipsters would do better by understating the betting bank required) but if using the same set of systems from one source, as long as you use a consistent approach to calculating the betting bank, you can make informed decisions around which systems to follow and which betting method you use.

Ultimately, that’s my hope for every TFA subscriber who’s following these systems. Subscribers get to a position where they can make informed decisions around what systems to follow and win, lose or draw, they follow the systems with 100% confidence in what they are doing and believe in what they are doing. That’s not the same as saying I want everyone to maximise profits in an identical manner. Everyone has a different risk aversion and different objectives and whereas a 50% return on capital (i.e. increase in betting bank) may be seen as a good season for one subscriber, it may be deemed as a poor season for another subscriber. That’s not a bad thing in my eyes as we're all individuals.

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