Sunday, 22 September 2013

Results from last weekend and midweek games

(This was written on Friday afternoon but didn’t get an opportunity to post it until this morning. After yesterday’s heavy losses again, adds a little more context to my comments below about what happened two seasons ago!)

This is the results update for last weekend and the midweek games. To say it has been a poor start this season is maybe a little bit of an understatement although the midweek was a little bit better than the weekend but the overall result was still a loss in midweek too. Been in this situation before as I reminded someone on Twitter this week and the start this season seems to mirror the start from two seasons ago whereby my ratings didn’t start well. Two seasons ago, the losses in the first month were substantial (much worse than where they are at the moment) but the systems followed up with 8 winning months in a row.  No guarantee we’ll see the same bounce back here but it’s too early to be panicking just yet.

Here’s the results by system…..

Est Systems

Only 18 winners from 85 system bets and a loss of 36.30pts. You can see that the returns improved as the draw coverage increased and therefore, the systems have hit a little too many draws but even so, no matter how you played the bets, it was impossible to escape from a hefty loss.

A really slow start to the season for these systems.  To try to put it into context of the season two seasons ago, these systems only hit 63 winners from 274 bets (23% strike rate) and a loss of 31.4% was created (86pts) in the first month then.

So far this season, 23 winners from 96 bets (24% strike rate) and a loss of 36.9% (35pts).

As you can see, these systems are tracking pretty close to the performance then. Still plenty of time left this month for the systems to create a bigger loss and get closer to the performance from two seasons ago! On the other hand, if they start performing like we know they can, they could still end the month in profit.

For those that think we may be onto something with the first month proving difficult, last season, these systems achieved a profit of 73.2pts (26% ROI) in the first month and if you go back 3 seasons, it was 49pts profit (17.5% ROI). Hence, it looks like the systems may go good/bad/good/bad for the first month of the last 4 seasons!

New Systems

A very similar story here really as the Est Systems. A loss of 48.79pts from 127 bets. Only 29 winners were found.

Although these systems were impacted by the poor start two seasons ago, it wasn’t as bad as we are seeing now. These systems “only” lost 62pts from 482 bets then. So far this season, it’s a loss of 43pts from 150 bets. Hence, with a lot more bets to come this month, these systems could easily outdo the poor performance from two seasons ago.

As for last season, as many will recall, these systems started last season on fire and made a profit of 121pts from 388 bets. Hence, it’s a massive disappointment to see them struggle so far this season.

A poor start to the season for these systems too but in a couple of months last season, we saw these systems produce profits in excess of 100pts, so any loss could be recouped quickly as long as the hole at the end of this month isn’t too deep!

Misc Systems

Given these systems are predominantly linked to the previous two sets of systems, it’s not surprising in the least to see these systems really struggle so far this season. Only 14 winners from 80 bets and a loss of 33.40pts.

A 31.5pts loss from 90 bets this season so far and a really poor start. Again though, this is actually in line with two seasons ago where a loss of 34pts from 112 bets was created. We’re just a little bit worse off than that at the moment although the bet number for this month is going to be much higher as a result of TOX, STOY and STOZ having much more bets than that previous season.

The fact the systems TOX, STOY and STOZ have started poorly is more frustrating given they follow a different method than my other ratings but so far, it has been very difficult to find winners on any systems.

Under-Over Systems

A little bit of irony here that these systems have started the season off well. 6 winners from 9 since the last update and a profit of 3.51pts. Overall this season, 1.5pts profit from 11 bets. I would have taken that on any other system so far this season given the start! Early days though and I’ll be surprised if these systems do much better than break-even again this season based on what I saw last season. I’d love these to show that they have an edge and I’d happily follow them (I don’t mind where I make money betting!) in future but we’ll see what happens.

Draw Systems

I think the first comment I should make (since I want to be as honest as I can) is that I haven’t enjoyed following these systems so far. Not sure what it is but when I’m placing these bets myself, I don’t do it with confidence. Obviously, with it being the first season, I know the risks involved and the performance of these systems will not have any real impact on the performance of my betting portfolio this season but even so, I think my issue is I struggle with the fact I can’t see I’m getting value.

With many of my other bets, they are well backed teams, shorten in the market before the game takes place and I sort of see why I have an edge backing these teams. The problem with the draws for me is that it looks fairly random and I honestly don’t know why I’m backing some games to be a draw!

Others reading this are probably thinking to themselves that they have no idea why they are backing any of the system bets (especially at the moment!) but I have struggled a little with the draws.

I don’t think my mood was helped by a 97th minute goal ruining the first maximum bet on the draws this season and to rub salt in the wounds, the other systems threw up the losing side, so I had bets on the Away side and the draw and the 97th minute goal turned a nice profit into a substantial loss for me.

It’s a tricky one but I do tend to go with my gut feel at this game when it comes to betting. I wasn’t a fan of the Under-Over systems from the day I built them. I also wasn’t a fan of the Euro systems last season (or this season) and I was sort of proved right last season unfortunately. Interestingly, I have been a massive fan of the draw systems since I developed them but when it has come to placing my bets, I have had my reservations.

I’ll give it a bit more time (can’t stop backing the bets based on the first few bets I’ve placed!) and maybe if the big game had finished a draw, my mood would be different but I doubt it.

Anyway, the P&L isn’t too bad and it’s a loss of 15.27pts from 54 bets. To put it in perspective, the big bet was on 11 systems at 3.52. Hence, the late goal caused an 11pt loss instead of 27pts profit. 38pt swing in the 7th minute of injury time! Ouch.

This season, 20.7pts loss from 63 bets.


I can recall maybe 6 updates worse than this one over the last 4 seasons (maybe been more but I can’t remember every scar!) but a loss of 130pts from 355 bets. Amazing to think a set of ratings and systems could lose that when they are probably playing against an over-round of 5%-6% at the prices I’m quoting but it has happened.

I think the important thing for everyone (myself included) is to keep this loss in perspective and carry on. Yes, it’s frustrating and annoying to dig ourselves a massive hole but it has been a tricky start this season. Anyone who watched the scores for the midweek games will be aware of the fact that if Middlesboro had held onto a 2-0 lead at Forest, the loss in this update would have been nearly halved. Last weekend, there were a few late goals against us and although they only turned draws into losses, for anyone following AH0 or the like, it still hurts.

I would say we are a little worse off than we deserve to be so far this season but make no mistake about it, the systems deserve to be losing so far. They’ve not been good enough and at the end of the day, this is what this game is about. It’s first round to the bookmakers and we probably lost it 10-8 but having watched the Ricky Burns fight recently, being Scottish probably means we escaped that round with a 10-9 loss or even a 10-10, so we’re still in the game.

My issue with the last comment is that when the ratings don't do well, I expect to lose. However, if we suddenly get a few late goals going against us or a little bit of bad luck, add that to the poor start by the ratings and we'll be looking at a substantial loss for the first month. Let's hope things turn tomorrow.

Back after this weekend. 


  1. Far to early in the season to be playing system type bets based on ratings, imo. Things should pick up as your data gets more reliable. Have you checked previous seasons data to see how well you start and end a season?

  2. Hi Steve.

    Cheers for the comment. Been discussed many times before on the blog but historically, most of the profits come in the first half of the season when my ratings tend to do better than the market. Last season was the first season ever (including all backtesting) where the second half of the season was better than the first half of the season. Not only that, last September was the best month of the season until February, so trying to pinpoint why it has been so tough so far this season has little to do with the time of season I'm afraid. I wait until 6/8 games are played and I think this is plenty of time to allow the teams to settle down.

    Two seasons ago, September was horrible but all the losses were won back the following month, so it didn't impact the first half of season performance tok much.

    Here's hoping for a change of fortune soon!


  3. Have you considered last season's results may be due to you Refining and improving your system. Or is each refinement back tested also?

    On the subject of back testing do you have everything automated so it only takes into account the matches played prior to the game being played. I've a few systems I automated and usually start in October but keep meaning to write a decent back testing script but still not got round to it yet.

  4. Hi Steve. Unlike some others playing this game, I don't refine or rebuild the ratings after each season. The ratings are the same ratings as I've had for the last 3 seasons. Covered this is in depth on the blog before but there may come a time when the ratings get past their best before date and then they need to be altered or dropped. However, I've got around this to a large extend by continuing to develop more ratings and from my 4 UK algorithms, two are 3 years old, one is 2 years old and one is 1 year old. Hence, even if the oldest ones are ready for the chop, the newest ones would be OK. All 4 algorithms have started the season poorly and this leads me to believe that shots on goal ratings haven't worked so well over the first few hundred games this season. Hence, my ratings are the problem IMO, the methodology just hasn't seen the usual amount of accurateness I've come to expect.

    After each season, I've slightly changed the bet criteria a little which is tiny tweaks but the summer past was the first time I didn't touch the systems at all, so I entered this season with more confidence as ever as the profits in the second half of last season were amazing.

    Been here before and in the first half of last season, I was questioning my ratings and what sort of edge they still had. They didn't let me down come season end!