One of the best additions to the service IMO this season has been the work I’ve done on Underlying Results. I probably have another big piece of work to do on this for the Euro leagues but I can hopefully tackle that later this Summer. I think understanding the relationship between the underlying results and the system results is important due to the fact it allows us to take a more objective view of how the systems are performing.
At the end of the day, we all know the systems are judged on their P&L and this is the only way the systems could be judged that is meaningful. However, when you have as many system bets as my systems have each season, being able to understand why we’re seeing some of the results we’re seeing is important for a couple of reasons. Early on last season, I was at a loss to explain what had happened in September 2013 as quite simply, the performance of the Aways bets were so poor and although it was offset a little by the improved performance of the Home bets, due to the make up of the bets, it resulted in a substantial loss on all 4 algorithms. It’s easy with hindsight to look back now after the work I’ve done and say it was simply due to the below performance of the Away bets and it mirrored the results in Feb-12 or Apr-11 but at the end of September, I was pulling my hair out along with everyone else.
The same can be said for the Mar-14 results although having been through the pain in September, going through it again so soon after wasn’t quite as bad as going through it the first time round.
I guess the point I’m getting at is that by tracking the underlying results, it allows us to understand why some of the trends with the system results may be occurring. It doesn’t change the results and if I was some rouge tipster trying to explain away lack of an edge, I think this info is maybe dangerous in the wrong hands but given the fact we know my ratings have an edge long-term, the underlying results allow us to understand some of the variance in the results we’re seeing.
I personally have loved the fact I’ve been tracking these results since the turn of the year. I actually get as much fun updating the underlying results as I do the system results now as I want to try to understand if my results are being influenced by the underlying results. Some weekends when there are a flux of away winners on the systems, I love looking at the underlying results and seeing that I managed to hit an amazing weekend as there were very few away winners overall. On the other hand, I do get frustrated if I see a massive bias towards away winners and we’ve been on the Home bets or we’ve missed all the nice Away winners.
Going forward, I will probably try to send the underlying results out every month with the monthly reviews. As I said in the intro, I probably need to do a piece of work for the Euro leagues too but this can wait until later on this Summer or I can try to do it during the season next season. I’m more relaxed about the Euro leagues tbh although with the Euro Draw systems next season, I may get more interested!
OK, so I think that’s an overview of why I’ve started looking at the Underlying results. I’m not going to repeat everything I’ve said in the previous posts on underlying results as I think we all know how the season has panned out but I’ll go over some of the highlights again now we have a full season’s worth of results.
Here’s the underlying results by season and for the 4 algorithms:
The Underlying results show that Homes have had their best season so far in terms of ROI, Draws and Aways have had their worst season. Overall though, the season is only the 2nd toughest as 2011/12 had a larger loss overall. I guess this season has maybe felt worse as the Aways started so badly in September, improved throughout the season and then had a massive loss in March before rebounding again in May. Hence, the best results the Aways have had all season is at the end of the season. I think this makes the season feel worse than it ultimately was.
Looking at the results of the 4 algorithms then, all 4 algorithms made a profit. I was facing up to the fact at the end of March that it was likely to be the first time over a season that I’ve had a losing algorithm but the results over the last 6 weeks of the season were very good and ensured the season ended in profit on each algorithm. I’ve said this before by my starting point each season is to hopefully make a profit on each algorithm. Each algorithm has around 500-900 bets a season and therefore, to achieve a profit over this sample of bets is no mean feat. The fact each algorithm has managed it since its inception shows the edge the algorithm has.
In terms of the returns, algorithms 1,2, and 4 had their worst season to date which fits in with the underlying results. Algorithm 3 bucked the trend and to make an ROI of 7.6% this season is an outstanding performance. Overall, a respectable performance from the algorithms given the Underlying results.
Here’s the breakdown by month of the same results:
Not going to spend too long on the monthly breakdown but I think the pleasing thing for algorithms 1 and 2 is that during a very tough season, the only losing months were September and March which were basically impossible months. Algorithm 3 somehow escaped September’s nightmare but then got caught up by the January losses and also had a strange May month too. Throw in March and that’s 4 months with losses greater than 10%! However, with the 29.7% return in February and an amazing 44.3% return in April, the overall season was great! A very strange season for this algorithm but at the end of the day, with the profit achieved, I can’t be too disappointed. Algorithm 4 had nightmares for 3 of the months of the season and then an amazing April and May to finish very strongly.
Hopefully some of you reading this will be able to look at your own P&L this season and will be able to validate their results this season with the underlying results by month and start to make a little bit more sense of what happened to their P&L this season and why.
Here’s performance by League:
Given the issues I’ve had with League Two Aways over the years I’ve been doing this, my systems were maybe due a run of League Two Away winners? Not sure tbh but I feel bad for anyone who dropped League Two Aways this season as it was the easiest league by far for Away winners and my rating results reflected this. The SPL is a league my ratings can’t get a handle on and it was another tough season for my bets in this league. Again, not helped by a poor performance from the Aways in the Underlying results.
Bsq Prem has been a nightmare for Aways this season and my Away bets have taken a battering in this league this season. It has been well document by me and others that the Premiership Draws had a very low strike rate this season but it was also the case League One, Bsq Prem and SPL too. Hence, when we come to review the Draw systems this season, it will be interesting to see which leagues generated the profits. I expect League Two had a good season on the Draw Systems.
I think although the underlying results don’t appear too bad this season, it masks the fact that the bias towards certain types of bets is against my ratings.
Here’s the analysis for all bets based on an odds range:
As we know, the majority of my system bets fall into the odds range of 2.51 or greater. Therefore, the bias we have seen this season towards shorter priced teams has actually impacted my ratings and systems a fair bit. As you can see, if blindly backing all bets (Home & Away) priced at 2.51 or greater, you would have lost 6%. Quite simply, Home underdogs really struggled this season, along with Away underdogs and therefore, for anyone running a selection of algorithms that specialise in finding underpriced teams, the results are never going to be great. The fact that my ratings made a profit in this odds range this season shows the edge they have over the market.
Overall then, I think that’s enough of an update on the Underlying Results at the end of the season. I feel like given I’ve talked through it a few times on the blog already this season, it can become quite repetitive. I’ll keep the analysis of the Underlying results going next season and we’ll see if it helps us explain the results of the ratings. I expect it’s a useful analysis tool when things go wrong but when things are going our way, I’m not sure me sitting here telling everyone we’re being lucky is going to go down too well!