Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Positives and Negatives from Season 2013/14

This post is going to be a more generic review of the season across all systems. I feel like I’ve spent a while looking at all the various systems and giving my view on them all individually and what went well and what didn’t go well but I’m going to look at the systems and service as a whole now for last season. I’ll start with the things that went well and in a really tough season, there were a number of things that went pretty well I think. Obviously, at the same time, there were a number of things that didn’t go well and it’s important I highlight these too. I’ll pick 5 things for each circumstance. I’ll end the review with a look at some splits of data and see where money was won and lost this season at an overall level.

Positives from the season:

All 8 algorithms made a profit – If someone had said to me at the start of the season that all 8 algorithms would make a profit over the season, I would have been over the moon with this. Coming into the season, I had 4 proven algorithms (6,21,31 & 41) and 4 100% unproven algorithms (D1,D6,E1 & E6).  Here’s the results of all 8 for last season:

Without trying to filter any bets or using any value ratings, simply putting 1pt on every bet that appeared on the algorithm turned a profit on every algorithm. May not sound too impressive but last season wasn’t easy for many football tipsters or systems and therefore, this level of consistency shows the strength of my rating algorithms last season was as good as ever.

TFA Value Ratings – This was the first season where I decided to release the value % on every game for the 4 UK algorithms and ultimately, the ratings performed in line with expectations. Going into the season, the observation I had made from the past few seasons was that the low value bets (less than 5% value) hadn’t made too much profit at all on the algorithms and therefore, removing these from the algorithms was one option.  Here’s the results of the 4 algorithms restated from above with any bets of less than 5% value removed:

Really pleased looking at these results and by applying a very simple filter to my current rating algorithms, we can increase the ROI on every algorithm. Next season, I expect more people within the service (including myself) will be paying much more attention to the value ratings.

Draw Combined Systems – The highlight of the season for me was probably the performance of the Draw systems. Going into the season, I didn’t have any great expectations for these systems as it was more of an experiment to see if I could build Draw ratings but the results were very good. I think the thing that excites me the most is the fact this season saw the lowest strike rate for the last 6 seasons in these UK leagues overall and yet, some of my draw systems had an amazing season. Here’s the results for the Draw systems this season:

System D2 stands out to me with a profit of 19.6% from 201 bets. With the suggested betting bank, it’s a ROC of 112% over the season. System D2-D7 also had a great season although the turnover was much lower. A profit of 38.3% from 104 bets which equates to a 114% ROC.

I think the issue with filtering the bets may be that we don’t end up with enough turnover on the Draw combined systems. However, system D1-D6 does have enough turnover and although the ROI and ROC isn’t as impressive as the two aforementioned systems, it is still pretty good. An 11% ROI from 390 bets and a 73% ROC.

Next season is a huge season for the UK Draw systems as they will need to build on their debut season.  They were largely under the radar last season but next season, I expect many people will be following a Draw system or two in their portfolio.  Let’s hope they can at least match this season!

System 31 – I have already touched on this system when I discussed the fact the 8 algorithms above made a profit but system 31 has definitely elevated itself to another level after the season past. Last season was the 3rd live season for this system and it was another great season. I loved the fact that when all my systems were making massive losses in September at the start of the season, system 31 managed to make a profit! With the high turnover and decent ROI, this system has become the cornerstone of the whole service and next season, I expect everyone will have a piece of system 31 in their TFA portfolio.  Here’s the results for this system since inception:

Over 2,157 bets across 3 seasons and an ROI of 7.3%. An ROC of 197% which equates to an average ROC per season of nearly 66%. A stunning performance from a football system and remarkable consistency.  I think if TFA only had one system, this would be the system.

League Two Aways – Long-term blog readers will be aware of the issues my ratings have had with League Two Aways and ultimately, it is the one subset of bets that before last season, I was really doubting if I had an edge with my ratings. I know a few people were less than patient than me and decided to drop League Two Aways last season from the TFA systems and being honest, based on the first 3 seasons, I couldn’t really blame them.  Here’s the updated results of all League Two Away bets:

After losing 258pts in the first two seasons from only 1,596 bets, things improved a little the season before last season but even so, going into the season past, League Two Aways had lost 168.8pts from 3,439 bets. A fairly big sample of bets and I can see why people would maybe think there was no edge here.  However, the season past was an amazing season for these bets with a profit of 568.2pts from 2,104 bets.

Looking at the overall results now, an ROI of 7.2% from 5,543 system bets would appear to show quite a significant edge I think. Therefore, what we have seen over the first 3 seasons is simply variance and being honest, the results last season have benefited from variance as there is no way the ratings will have a 27% ROI too often on any bets, never mind League Two Aways!

Overall then, I think that’s the 5 positive things to take from the season past. As I said in the intro, not everything went to plan this season and now let’s see what the disappointments were this season.

Negatives from the season

Filtering of the systems – Historically, one of the great things about the TFA systems and the service was the fact that if you didn’t want to follow all bets on an algorithm, the systems seemed to do a pretty good job at filtering the bets and therefore, you could play a higher combined system which had a lower turnover of bets but with the higher ROI expectation, you could still achieve an acceptable ROC. If we concentrate on the top 8 combined UK systems, we get the following picture for the live results:

I think Steve from the Daily 25 blog has taken a fair bit of stick this season for the way he set his portfolio up for this season from some commenters to this blog. Ultimately, the table above basically shows the issues Steve had this season. Going into the season, the 8 combined systems shown had generated 350pts profit at an ROI of 17.3%. An amazing performance.

However, the season past was a nightmare and the strike rate was over 12% points lower than the previous live results on these systems and unfortunately, this resulted in some large losses on some of these systems. All 8 systems suffered a loss and before this season, it was hard to imagine these systems could suffer a loss if my ratings were profitable but this is what has happened I’m afraid.

It’s easy with hindsight to say that following the higher combined systems carried a massive amount of risk as there aren’t too many unique bets on these systems overall. However, before the season past, we’d never seen these higher combined systems make a loss and therefore, it was an easy trap to fall into.

Home Bets Coming into the season, Home bets had been very consistent over the first 3 seasons and the fact that the season past was the best season for underlying Home bets surely translates into another great season for Home bets you’d think…..Err, no. Far from it. The season past was the toughest season my systems have had for Home bets unfortunately. Here’s the results over the 4 seasons:

Historically, my Home system bets have never been as profitable as my Away system bets but even so, seeing a loss last season is still a massive shock. Before the season past, a profit of 446pts from 5,579 Home bets. An ROI of 8%.  To go from this sort of ROI over so many bets to seeing a loss of 5.3% over the next 2,419 bets is very disappointing. The fact it happened in a season when Home bets generally had a higher strike makes it slightly more confusing but as I’ve shown with the Underlying results already this Summer, the type of Home bets winning (low odds) wasn’t caught by many of my systems.

I think going into next season, Home bets now carry a fair bit of risk and it will be interesting to see if they bounce back. I played higher stakes on Homes than Aways last season and it has cost me a great deal of money. With hindsight, introducing another variable into my portfolio (e.g. staking) may not have been the best idea and I think the season past shows that no matter what the historical results show for Home/Aways or League performance, there is no guarantee we will see the same again!

Bury & Partick I suspect if you asked all my subscribers which team lost us the most money last season, Blackburn and Middlesboro would appear high on the list. Blackburn lost 69pts from 194 system bets and Middlesboro lost 103pts from 146 system bets. However, the most disappointing teams of the season and the teams my ratings really struggled to get a grip on were Bury and Partick!

It’s actually quite scary how much I lost on both these teams personally (nearly 5 figures ffs!) but in terms of the system results, it wasn’t great. Bury lost 137pts from 191 bets which is an amazing loss! Partick wasn’t much better and they lost 123pts from 153 bets.

Trying to break down why this happened, if we look at where Bury finished, they finished 12th place in the league. However, in 26 games against the top 14 teams last season, Bury won 3 games out of 26! Yes, 3 wins out of 26 and yet, they finished in 12th place in the league. My ratings continually threw them up as value against teams above them in the league and unfortunately, they couldn’t win.

Looking at Partick, it’s quite easy to understand why my ratings continually threw them up as value at Home against bottom half sides and why they were continually thrown up as value Away from home against top half sides. Away from Home last season, Partick lost 1 in 10 games against bottom half sides. An amazing performance. At Home, Partick only won 1 of 10 against bottom half sides! I think you will struggle to find too many teams with that sort of record Home v Away and ulfortunately, my ratings fell into this trap Partick set.

Away from Home, the fact Partick were so strong meant they were thrown up as value against teams in the top half Away from home. Unfortunately, in 9 away games against top half sides, they only won once! Very frustrating.

I could probably go through most teams that accounted for large profits/losses and justify the bets we had over the season but at the end of the day, this is part and parcel of the game. Next season, we will bump into another Bury or Partick or even a Blackburn or Middlesboro and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it!

Low Priced Aways/Odds on Homes – I think I’m including this as a negative as quite simply, there were big profits to be made backing these type of bets last season and my systems missed them all.

As all followers know, I exclude any value Away bets where the odds aren’t greater than 2.75 (apart from the odd occasion) and I don’t give out too many Home bets where the odds are less than 1.80 (apart from the odd occasion).  Historically, my ratings didn’t perform well during backtesting with these odds ranges and during the first season of live results, there was no real edge for these type of bets.

My other issue is that I am not comfortable myself backing these sort of low odds teams and therefore, I deliberately go out of my way to exclude these bets from the systems. Over the first 3 seasons, I didn’t have too many regrets and for 2 of the 3 seasons, these bets I exclude from the rating algorithms were loss making. One season saw a small profit but the season past saw a very large profit on these bets (over 10% ROI) and therefore, during a season when it was very difficult to make money following the systems, it was very frustrating to see these bets perform so well.

My initial reaction at the end of the season was to adjust the filters on the bets and bring in some more of these low odds bets but I think I maybe overreacted. When I’m refreshing the algorithms this Summer, I will look closely at the profitability of this particular subset of bets and take it on a case by case basis. If I can find a clear edge and a decent ROI from the lower odds bets, I will tweak the odds filters on the algorithms. If I can’t find an edge, I will continue to exclude these bets going forward.

BSq Prem Aways & SPL Aways – To say it was a nightmare season for these bets is probably an understatement! The Underlying results for Aways in these leagues were very difficult but even so, the losses my ratings and systems suffered with this subset of bets were almost impossible to believe!

Here’s the results from last season for these bets:

A 513pt loss from 1,163 bets. An ROI of -44%! It’s safe to say that if we didn’t have these bets last season, the season would have been a much different season to the one many of us experienced.

If we look at the longer term picture, we see a much different trend. Here’s the results for the first 3 seasons for the same subset of bets:

Based on the first 3 seasons, there was nothing to highlight that these bets were about to have a disaster of a season. I think we have to look at the Underlying results and ultimately, my ratings were not near good enough in these leagues to overcome the bias against Away bets. Bsq Prem Aways now have a massive question mark against them next season but then again, League Two Aways had some big questions to answer last season and answered the questions emphatically!

I think this summarises the best and worst aspects of the season for my systems.

To end this post, here’s a look at some overall results for all UK outright systems. Again, we can’t really draw too many conclusions from these results but seeing some of the profits and losses will bring back some memories for all of us from last season!

Here are the results by month for all these systems:

September 2013 and March 2014 will always be remembered as a nightmare and April 2014 was as good a month as I’ve ever seen for my systems. What it does show me is that with so many systems in live play now, the losses and profits for any month could be substantial!

Here’s the results by league:

I think the thing I like here is that my systems not only had the best ROI for League Two but they also had the most bets in this league. This is not always easy to do but quite clearly, my ratings had a better handle on this league than the odds compilers last season. Bsq Prem has the same number of games as League Two and yet, my systems had less than 50% of the bets in this league compared to League Two. Again, my ratings struggled but at least they minimised the damage by having fewer bets.

Here’s the 10 teams who cost me the largest losses last season:

Already touched on Bury, Partick, Middlesboro and Blackburn as big losers for us but you can see the other main culprits here! Barnet irritate me as they had a great season but they always let me down when I backed them.

Here’s the 10 teams that won us the most points last season:

Newcastle were a massive winner for me last season. Seemed to continually get thrown up as good value most weeks and pulled off some great wins for us, especially at Home. Braintree pulled off an amazing win away at Luton at massive odds after taking a big lead and having to hold on. Interestingly, 6 of the top 10 teams were in League Two. If only every league behaved like this league!

I think that will do as a review of the season. Roll on the 2014/15 season…….

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