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Improve your ROI – back the Home team when they are favourite and win!

April 6, 2018

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Jouni Järvinen highlights a simple strategy for improving your ROI on football betting

ROI (returns on investment) is a popular and simple measure of an investment’s profitability. ROI simply is the amount of investment’s return relative to the investment’s cost. For example, suppose that John invested 1,000 euros in an elevator manufacturing company in 2015 and sold his shares for a total of 1,200 euros a year later. To calculate his ROI, we divide the profits (1,200 – 1,000 = 200 euros) by the investment cost (1,000 euros). This gives ROI of 20%.

In the following table, it shows the annual ROI’s for the S&P 500 index for the past 10 years. S&P 500 is an American stock market index based on the market capitalisations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ.

Year Annual ROI
2007 5.48%
2008 -36.55%
2009 25.94%
2010 14.82%
2011 2.10%
2012 15.89%
2013 32.15%
2014 13.52%
2015 1.38%
2016 11.74%
Average 8.65%

As can be seen, the average of the annual ROI is more than 8 percent. This can be interpreted so that making investments according to this index, one should profit 8 percent without knowing anything about the companies, just following the index. The question is whether one could get similar kind of profit in football betting just by following simple strategies, without “knowing” anything about football. In this experiment we are looking English Premiership matches for the season 2016/2017, but similar experiments can be done easily with other leagues, if there are interested readers.

There were 20 teams in English Premiership 2016-2017 league. Each team played against every other team at home and at away. This means that each team had 19 + 19 = 38 matches and totally there were 20 × 19 = 380 matches during the whole season.

Of these 380 matches,

  • home team won 187 matches, which means 187 / 380 × 100% = 49.2 %
  • teams drew 84 matches, meaning 84 / 380 × 100% = 22.1 %
  • away team won 109 matches, which is 109 / 380 × 100% = 28.7%

Typically a match has a favourite: the team that is more likely going to win the game. It is quite common that the market (that is, bookmakers) have a clear understanding which team is the favourite. But there are situations in which the market does not have such a common view, because teams are so well-matched. In this experiment, we use the odds of the following six bookmakers:

  • Bet365
  • Pinnacle
  • Singbet
  • 188bet
  • IBC
  • SBO

Favourites are determined so that for each match, the last odds update before the kickoff time of these bookmakers are considered. The bookie’s favourite is considered here to be the one (home / draw / away)  having the smallest odds.

Basically, in the English Premiership the bookies have a common understanding which team is the favourite. However, there are 9 matches in which these six bookmakers do not fully agree. For instance, for the match Stoke vs Leicester (2016-12-17), the last updates of the bookies are:

Bookmaker Home Draw Away Favourite
Bet365 2.7 3.3 2.88 home
Singbet 2.75 3.2 2.719 away
188bet 2.75 3.25 2.719 away
Pinnacle 2.82 3.21 2.82 none
IBC 2.77 3.1 2.74 away
SBO 2.76 3.05 2.77 home

In what follows, we simplify things and consider only the remaining 371 matches in which the bookmakers agree on what is the favourite. There are 250 matches in which the home team is the favourite and 121 matches in which the away team is the favourite. This means that we have roughly 2/3 matches in which home is the favourite and 1/3 where away is the favourite.

 

The following table shows what were the outcomes of the matches. What is an immediate observation is that betting favourite seems to be a sensible choice, because in the case where the home team is the favourite, the home teams wins in about 63% of cases. Similarly, if away is the favourite, it wins in about 60 percent of cases. If one turns these into decimals odds, they correspond to home odds of 1 / 0.628 = 1.59 and 1 / 0.595 = 1.681. Roughly speaking, if you can beat these odds on the average, you should be winning.

Favourite Nr cases Home win Draw Away win
Home 250 157 (62.8%) 60 (24.0%) 33 (13.2%)
Away 121 29 (24.0%) 20 (16.5%) 72 (59.5%)

A simple betting strategy

Let us next check what would have happened with a simple strategy based only knowing the odds. We suppose that we use a flat stake of 100 units.

If one always bets home when home is the favourite using the best home price available from the six bookmakers, the staked amount for the whole season is 250 × 100 = 25,000. The outcome for these bets is 2853.6, so this strategy gives an ROI of 2853.6 / 25000 × 100% = 11.4%, which is better than the 8.65% , the average yearly ROIs of the S&P’s 500. The complete list of bets showing the best closing prices for each math are the following:

Kickoff time Home team Away team Bookmaker Home Draw Away Last update Result Stake Winning
13/08/16 15:00 Southampton Watford SBO 1.8 3.5 4.8 13/08/16 14:56 1 – 1 100 -100.00
13/08/16 15:00 Middlesbrough Stoke Bet365 2.25 3.3 3.6 13/08/16 14:46 1 – 1 100 -100.00
13/08/16 15:00 Crystal Palace West Brom IBC 2.25 2.99 3.7 13/08/16 14:59 0 – 1 100 -100.00
13/08/16 17:30 Manchester City Sunderland Pinnacle 1.25 6.5 14.5 13/08/16 17:27 2 – 1 100 25.30
15/08/16 20:00 Chelsea West Ham Pinnacle 1.52 4.38 7.45 15/08/16 19:43 2 – 1 100 52.00
19/08/16 20:00 Manchester Utd Southampton Pinnacle 1.53 4.26 7.44 19/08/16 19:59 2 – 0 100 53.40
20/08/16 15:00 Tottenham Crystal Palace Pinnacle 1.47 4.64 7.91 20/08/16 14:59 1 – 0 100 47.20
20/08/16 15:00 Swansea Hull City SBO 1.88 3.4 4.5 20/08/16 15:00 0 – 2 100 -100.00
21/08/16 13:30 Sunderland Middlesbrough Bet365 2.8 3.1 2.9 21/08/16 13:27 1 – 2 100 -100.00
21/08/16 16:00 West Ham Bournemouth Bet365 2.5 3.3 3.1 21/08/16 15:56 1 – 0 100 150.00
27/08/16 12:30 Tottenham Liverpool Pinnacle 2.66 3.4 2.87 27/08/16 12:29 1 – 1 100 -100.00
27/08/16 15:00 Chelsea Burnley SBO 1.25 6 11.5 27/08/16 14:50 3 – 0 100 25.00
27/08/16 15:00 Southampton Sunderland Bet365 1.5 4.75 7 27/08/16 14:57 1 – 1 100 -100.00
27/08/16 15:00 Everton Stoke Pinnacle 1.68 4.2 5.39 27/08/16 14:56 1 – 0 100 67.50
27/08/16 15:00 Leicester Swansea Pinnacle 1.69 4.12 5.37 27/08/16 14:58 2 – 1 100 68.90
27/08/16 15:00 Crystal Palace Bournemouth Bet365 2.25 3.3 3.6 27/08/16 14:45 1 – 1 100 -100.00
28/08/16 13:30 West Brom Middlesbrough Pinnacle 2.65 3.1 3.12 28/08/16 13:28 0 – 0 100 -100.00
28/08/16 16:00 Manchester City West Ham Bet365 1.29 6.5 11 28/08/16 15:45 3 – 1 100 29.00
10/09/16 12:30 Manchester Utd Manchester City Pinnacle 2.42 3.1 3.51 10/09/16 12:28 1 – 2 100 -100.00
10/09/16 15:00 Arsenal Southampton Pinnacle 1.62 4.19 6.07 10/09/16 14:59 2 – 1 100 62.10
10/09/16 15:00 West Ham Watford SBO 1.91 3.5 4.1 10/09/16 15:00 2 – 4 100 -100.00
10/09/16 15:00 Bournemouth West Brom SBO 2.16 3.1 3.8 10/09/16 14:59 1 – 0 100 116.00
10/09/16 15:00 Middlesbrough Crystal Palace Pinnacle 2.45 3.21 3.32 10/09/16 14:58 1 – 2 100 -100.00
10/09/16 15:00 Burnley Hull City Bet365 2.6 3.1 3.2 10/09/16 14:46 1 – 1 100 -100.00
10/09/16 17:30 Liverpool Leicester Pinnacle 1.68 4.07 5.52 10/09/16 17:28 4 – 1 100 68.40
16/09/16 20:00 Chelsea Liverpool IBC 2.2 3.4 3.3 16/09/16 20:00 1 – 2 100 -100.00
17/09/16 15:00 Manchester City Bournemouth Singbet 1.26 6.5 11 17/09/16 14:48 4 – 0 100 26.00
17/09/16 15:00 Leicester Burnley Pinnacle 1.5 4.6 7.32 17/09/16 14:58 3 – 0 100 50.00
17/09/16 17:30 Everton Middlesbrough Bet365 1.65 3.9 6 17/09/16 17:14 3 – 1 100 65.00
18/09/16 14:15 Southampton Swansea Bet365 1.67 3.9 6 18/09/16 14:00 1 – 0 100 67.00
18/09/16 14:15 Crystal Palace Stoke Bet365 2.15 3.4 3.8 18/09/16 14:12 4 – 1 100 115.00
18/09/16 16:30 Tottenham Sunderland Pinnacle 1.34 5.75 9.75 18/09/16 16:26 1 – 0 100 34.30
24/09/16 12:30 Manchester Utd Leicester Bet365 1.7 3.9 5.5 24/09/16 12:15 4 – 1 100 70.00
24/09/16 15:00 Liverpool Hull City Pinnacle 1.25 7 12.85 24/09/16 14:59 5 – 1 100 25.00
24/09/16 15:00 Stoke West Brom SBO 2.31 3.15 3.3 24/09/16 14:58 1 – 1 100 -100.00
24/09/16 15:00 Sunderland Crystal Palace Bet365 2.55 3.3 3 24/09/16 14:46 2 – 3 100 -100.00
24/09/16 17:30 Arsenal Chelsea IBC 2.49 3.4 2.81 24/09/16 17:29 3 – 0 100 149.00
30/09/16 20:00 Everton Crystal Palace 188bet 1.76 3.85 4.7 30/09/16 19:57 1 – 1 100 -100.00
01/10/16 15:00 West Ham Middlesbrough Bet365 2.05 3.5 4 01/10/16 14:45 1 – 1 100 -100.00
01/10/16 15:00 Watford Bournemouth SBO 2.51 3.05 3.05 01/10/16 14:59 2 – 2 100 -100.00
01/10/16 15:00 Sunderland West Brom Pinnacle 2.55 3.19 3.03 01/10/16 14:59 1 – 1 100 -100.00
02/10/16 12:00 Manchester Utd Stoke Pinnacle 1.31 5.8 12 02/10/16 11:56 1 – 1 100 -100.00
02/10/16 14:15 Leicester Southampton SBO 2.5 3.2 2.96 02/10/16 14:11 0 – 0 100 -100.00
15/10/16 12:30 Chelsea Leicester Bet365 1.55 4.33 6.5 15/10/16 12:15 3 – 0 100 55.00
15/10/16 15:00 Arsenal Swansea Pinnacle 1.24 7 14.5 15/10/16 14:52 3 – 2 100 23.60
15/10/16 15:00 Manchester City Everton Pinnacle 1.52 4.73 6.68 15/10/16 14:57 1 – 1 100 -100.00
15/10/16 15:00 Bournemouth Hull City Pinnacle 1.79 3.81 4.99 15/10/16 14:49 6 – 1 100 79.30
15/10/16 15:00 Stoke Sunderland Pinnacle 1.94 3.61 4.36 15/10/16 14:57 2 – 0 100 94.30
15/10/16 17:30 Crystal Palace West Ham Bet365 2.25 3.4 3.5 15/10/16 17:14 0 – 1 100 -100.00
16/10/16 13:30 Middlesbrough Watford IBC 2.3 3.2 3.3 16/10/16 13:29 0 – 1 100 -100.00
16/10/16 16:00 Southampton Burnley SBO 1.36 4.7 9.5 16/10/16 16:00 3 – 1 100 35.90
17/10/16 20:00 Liverpool Manchester Utd SBO 2.28 3.15 3.4 17/10/16 20:00 0 – 0 100 -100.00
22/10/16 15:00 Arsenal Middlesbrough Singbet 1.28 6 11 22/10/16 14:51 0 – 0 100 -100.00
22/10/16 15:00 West Ham Sunderland Pinnacle 1.69 4.01 5.61 22/10/16 14:53 1 – 0 100 68.90
22/10/16 15:00 Leicester Crystal Palace 188bet 2.01 3.4 4 22/10/16 14:56 3 – 1 100 100.90
22/10/16 15:00 Swansea Watford Bet365 2.55 3.25 3.1 22/10/16 14:52 0 – 0 100 -100.00
22/10/16 17:30 Liverpool West Brom Pinnacle 1.31 5.95 11.05 22/10/16 17:29 2 – 1 100 31.20
23/10/16 13:30 Manchester City Southampton Singbet 1.47 4.5 6.8 23/10/16 13:30 1 – 1 100 -100.00
23/10/16 16:00 Chelsea Manchester Utd Bet365 2.2 3.25 3.75 23/10/16 15:45 4 – 0 100 120.00
29/10/16 15:00 Manchester Utd Burnley Pinnacle 1.26 6.4 14.25 29/10/16 14:51 0 – 0 100 -100.00
29/10/16 15:00 Tottenham Leicester SBO 1.64 3.85 5.2 29/10/16 15:00 1 – 1 100 -100.00
29/10/16 15:00 Watford Hull City Pinnacle 1.75 3.8 5.38 29/10/16 14:59 1 – 0 100 75.10
29/10/16 15:00 Middlesbrough Bournemouth Pinnacle 2.53 3.1 3.3 29/10/16 14:59 2 – 0 100 153.00
30/10/16 14:30 Everton West Ham 188bet 1.92 3.7 4 30/10/16 14:29 2 – 0 100 92.00
31/10/16 21:00 Stoke Swansea Bet365 2.05 3.6 3.9 31/10/16 20:44 3 – 1 100 105.00
05/11/16 16:00 Manchester City Middlesbrough Pinnacle 1.22 7.55 14.75 05/11/16 15:58 1 – 1 100 -100.00
05/11/16 16:00 Bournemouth Sunderland Pinnacle 1.63 4.4 5.61 05/11/16 15:58 1 – 2 100 -100.00
05/11/16 16:00 West Ham Stoke SBO 2.03 3.35 3.9 05/11/16 15:58 1 – 1 100 -100.00
05/11/16 18:30 Chelsea Everton Bet365 1.5 4.5 7.5 05/11/16 18:15 5 – 0 100 50.00
06/11/16 13:00 Arsenal Tottenham Pinnacle 1.97 3.63 4.21 06/11/16 12:59 1 – 1 100 -100.00
06/11/16 15:15 Liverpool Watford Bet365 1.29 6 13 06/11/16 14:59 6 – 1 100 29.00
06/11/16 17:30 Leicester West Brom SBO 1.77 3.45 5.2 06/11/16 17:29 1 – 2 100 -100.00
19/11/16 13:30 Manchester Utd Arsenal Pinnacle 2.5 3.24 3.21 19/11/16 13:28 1 – 1 100 -100.00
19/11/16 16:00 Everton Swansea Pinnacle 1.6 4.42 5.94 19/11/16 15:59 1 – 1 100 -100.00
19/11/16 16:00 Stoke Bournemouth Bet365 2.15 3.5 3.6 19/11/16 15:46 0 – 1 100 -100.00
19/11/16 16:00 Sunderland Hull City Pinnacle 2.29 3.33 3.53 19/11/16 15:58 3 – 0 100 129.00
19/11/16 18:30 Tottenham West Ham SBO 1.6 4 5.6 19/11/16 18:29 3 – 2 100 60.00
21/11/16 21:00 West Brom Burnley SBO 1.95 3.15 4.5 21/11/16 20:59 4 – 0 100 95.00
26/11/16 16:00 Liverpool Sunderland Pinnacle 1.19 9 15 26/11/16 15:41 2 – 0 100 18.60
26/11/16 16:00 Leicester Middlesbrough 188bet 1.96 3.3 4.45 26/11/16 15:58 2 – 2 100 -100.00
26/11/16 16:00 Swansea Crystal Palace SBO 2.8 2.95 2.83 26/11/16 15:59 5 – 4 100 180.00
26/11/16 18:30 Chelsea Tottenham IBC 1.74 3.6 5 26/11/16 18:29 2 – 1 100 74.00
27/11/16 13:00 Watford Stoke SBO 2.28 3.15 3.4 27/11/16 12:59 0 – 1 100 -100.00
27/11/16 15:15 Arsenal Bournemouth Singbet 1.36 5.3 8.4 27/11/16 15:15 3 – 1 100 35.90
27/11/16 17:30 Manchester Utd West Ham Pinnacle 1.36 5.6 9.29 27/11/16 17:29 1 – 1 100 -100.00
27/11/16 17:30 Southampton Everton SBO 2.17 3.25 3.55 27/11/16 17:30 1 – 0 100 117.00
03/12/16 13:30 Manchester City Chelsea 188bet 2.17 3.38 3.55 03/12/16 13:34 1 – 3 100 -100.00
03/12/16 16:00 Tottenham Swansea SBO 1.36 5 8.75 03/12/16 15:58 5 – 0 100 35.90
03/12/16 16:00 Stoke Burnley SBO 1.62 3.8 6 03/12/16 16:00 2 – 0 100 62.00
03/12/16 16:00 West Brom Watford SBO 2.16 3.2 3.65 03/12/16 15:59 3 – 1 100 116.00
05/12/16 21:00 Middlesbrough Hull City SBO 1.95 3.25 4.3 05/12/16 20:59 1 – 0 100 95.00
10/12/16 16:00 Arsenal Stoke 188bet 1.3 5.6 10.5 10/12/16 16:01 3 – 1 100 30.00
10/12/16 16:00 Swansea Sunderland SBO 2.16 3.25 3.6 10/12/16 15:58 3 – 0 100 116.00
11/12/16 13:00 Chelsea West Brom SBO 1.28 5.8 10.5 11/12/16 13:00 1 – 0 100 28.00
11/12/16 15:15 Southampton Middlesbrough Pinnacle 1.63 3.7 7.35 11/12/16 15:14 1 – 0 100 62.80
11/12/16 15:15 Manchester Utd Tottenham SBO 2.19 3.25 3.5 11/12/16 15:14 1 – 0 100 119.00
11/12/16 17:30 Liverpool West Ham Pinnacle 1.31 6.4 9.97 11/12/16 17:28 2 – 2 100 -100.00
13/12/16 20:45 Bournemouth Leicester Pinnacle 2.27 3.48 3.42 13/12/16 20:42 1 – 0 100 127.00
14/12/16 20:45 West Ham Burnley Bet365 1.7 3.9 5.5 14/12/16 20:31 1 – 0 100 70.00
14/12/16 21:00 Tottenham Hull City SBO 1.24 6 13 14/12/16 20:40 3 – 0 100 24.00
14/12/16 21:00 Manchester City Watford Pinnacle 1.28 6.7 11 14/12/16 20:44 2 – 0 100 28.10
14/12/16 21:00 West Brom Swansea SBO 2.12 3.25 3.75 14/12/16 20:59 3 – 1 100 112.00
17/12/16 16:00 West Ham Hull City Bet365 1.73 3.8 5.5 17/12/16 15:45 1 – 0 100 73.00
17/12/16 16:00 Middlesbrough Swansea SBO 2.17 3.15 3.7 17/12/16 15:56 3 – 0 100 117.00
17/12/16 16:00 Sunderland Watford Pinnacle 2.67 3.32 2.9 17/12/16 15:59 1 – 0 100 167.00
18/12/16 17:00 Tottenham Burnley SBO 1.23 6.2 13 18/12/16 17:00 2 – 1 100 23.00
18/12/16 17:00 Manchester City Arsenal SBO 2.26 3.2 3.35 18/12/16 16:59 2 – 1 100 126.00
26/12/16 13:30 Watford Crystal Palace Pinnacle 2.47 3.26 3.24 26/12/16 13:27 1 – 1 100 -100.00
26/12/16 16:00 Manchester Utd Sunderland Singbet 1.21 7 14 26/12/16 15:57 3 – 1 100 21.00
26/12/16 16:00 Arsenal West Brom Pinnacle 1.35 5.55 10.25 26/12/16 15:52 1 – 0 100 34.70
26/12/16 16:00 Chelsea Bournemouth Bet365 1.4 5 9 26/12/16 15:45 3 – 0 100 40.00
26/12/16 16:00 Swansea West Ham Bet365 2.45 3.5 3 26/12/16 15:49 1 – 4 100 -100.00
26/12/16 16:00 Leicester Everton Pinnacle 2.7 3.28 2.9 26/12/16 15:57 0 – 2 100 -100.00
27/12/16 18:15 Liverpool Stoke Pinnacle 1.34 5.75 10 27/12/16 17:45 4 – 1 100 33.80
31/12/16 16:00 Chelsea Stoke Pinnacle 1.25 6.85 13 31/12/16 15:59 4 – 2 100 25.30
31/12/16 16:00 Manchester Utd Middlesbrough Singbet 1.26 5.9 12.3 31/12/16 15:54 2 – 1 100 26.00
31/12/16 16:00 Southampton West Brom Pinnacle 1.69 3.8 6.05 31/12/16 15:41 1 – 2 100 -100.00
31/12/16 16:00 Leicester West Ham Pinnacle 2.11 3.44 3.91 31/12/16 15:58 1 – 0 100 111.00
31/12/16 16:00 Burnley Sunderland Pinnacle 2.33 3.36 3.41 31/12/16 15:50 4 – 1 100 133.00
31/12/16 18:30 Liverpool Manchester City SBO 2.5 3.3 2.89 31/12/16 18:29 1 – 0 100 150.00
01/01/17 17:00 Arsenal Crystal Palace Pinnacle 1.37 5.5 9.2 01/01/17 16:47 2 – 0 100 37.00
02/01/17 13:30 Middlesbrough Leicester Bet365 2.8 3.1 2.9 02/01/17 13:29 0 – 0 100 -100.00
02/01/17 16:00 Manchester City Burnley SBO 1.2 7 13.5 02/01/17 15:59 2 – 1 100 20.00
02/01/17 16:00 West Brom Hull City 188bet 2 3.2 4.35 02/01/17 15:56 3 – 1 100 100.00
02/01/17 16:00 Everton Southampton Pinnacle 2.48 3.25 3.24 02/01/17 15:59 3 – 0 100 148.00
03/01/17 21:00 Stoke Watford SBO 1.85 3.5 4.5 03/01/17 20:57 2 – 0 100 85.00
03/01/17 21:00 Crystal Palace Swansea SBO 1.87 3.6 4.2 03/01/17 20:59 1 – 2 100 -100.00
04/01/17 21:00 Tottenham Chelsea Pinnacle 2.71 3.1 3.04 04/01/17 20:59 2 – 0 100 171.00
14/01/17 13:30 Tottenham West Brom SBO 1.34 4.9 10 14/01/17 13:29 4 – 0 100 34.00
14/01/17 16:00 Watford Middlesbrough Bet365 2.4 3.2 3.4 14/01/17 15:45 0 – 0 100 -100.00
14/01/17 16:00 West Ham Crystal Palace Pinnacle 2.43 3.29 3.29 14/01/17 15:58 3 – 0 100 143.00
15/01/17 17:00 Manchester Utd Liverpool Pinnacle 2.03 3.41 4.28 15/01/17 16:58 1 – 1 100 -100.00
21/01/17 13:30 Liverpool Swansea Pinnacle 1.27 6.5 13 21/01/17 13:26 2 – 3 100 -100.00
21/01/17 16:00 West Brom Sunderland Singbet 1.69 3.9 5.2 21/01/17 15:59 2 – 0 100 69.00
21/01/17 16:00 Bournemouth Watford Pinnacle 1.92 3.66 4.43 21/01/17 15:58 2 – 2 100 -100.00
21/01/17 16:00 Middlesbrough West Ham SBO 2.61 3.05 2.95 21/01/17 15:59 1 – 3 100 -100.00
21/01/17 18:30 Manchester City Tottenham SBO 2.16 3.45 3.35 21/01/17 18:29 2 – 2 100 -100.00
22/01/17 13:00 Southampton Leicester 188bet 1.85 3.5 4.7 22/01/17 12:59 3 – 0 100 85.00
22/01/17 15:15 Arsenal Burnley SBO 1.21 6.6 14 22/01/17 15:13 2 – 1 100 21.00
22/01/17 17:30 Chelsea Hull City Pinnacle 1.18 8.5 17.5 22/01/17 17:29 2 – 0 100 18.10
31/01/17 20:45 Arsenal Watford Pinnacle 1.23 7.28 14.2 31/01/17 20:43 1 – 2 100 -100.00
31/01/17 20:45 Bournemouth Crystal Palace Pinnacle 2.18 3.37 3.78 31/01/17 20:44 0 – 2 100 -100.00
31/01/17 20:45 Middlesbrough West Brom Bet365 2.8 3 3 31/01/17 20:34 1 – 1 100 -100.00
31/01/17 21:00 Liverpool Chelsea Pinnacle 2.58 3.2 3.12 31/01/17 20:56 1 – 1 100 -100.00
01/02/17 21:00 Manchester Utd Hull City IBC 1.21 6.6 13 01/02/17 20:59 0 – 0 100 -100.00
04/02/17 13:30 Chelsea Arsenal SBO 2.11 3.25 3.75 04/02/17 13:29 3 – 1 100 111.00
04/02/17 16:00 Crystal Palace Sunderland SBO 1.71 3.7 5.2 04/02/17 15:54 0 – 4 100 -100.00
04/02/17 16:00 Everton Bournemouth Bet365 1.73 3.9 5.25 04/02/17 15:45 6 – 3 100 73.00
04/02/17 16:00 Southampton West Ham Pinnacle 1.78 3.86 5 04/02/17 15:56 1 – 3 100 -100.00
04/02/17 16:00 Watford Burnley SBO 2.16 3.15 3.75 04/02/17 15:45 2 – 1 100 116.00
04/02/17 16:00 West Brom Stoke SBO 2.42 3.1 3.2 04/02/17 15:59 1 – 0 100 142.00
04/02/17 18:30 Tottenham Middlesbrough Bet365 1.29 6 13 04/02/17 18:14 1 – 0 100 29.00
05/02/17 14:30 Manchester City Swansea Singbet 1.23 6.9 12 05/02/17 13:31 2 – 1 100 23.00
11/02/17 13:30 Arsenal Hull City 188bet 1.31 5.66 9.5 11/02/17 13:29 2 – 0 100 31.00
11/02/17 16:00 Manchester Utd Watford Pinnacle 1.27 6.45 12.75 11/02/17 15:59 2 – 0 100 27.00
11/02/17 16:00 Stoke Crystal Palace Bet365 2.2 3.25 3.8 11/02/17 15:45 1 – 0 100 120.00
11/02/17 16:00 West Ham West Brom Bet365 2.3 3.3 3.5 11/02/17 15:46 2 – 2 100 -100.00
11/02/17 18:30 Liverpool Tottenham SBO 2.24 3.4 3.25 11/02/17 18:30 2 – 0 100 124.00
12/02/17 17:00 Swansea Leicester Bet365 2.55 3.3 3 12/02/17 16:44 2 – 0 100 155.00
25/02/17 16:00 Chelsea Swansea Pinnacle 1.28 6.2 12.6 25/02/17 15:59 3 – 1 100 28.10
25/02/17 16:00 Everton Sunderland IBC 1.44 4.6 7.2 25/02/17 15:57 2 – 0 100 44.00
25/02/17 16:00 Crystal Palace Middlesbrough SBO 2.11 3.15 3.85 25/02/17 15:54 1 – 0 100 111.00
25/02/17 16:00 Hull City Burnley SBO 2.17 3.25 3.55 25/02/17 15:54 1 – 1 100 -100.00
25/02/17 16:00 West Brom Bournemouth SBO 2.21 3.2 3.5 25/02/17 16:06 2 – 1 100 121.00
26/02/17 14:30 Tottenham Stoke SBO 1.39 5 7.6 26/02/17 14:29 4 – 0 100 39.00
04/03/17 13:30 Manchester Utd Bournemouth Bet365 1.25 6.5 15 04/03/17 13:14 1 – 1 100 -100.00
04/03/17 16:00 Leicester Hull City Bet365 1.85 3.6 4.75 04/03/17 15:44 3 – 1 100 85.00
04/03/17 16:00 Stoke Middlesbrough IBC 2.02 3.25 4.05 04/03/17 15:59 2 – 0 100 102.00
04/03/17 16:00 Swansea Burnley Singbet 2.02 3.3 4.2 04/03/17 16:00 3 – 2 100 102.00
04/03/17 16:00 West Brom Crystal Palace SBO 2.38 2.99 3.4 04/03/17 15:59 0 – 2 100 -100.00
04/03/17 18:30 Liverpool Arsenal SBO 2.01 3.45 3.8 04/03/17 18:30 3 – 1 100 100.90
05/03/17 14:30 Tottenham Everton Pinnacle 1.62 4.28 5.88 05/03/17 14:28 3 – 2 100 62.10
08/03/17 21:00 Manchester City Stoke Bet365 1.25 7 13 08/03/17 20:47 0 – 0 100 -100.00
11/03/17 16:00 Everton West Brom SBO 1.65 3.75 5.6 11/03/17 15:58 3 – 0 100 65.00
11/03/17 16:00 Hull City Swansea Pinnacle 2.56 3.29 3.07 11/03/17 15:58 2 – 1 100 156.00
11/03/17 16:00 Bournemouth West Ham Bet365 2.6 3.5 2.8 11/03/17 15:44 3 – 2 100 160.00
12/03/17 17:00 Liverpool Burnley Bet365 1.29 6 12 12/03/17 16:45 2 – 1 100 29.00
18/03/17 16:00 Everton Hull City Singbet 1.58 4.15 5.9 18/03/17 16:00 4 – 0 100 58.00
18/03/17 16:00 Crystal Palace Watford SBO 1.97 3.15 4.5 18/03/17 16:00 1 – 0 100 97.00
18/03/17 16:00 West Ham Leicester Pinnacle 2.41 3.39 3.22 18/03/17 15:53 2 – 3 100 -100.00
18/03/17 16:00 Sunderland Burnley Bet365 2.7 3.2 2.9 18/03/17 15:45 0 – 0 100 -100.00
18/03/17 18:30 Bournemouth Swansea SBO 2.23 3.5 3.15 18/03/17 18:29 2 – 0 100 123.00
19/03/17 15:15 Tottenham Southampton SBO 1.71 3.85 4.9 19/03/17 15:13 2 – 1 100 71.00
19/03/17 17:30 Manchester City Liverpool SBO 1.98 3.7 3.65 19/03/17 17:30 1 – 1 100 -100.00
01/04/17 12:30 Liverpool Everton SBO 1.74 3.7 4.9 01/04/17 12:27 3 – 1 100 74.00
01/04/17 15:00 Chelsea Crystal Palace Pinnacle 1.36 5.25 10.8 01/04/17 14:59 1 – 2 100 -100.00
01/04/17 15:00 Manchester Utd West Brom Bet365 1.4 5 9 01/04/17 14:44 0 – 0 100 -100.00
01/04/17 15:00 Leicester Stoke Bet365 1.91 3.6 4.5 01/04/17 14:48 2 – 0 100 91.00
01/04/17 15:00 Watford Sunderland SBO 2 3.2 4.2 01/04/17 14:56 1 – 0 100 100.00
01/04/17 15:00 Hull City West Ham IBC 2.46 3.15 3.05 01/04/17 14:56 2 – 1 100 146.00
01/04/17 17:30 Southampton Bournemouth SBO 1.66 3.85 5.4 01/04/17 17:28 0 – 0 100 -100.00
02/04/17 13:30 Swansea Middlesbrough SBO 1.96 3.15 4.5 02/04/17 13:30 0 – 0 100 -100.00
04/04/17 19:45 Leicester Sunderland Singbet 1.51 4.4 6.5 04/04/17 19:36 2 – 0 100 51.00
04/04/17 19:45 Watford West Brom Bet365 2.5 3.1 3.3 04/04/17 19:39 2 – 0 100 150.00
04/04/17 19:45 Burnley Stoke SBO 2.51 2.97 3.2 04/04/17 19:42 1 – 0 100 151.00
04/04/17 20:00 Manchester Utd Everton SBO 1.62 3.7 6.2 04/04/17 19:59 1 – 1 100 -100.00
05/04/17 19:45 Arsenal West Ham SBO 1.44 4.8 6.6 05/04/17 19:44 3 – 0 100 44.00
05/04/17 19:45 Southampton Crystal Palace Pinnacle 1.86 3.61 4.84 05/04/17 19:33 3 – 1 100 86.20
05/04/17 19:45 Hull City Middlesbrough SBO 2.12 3.15 3.85 05/04/17 19:44 4 – 2 100 112.00
05/04/17 20:00 Liverpool Bournemouth Bet365 1.45 4.75 8 05/04/17 19:44 2 – 2 100 -100.00
05/04/17 20:00 Chelsea Manchester City SBO 2.23 3.2 3.5 05/04/17 19:59 2 – 1 100 123.00
08/04/17 12:30 Tottenham Watford Pinnacle 1.24 7.16 13.68 08/04/17 12:29 4 – 0 100 23.70
08/04/17 15:00 Manchester City Hull City Pinnacle 1.2 8.2 16 08/04/17 14:51 3 – 1 100 19.60
08/04/17 15:00 West Ham Swansea SBO 2.23 3.1 3.6 08/04/17 14:59 1 – 0 100 123.00
08/04/17 15:00 Middlesbrough Burnley Pinnacle 2.64 3.04 3.2 08/04/17 14:59 0 – 0 100 -100.00
09/04/17 16:00 Everton Leicester IBC 1.79 4.05 4.1 09/04/17 15:59 4 – 2 100 79.00
15/04/17 12:30 Tottenham Bournemouth Pinnacle 1.25 7 12.8 15/04/17 12:26 4 – 0 100 25.00
15/04/17 15:00 Everton Burnley Singbet 1.54 4.15 6.6 15/04/17 14:14 3 – 1 100 54.00
15/04/17 15:00 Crystal Palace Leicester IBC 2.05 3.35 3.75 15/04/17 14:57 2 – 2 100 -100.00
15/04/17 15:00 Stoke Hull City SBO 2.08 3.25 3.85 15/04/17 15:00 3 – 1 100 108.00
15/04/17 15:00 Watford Swansea Bet365 2.7 3.2 2.9 15/04/17 14:47 1 – 0 100 170.00
22/04/17 15:00 Bournemouth Middlesbrough IBC 1.9 3.55 4.05 22/04/17 14:58 4 – 0 100 90.00
22/04/17 15:00 Hull City Watford Bet365 1.91 3.7 4.33 22/04/17 14:46 2 – 0 100 91.00
22/04/17 15:00 Swansea Stoke SBO 2.33 3.45 3 22/04/17 14:57 2 – 0 100 133.00
23/04/17 16:30 Liverpool Crystal Palace Singbet 1.51 4.45 6.35 23/04/17 16:30 1 – 2 100 -100.00
25/04/17 19:45 Chelsea Southampton IBC 1.46 4.55 7 25/04/17 19:44 4 – 2 100 46.00
26/04/17 19:45 Arsenal Leicester SBO 1.47 5 6 26/04/17 19:40 1 – 0 100 47.00
26/04/17 19:45 Middlesbrough Sunderland Pinnacle 2.21 3.45 3.6 26/04/17 19:42 1 – 0 100 121.00
27/04/17 20:00 Manchester City Manchester Utd Bet365 1.95 3.4 4.5 27/04/17 19:44 0 – 0 100 -100.00
29/04/17 15:00 Southampton Hull City Pinnacle 1.57 4.34 6.5 29/04/17 14:52 0 – 0 100 -100.00
29/04/17 15:00 Stoke West Ham Pinnacle 2.06 3.38 4.18 29/04/17 14:58 0 – 0 100 -100.00
29/04/17 17:30 Crystal Palace Burnley Pinnacle 1.86 3.44 5.18 29/04/17 17:27 0 – 2 100 -100.00
30/04/17 12:00 Manchester Utd Swansea SBO 1.42 4.6 7.6 30/04/17 11:59 1 – 1 100 -100.00
30/04/17 16:30 Tottenham Arsenal SBO 1.82 4.1 3.9 30/04/17 16:29 2 – 0 100 81.90
06/05/17 12:30 Manchester City Crystal Palace Pinnacle 1.26 7.3 11.5 06/05/17 12:30 5 – 0 100 25.60
06/05/17 15:00 Hull City Sunderland Pinnacle 1.56 4.57 6.28 06/05/17 14:55 0 – 2 100 -100.00
06/05/17 15:00 Leicester Watford SBO 1.67 3.65 5.6 06/05/17 14:56 3 – 0 100 67.00
06/05/17 15:00 Bournemouth Stoke Pinnacle 2.36 3.47 3.24 06/05/17 14:43 2 – 2 100 -100.00
06/05/17 15:00 Burnley West Brom Pinnacle 2.59 3.03 3.29 06/05/17 14:58 2 – 2 100 -100.00
06/05/17 17:30 Swansea Everton Bet365 2.55 3.5 2.9 06/05/17 17:15 1 – 0 100 155.00
07/05/17 13:30 Liverpool Southampton Bet365 1.62 4.2 6 07/05/17 13:14 0 – 0 100 -100.00
07/05/17 16:00 Arsenal Manchester Utd SBO 2.13 3.45 3.45 07/05/17 15:59 2 – 0 100 113.00
08/05/17 20:00 Chelsea Middlesbrough Pinnacle 1.14 10 22 08/05/17 19:52 3 – 0 100 14.20
12/05/17 19:45 Everton Watford Bet365 1.44 4.75 8 12/05/17 19:30 1 – 0 100 44.00
13/05/17 12:30 Manchester City Leicester Singbet 1.23 7.3 11 13/05/17 12:23 2 – 1 100 23.00
13/05/17 15:00 Bournemouth Burnley Pinnacle 1.86 3.93 4.36 13/05/17 14:59 2 – 1 100 86.20
14/05/17 12:00 Crystal Palace Hull City SBO 1.98 3.3 4.1 14/05/17 11:59 4 – 0 100 98.00
14/05/17 16:30 Tottenham Manchester Utd Bet365 1.67 4 5.75 14/05/17 16:14 2 – 1 100 67.00
15/05/17 20:00 Chelsea Watford Bet365 1.3 6 11 15/05/17 19:45 4 – 3 100 30.00
16/05/17 19:45 Arsenal Sunderland Pinnacle 1.12 12 23.5 16/05/17 19:17 2 – 0 100 11.70
16/05/17 20:00 Manchester City West Brom IBC 1.17 7.5 15 16/05/17 19:58 3 – 1 100 17.00
17/05/17 19:45 Southampton Manchester Utd Pinnacle 2.36 3.33 3.37 17/05/17 19:44 0 – 0 100 -100.00
21/05/17 15:00 Chelsea Sunderland Pinnacle 1.12 11.5 25.5 21/05/17 12:15 5 – 1 100 11.70
21/05/17 15:00 Liverpool Middlesbrough Pinnacle 1.14 10.75 19 21/05/17 14:59 3 – 0 100 14.20
21/05/17 15:00 Arsenal Everton SBO 1.38 5.4 7.2 21/05/17 14:55 3 – 1 100 38.00
21/05/17 15:00 Southampton Stoke Bet365 1.65 4.2 5.5 21/05/17 14:44 0 – 1 100 -100.00
21/05/17 15:00 Leicester Bournemouth Pinnacle 1.69 4.5 4.81 21/05/17 14:55 1 – 1 100 -100.00
21/05/17 15:00 Swansea West Brom SBO 2.31 3.3 3.2 21/05/17 14:37 2 – 1 100 131.00
21/05/17 15:00 Burnley West Ham Pinnacle 2.33 3.59 3.21 21/05/17 14:59 1 – 2 100 -100.00
21/05/17 15:00 Manchester Utd Crystal Palace Pinnacle 2.35 3.38 3.35 21/05/17 14:59 2 – 0 100 135.00
SUM 25000 2853.60

 

In the following table, it shows what happens with the same strategy if one bets using one bookmaker only. All these bookies give a better annual ROI than the S&P 500. Note that the difference between the “best” and the “least-best” bookmaker is more than 1%. Also, there is almost 1% difference in the ROI when always using the best available price and just fixing to one bookmaker.

Bookie Profit ROI %
Bet365 2497.5 9.99
Pinnacle 2675.2 10.70
Singbet 2359.3 9.44
188bet 2453.0 9.81
IBC 2426.6 9.71
SBO 2657.8 10.63

 

We noted above that when the away was the favourite, it also won the matches in 59.5% of cases. But betting in such matches is not that profitable. Using the best available odds from the above six bookmakers would give an ROI of 6.53%.

Finally, this study considered the season 2016/2017 of English Premiership. But just like the stock market, a word of warning should be given: even if something was profitable last year, nothing guarantees that it will be profitable this year.

Jouni Järvinen holds a Ph.D. degree in pure mathematics and a docentship in applied mathematics. His scientific publications consist of over 50 papers on many-valued reasoning, algorithmics, and machine learning. He has taught university courses on data structures and algorithms, theoretical computer science, and discrete mathematics between 1993-2010. His theoretical research areas are algebraic structures arising from rough set theory (such as Kleene, Nelson, Łukasiewicz and Stone algebras) and intermediate modal logics (modal languages on logics extending constructive logic).

 

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