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

April 6, 2018

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.

YearAnnual ROI
20075.48%
2008-36.55%
200925.94%
201014.82%
20112.10%
201215.89%
201332.15%
201413.52%
20151.38%
201611.74%
Average8.65%

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:

BookmakerHomeDrawAwayFavourite
Bet3652.73.32.88home
Singbet2.753.22.719away
188bet2.753.252.719away
Pinnacle2.823.212.82none
IBC2.773.12.74away
SBO2.763.052.77home

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.

FavouriteNr casesHome winDrawAway win
Home250157 (62.8%)60 (24.0%)33 (13.2%)
Away12129 (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 timeHome teamAway teamBookmakerHomeDrawAwayLast updateResultStakeWinning
13/08/16 15:00SouthamptonWatfordSBO1.83.54.813/08/16 14:561 – 1100-100.00
13/08/16 15:00MiddlesbroughStokeBet3652.253.33.613/08/16 14:461 – 1100-100.00
13/08/16 15:00Crystal PalaceWest BromIBC2.252.993.713/08/16 14:590 – 1100-100.00
13/08/16 17:30Manchester CitySunderlandPinnacle1.256.514.513/08/16 17:272 – 110025.30
15/08/16 20:00ChelseaWest HamPinnacle1.524.387.4515/08/16 19:432 – 110052.00
19/08/16 20:00Manchester UtdSouthamptonPinnacle1.534.267.4419/08/16 19:592 – 010053.40
20/08/16 15:00TottenhamCrystal PalacePinnacle1.474.647.9120/08/16 14:591 – 010047.20
20/08/16 15:00SwanseaHull CitySBO1.883.44.520/08/16 15:000 – 2100-100.00
21/08/16 13:30SunderlandMiddlesbroughBet3652.83.12.921/08/16 13:271 – 2100-100.00
21/08/16 16:00West HamBournemouthBet3652.53.33.121/08/16 15:561 – 0100150.00
27/08/16 12:30TottenhamLiverpoolPinnacle2.663.42.8727/08/16 12:291 – 1100-100.00
27/08/16 15:00ChelseaBurnleySBO1.25611.527/08/16 14:503 – 010025.00
27/08/16 15:00SouthamptonSunderlandBet3651.54.75727/08/16 14:571 – 1100-100.00
27/08/16 15:00EvertonStokePinnacle1.684.25.3927/08/16 14:561 – 010067.50
27/08/16 15:00LeicesterSwanseaPinnacle1.694.125.3727/08/16 14:582 – 110068.90
27/08/16 15:00Crystal PalaceBournemouthBet3652.253.33.627/08/16 14:451 – 1100-100.00
28/08/16 13:30West BromMiddlesbroughPinnacle2.653.13.1228/08/16 13:280 – 0100-100.00
28/08/16 16:00Manchester CityWest HamBet3651.296.51128/08/16 15:453 – 110029.00
10/09/16 12:30Manchester UtdManchester CityPinnacle2.423.13.5110/09/16 12:281 – 2100-100.00
10/09/16 15:00ArsenalSouthamptonPinnacle1.624.196.0710/09/16 14:592 – 110062.10
10/09/16 15:00West HamWatfordSBO1.913.54.110/09/16 15:002 – 4100-100.00
10/09/16 15:00BournemouthWest BromSBO2.163.13.810/09/16 14:591 – 0100116.00
10/09/16 15:00MiddlesbroughCrystal PalacePinnacle2.453.213.3210/09/16 14:581 – 2100-100.00
10/09/16 15:00BurnleyHull CityBet3652.63.13.210/09/16 14:461 – 1100-100.00
10/09/16 17:30LiverpoolLeicesterPinnacle1.684.075.5210/09/16 17:284 – 110068.40
16/09/16 20:00ChelseaLiverpoolIBC2.23.43.316/09/16 20:001 – 2100-100.00
17/09/16 15:00Manchester CityBournemouthSingbet1.266.51117/09/16 14:484 – 010026.00
17/09/16 15:00LeicesterBurnleyPinnacle1.54.67.3217/09/16 14:583 – 010050.00
17/09/16 17:30EvertonMiddlesbroughBet3651.653.9617/09/16 17:143 – 110065.00
18/09/16 14:15SouthamptonSwanseaBet3651.673.9618/09/16 14:001 – 010067.00
18/09/16 14:15Crystal PalaceStokeBet3652.153.43.818/09/16 14:124 – 1100115.00
18/09/16 16:30TottenhamSunderlandPinnacle1.345.759.7518/09/16 16:261 – 010034.30
24/09/16 12:30Manchester UtdLeicesterBet3651.73.95.524/09/16 12:154 – 110070.00
24/09/16 15:00LiverpoolHull CityPinnacle1.25712.8524/09/16 14:595 – 110025.00
24/09/16 15:00StokeWest BromSBO2.313.153.324/09/16 14:581 – 1100-100.00
24/09/16 15:00SunderlandCrystal PalaceBet3652.553.3324/09/16 14:462 – 3100-100.00
24/09/16 17:30ArsenalChelseaIBC2.493.42.8124/09/16 17:293 – 0100149.00
30/09/16 20:00EvertonCrystal Palace188bet1.763.854.730/09/16 19:571 – 1100-100.00
01/10/16 15:00West HamMiddlesbroughBet3652.053.5401/10/16 14:451 – 1100-100.00
01/10/16 15:00WatfordBournemouthSBO2.513.053.0501/10/16 14:592 – 2100-100.00
01/10/16 15:00SunderlandWest BromPinnacle2.553.193.0301/10/16 14:591 – 1100-100.00
02/10/16 12:00Manchester UtdStokePinnacle1.315.81202/10/16 11:561 – 1100-100.00
02/10/16 14:15LeicesterSouthamptonSBO2.53.22.9602/10/16 14:110 – 0100-100.00
15/10/16 12:30ChelseaLeicesterBet3651.554.336.515/10/16 12:153 – 010055.00
15/10/16 15:00ArsenalSwanseaPinnacle1.24714.515/10/16 14:523 – 210023.60
15/10/16 15:00Manchester CityEvertonPinnacle1.524.736.6815/10/16 14:571 – 1100-100.00
15/10/16 15:00BournemouthHull CityPinnacle1.793.814.9915/10/16 14:496 – 110079.30
15/10/16 15:00StokeSunderlandPinnacle1.943.614.3615/10/16 14:572 – 010094.30
15/10/16 17:30Crystal PalaceWest HamBet3652.253.43.515/10/16 17:140 – 1100-100.00
16/10/16 13:30MiddlesbroughWatfordIBC2.33.23.316/10/16 13:290 – 1100-100.00
16/10/16 16:00SouthamptonBurnleySBO1.364.79.516/10/16 16:003 – 110035.90
17/10/16 20:00LiverpoolManchester UtdSBO2.283.153.417/10/16 20:000 – 0100-100.00
22/10/16 15:00ArsenalMiddlesbroughSingbet1.2861122/10/16 14:510 – 0100-100.00
22/10/16 15:00West HamSunderlandPinnacle1.694.015.6122/10/16 14:531 – 010068.90
22/10/16 15:00LeicesterCrystal Palace188bet2.013.4422/10/16 14:563 – 1100100.90
22/10/16 15:00SwanseaWatfordBet3652.553.253.122/10/16 14:520 – 0100-100.00
22/10/16 17:30LiverpoolWest BromPinnacle1.315.9511.0522/10/16 17:292 – 110031.20
23/10/16 13:30Manchester CitySouthamptonSingbet1.474.56.823/10/16 13:301 – 1100-100.00
23/10/16 16:00ChelseaManchester UtdBet3652.23.253.7523/10/16 15:454 – 0100120.00
29/10/16 15:00Manchester UtdBurnleyPinnacle1.266.414.2529/10/16 14:510 – 0100-100.00
29/10/16 15:00TottenhamLeicesterSBO1.643.855.229/10/16 15:001 – 1100-100.00
29/10/16 15:00WatfordHull CityPinnacle1.753.85.3829/10/16 14:591 – 010075.10
29/10/16 15:00MiddlesbroughBournemouthPinnacle2.533.13.329/10/16 14:592 – 0100153.00
30/10/16 14:30EvertonWest Ham188bet1.923.7430/10/16 14:292 – 010092.00
31/10/16 21:00StokeSwanseaBet3652.053.63.931/10/16 20:443 – 1100105.00
05/11/16 16:00Manchester CityMiddlesbroughPinnacle1.227.5514.7505/11/16 15:581 – 1100-100.00
05/11/16 16:00BournemouthSunderlandPinnacle1.634.45.6105/11/16 15:581 – 2100-100.00
05/11/16 16:00West HamStokeSBO2.033.353.905/11/16 15:581 – 1100-100.00
05/11/16 18:30ChelseaEvertonBet3651.54.57.505/11/16 18:155 – 010050.00
06/11/16 13:00ArsenalTottenhamPinnacle1.973.634.2106/11/16 12:591 – 1100-100.00
06/11/16 15:15LiverpoolWatfordBet3651.2961306/11/16 14:596 – 110029.00
06/11/16 17:30LeicesterWest BromSBO1.773.455.206/11/16 17:291 – 2100-100.00
19/11/16 13:30Manchester UtdArsenalPinnacle2.53.243.2119/11/16 13:281 – 1100-100.00
19/11/16 16:00EvertonSwanseaPinnacle1.64.425.9419/11/16 15:591 – 1100-100.00
19/11/16 16:00StokeBournemouthBet3652.153.53.619/11/16 15:460 – 1100-100.00
19/11/16 16:00SunderlandHull CityPinnacle2.293.333.5319/11/16 15:583 – 0100129.00
19/11/16 18:30TottenhamWest HamSBO1.645.619/11/16 18:293 – 210060.00
21/11/16 21:00West BromBurnleySBO1.953.154.521/11/16 20:594 – 010095.00
26/11/16 16:00LiverpoolSunderlandPinnacle1.1991526/11/16 15:412 – 010018.60
26/11/16 16:00LeicesterMiddlesbrough188bet1.963.34.4526/11/16 15:582 – 2100-100.00
26/11/16 16:00SwanseaCrystal PalaceSBO2.82.952.8326/11/16 15:595 – 4100180.00
26/11/16 18:30ChelseaTottenhamIBC1.743.6526/11/16 18:292 – 110074.00
27/11/16 13:00WatfordStokeSBO2.283.153.427/11/16 12:590 – 1100-100.00
27/11/16 15:15ArsenalBournemouthSingbet1.365.38.427/11/16 15:153 – 110035.90
27/11/16 17:30Manchester UtdWest HamPinnacle1.365.69.2927/11/16 17:291 – 1100-100.00
27/11/16 17:30SouthamptonEvertonSBO2.173.253.5527/11/16 17:301 – 0100117.00
03/12/16 13:30Manchester CityChelsea188bet2.173.383.5503/12/16 13:341 – 3100-100.00
03/12/16 16:00TottenhamSwanseaSBO1.3658.7503/12/16 15:585 – 010035.90
03/12/16 16:00StokeBurnleySBO1.623.8603/12/16 16:002 – 010062.00
03/12/16 16:00West BromWatfordSBO2.163.23.6503/12/16 15:593 – 1100116.00
05/12/16 21:00MiddlesbroughHull CitySBO1.953.254.305/12/16 20:591 – 010095.00
10/12/16 16:00ArsenalStoke188bet1.35.610.510/12/16 16:013 – 110030.00
10/12/16 16:00SwanseaSunderlandSBO2.163.253.610/12/16 15:583 – 0100116.00
11/12/16 13:00ChelseaWest BromSBO1.285.810.511/12/16 13:001 – 010028.00
11/12/16 15:15SouthamptonMiddlesbroughPinnacle1.633.77.3511/12/16 15:141 – 010062.80
11/12/16 15:15Manchester UtdTottenhamSBO2.193.253.511/12/16 15:141 – 0100119.00
11/12/16 17:30LiverpoolWest HamPinnacle1.316.49.9711/12/16 17:282 – 2100-100.00
13/12/16 20:45BournemouthLeicesterPinnacle2.273.483.4213/12/16 20:421 – 0100127.00
14/12/16 20:45West HamBurnleyBet3651.73.95.514/12/16 20:311 – 010070.00
14/12/16 21:00TottenhamHull CitySBO1.2461314/12/16 20:403 – 010024.00
14/12/16 21:00Manchester CityWatfordPinnacle1.286.71114/12/16 20:442 – 010028.10
14/12/16 21:00West BromSwanseaSBO2.123.253.7514/12/16 20:593 – 1100112.00
17/12/16 16:00West HamHull CityBet3651.733.85.517/12/16 15:451 – 010073.00
17/12/16 16:00MiddlesbroughSwanseaSBO2.173.153.717/12/16 15:563 – 0100117.00
17/12/16 16:00SunderlandWatfordPinnacle2.673.322.917/12/16 15:591 – 0100167.00
18/12/16 17:00TottenhamBurnleySBO1.236.21318/12/16 17:002 – 110023.00
18/12/16 17:00Manchester CityArsenalSBO2.263.23.3518/12/16 16:592 – 1100126.00
26/12/16 13:30WatfordCrystal PalacePinnacle2.473.263.2426/12/16 13:271 – 1100-100.00
26/12/16 16:00Manchester UtdSunderlandSingbet1.2171426/12/16 15:573 – 110021.00
26/12/16 16:00ArsenalWest BromPinnacle1.355.5510.2526/12/16 15:521 – 010034.70
26/12/16 16:00ChelseaBournemouthBet3651.45926/12/16 15:453 – 010040.00
26/12/16 16:00SwanseaWest HamBet3652.453.5326/12/16 15:491 – 4100-100.00
26/12/16 16:00LeicesterEvertonPinnacle2.73.282.926/12/16 15:570 – 2100-100.00
27/12/16 18:15LiverpoolStokePinnacle1.345.751027/12/16 17:454 – 110033.80
31/12/16 16:00ChelseaStokePinnacle1.256.851331/12/16 15:594 – 210025.30
31/12/16 16:00Manchester UtdMiddlesbroughSingbet1.265.912.331/12/16 15:542 – 110026.00
31/12/16 16:00SouthamptonWest BromPinnacle1.693.86.0531/12/16 15:411 – 2100-100.00
31/12/16 16:00LeicesterWest HamPinnacle2.113.443.9131/12/16 15:581 – 0100111.00
31/12/16 16:00BurnleySunderlandPinnacle2.333.363.4131/12/16 15:504 – 1100133.00
31/12/16 18:30LiverpoolManchester CitySBO2.53.32.8931/12/16 18:291 – 0100150.00
01/01/17 17:00ArsenalCrystal PalacePinnacle1.375.59.201/01/17 16:472 – 010037.00
02/01/17 13:30MiddlesbroughLeicesterBet3652.83.12.902/01/17 13:290 – 0100-100.00
02/01/17 16:00Manchester CityBurnleySBO1.2713.502/01/17 15:592 – 110020.00
02/01/17 16:00West BromHull City188bet23.24.3502/01/17 15:563 – 1100100.00
02/01/17 16:00EvertonSouthamptonPinnacle2.483.253.2402/01/17 15:593 – 0100148.00
03/01/17 21:00StokeWatfordSBO1.853.54.503/01/17 20:572 – 010085.00
03/01/17 21:00Crystal PalaceSwanseaSBO1.873.64.203/01/17 20:591 – 2100-100.00
04/01/17 21:00TottenhamChelseaPinnacle2.713.13.0404/01/17 20:592 – 0100171.00
14/01/17 13:30TottenhamWest BromSBO1.344.91014/01/17 13:294 – 010034.00
14/01/17 16:00WatfordMiddlesbroughBet3652.43.23.414/01/17 15:450 – 0100-100.00
14/01/17 16:00West HamCrystal PalacePinnacle2.433.293.2914/01/17 15:583 – 0100143.00
15/01/17 17:00Manchester UtdLiverpoolPinnacle2.033.414.2815/01/17 16:581 – 1100-100.00
21/01/17 13:30LiverpoolSwanseaPinnacle1.276.51321/01/17 13:262 – 3100-100.00
21/01/17 16:00West BromSunderlandSingbet1.693.95.221/01/17 15:592 – 010069.00
21/01/17 16:00BournemouthWatfordPinnacle1.923.664.4321/01/17 15:582 – 2100-100.00
21/01/17 16:00MiddlesbroughWest HamSBO2.613.052.9521/01/17 15:591 – 3100-100.00
21/01/17 18:30Manchester CityTottenhamSBO2.163.453.3521/01/17 18:292 – 2100-100.00
22/01/17 13:00SouthamptonLeicester188bet1.853.54.722/01/17 12:593 – 010085.00
22/01/17 15:15ArsenalBurnleySBO1.216.61422/01/17 15:132 – 110021.00
22/01/17 17:30ChelseaHull CityPinnacle1.188.517.522/01/17 17:292 – 010018.10
31/01/17 20:45ArsenalWatfordPinnacle1.237.2814.231/01/17 20:431 – 2100-100.00
31/01/17 20:45BournemouthCrystal PalacePinnacle2.183.373.7831/01/17 20:440 – 2100-100.00
31/01/17 20:45MiddlesbroughWest BromBet3652.83331/01/17 20:341 – 1100-100.00
31/01/17 21:00LiverpoolChelseaPinnacle2.583.23.1231/01/17 20:561 – 1100-100.00
01/02/17 21:00Manchester UtdHull CityIBC1.216.61301/02/17 20:590 – 0100-100.00
04/02/17 13:30ChelseaArsenalSBO2.113.253.7504/02/17 13:293 – 1100111.00
04/02/17 16:00Crystal PalaceSunderlandSBO1.713.75.204/02/17 15:540 – 4100-100.00
04/02/17 16:00EvertonBournemouthBet3651.733.95.2504/02/17 15:456 – 310073.00
04/02/17 16:00SouthamptonWest HamPinnacle1.783.86504/02/17 15:561 – 3100-100.00
04/02/17 16:00WatfordBurnleySBO2.163.153.7504/02/17 15:452 – 1100116.00
04/02/17 16:00West BromStokeSBO2.423.13.204/02/17 15:591 – 0100142.00
04/02/17 18:30TottenhamMiddlesbroughBet3651.2961304/02/17 18:141 – 010029.00
05/02/17 14:30Manchester CitySwanseaSingbet1.236.91205/02/17 13:312 – 110023.00
11/02/17 13:30ArsenalHull City188bet1.315.669.511/02/17 13:292 – 010031.00
11/02/17 16:00Manchester UtdWatfordPinnacle1.276.4512.7511/02/17 15:592 – 010027.00
11/02/17 16:00StokeCrystal PalaceBet3652.23.253.811/02/17 15:451 – 0100120.00
11/02/17 16:00West HamWest BromBet3652.33.33.511/02/17 15:462 – 2100-100.00
11/02/17 18:30LiverpoolTottenhamSBO2.243.43.2511/02/17 18:302 – 0100124.00
12/02/17 17:00SwanseaLeicesterBet3652.553.3312/02/17 16:442 – 0100155.00
25/02/17 16:00ChelseaSwanseaPinnacle1.286.212.625/02/17 15:593 – 110028.10
25/02/17 16:00EvertonSunderlandIBC1.444.67.225/02/17 15:572 – 010044.00
25/02/17 16:00Crystal PalaceMiddlesbroughSBO2.113.153.8525/02/17 15:541 – 0100111.00
25/02/17 16:00Hull CityBurnleySBO2.173.253.5525/02/17 15:541 – 1100-100.00
25/02/17 16:00West BromBournemouthSBO2.213.23.525/02/17 16:062 – 1100121.00
26/02/17 14:30TottenhamStokeSBO1.3957.626/02/17 14:294 – 010039.00
04/03/17 13:30Manchester UtdBournemouthBet3651.256.51504/03/17 13:141 – 1100-100.00
04/03/17 16:00LeicesterHull CityBet3651.853.64.7504/03/17 15:443 – 110085.00
04/03/17 16:00StokeMiddlesbroughIBC2.023.254.0504/03/17 15:592 – 0100102.00
04/03/17 16:00SwanseaBurnleySingbet2.023.34.204/03/17 16:003 – 2100102.00
04/03/17 16:00West BromCrystal PalaceSBO2.382.993.404/03/17 15:590 – 2100-100.00
04/03/17 18:30LiverpoolArsenalSBO2.013.453.804/03/17 18:303 – 1100100.90
05/03/17 14:30TottenhamEvertonPinnacle1.624.285.8805/03/17 14:283 – 210062.10
08/03/17 21:00Manchester CityStokeBet3651.2571308/03/17 20:470 – 0100-100.00
11/03/17 16:00EvertonWest BromSBO1.653.755.611/03/17 15:583 – 010065.00
11/03/17 16:00Hull CitySwanseaPinnacle2.563.293.0711/03/17 15:582 – 1100156.00
11/03/17 16:00BournemouthWest HamBet3652.63.52.811/03/17 15:443 – 2100160.00
12/03/17 17:00LiverpoolBurnleyBet3651.2961212/03/17 16:452 – 110029.00
18/03/17 16:00EvertonHull CitySingbet1.584.155.918/03/17 16:004 – 010058.00
18/03/17 16:00Crystal PalaceWatfordSBO1.973.154.518/03/17 16:001 – 010097.00
18/03/17 16:00West HamLeicesterPinnacle2.413.393.2218/03/17 15:532 – 3100-100.00
18/03/17 16:00SunderlandBurnleyBet3652.73.22.918/03/17 15:450 – 0100-100.00
18/03/17 18:30BournemouthSwanseaSBO2.233.53.1518/03/17 18:292 – 0100123.00
19/03/17 15:15TottenhamSouthamptonSBO1.713.854.919/03/17 15:132 – 110071.00
19/03/17 17:30Manchester CityLiverpoolSBO1.983.73.6519/03/17 17:301 – 1100-100.00
01/04/17 12:30LiverpoolEvertonSBO1.743.74.901/04/17 12:273 – 110074.00
01/04/17 15:00ChelseaCrystal PalacePinnacle1.365.2510.801/04/17 14:591 – 2100-100.00
01/04/17 15:00Manchester UtdWest BromBet3651.45901/04/17 14:440 – 0100-100.00
01/04/17 15:00LeicesterStokeBet3651.913.64.501/04/17 14:482 – 010091.00
01/04/17 15:00WatfordSunderlandSBO23.24.201/04/17 14:561 – 0100100.00
01/04/17 15:00Hull CityWest HamIBC2.463.153.0501/04/17 14:562 – 1100146.00
01/04/17 17:30SouthamptonBournemouthSBO1.663.855.401/04/17 17:280 – 0100-100.00
02/04/17 13:30SwanseaMiddlesbroughSBO1.963.154.502/04/17 13:300 – 0100-100.00
04/04/17 19:45LeicesterSunderlandSingbet1.514.46.504/04/17 19:362 – 010051.00
04/04/17 19:45WatfordWest BromBet3652.53.13.304/04/17 19:392 – 0100150.00
04/04/17 19:45BurnleyStokeSBO2.512.973.204/04/17 19:421 – 0100151.00
04/04/17 20:00Manchester UtdEvertonSBO1.623.76.204/04/17 19:591 – 1100-100.00
05/04/17 19:45ArsenalWest HamSBO1.444.86.605/04/17 19:443 – 010044.00
05/04/17 19:45SouthamptonCrystal PalacePinnacle1.863.614.8405/04/17 19:333 – 110086.20
05/04/17 19:45Hull CityMiddlesbroughSBO2.123.153.8505/04/17 19:444 – 2100112.00
05/04/17 20:00LiverpoolBournemouthBet3651.454.75805/04/17 19:442 – 2100-100.00
05/04/17 20:00ChelseaManchester CitySBO2.233.23.505/04/17 19:592 – 1100123.00
08/04/17 12:30TottenhamWatfordPinnacle1.247.1613.6808/04/17 12:294 – 010023.70
08/04/17 15:00Manchester CityHull CityPinnacle1.28.21608/04/17 14:513 – 110019.60
08/04/17 15:00West HamSwanseaSBO2.233.13.608/04/17 14:591 – 0100123.00
08/04/17 15:00MiddlesbroughBurnleyPinnacle2.643.043.208/04/17 14:590 – 0100-100.00
09/04/17 16:00EvertonLeicesterIBC1.794.054.109/04/17 15:594 – 210079.00
15/04/17 12:30TottenhamBournemouthPinnacle1.25712.815/04/17 12:264 – 010025.00
15/04/17 15:00EvertonBurnleySingbet1.544.156.615/04/17 14:143 – 110054.00
15/04/17 15:00Crystal PalaceLeicesterIBC2.053.353.7515/04/17 14:572 – 2100-100.00
15/04/17 15:00StokeHull CitySBO2.083.253.8515/04/17 15:003 – 1100108.00
15/04/17 15:00WatfordSwanseaBet3652.73.22.915/04/17 14:471 – 0100170.00
22/04/17 15:00BournemouthMiddlesbroughIBC1.93.554.0522/04/17 14:584 – 010090.00
22/04/17 15:00Hull CityWatfordBet3651.913.74.3322/04/17 14:462 – 010091.00
22/04/17 15:00SwanseaStokeSBO2.333.45322/04/17 14:572 – 0100133.00
23/04/17 16:30LiverpoolCrystal PalaceSingbet1.514.456.3523/04/17 16:301 – 2100-100.00
25/04/17 19:45ChelseaSouthamptonIBC1.464.55725/04/17 19:444 – 210046.00
26/04/17 19:45ArsenalLeicesterSBO1.475626/04/17 19:401 – 010047.00
26/04/17 19:45MiddlesbroughSunderlandPinnacle2.213.453.626/04/17 19:421 – 0100121.00
27/04/17 20:00Manchester CityManchester UtdBet3651.953.44.527/04/17 19:440 – 0100-100.00
29/04/17 15:00SouthamptonHull CityPinnacle1.574.346.529/04/17 14:520 – 0100-100.00
29/04/17 15:00StokeWest HamPinnacle2.063.384.1829/04/17 14:580 – 0100-100.00
29/04/17 17:30Crystal PalaceBurnleyPinnacle1.863.445.1829/04/17 17:270 – 2100-100.00
30/04/17 12:00Manchester UtdSwanseaSBO1.424.67.630/04/17 11:591 – 1100-100.00
30/04/17 16:30TottenhamArsenalSBO1.824.13.930/04/17 16:292 – 010081.90
06/05/17 12:30Manchester CityCrystal PalacePinnacle1.267.311.506/05/17 12:305 – 010025.60
06/05/17 15:00Hull CitySunderlandPinnacle1.564.576.2806/05/17 14:550 – 2100-100.00
06/05/17 15:00LeicesterWatfordSBO1.673.655.606/05/17 14:563 – 010067.00
06/05/17 15:00BournemouthStokePinnacle2.363.473.2406/05/17 14:432 – 2100-100.00
06/05/17 15:00BurnleyWest BromPinnacle2.593.033.2906/05/17 14:582 – 2100-100.00
06/05/17 17:30SwanseaEvertonBet3652.553.52.906/05/17 17:151 – 0100155.00
07/05/17 13:30LiverpoolSouthamptonBet3651.624.2607/05/17 13:140 – 0100-100.00
07/05/17 16:00ArsenalManchester UtdSBO2.133.453.4507/05/17 15:592 – 0100113.00
08/05/17 20:00ChelseaMiddlesbroughPinnacle1.14102208/05/17 19:523 – 010014.20
12/05/17 19:45EvertonWatfordBet3651.444.75812/05/17 19:301 – 010044.00
13/05/17 12:30Manchester CityLeicesterSingbet1.237.31113/05/17 12:232 – 110023.00
13/05/17 15:00BournemouthBurnleyPinnacle1.863.934.3613/05/17 14:592 – 110086.20
14/05/17 12:00Crystal PalaceHull CitySBO1.983.34.114/05/17 11:594 – 010098.00
14/05/17 16:30TottenhamManchester UtdBet3651.6745.7514/05/17 16:142 – 110067.00
15/05/17 20:00ChelseaWatfordBet3651.361115/05/17 19:454 – 310030.00
16/05/17 19:45ArsenalSunderlandPinnacle1.121223.516/05/17 19:172 – 010011.70
16/05/17 20:00Manchester CityWest BromIBC1.177.51516/05/17 19:583 – 110017.00
17/05/17 19:45SouthamptonManchester UtdPinnacle2.363.333.3717/05/17 19:440 – 0100-100.00
21/05/17 15:00ChelseaSunderlandPinnacle1.1211.525.521/05/17 12:155 – 110011.70
21/05/17 15:00LiverpoolMiddlesbroughPinnacle1.1410.751921/05/17 14:593 – 010014.20
21/05/17 15:00ArsenalEvertonSBO1.385.47.221/05/17 14:553 – 110038.00
21/05/17 15:00SouthamptonStokeBet3651.654.25.521/05/17 14:440 – 1100-100.00
21/05/17 15:00LeicesterBournemouthPinnacle1.694.54.8121/05/17 14:551 – 1100-100.00
21/05/17 15:00SwanseaWest BromSBO2.313.33.221/05/17 14:372 – 1100131.00
21/05/17 15:00BurnleyWest HamPinnacle2.333.593.2121/05/17 14:591 – 2100-100.00
21/05/17 15:00Manchester UtdCrystal PalacePinnacle2.353.383.3521/05/17 14:592 – 0100135.00
SUM250002853.60

 

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.

BookieProfitROI %
Bet3652497.59.99
Pinnacle2675.210.70
Singbet2359.39.44
188bet2453.09.81
IBC2426.69.71
SBO2657.810.63

 

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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