Why Betting Against Liverpool Has Been A Joy
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
Which Premier League club has been the best to bet against in recent seasons? Today on the blog Andrew looks at the horrific betting form of Liverpool.
As Ed Malyon has pointed out in his weekly 'What Were The Odds Of That' column, there have been few greater under performing clubs (in terms of performance against the odds) in European football in recent seasons than Liverpool. Over the past 3 and a half seasons, continually betting on the Merseyside club has only led backers and believers to horrific losses.
Today on the blog I will break down the numbers and take a closer look at the betting profitability in recent seasons of not only Liverpool, but clubs across Europe. In particular, we will be looking at results from the 2009/2010 season, up to our current season of 2012.
Overall Profitability Of Premier League Clubs
Let's start by taking a look at the overall win profitability of all Premier League clubs over the past 3 plus seasons. We determine profitability by betting at even stakes, meaning that we bet a single unit on each possible outcome.
Further, considering we are working with average odds adjusted to 4.5% commission, we would expect any club over a long enough period to display a winning profitability reflecting this commission.
We can see that since the start of the 2009/2010 season, Liverpool have ranked 21st of all Premier League clubs in terms of win profitability. If you had bet £1 on Liverpool to win each of their 131 Premier League matches across that span, you would have made a loss of almost £25, or a Return On Investment of near on -19%.
What is more striking is that we can also see that betting £1 on each Liverpool opponent over this same span would have seen you collect a profit of almost £55, a ROI of near on +42%, a rather remarkable number, especially when you consider the second, third and fourth best teams to bet against through this period were QPR, Burnley and Portsmouth, clubs that displayed diabolical form.
Profitability of Premier League Clubs When Odds-On To Win
Ok, let's then take a look at how Premier League clubs have performed against the odds when priced at odds of 2.00 or shorter to win since 2009/2010. We will only consider clubs that were favoured in this price range on at least 30 occasions.
We can see that Liverpool have been the worst performed club in terms of win profitability. However, they have not been alone with Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton each performing well below standard bookmaker commission of 4.5%.
In terms of betting on a club's opposition, again, few have matched Liverpool for securing the cash. If you had bet £1 on each of their opposition when Liverpool were favoured at odds of 2.00 or shorter, you would have collected a profit of just over £34, a ROI of over +50% over 68 matches played. Staggering.
Profitability of Clubs Across Europe When Odds of 1.50 or shorter
Let's conclude by looking at the win profitability of clubs in the big four leagues when priced at odds of 1.50 or shorter to win since 2009/2010. We will again consider clubs that went into matches in this price range on at least 30 occasions.
Here we see that Liverpool has been the clear worst performed club when priced 1.50 or shorter to win. If you had bet £1 on Liverpool in each of their 35 matches as favourites of this price range, you would have made a loss of just over £9, a ROI of over -26%.
When we looking betting on their opposition, we see that Tottenham were actually worse performed with each of the two clubs giving their opponents a win ROI in the range of +63%.
So what did we learn?
It's clear that Liverpool have under performed against the odds to a striking extent in recent seasons. What are the reasons for this? We could simply put it down to popularity, that thousands of people across the world support Liverpool and will back them at whatever price the bookmakers list them at, regardless of whether those odds reflect their true potential in any given matchup.
This assumption is not without merit. The phenomenon of the 'public team' is well tested across a number of leagues. The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL and Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA will always pull money, especially when playing at home, merely because they are, like Liverpool, traditional and popular 'powers'. The undeserved money that comes for these teams will often beat their prices in, to the point where the only value is to back the opposition.
However, we would then have to explain why such popular and 'public' clubs as Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid have performed well against oddsmaker's expectations. It could well be that as Ed Malyon points out, the popularity of Liverpool exceeds these rivals, particularly in Asia where this torrential support in the market continually pushes their prices to unbackable positions.
Since the start of 2009/2010, Liverpool's average odds at home have been 1.77 to win, an implied probability of 55%, while they have managed to win just over 51% of their matches. As for their visiting opponents, the average odds for a club visiting Anfield has been 7.34, an implied probability of almost 14%. During this time visitors have managed to win almost 20% of matches played.
When away from home Liverpool's average odds have been 2.55, implied probability of 39% while they have only managed to win near on 31% of away fixtures. Their hosts on the other hand have been given an average odds of 3.58, an implied probability of almost 28%, while winning almost 48% of matches.
While Liverpool are undoubtedly a club that attracts much betting interest based purely on fan loyalty coupled with the aura of being a traditional power, it is also true that in recent seasons, as the once dominant club of English football began their slide to midtable mediocrity, they would have under performed no matter what reasonable odds the bookmakers had posted..
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Great article of something I am doing for some years now.
No better club to bet against in Europe.
Great Article! Good job Andrew!
I'm a fun of Liverpool and all you wrote is totally true, but i will still betting for Liverpool when they face big club cause Liverpool always surprise on the most difficult matches.
Betting against Liverpool in the last few seasons has been a good one however, it was only fa cup and league cup that was valued for punters during the Rafa Benitez days. Liverpool has found themselves in situation where they can win or lose games easily and betting against them is one good bet.
That is some good advice Stephen, but I don't know whether Chelsea's comeback should be expected to be short-lived. On the other hand Liverpool do have five away games from the next seven in the league and they are scheduled to face the Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Stoke. They might stutter for a while but back on home turf I think we'll see more of that 4-0 against Fulham, especially if they get the striker in. tychill, you are always bound to get Tottenham to disappoint, even against the lesser of teams in the league. I would also expect Everton to drop down the pecking order eventually. They have still expressed difficulties in finding the net with enough regularity to be considered a real candidate for the fourth place. This time Liverpool will finish above them probably.
A very shrewd pro told me once that the time to get off the bus is when everyone else wants to get on it i.e when everyone else cottons onto something then the value has gone! Sense that theres probably some juice in opposing Liverpool and Chelsea in the next few matches as the entire world has seen them win 4-0 and 8-0 over the weekend and will want to "get on the bus"!
I agree with the sentiments below. This trend will surely begin to turn over the next year or so. You will always be able count on Spurs to loose at home to at least 1 newly promoted side a year though haha.
Thanks for your thoughts guys. Totally agree David, sooner or later Liverpool should begin to improve on their form of recent seasons. Coupled with the fact that bookmakers (and the casual betting public) should eventually start to assess their form more accurately, it's doubtful such a run of poor form against the odds will continue.
There always seems to be a club that is terribly underpriced. Liverpool have definitely been that club over the last few seasons.
Good one Andrew. My guess is that things will change in 2013 for Liverpool though, with Rodgers focusing a lot on making Anfield the fortress it once was. I would go easy on betting against them in the not so distant future. They have beaten a hapless Fulham deservedly yesterday and their displays against the Manchester clubs, despite the end result, were very convincing.
Finding a weak link or an option that is always underpriced is a real edge in all forms of betting. Excellent research and unique views as usual Andrew!
I've wanted to understand this concept for a long time! Well done!
Very good article! I bet against Liverpool today too :) They are a very inconstant team