When do underdogs win in the Premier League?
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
Are upsets more likely in the Premier League at the start of the season, in the middle or towards the end? And have underdogs been more profitable at certain stages of the season at home or away? Andrew digs into 11 seasons worth of numbers and shows us some trends we might want to keep in mind as season 2011/2012 proceeds.
For value bettors, the difference between having a profitable football season and one we would rather regret, is being able to pick those key upset wins that nobody saw coming. It's being able to pick those one or two value priced underdogs that not one of the so-called experts gave a chance to, that can put your season over the top and into 'the black'.
Think of it this way. Let's say you find 50 value bets each season at average odds of 5.00. At even stakes, picking 10 of those 50 matches correctly, will have you break even. But pick 11 of the 50 correctly and you've achieved a profitable return of 10%.
Sure, that's a pretty rough example. But the point should be clear. In value betting, the difference between a good year and a forgettable year, can be as slight as a deflection off a goalkeeper's glove in added time.
But when are those value wins more likely to happen? Are there periods of the season where underdogs have historically been better betting value?
When we are talking such slight percentages, any edge is a good edge. So I decided to dig into the database and see if underdogs have in fact been better value at different times of the season.
Underdogs at home
We will start by looking at Underdogs playing at home the last 11 seasons.
As usual we will be considering results at 'even stakes', meaning that we will bet for example £1 on each possible outcome, home, draw and away and see what results we would have achieved had we done so.
The chart above shows us some fairly significant trends when we consider home underdogs of odds to win of 5.00 or higher.
We can see that from January through to the end of the season in May, underdogs of this price have not achieved an 'even stakes' profit in any month the last 11 seasons. Further, as we get towards the end of the season, March through May, they have been incredibly poor value, making a loss of over 30% in each of those months.
If we look toward the start of the season, we see a different story.
From August through to the end of December, underdogs at home paying 5.00 or more have been good value, achieving 'even stakes' profits in three of those five months.
The table above shows the distinct trend for home underdog value between the beginning and end of the season more clearly.
Had you bet £1 on each home underdog of 5.00 or higher the last 11 seasons from August through December, you would have made a profitable return of over 12%.
On the other hand, had you done the same from January through May, you would have suffered a loss of over 28% on your investment the last 11 seasons.
Underdogs playing away
Now let's turn to underdogs of odds 5.00 or higher playing away from home.
Once again, we see a fairly distinct trend in value between the start of the season in August and the second half of the season from January onwards.
Had you bet at 'even stakes' on clubs playing away at odds of 5.00 or more the last 11 seasons from January through May, you would have had it handed to you. Soundly.
Clubs in this situation have been incredibly poor value since 2000, giving up a loss of over 30% in four of five months, twice going over 60%. Truly horrendous.
The table above once again shows this distinct trend between the beginning of the season and the end of the season.
Had you bet £1 on underdogs of 5.00 or more playing away since 2000, you would have taken a loss of almost 50% on your investment. Clearly you may want to consider laying against these clubs.
On the other hand, while we don't see an overall profitable return for away underdogs from August through December, they have clearly been better value in this period, though still suffering an overall loss of less than average bookmaker commission.
So what did we learn?
Let's conclude by listing the key trends this analysis has uncovered. As usual I don't recommended merely following these trends blindly. But we might want to keep them in mind when putting money down on underdogs this season.
- Strongly consider backing underdogs at home from August through December.
- Strongly consider laying against away underdogs from January through May.
- Consider laying against underdogs at home from January through May.
Click here for the BettingExpert 2012/2013 Football Stats Guide. Detailed stats for the 8 biggest leagues of Europe.
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewBexpert
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nice one, maybe you should incluced profit for laying against away underdogs Jan-May