Total Goals: Bookmaker Differences

Just a quick one today. When doing a piece of analysis (which lead nowhere) on the Under-21 UEFA Championship final, I was pondering the vagaries between different firm’s approaches to their Total Goals markets.  Was there consistency of approach across the range of markets (Over/Under 0.5 – Over/Under 4.5)? Did they all use the same calculations/methodology to determine price etc?

Out of interest, I grabbed all of the Over-X lines from the price comparison section of about 30 minutes before kickoff.  After excluding firms that didn’t cover the full range of markets, I plotted them on a simple interactive line data viz:

Fig 1: Under-21 UEFA Championship Final Over-X Goal Odds Comparison*


A few observations:

  • Obviously some firms offer better prices than others.  Whether this is because they have taken a position about the expected goals, or are betting to smaller margins, is neither here nor there.
  • Betvictor are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to the Over 2.5 goals price, but are happy to offer longer odds at the extremes (0.5 / 4.5) than all of the other firms.
  • Some firms – i.e – Betsafe, shy away from the short-price end of the scale, but are increasingly happy to take money at each goal step, ending up with the third best price for Over 4.5 goals.
  • Bet365 seem to be taking a strange position, offering respectable odds on Over 0.5, 2.5 and 4.5, but ducking 1.5 and 3.5.

This is a small sample of firms, on one single match, so probably best not to read too much into it other than:

  1. No there is not a standard industry approach to total goals pricing.
  2. Don’t assume that just because you have found a firm that is top price about one over/under market, that they will be top price about a different total.

Sagan The Sprinter: 2017 Tour De France Betting Preview

Prior to the 2016 Tour De France, I wrote an article looking back at the individual stages of the 2015 Tour, highlighting how infrequently the market favourite for each stage crossed the line first.

Twenty-one gruelling and varied stages will undoubtedly see the cream rise to the top, but for individual stages it was proved again that there are so many factors at play that everything is up for grabs. From the twenty individual stages in the race, the market favourite was victorious just twice.

That logic was proved correct again in 2016, where laying the favourite for each stage at the average price matched on Betfair would have yielded a level-stakes profit: Continue reading “Sagan The Sprinter: 2017 Tour De France Betting Preview”

In a Tiz for the Cheltenham Gold Cup

With Don Cossack joining Coneygree as yet another contender who won’t be lining up to deny Thistlecrack his Cheltenham Gold Cup as a novice, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a market that wasn’t worth bothering with. Indeed, instinct would say side with the proven class performer in Cue Card, except instinct clearly wasn’t watching his demolition by Thistlecrack in the King George. Thankfully maths can help us out. Continue reading “In a Tiz for the Cheltenham Gold Cup”

Tour De France: Stage Betting Recap

With a brief hiatus in the European Championships, I thought it was worth spending a bit of time preparing for the Greatest Race On Earth which starts this weekend at the beautiful Mont-Saint-Michel. To begin with, here is a quick look at last year’s race and how each stage played out relative to the pre-event market expectations.  All odds quoted are the average price matched on Betfair (considering volume) before the stage commenced: Continue reading “Tour De France: Stage Betting Recap”

Euro 2016: Betting with Discipline

Er, right.  This was going to show a lovely data visualisation of the Euro 2016 fixtures, the referees and the discipline of the teams.  The aim being to highlight games where we could target the Under/Over Booking Points markets or the spreads. That was until I realised that UEFA are only naming the officials three days in advance of games…. never mind…
Continue reading “Euro 2016: Betting with Discipline”

Euro 2016: It is not the luck of the Draw

When I was pulling together the piece on level-stakes profit, something interesting came to light about the Draw selection in the 1×2 Match Odds market. In the 258 completed games in the Euro 2016 Qualifying campaign, there were 47 that finished with the scores level. If you had backed the Draw in each of those 258 games, then the meagre odds on offer would have resulted in a huge 56-unit level-stakes loss. Or put another way, if you had laid the draw on the Exchange market you would have had an outstanding winning campaign. Continue reading “Euro 2016: It is not the luck of the Draw”

Euro 2016: Countries that beat the market’s expectations

For the first insight post on we take a look at the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and how the market priced the matches of the teams that ultimately qualified.  The below data visualisation looks at the 145 games (from 258 played – excluding the play-offs) that the qualifying teams for Euro 2016 won.  There are some interesting observations that we can take forward into our tournament betting. Continue reading “Euro 2016: Countries that beat the market’s expectations”