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Friday, 23 September 2011

What strike rate is necessary to be in profit?

A good question...

Ask a pro gambler and he's likely to suggest he only needs to be right 51% of the time, which is mathematically true but, as traders, what is mathematically true for us? Below is a blog post from Peter Webb (aka PeeWee) of Bet Angel fame and general sports trading legend and myth. If you do not know who Peter is, Google him.

So, back to last week and the question “If a team is priced at 2.00 how often will they go on to score first?”. I was surprised by the diversity of answers, but the actual answer is 60% (Give or take rounding, equipartition, sample size etc). I first worked out the rough percentages back in the mid 80′s for some work I was doing then. Over the course of a season, if I take a stab at the first scorer, I’m accurate to within 0.07% of the actual. But there is a lot of variability in there, which is the reason behind my “What does value look like post”. Just because you pick something, doesn’t mean it will happen. Only that it will happen X% of the time based on your stats. 
The interesting thing about this stat is that it is saying that if you trade the favourite rather than just back it, you get a 10% better chance of profiting. Whatever strategy you choose, whatever filters you apply it needs to yield over a 60% strike rate to have any possibility to make money in the long term. If you starting hedging they your increase liability needs an even higher strike rate. I’ll discuss that more in future weeks.

 The key point, for us at least, is -  "if you trade the favourite rather than just back it, you get a 10% better chance of profiting". Fundamentally, when laying the draw, we are trading the favourite. We are backing that favourite to score the first goal. If you are just beginning your journey into football trading or are looking to learn more about laying the draw and adding the strategy to your list, the above is a perfect place to start. Use 2.00 as your first filter, leave out anything above that, this way you can be sure, based on the 60% hit rate, that you are in front before you begin.

I Stayed away from the football markets yesterday. The research into the Roma game gave no fast pointers and I simply forgot to do the U6.5 in Rosenborg. Roma did go 1-0 up so a profit could've been made but Rosenborg scraped a 2-1 against Sarpsborg... Yesterday's "Value" lay put the first blemish on the spreadsheet, Espanyol did win but they didn't score until the 91st minute.

Today's picks - Molde v Viking and Stuttgart v Hamburg. Can't spot anything to suggest as a value lay.

Whatever you trade, stay green.


  1. What a Molde-y selection! Made most of it back on Stuttgart though...

  2. As the post suggests, H, we only need a 60% strike rate. ;-)