Preview of the 5th Bundesliga matchday of the 2009/2010 season from the point of view of the betting market (TV programme, newspaper column)
The 4th matchday is over today, Monday 31-08-09. The match pairings for the following match day are of course fixed. This matchday lends itself particularly well to the presentation of the basic principle, as there are no matches next weekend due to the international break. This has the positive effect that the betting market is not yet formed at all as far as the week after next is concerned. This also means that my forecasts can be checked from next Monday onwards on the basis of the then reacting betting market and, of course, also subsequently on the basis of the results occurring on match day.
To do this, you only have to go a little further in the sense of explaining today’s betting market in comparison to the past (where “today” is the last 5 years, the past goes back about 20 years, up to 5 years ago).
The following part can also be read over, as it is only a short, one-off explanation.
1) The early betting market
In the earlier betting market, there were usually bookmakers who offered their odds. In most cases, the odds offered were also fixed odds, which, true to their name, could not be changed. On the other hand, there were a lot of small gamblers, who could also be called entertainment gamblers, who made their crosses as combination bets of 10 DM each, usually playing 5 to 10 high favourites in the hope that they would all win and the gambler could then pocket a profit of, for example, 70 DM. Most of the time, however, he failed most unfortunately because one of the favourites “tipped” and there was no money after all. In this form of “bad luck”, the unlucky ones usually did not consider that the chance of having one game wrong in a five-player combination is five times as great as the chance of having all of them right.
But if someone came to this betting market with big money, the bookmaker got scared and did not want to take the bet, fearing cheating or high losses. In those days, while it was easier for professional gamblers to play with advantage, it was harder to get higher winnings because you just couldn’t play very high. (“Playing with advantage” means that the odds offered are in favourable proportion to the probability of occurrence. The ratio is favourable when the odds offered are higher than the inverse of the probability; a system I have used successfully for over two decades).
2) The betting market today
In today’s betting market there are almost no fixed odds. All traditional providers design their odds in a mobile way, making adjustments depending on what bets come in on which side. In return, the odds on offer are also much more attractive and varied. As a rule, one also achieves higher odds compared to the past due to this effect, which also makes the entire betting more attractive.
There is also a much tighter betting market due to the betting exchanges, where you bet 1 against 1 with other participants (and no longer against traditional bookmakers). For its part, the provider only collects a small percentage of the winnings from the winner. This means that you usually get much more favourable odds and, what’s more, every participant can try his hand at being a provider. At betfair, for example, there is always a “bet” column and a “lay” column. One means that you play at the odds, the other that you pay the odds. At the same time, you can also put in new, better offers yourself. All this supports the effect that the quotas offer hardly any leeway for special “mistakes”. The quota under “lay” is almost no different from the one under “bet”. The only “disadvantage” you still have as a player is the percentage that the provider collects in case you win.
All in all, this means that the whole market is much more competitive today. The advantage, however, from the professional player’s point of view, is that you can play much higher. In addition, the odds develop all the time, depending on the very latest team news or also general assessments, partly even because certain types of players make absurd, even very high bets in the event that they lose a lot. Overall, however, one has to assume that the entire market is highly “intelligent”. The odds that develop in the course of the week already essentially correspond to reality. An art for the professional gambler is to bet at the right time, i.e. exactly when one gets the highest price.
3) The odds from my point of view for today
|2009-09-13||17:30||D1||FC Köln||Schalke 04||3.70||3.83||2.13||3.25||3.35||2.00|
These estimates are taken from my computer, which generates these odds on its own. The first odds, under “Fair Odds”, represent the odds calculated on 100%. Behind them are the odds that my computer would be prepared to pay, including a calculated profit advantage for itself or the provider competing on the market with these odds.
The fair odds are the reciprocals of the probabilities. If you would like to see them, here is this table:
|2009-09-13||17:30||D1||FC Köln||Schalke 04||27.02%||26.14%||46.84%|
Those are the assessments I’d be willing to go with in the betting market. Today in particular, of course. Within the next week, when one gets to know the team news, moods and so on, my own assessment can also change. As a rule, I don’t change these odds, but rather weigh them up and divide them into “I like the game” and “I don’t like the game”. Depending on that, I then bet small, high or not at all.
4) Analysis of estimates and preview
Everything is a game of probabilities. On the betting market, even if many of the participants should not know it, the odds currently offered always reflect the probability of an event occurring. However, I take the liberty of making my own assessments, some of which differ from those of the general public, but which are always well-founded. So here is my own assessment of the odds, how the betting market will react and what bets will result in my opinion:
In the Dortmund vs. Bayern match, the betting market is guaranteed to tilt towards Bayern. The performance of the dream duo Robben/Ribéry will certainly also influence the betting market in the form that (too) many participants will bet on Bayern. This price will be depressed by this and for me there are only two possibilities in my halfway lucid mind: bet against a Bayern victory or don’t bet at all. The price on Bayern is guaranteed to be too small. I can offer it, this small price, or let it be, if I am also too impressed by the new strength. It’s certainly worth taking a quick look at Dortmund’s performance this season to come to a decision:
Despite a convincing second half of the season and a squad that has not deteriorated, which in principle led me to believe that Dortmund could definitely play very high up the table, especially since coach Klopp gradually showed “his true colours”, the start was mixed. Especially the last game in Frankfurt was rather disappointing. So my verdict: I will probably be forced to bet Dortmund on not losing. And I will probably do it, but only for a smaller amount. Robben is scary to me too.
With Nürnberg – Gladbach, I can’t see any tendency at the moment. The assessment would certainly be confirmed by the betting market under current aspects. I’m not playing the game, is my prediction. Just in case the market gives any utopian other assessments.
In the case of Wolfsburg – Leverkusen, I do see a tendency: after Wolfsburg’s two clear defeats and Leverkusen’s successful start to the season, my bet will probably land on Wolfsburg. I would do that with full conviction. The odds you get will certainly be higher than 2.01, my fair odds, and I play the game expensively. Reasoning: If you really followed Wolfsburg’s game in Munich, you know that the second half clearly went to Wolfsburg. They had four crystal-clear chances that should have, perhaps should have, led to a 1:1. Butt’s one reflex was unbelievable, the ball was practically in. It was foreseeable that Bayern, with their two incredibly fast top players, would eventually take advantage of the more and more spaces that were created, if they didn’t equalise, after which Wolfsburg would of course have relied on (stable) defence again.
Wolfsburg’s previous home match against HSV must also be analysed carefully: In their current form, HSV are of course one of the top candidates for a place at the top. In addition, they really “caught Wolfsburg cold” in this game. The opening goal after a few minutes, followed by a very dominant first half, even with the 2:0 soon after, was a demonstration. That is true. But “being caught cold” is just one aspect. After the break, Wolfsburg completely turned the game around and brought their outstanding qualities to bear, analogous to last season. The reward: the 2:2 equaliser. The game could have gone either way after that, respect to HSV who put these blows away and even won the game. But that is a rather unusual course of events, and Wolfsburg also had two of the top candidates, which puts the defeats per se into perspective.
On the other hand, Leverkusen have played really well this season, but haven’t had the greatest programme. Most recently against Bochum, a laborious 2:1 victory, even if the first half was good. And the 5:0 in Freiburg was clearly not confirmed by the match report: Freiburg had put on huge pressure and should even have taken the lead. The fact that it later says “highest efficiency in the use of chances”, which Stefan Kießling also confirmed in the interview (we made a goal out of every chance), confirms the correctness.
That means that this game will be my “game of the week”, I think.
I’m still neutral on the other games for now. But even if I had a tendency, an inclination here or there, it would not be necessary now for the presentation of my concept. May these examples suffice for now to give an impression of how I personally work, how the betting market works and how I could imagine a programme/column on a weekly basis.
I can experience that these views are of high interest in almost daily conversations, also with neutral persons.