World Cup qualifiers are the order of the day again and we have some highly uncompetitive matches on the card. So uncompetitive you would be sorely tempted to re-mortgage the house and lump it on a few on these matches. The Czech’s are 1.08 to beat the mighty Malta at home. If that’s not good enough, Netherlands at 1.01 to attack Andorra looks tempting. But the daddy of them all is England to beat San Marino at 1.01. Surely worth a few quid? But before you remortgage the house, which is of course not at all recommend, lets look at the history of uncompetitive matches.
First a note about how markets work in general.
People like to win often, so where you see opportunities to win often, you also tend to see less value. This is because people push the envelope of opportunity and eventually push the odds to where they no longer represent value. Where you tend to see value is the other end of the market, infrequent but sizable wins. This is because it is often an unpopular and ‘forgotten’ end of the market.
However, lets look at the stats a bit to see what has happened in recent years. I ploughed through my database looking for any home team that traded 1.10 or lower to see if there was anything interesting, this is what I found: -
96% of matches where the home team were priced 1.10 or lower went on to win, not a great shock! When you convert the odds into implied chance and compare forecast against the actual market it made interesting reading. It forecast a win in 93.7% of those matches, so the market was a serially under-forecasting the chance of a win. Generally though, it was one way traffic and the biggest thrashing was Poland against San Marino on the 1/4/2009 when they ran out 10-0 winners. Wouldn’t that be nice!
But what about the shocks? They are probably the most important to understand.
Five matches came from this crop, only one was not an international. This was when Barcelona lost 2-0 at home to newly promoted Hercules in 2010. In European internationals there have only been two recent ‘shocks’ on our database. Luxembourg winning away at Switzerland in 2008 and Portugal drawing 0-0 in a friendly against the Cape Verde Islands (Who?).
It’s interesting to note that Portugal seems to be serial under-performers and have often struggled to break down weaker opposition. In the last round of Qualifiers they went down to an early goal fromLuxembourg, but just about came back to record a win.
So there you have it, if you fancy ‘buying some money’ in the Euro qualifiers, you probably have a fair chance of getting some; but it’s generally not a recommended strategy. But I have to say it does seem impossible to look beyond this Friday’s crop of short prices.
Category: Football / Soccer