The Church of Betting

Home and Away Value in European Leagues (Mid-Season Review)

As promised in my last article, I will do a short mid-season  review of some home and away betting strategies I have discovered at the beginning of this season in European football leagues. If you recall my two articles on home and away value, I have found out that for the Spanish, Italian and German leagues, teams that had a strong home record in the previous season tend to keep their home form in the current season as well. Then I have found a similar trend for Scotland for away form. I wanted to check how the two strategies are performing so far this season.

Home Value

First it is worth noting that for all 3 countries – Spain, Italy and Germany – blindly backing the home win has been a profitable strategy so far this season. The strategy I have tried was to back only the teams that had performed well last season, return-wise. So far the results are quite inconclusive. Taking only the teams that gave a positive return last season did deliver some premium over the blind strategy, however increasing the required minimum return from last season did not seem to do much and the results were all about the same, with the exception of the highest minimum returns where it went downhill, however the number of observations there was way too small to draw any conclusions (a problem encountered in the original analysis as well). The results could be seen in the graph.

I have taken the cumulative results from all 3 countries, however the results per country do not differ much.To summarize here are the 3 main findings:

  1. For all 3 leagues backing the home team seems to be a good strategy this season
  2. Backing home teams that did well in the previous season might deliver certain premium over the blind strategy, however the evidence is week
  3. Strengthening the “did well” criterion from above does not seem to deliver additional premium

Away Value

So the second finding was that backing away teams in Scotland in general has been quite profitable in the last 10 years. In addition, backing the teams that did well away the last season seemed to deliver certain premium. The thesis was tested with results from this season, similarly to the other one.

There were several key observations. First, the general away strategy for all Scottish leagues is back in the green. If that does not change till the end of the season, we would see a 9th season in a row where blind away backing turns a profit in Scotland.

Second, unlike earlier this season we don’t see better results when we only take teams with positive away returns from last season, in fact the returns are for the most part worse. However, it is still the case that the outliers, the teams with the best away returns from last season managed to outperform significantly. Here is the graph with the findings.

In summary:

  1. Blind away strategy is yet again profitable in Scotland so far this season
  2. Backing away teams with positive away return from last season does not seem to deliver a premium
  3. The strongest away teams however continue to outperform

Again, we should be cautious with the results since the number of outliers in terms of away performance is small. If you are interested, here are the names

Outperformers

Dumbarton 17.61
Falkirk 13.89
Montrose 11.73
Raith Rvs 10
Berwick 7.81
East Stirling 7.34
Brechin 6.97
St Johnstone 6.14
Aberdeen 6.12

These were the Scottish teams which delivered an away return higher than 6 in the last season with level staking. Backing them away appears to be a good strategy so far this season as well.

The Scottish leagues are unique in that you have approximately two times smaller number of teams per league and the teams play against each other a total of 4 times per season compared to 2 for most other leagues. Therefore there is a lower variety among the teams, more repeating games, which in my opinion should lead to higher predictability and consistency in trends from season to season. This is just a theory of mine and I don’t have any numbers to back it up, so as usual – apply carefully.

These were the mid-season reviewed results for the Home and Away strategies described earlier in the blog. I will make sure to come back post-season and see where they end up.  Until then, I have a few more ideas about stats-related articles, some more arbitrage, staking, political betting and the Oscars. The list is long and my resources are limited, so if you have a preference for any of the topics drop me a comment I would gladly give it a priority.

On an unrelated note, Erik from Soccerbetblog has renewed his tipping and his results are only getting better. As you have read here first, he will only allow new free followers until he reaches 250 and he is at 230 at the moment, so if you haven’t followed him yet this is probably your last chance. Don’t miss it!

Also, I have just created a page for the blog in Google+ and I’d be happy to see you there. And of course the Twitter and Facebook pages, where I will keep updating you on any new content and will continue posting interesting news from the betting world. Till the next time!

2 thoughts on “Home and Away Value in European Leagues (Mid-Season Review)

  1. Really interesting statistics here, thanks. Using gut instinct, betting against the away team is often a good starting point, but it would appear from your research that does not apply in Scotland. I wonder why that should be? Are Scottish fans less intimidating for away supporters? Surely not!

    • I am now thinking it has something to do with the high number of games between every two teams compared to other leagues. Maybe teams get used to the opponents’ stadiums too much and the home effect is being lost this way.

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