Can using recent team form help you find profitable bets ?


The bellow article is a result of our close collaboration with Mike from Winabobatoo one of the leading UK tipster. We do recommend re-reading the article in order to observe as much as possible information and apply it in your betting strategies.

Many punters are making their betting decision based on the current team form, but more often than not it appears that they are losing money. So the fundamental question here is: How easy is it to make money from backing football teams that are in form?

In today’s article, we’re going to look at the returns from backing teams relative to:

  • The number of games they’ve won in their last 6 league games
  • The number of league games they have played since last winning
  • The number of league games they have played since they last lost

The first table shows the returns from backing home teams relative to the number of wins they’ve had in their last six league games:

The results cover football games played in all UK leagues from the start of the 2006-07 season to the end of the 2016-17 season. The returns are calculated by placing a one point single win bet on each team. The odds used are the best odds available from five leading bookmakers around 48 hours before the matches are due to be played.

There have been 170 home sides that have won all of their last 6 league games. Backing every one of them in their next game would have made a loss of 2.84 points, or -1.67% on turnover. There have been 970 home teams that have won 5 of their last 6 matches. Backing those teams has lost 32.98 points, -3.40%.

Surprisingly, backing the home teams that have won none of their last six games hasn’t lost as much as we would probably imagine they’d lose. They have the lowest win rates (36.85%) but they have lost less than any of the other groups.

The next table shows the returns from backing away sides relative to the number of matches they’ve won in their last 6 games:

Backing away teams that have won four of their last 6 games has made a profit. Even though this sample of bets covers over 3,000 matches, it would probably be dangerous to assume the next 3,000 matches would also make a profit. The reason for drawing such a conclusion is that the surrounding data (the data in the rows showing 5 wins in the last 6 games and 3 wins in the last 6 games) is showing losses, suggesting the numbers in the 4 wins in the last 6 matches has probably occurred through random chance; and is unlikely to reproduced in the future.

Again, quite surprisingly, the away bets that have lost the least amount of money are the ones where the away sides have only won one or no games in their last six matches!

Both tables confirm that the number of wins in six is a relatively good guide as to whether a team is likely to win its next match. If you look down the Win% column, you can see how the percentage of wins reduces as the number of wins in the last six matches drops.

Unfortunately, the bookmakers appear to be aware of these win rates and price teams up accordingly, making it very difficult to win money by simply looking at recent form in this way.

Since Last Win:

Another way to analyse current form is to look at the length of time since a team last won. The table below analyses home teams. If a team won its last game, the “Since Win” figure is nil. It has gone no games since winning. If a team lost its last game but won the game before that, “Since Win” is one.

The bottom row shows that backing all home teams, providing they won their last match would have found 47.03% winners but would have made a loss of -384.87 points, -4.64%. The home teams in the top two rows (the ones that haven’t won for a while) didn’t do very well.

The next table looks at the returns from backing away sides relative to the number of games since they last won:

There have been 9,922 away sides that won their last game. Backing all of them has lost a relatively small amount. They’ve only made a loss of 42.19 points, -0.43%.

Based on this evidence, supporting away sides that won their last match seems most favourable.

Since last Loss:

Taking a slightly different approach, what happens if we analyse the results relative to when a team last lost? Do the teams that haven’t lost recently do better or worse?

If a team lost its last match, “Since Loss” is nil. If it didn’t lose its last match but lost the one before that, “Since Loss” is one.

The bottom row shows that backing home teams that lost their last game found 41.04% winners, and made a loss of 490.11 points, -4.97%. Teams that lost their last match had the lowest win rate of all sides in their next game. There seems to be nothing of any substance in the other rows to believe “Since Loss” knowledge is helpful with regards to finding profits amongst home sides.

Away Since Loss:

Backing away teams that either lost their last match, or the match before that have lost the most money. They have the lowest win rates too.

Interestingly, backing all away sides in the top four rows has just about broken even. Covering over 10,000 bets, backing away sides that have avoided defeat in their last two matches has only lost 18.55 points, -0.18%.

The next table shows a breakdown of those games by their odds:

Away teams that were priced odds on (shown in the top row) have lost 30.37 points, -3.09%. The better returns have come from backing away sides priced 2.50 or better. The most interesting groups are the cases priced between 2.50 and 2.99:

When analysing data in this way, we have to be careful that we don’t reduce the sample sizes to such small levels that the evidence becomes so diluted that it becomes meaningless but there seems to be sufficient evidence to show that when backing away teams in the 2.50 to 2.99 price range, the teams that have avoided defeat recently perform best.

The teams that would be excluded are the 2.50 to 2.99 cases that have lost one of their last two league games:

As you can see, they’ve done considerably worse. Their win rates are only 34.49% compared to 38.71% for the teams that have avoided defeat in their last two matches.

The final piece of analysis combines two pieces of information concerning backing away sides:

  1. The away side won its last match
  2. The away side also avoided defeat in the game before last

There have been 6,440 teams in the last 11 years that have fallen into this group. Blindly backing all of them has made a profit of 151.93 points, +2.36%.

The sides that are priced at 2.50 or bigger have done best:

If you’re looking for a strategy that will help to put you onto the profitable away bets, you might like to consider these points when selecting your bets.

Good luck with your betting!

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