Soccer predictions by bookmakers

Soccer Predictions by Bookmakers. Part I: Top European Leagues 2008/2009

Advanced soccer prediction models help bookmakers to avoid paying out for match favorites. However, in top European leagues the favorites are very unpredictable, especially at the beginning and the end of the season, and the question remains, how accurate are their soccer predictions? The answer lies in comparing between the betting odds and the real outcome of soccer matches.

This article summarizes the statistics of soccer predictions made by bookmakers during 2008/2009. The statistics are based on average betting odds from major European soccer leagues.

Statistics Summary

According to the statistics below, the outcomes of more than 50% matches of top European soccer leagues were successfully predicted by bookmakers during the 2008/09 season. Unfortunately, neither 1×2 nor total U/O soccer predictions can provide tips, as both lead to negative profits in most of the leagues. There were only three leagues in 2008/2009, allowing positive profits in 1×2 betting: Austrian Bundesliga (+14%) Spanish Primera Division (+4.5%) and Turkish Super Lig (+3.6%). The matches of these leagues are characterized by a high rate of home win hits.

Total U/O betting tips are highly unprofitable in all leagues. The Scottish Premier League is the most unprofitable either with 1×2 or U/O betting.

The conclusion is that the use of soccer predictions by bookmakers is not paying off in daily betting. The accuracy of their predictions is not sufficient or artificially forced to be inaccurate in order to decrease the payoffs. A statistical analysis of average betting odds for period between August 2009 and December 2010 will be published in the next article.

Statistics for August 2008 – June 2009

  • Austrian Bundesliga (180 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 63.9%
    • 1×2 Profit = +14.4%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 46.1/2.2/15.6
    • U/O Total Hits = 53.9%
    • U/O Profit = -21.5%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 14.4/39.4
  • English Premier League (380 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 52.6%
    • 1×2 Profit = -5.6%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 37.9/1.6/13.2
    • U/O Total Hits = 50.3%
    • U/O Profit = -12.9%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 36.8/13.4
  • Dutch Eredivisie (306 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 52.6%
    • 1×2 Profit = -11.2%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 38.2/0.3/14.1
    • U/O Total Hits=53.3%
    • U/O Profit =-14.4%
    • U/O Hits [%] =4.2./49.0
  • French Ligue 1 (380 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 47.1%
    • 1×2 Profit = -8.0%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 33.7/3.9/9.5
    • U/O Total Hits = 60.0%
    • U/O Profit = -4.2%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 57.1/2.9
  • German Bundesliga 1 (306 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 51.6%
    • 1×2 Profit = -5.8%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 39.2/0.7/11.8
    • U/O Total Hits = 57.5%
    • U/O Profit = -5.3%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 6.9/50.7
  • Greek Ethniki Katigoria (240 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 53.8%
    • 1×2 Profit = -4.5%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 36.3/6.3/11.3
    • U/O Total Hits = 63.3%
    • U/O Profit = -1.1%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 56.3/7.1
  • Italian Serie A (380 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 52.9%
    • 1×2 Profit = -1.7%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 40.3/3.4/9.2
    • U/O Total Hits = 57.6%
    • U/O Profit = -1.4%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 45.0/12.6
  • Scottish Premier League (198 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 44.4%
    • 1×2 Profit = -22%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 33.3/0.0/11.1
    • U/O Total Hits = 59.1%
    • U/O Profit = -15.1%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 45.5/13.6
  • Spanish Primera Division (380 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 55.8%
    • 1×2 Profit = +4.5%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 42.6/1.1/12.1
    • U/O Total Hits = 51.8%
    • U/O Profit = -12.4%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 24.2/27.6
  • Turkish Super Lig (306 Matches)
    • 1×2 Total Hits = 56.9%
    • 1×2 Profit = +3.6%
    • 1×2 Hits [%] = 40.5/2.6/13.7
    • U/O Total Hits = 55.9%
    • U/O Profit = -4.9%
    • U/O Hits [%] = 36.3/19.6

Hit is a right prediction of match outcome. A hit is assigned to a match when bookmaker places the smallest payoff on a match winner. In order to estimate the accuracy of draw predictions a different heuristics is defined: If draw actually happens and the maximal difference between 1×2 odds was less than 0.125 points (corresponding to probability 8%), then a hit is assigned to this match.

Profit is the profit of a bettor who puts a one-dollar-stack on a bookies’ favorite in each match. Profit helps to understand bookmakers’ weak spots intuitively.

Number of Matches – the total number of the league matches played during a season.

1×2 Total Hits are the percent of home-win, draw and away-win hits respectively from the total number of matches.

1×2 Profit [%] is the profit in percent of total investment where bettor puts a one-dollar-stack on a bookies’ favorite in each match.

1×2 Hits [%] are the percent of home-win, draw and away-win hits separately. U/O

Total Hits [%] are the percent of total under/over 2.5 hits from the total number of matches.

U/O Hits [%] is the percent of total under/over hits separately.

U/O Profit is calculated like 1×2 Profit for the total under/over case.

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