IN his latest analytical column, Will Dyer (@W2Dyer) explains why he believes Correct Score markets offer punters better value than Win + Both Teams To Score bets.
I wanted to investigate whether the Win + Both Teams To Score (also known as ‘1X2 and BTTS’ is just another bet type designed by the bookmakers to limit punters returns and in turn, make more profit.
The average Win + Both Teams To Score bet is priced at between 2/1 and 5/1 but most commonly around 3/1. For this type of bet, you are looking for a high-scoring match and a game in which neither sides defensive performance is going to be adequate enough to allow them to keep a clean sheet.
Essentially, you’re assuming that the winning side will outscore their opponents. My hypothesis is that backing the Correct Score is far more profitable than backing Win + Both Teams To Score.
The 2-1 Correct Score is usually available at best odds of around 10/1 and 3-1 is around 20/1; from that perspective it looks a no brainer. Let’s look at the percentage of final results in the Premier League for the past three seasons to try and support my theory…
Of the 990 Premier League games played since the beginning of the 2012/13 season there have been a total of 338 games (34%) in which Win + Both Teams To Score would have been a winning selection.
Firstly, that’s a pretty good ratio standing at over a third of games. But that’s assuming you’ve chosen the right winning team! Let’s now break those results down:
- 2-1 Correct Scores have equated for 43.5% of winning Win + Both Teams To Score selections.
- 3-1 Correct Scores have equated for 22.8% of winning Win + Both Teams To Score selections.
- 3-2 Correct Scores have equated for 14.2% of winning Win + Both Teams To Score selections.
- 4-1 Correct Scores have equated for 8.6% of winning Win + Both Teams To Score selections.
- Other Correct Scores have equated for 10.9% of winning Win + Both Teams To Score selections.
So we can see that 66.3%, almost exactly two thirds, of winning Win + Both Teams To Score selections have been either 2-1 or 3-1 at full-time.
Some quick calculations show my theory stands up in the comparison of Level Stakes Profit (LSP) between Win + Both Teams To Score and Correct Scores. Let’s assume that you made 100 bets on Win + Both Teams To Score at average odds of 3/1. If you had 34 winners at average odds of 3/1, going by the statistics above, that would return a profit of +36 LSP.
However, if you instead chose to bet on the 2-1 Correct Score in all of those games at average odds of 10/1 you would have had approximately 15 winners and that would have returned a LSP of +65.
For the 3-1 Correct Score, approximately eight winners at average odds of 20/1 and a LSP of +68. Those profit figures for 2-1 and 3-1 could be further improved by removing games in which you see a clear winner, i.e. the games more likely to finish 4-1, 4-2, 5-1 etc.
I think the best strategy for backing a result in games like this is to cover both the 2-1 and 3-1 Correct Scores in every game; that would return 310 points assuming you had 8 winning 3-1s and 15 winning 2-1s for every 100 games played, at average odds.
After subtracting all the losing bets that would leave the LSP at +133. That’s significantly greater than the estimated +46 LSP of Win + Both Teams To Score bets.
There are certainly games in which the Win + Both Teams To Score market is a decent selection e.g. those highly volatile games in which any scoreline seems possible. But I would suggest that more often than not the Correct Score bet type is a better option.
There are plenty of games in which the 2-1 Correct Score is over 10/1 and the 3-1 Correct Score is around 30/1 or more, which would further increase profit should you correctly predict those scorelines.
Of course you will have more losing selections when backing Correct Scores but in the long run the reward should outweigh the risk.
This season there have already been 37 2-1 scorelines in the Premier League. That’s 16% of the 230 games played; a huge increase from the 10% in 2013/14 season and suggests that there will be many more this season, closer to the 18% of the 2012/13 season.
Backing 2-1s could be a profitable avenue for the remainder of this Premier League season. There have been 19 3-1 results this season too, which is on course to match last season’s 32 and better 2012/13’s 26.
For matches in which the final score sees one side outscore the other but by a scoreline other than 2-1 or 3-1; for example, 3-2, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3 etc, I still believe there’s more value to be had backing the Correct Score rather than the Win + Both Teams To Score market.
The odds on such results are far superior to the 2/1-5/1 usually available on Win + Both Teams To Score and assuming you think the game is going to be a goalfest, then the odds are higher on such results.
The 3-2 scoreline has been the third most common result in ‘outscoring’ fixtures in the Premier League since 2012 and the odds on that result are regularly over 30/1.
Though a great deal of luck is required for these selections I think, if choosing the right matches, you could get a strike rate of more than one winning bet for every 30 made, thus making profit. There were 19 3-2 wins in 2013/14 (5% of all results), which suggests you, could quite easily get more than one in 30 (3%).
Plenty of studies have discussed the increasing competitiveness of the Premier League in recent seasons. The away win percentage of the Premier League last season was 32.4%, higher than ever before. Perhaps that could explain the high volume of Win + Both Teams To Score results as many of those away wins saw both sides score; 55 of the 124 ‘outscoring’ games in 2013/14 were away wins.
So the lesson? When looking towards the Win + Both Teams To Score market, why not deviate from the plan a back a correct score or two on the same match instead. It certainly looks like the best avenue to rack up more profit.