FOOTBALL modellers OddsSmart (@OddSmart_) share their views on the weekend's Premier League action, picking out the biggest value bets according to their advanced algorithms.
OddSmart: Value, according to the numbers
As time is passing by, bookmakers are becoming increasingly scrupulous with the way they price sporting events, especially the five major European football leagues. The result of this is normal punters are getting stitched up time-after-time finding themselves betting on events at prices that are far too short without ever knowing. We want to help.
In short what we do is crunch the numbers on a vast number of metrics to come out with an Expected Goals (xG) figure for each side. This xG rating is unique to every team in every individual game they play and is constantly changing, so where hypothetically Crystal Palace may have an xG rating of 1.20 at home to Chelsea this weekend, if they were to play the same fixture again three weeks later the ratings would change based on the upturns and downturns in what we have identified as the critical measurables.
The xG figure allocated to a team is purely how many goals we expect the side to score as the xG figure itself has already factored in multiple facets of the oppositions defensive numbers. After everything is said and done, we have an xG figure for the home team and an xG figure for the away team. We can then run these through pricing models to give us what we believe is the true price on a number of markets from Match Odds to Correct Scores and everything in between.
We would then find the selections we believe to be value, check the team news to see if any injuries may have caused the discrepancy in price, and finally consult with a number of trusted experts before committing to a selection.
In conclusion, the simplest way to explain what we do is with the classic coin toss example. The chance on a coin toss if 50% which is implied odds of evens. However, if you got offered a chance to bet on heads at 5/4 (implied chance 44%) that would be massive value because the true price is even-money. We use the same principle but with football markets and over the course of a season beating the numbers you will finish ahead.
Norwich v Chelsea | Saturday 24th August 2019, 12:30 | BT Sport
Both these sides have had very contrasting starts to the Premier League season. Norwich have really displayed the quality that took them to the top-flight and have been fearless in their approach.
On the face of it, the Canaries’ opening day thrashing at Anfield could easily have appeared as an early warning sign they’re out of their depth but anybody that actually watched the game knew that the scoreline flattered Liverpool. Norwich proved that when they bounced back last weekend comfortably beating Newcastle 3-1 at home.
This week Norwich are again at Carrow Road again and will relish the visit of Frank Lampard’s men.
With the transfer ban hanging over their heads, and Lampard coming back as manager, it was difficult to pin down where the Blues would be this season as a team. Having watched their games in great detail, there’s a degree of organisation in the way they play, but they go to sleep defensively and look tremendously jittery after conceding.
Without a top centre forward it looks as though even when the Blues create chances they’re going to struggle to put them away, and with pressure mounting on Lampard already, combined with a full house at Carrow Road, we think his young team could struggle.
With all that said, we still need to find some value and we think there’s mileage in the Asian Handicap here. We can get Norwich +0.75 at 13/15 (BetVictor) in a market we believe they should be around +0.50 in. This gives us the cushion of a one-goal defeat returning half our stake in a game where we think Norwich should get a draw at the very least.
Brighton v Southampton | Saturday 24th August 2019, 15:00
Brighton were exceptionally good on the opening day away at Watford and followed it up with a dominant performance at home against West Ham in which VAR denied them the winner.
On the flip side of this, Southampton have started poorly losing 3-0 away at Burnley and 1-2 at home to Liverpool, meaning the Saints have conceded five goals in two games and only scored once because of an Adrian blunder.
Based on the above it will come as no surprise we’re going to take Brighton -0.25 here. Strangely, when we pulled the numbers on this game our selection is not as overpriced as we perhaps expected – we make it a 21/20 shot and it’s currently sitting at 11/10 (BetVictor).
However, we have no doubt that by 3pm Saturday that price will be closer to evens, and more importantly Brighton should get the job done. The beauty of the quarter line is that, even if they can’t get a winner, as long as they muster a draw we’ll get refunded half of our stake.