Knee jerk reaction to new football season

13/08/2015 | By | Reply More

Not a trick question, but how many games are there in the season?

Well there are 38 in the premier league and 46 in the other three tiers. So if you win the first match of the season what impact would that have on your chances? Not much you would think. Three points divided by 38 isn’t exactly a large number, but last weekend we saw quite a large reaction to some mundane first day results.

Chelsea’s difficulty in breaking down Swansea caused their price to jump from 2.68 to around three’s. Even without playing a game Manchester City’s price contracted from 4’s. Manchester United more or less staid the same as their result was viewed as neutral. The biggest move however, was reserved for Arsenal who were trading at 4.00 before the start of their match only to rocketed out to 6.2 after their shock defeat to West Ham.

Off season

Arsenal’s prices contracted a fair bit in the off-season as people have taken the view that the chances have improved given the extra money has been made available to strengthen the squad. West Ham weren’t considered viable opponents on the first day of the season, so this was considered an easy match to start with. But of course we all know how football is so unpredictable and also how Arsenal never seem to get off to a good start.

Personally speaking I think this is a significant overreaction and moves like this, with only one game of the 38 game season gone; seems to stretch credibility a bit. Are we suggesting that Arsenal’s chances of wining have changed so dramatically?

Just unlucky?

Football is intrinsically uncertain, you can play a good game but still lose. You could have a billion shots on target only to score none. While your opponent doesn’t have one shot on target but benefits from a freaky own goal, that is football! Arsenal had 22 shots on target verses West Ham’s eight. They had six shots on target against West Ham’s four, it just happened that West Ham scored with two of those. Last year Arsenal traded at 5.8 but shot out to 10’s on a shaky start. We appear to be experiencing a sense of déjà vu!

What happened last year?

As I explained in a previous post, the league nearly always reverts to mean over the course of the season, so any short-term aberration is worth a trade. Typically however the winner market is slightly harder to benefit on this,  but it’s probably still worth a shot. It’s usually easier to profit, more uncertain relegation market. The problem you have with the winner market can be illustrated by looking at what happened if we would have had backed Arsenal to win. Chelsea got off to such a great start, so as their price contracted, everything else drifted. So even if you did decide to back Arsenal for the title, with the expectation of their price shortening again. You’d have to do it on the basis that nobody gets off to a good start. Currently the market likes the look of Manchester city, so any trade you do would have to be based on the fact of whether you agree with that opinion.

I think it’s too early to make any strong opinions at the moment.

09-08-2015 21-13-57 - Arsenal

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Category: Featured, Football trading strategies

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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