How To Improve Your Soccer Bets is a series of articles that describe some well known and well used statistical techniques that will help the soccer punter make more informed bets. Each of the techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages and using them in isolation will improve your chances of winning. However, together they will prove invaluable in your battle with the bookies. In each article we will describe in detail how a particular method works giving you enough information for you to go ahead and create your own forecasts. We will also give you information as to where you can already find websites that use this technique in comprising their weekly forecasts.
The statistical methods described in this set of articles will help you to arrive at a better decision about the match, or matches, that you are betting on.
In this article we will be describing the well known Simple Sequence method. The Simple Sequence method is not just a single method, there are many ways of devising a simple sequence method, and you could probably devise one of your own. The way the Simple Sequence method is implemented in the Footyforecast 2.0 software and on the 1X2Monster website is to use a weighting factor on each of a series of games.
Here are the basic rules…
A number of matches are used to look back at from the forecast date. So let’s say our team has the following results (most recent on the right hand side):
W D L L W
This would give them the following points: 3 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 3 = 7
Now to take into account current form each is given a weighting factor, so the oldest match is multiplied by 1 up to the most recent match being multiplied by 5. Of course this will vary depending upon the number of matches you use, but for this example it gives us the following:
31 + 12 + 03 + 04 + 3*5 = 20 points
Now let’s say the away team playing against the team above have the following record:
W W D D D
They will have:
31 + 32 + 13 + 14 + 1*5 = 21 points.
The points difference HOME v AWAY = 20 – 21 = -1.
Now, depending how you classify this it could represent an away win, i.e. all matches below a points difference of 0 = away win, or it could be classed as a draw.
Let’s look at a simple example…
For our example we will use the last ten games played for each team. That’s the last ten home games for the home side, and the last ten away games for the away side. The match is between Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers in the English Premiership played on 20th Jan 2007.
L L W W W D L D W W
01 + 02 + 33 + 34 + 35 + 16 + 07 + 18 + 39 + 310
0+0+9+12+15+6+0+8+27+30 = 107
L W W W D L L W W L
01 + 32 + 33 + 34 + 15 + 06 + 07 + 38 + 39 + 010
0+6+9+12+5+0+0+24+27+0 = 83
Therefore the difference is
107 – 83 = +24
This could be determined as a home win but depending on your chosen threshold levels could be classed as a draw.
Now it’s your turn…
Of course you may choose to use different values to those shown above and by experimenting you may come up with better values to use. You may also choose to use all home and away games played by each team in your calculations instead of just home games for the home team and away games for the away team. You may choose to have different thresholds than those shown above. You may also find it beneficial to plot actual results against the Simple Sequence method predictions to see how many actual draws fall in the away win, draw, and home win prediction zones.
If you have the necessary skills you could go away and build your own spreadsheet of data or even write a piece of software to take in results and fixtures and apply the Simple Sequence method to your data. Or, if you’re lazy like me, you could grab some free software that already does this for you. If this last option is for you then visit 1X2Monster where you can download a FREE copy of the Footyforecast 2.0 software which utilises all of the statistical methods described in this series of articles. You will also be able to download FREE weekly database updates for your software, how cool is that?