Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two Approaches To Tackle Premier League Season Handicap Betting 2013/14

Each year, I dedicate a post or two to predicting how the season handicap tables will look at the end of the season. The topic is back again for today and tomorrow as the new season is almost upon us.

I'll be dedicating today to the Premier League. I will cover my approaches to handicap betting on the Championship, League one and two tomorrow.

To begin, I must start with an explanation of how handicap betting works. This is where copy-and-paste from one of my earlier posts comes in handy:

These bets are confusing for the lay bettor but here is my best way of explaining:

For example, Newcastle United have 37 points in this bet. In May, when all the games have been played, these points are added to the amount the Magpies have accrued throughout the season. So - say they have 24 points in the proper Premier League table - the total, including the handicap points, would be 61.

Then you have to factor in the points attained by all other teams as well as the handicap points that the bookmakers have assigned to each team

Approach 1 : Blindly picking the second team that came up
A number of years ago, I had an idea of picking the runner-up in the Championship after West Bromwich Albion won the league handicap table in the following year.
I selected Norwich each-way and I believe they finished in third or fourth of the handicap table when both sets of points were tallied up.
Last year, I repeated this process by selecting Reading. This bet did not pay off as they ended up seventeenth in the tallied table.
If I am to 'give it one more go' this year, the team I would have to select is Hull City. They have a forty-six point head start which is one point more than Norwich had when I had won with them two seasons ago.

Approach 2 : The Points Per Position Method
Over the years, I've been keeping a look at the average of points per position. For instance, the team that has won the Premier League over the past nine seasons has done so with a give-or-take point average of eighty-eight.
For approach two, I placed each team in the order of how the betting sees how they will do. Most bookies have Chelsea as the favourite with Manchester United and Manchester City in order behind. 
Using a speadsheet, I added the average point per position to the handicap points each team were given. I then put the totals in descending order to find the top four (for each-way betting).
The order is as follows, with the handicap points in parenthesis:
Chelsea (1) 89pts
Swansea (34) 88pts
Man Utd (2) 85pts
Newcastle (33) 84pts
The one concerning team on this list is Newcastle United as I have a feeling they are in for a poor season.
As I like to bet these markets with an each-way bet, I'll be picking Swansea this year. An eleven wins and one draw head start is too tempting compared to the alternatives.
I'll be back tomorrow with a look at the Championship, League One and League Two.

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