Monday, May 20, 2024

Season Handicap Betting 23/24: The Results

It's the day after the Premier League. You know what that means?

As usual, it's time for me to take a look back at the season handicap betting post I published ahead of the commencement of the four domestic football leagues and see how my spreadsheet fared.

In 2023-24, to put it bluntly, it stank.

Before I begin, I suggest rereading the August 2nd 2023 post to see what the predicted tables looked like so you can compare them to the actual tables.

Premier League
My spreadsheet projected a top four of Arsenal, Everton, Wolves and Manchester City. I opted to go with Everton because the Toffees had forty-eight points as a head-start.

It was a foolish punt in hindsight because Everton ended up with an eight-point deduction during the season for breaking Premier League rules about finance. 

The team finished with an actual point round-up of 40. That makes it 88 in the season handicap table. It wasn't enough because the winning team was Aston Villa which had a thirty-two point head-start and ended up picking up sixty-eight points in actual play.

Season Handicap Betting 2023-24: Premier League

Ipswich Town finished second to Leicester City in the actual Championship. However, when it came to the season handicap betting market, the first and second place close was reversed with Ipswich's twelve-points added to their actual 96 to top the table with 108.

Leicester were favourites and had a handicap of zero before a ball was kicked. Their 97 points kept them above Leeds and Southampton in the table.

My pick - Middlesbrough - finished off fourteenth in the table with a tally of 77 after starting out with eight.

Season Handicap Betting 2023-24: Championship

League 1
Portsmouth topped both the real League 1 table as well as that for the season handicap division.

Pompey had a five-point advantage. As did the team I went with - Barsnley.

The Barnsley selection turned out to be a wrong call because their total of eighty-one was not enough to make it anywhere near the top of the table. It was eleventh when everything was added up.

Season Handicap Betting 2023-24: League 1

League 2
There was a three-way dead-heat in the table for League 2 with Stockport County (6 points), Mansfield Town (12 points) and Crawley Town (28 points) all finishing off with ninety-eight points in the season handicap table.

My spreadsheet predicted the top four would be Stockport, Notts County, Gillingham and Wrexham respectively, but I opted to side with Gillingham because its 10 points was the higher number contrasted with the other three teams.

If I had simply backed the first team on my spreadsheets' predictions, rather than choose the one I liked the most out of the top four (because I each-way bet), I would have had a winner with Stockport. Instead, my gamble on Gillingham did not pay off because they finished off in sixteenth place with a total score of seventy-four.

Season Handicap Betting 2023-24: League 2

And that's all for the 2023-24 season. It could be the end of these season handicap posts altogether.

I will have to reconsider what to do ahead of the 2024-25 seasons because there has been a change in Bet365's rules about Lucky 15 wagers.

Earlier this year, the company emailed to inform me that it had withdrawn the bonus that is applied to 'Lucky' markets if only one selection wins. I always liked to do these season handicap wagers with Lucky 15s because I had the opportunity of doubling my odds should only one of the four selections work out in my favour.

The loss of the potential bonus is of no benefit to me for markets like this. If you go back and read every season handicap post ahead of the new season, I always point out that I do these wagers for fun. One of the aspects of 'fun' was feeling there was a chance one of those selections could hit for me and, if I only had one come in, I would be doubling up the odds on offer. So, for example, my 14/1 bets would end up at 28s and I would see a little bit of a return IF things worked out for me.

Bet365's rule change has taken part of the fun away.

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