Fulham and bookies

One thing I’ve often wondered about is whether some teams are good value with bookmakers. It always seemed to me that Fulham could be had at really good odds on 0-0 draws, for instance, although these days, what with this newfangled attacking play of Martin Jol’s, you never know where you are.

But still. Bookmakers’ odds reflect not just what they think will happen, but also what they think people will think when they see odds. So there’s no point in putting Man City v Wolves at 1-100 because nobody will put any money on; you have to make things tempting enough to attract punters but not so tempting that you’ll lose money. I’ll try to get more of these sportsbook reviews going next season, and of course you can look forward to the grand Predictortron evaluation just before things kick off, but in the meantime, anything interesting in the numbers?

You’d think that Fulham, being sort of anonymous, might very well fly under the general radar, but in fact the bookies had us just about right (again, we acknowledge here that the odds were a moving target, and that each week they reflected our position in the league, so they really ought to have been okay).

        Home av Away av T
Man United      1.4     1.8     3.2
Man City        1.4     1.9     3.3
Chelsea 1.5     2.2     3.7
Arsenal 1.6     2.6     4.2
Liverpool       1.7     2.4     4.1
Tottenham       1.7     2.6     4.3
Everton 2.3     4.3     6.6
Newcastle       2.5     4.6     7.1
Fulham  2.6     5.2     7.8
Aston Villa     2.9     5.4     8.3
Sunderland      2.9     5.2     8.2
Stoke   2.9     5.5     8.4
West Brom       3.1     5.5     8.6
Swansea 3.1     6.6     9.6
Norwich 3.2     7.3     10.5
Bolton  3.5     6.8     10.3
Blackburn       3.5     7.4     10.9
QPR     3.7     6.7     10.4
Wolves  3.9     8.1     12.0
Wigan   4.1     7.9     12.0

(please excuse formatting, but the numbers are the average decimal odds to win home games and the average decimal odds to win away games, then those two added together)

So yes, Fulham had the 9th ‘best’ odds and finished 9th. Chelsea weren’t as good as bookies match pricings, Wigan’s survival surprised everyone and their odds reflected this.

As I say, we’ll try to keep more of an eye on this sort of thing as the season progresses, perhaps some kind of crowd-inspired predictions contest, or maybe some sort of syndicate.  Open to suggestions.

One thought on “Fulham and bookies

  1. On last season’s betfair handicap Fulham finished 7th (ie. 7th best relative to pre-season expectation). Champions Manchester City were 2nd, closely followed by two of the newly-promoted sides (usually a good bet in such markets and for ‘value’ in Fantasy Football games) Swansea and Norwich. Newcastle were the runaway winners. At the other end Liverpool did worst. But relative to expectation not a whole worse than Wolves, Aston Villa and Chelsea.

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