Did you know that Bet365’s operating profit in 2019 was 1 billion USD? Sure the full amount does not only come from sports betting, but the number gives you a feeling about your chances when placing your next bet. Let it digest for a moment. In 2020 the operating profit was 74% lower, just because the managing directors decided to have a slightly higher paycheck (over 560m USD).
Why do you have the feeling that you can beat the bookie? Why do you think you can do better when facts speak a clear language? Let’s set benchmarks to know the starting point. There are hundreds of highly skilled employees by bet365 (just like by most of the big brands out there) and they work 40+ hours per week to get the numbers right.
Now let me ask you a question. Would you let a carpenter build your website? I guess not. At least not in the first few months of learning. It takes time for anybody to learn how to build a website and the same goes for predicting the game outcomes. If the only thing you do when you do the mathematical prediction is looking at the names, recent form and maybe some news, then you did NOT do enough. To translate this into your previous example: You are a carpenter whose websites will not work.
You have to invest time. Lots of time. First you have to learn the theory and then you have to analyse fixture after fixture and do the predictions. If you spend less than half an hour analysing a fixture, then you are a lazy bum and the only thing you deserve is failure.
You may not imagine what a difficult job analyzing games is. You simply sit on your ass all day long and at the end you only select 10% of fixtures you bet on. You might indeed get some help by mathematical football predictions, but you need more than that. Predicting football results is a tough job and you have to give it what it takes. Let me give you the list of the areas to focus on.
Roll a dice! Roll the dice thousand times and write down your results. Time consuming? Indeed, but only then you will notice the distribution of probabilities. In the case you don’t feel like and have trust in what we are saying, here we go. From those 1000 rolls, the ratio of outcomes will be close 1:6. There is no escape to it and by the way: By fooling with this number, the bookmakers will make money.
How? The probability 1:6 is 16.666% and decimal odds are 6.00. If you were a bookmaker, all you had to do is push the odds below the 6.00 and the rest will be done by the laws of nature. My advice is the following. Learn about the theory of probability and apply it to the football predictions. The most important thing is the data you feed it with and once you have it, the Poisson distribution formula will take care of the calculus.
This is the second most important point. You can still screw it up, even if you have the knowledge. You can easily get blown away by emotions, let me just give you a few examples. The biggest mistake is when you follow the crowds. Let’s say you analyse a match between FC Bayern and FC Barcelona. You love Barcelona and the cravings for your favourite team to win cause you to make a few mistakes. You fall prey to cognitive bias by ignoring the obvious reasons to predict different probabilities. You skip and don’t include the data that do not support your “heart”. Your heart is a bad adviser and you should always be critical when it comes to feelings. This is a dangerous thing and if you are not able to separate feelings and facts, then you are not the right person for this job.