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The Football Analyst analysed

The Football Analyst is a system-based football betting advisory service run by a fella called Graeme Dand. Graeme contacted me through my Soccer Systems blog partway through last season and initially there was a bit of a personality clash and we perhaps got off on the wrong foot. Since then, and especially in the last few weeks, Graeme and I have had some good challenging discussions on the SBC forum and via email and I think we both now have a much better understanding of where the other is coming from. Most of the discussions we have had concern The Football Analyst so I figured it was about time I had a look at the service in more detail.

The Football Analyst uses a system-based approach, which makes sense when you understand Graeme’s fondness for data, spreadsheets and analysis techniques. Over the last couple of years Graeme has developed a number of betting systems, many of which underwent a live trial on his blog last season resulting in what have come to be known as the established systems. There are also several new systems being trialled over the coming season but as these have yet to have any live testing I will limit my analysis to the established systems only, a total of 11 systems.

It’s not my place to discuss how the systems were developed but I think a few explanatory words concerning the names are required. The various systems on offer have very simple names: System 6, System 21 etc. It’s refreshing to see a nice, simplistic approach to naming rather than trying too hard to come up with grandiose sounding titles. The naming convention also allows the user some insight into the system development methods. The 11 established systems are split into five ‘single-number’ systems and six ‘combo’ systems. The former are individual ideas worked up into systems so System 6 presumably looks to exploit a different angle to System 8 and so on. The combo systems are the common selections from the constituent systems, e.g. System 6-21 is the overlap between System 6 and System 21 so selections in System 6-21 are those that appear on both System 6 and System 21. Not everyone would think to develop new systems from the intersection of others so full credit to Graeme for thinking outside the box here.

In order to analyse any system I need data. Graeme was kind enough to send me data for all of his systems covering backtesting and live trial data where available. He also sent me performance summaries for the established systems, showing the number of bets, winners, SR, profit and ROI for each system broken down by season, division and so on. But not being one to take too much on trust when it comes to gambling I wanted to verify these findings for myself.

Unfortunately, I can’t completely verify Graeme’s figures as the team names have been removed from his data. Bets are identified by date and division and include the predicted result, actual result and the odds. Normally I wouldn’t take the match result and odds from a tipster’s record but would extract them from my own database but that’s not possible here as I require the team names to uniquely identify the matches. I can recalculate whether each bet was a winner or a loser and the profit/loss of each bet so I can at least double-check some of Graeme’s workings but I have to take the rest on trust, which doesn’t sit too comfortably with me. That said, I don’t think Graeme is trying to screw me (or anyone else). He told me that he doesn’t keep the team names in his analysis sheets which is a little unfortunate as it means I can’t verify as much of the data as I would have liked so I will just have to make do really. It puts a slight caveat on my findings but as I said I don’t think Graeme is deliberate obscuring data to make verification impossible, it’s just how he chooses to work with his data.

As the service on offer includes a number of systems it may be tempting to ask the service operator for some advice on how to get the best from what is on offer. Graeme will be the first to admit he doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to the best way to use his systems so I will perform some analysis of my own. It’s a matter of personal preference anyway when it comes to balancing risk and reward and volumes of bets so I would always prefer to do my own analysis rather than rely on someone else’s opinion.

I have split the data from Graeme into the individual systems, recalculated some aspects of it and also analysed the results in terms of seasonal returns, performance by division and so on. Where possible I have verified my figures against the summary data I was sent so I have confirmation that my figures and Graeme’s match. Let’s take a look at each system individually.

Over the past five seasons System 6 has seen in excess of 3000 bets with a strike rate of just over 45% generating 468.85pts in profit at a ROI of 15.06%. On the face of it these are attractive figures but it is worth noting that there has been a year-on-year decrease in profit and ROI with last season returning less than 25pts profit at a ROI of less than 5% (24.68pts at 4.31% to be exact). This is significantly down on the first season performance which saw a profit of 169.07pts with a ROI of 22.66%. The SR is also much lower for last season than for any of the previous seasons. Only 41.71% of bets last season were winners, a few percent lower than average and nearly 2.5% lower than the previous worst (44.10% in 07-08). There is not too much of significance in the performance breakdown by division. The system is profitable across all divisions although not so much in the Championship. One can’t expect any system to be equally effective across all leagues though; there will be some natural variance and I think that’s all we’re seeing here. The same is true of the monthly split so no need to look any deeper at that.

The breakeven SR, based on average win odds of 2.55, comes out at 39.27% which is quite a bit lower than the average SR for the past five years suggesting there is an edge to this system but last season’s results show a much reduced edge with the lower SR. The longest losing run (LLR) saw 13 consecutive losers, which is perfectly in line with the calculated expected longest losing run (ELLR) of 14. In other words, things have already gone about as badly as we could reasonably expect them to go on at least one occasion and the system has survived. The profit peaked at 471.64pts and reached a low of -6.99pts but those figures assume each bet runs consecutively rather than some running concurrently so they are a little misleading but useful nevertheless. Based on the ELLR and previous drawdowns one could probably get away with a bank of around 30pts for this system but a larger sum would obviously provide more security.

System 7 shows a number of similar characteristics to System 6 as it happens. It’s not as busy as the previous system with 1516 bets of which 729 (48.09%) were winners generating a profit of 258.20pts (17.03%) but the SR and ROI are slightly higher. The same trend across the seasons can be observed too with the SR for the 10-11 season much lower than previous seasons (43.34% against a previous low of 46.25% in 07-08) and nearly 5% down on the five-year average. Unsurprisingly the relatively low SR results in a smaller profit too, just 16.19pts last season at a rate of 5.52%. In fact the year-on-year drop in ROI is evident once more with the latest season’s ROI not much more than one-fifth of the 06-07 figure (25.26%). The divisional breakdown doesn’t show anything of great concern. The relatively poor Championship performance is evident once more but I don’t think it’s worth worrying about. Incidentally the strike rate for the SPL is under 42% but the bets in that division show an above-average return of 19.23% demonstrating that strike rate isn’t everything. Presumably there has been some value opposing the Old Firm over the years. The monthly splits show losses in February and April over the years but I don’t feel it is anything significant.

With average win odds of 2.43 resulting in a breakeven SR of 41.09% it looks like there is a decent edge here again but once more the most recent SR indicates a much smaller edge. System 7 has yet to experience the worst of it, based on the LLR and ELLR of 8 and 12 respectively. In other words there has been at least one losing run of 8 bets but given the sample size and strike rate one could reasonably expect to have seen a run of 12 consecutive losers. The total profit peaked at 272.57pts, over 14pts higher than the end of season total which suggests there was a rough little spell towards the end there. Indeed, a quick check shows that April ’11 saw a loss of nearly 15pts which pretty much explains that one. Despite that, a bank of 25 to 30pts ought to be sufficient I’d say.

Another continuing trend is that of a decreasing total number of bets – System 8 has far fewer than System 7 which was well down on System 6. Over the past five seasons there have been 830 bets on System 8 of which 417 were winners for a strike rate of 50.24%, the highest of the systems I have looked at so far. The ROI is also the highest of the three systems analysed, registering 23.24% with a total profit of 192.93pts. However, the familiar trend of a below average season in 10-11 is evident once more. The SR drops of to 44.38% for last season with 14.34pts profit coming at a return on investment of 8.96%. Admittedly that rate of return is better than for the previous systems in the same season but it is still below average. The Championship performance is weaker than the other divisions once more with the SPL not too far behind but this time there are no concerns over the monthly figures.

An overall strike rate of 50.24% suggests a significant edge when one considers the average winning odds are 2.45 giving a breakeven SR of 40.77%. It’s true once more that this edge was much smaller last season with the lower SR but even last season’s figure of 44.38% allows plenty of wiggle room. The recorded LLR is 11 consecutive losing bets which is actually slightly longer than the ELLR of 10 so followers of this system have already had a taste of how bad things can get and should be prepared. There was a peak in the total profit at 202.84pts which occurred back in mid-March so the system had a bit of a rocky end to the season. As with System 7 it was a tricky April that did the damage. Given the greater SR and the impact that has on the ELLR a bank of perhaps just 20pts would suffice but personally I would look to go with at least 25pts if not 30pts.

Attention now shifts to System 21, a much busier system than the previous one with a total of 2455 bets, 1148 winners (46.76%) and a profit of 477.68pts (19.46%). This system fits right into the same pattern we have seen previously though and it should come as no surprise that the figures from the early seasons are much better than those for last season. In the last campaign the SR was down over 6% on the average at 40.70% with the ROI right down at 4.69% with a total profit of only 22.92pts. The SR, profit and ROI have decreased with every passing season and one must wonder if this trend will continue. Interestingly though none of the individual divisions stand out on the figures particularly. There is some variation in performance level across the leagues, obviously, but none of this seems significant. The same can be said for the monthly figures with no time of the year outshining any other.

The average odds of the winners on System 8 are 2.55 so with a 39.15% breakeven SR there is the usual edge we have already seen with the other systems although this time that edge is pretty slim for the 10-11 season. And the figures suggest there are worse times ahead. To date there have been losing runs no longer than 10 consecutive bets but the expected longest losing run comes out at 13. This, combined with the poor performance last season (January, February and April were all losing months), is a bit of a concern. Indeed, the profit peaked in early January (at 491.02pts) and has slipped back around 14pts since. That’s perhaps not that worrying but who knows if the previous trends will continue and next season will be even worse? Based on the ELLR a bank of 30pts could be enough but given what we have seen here I would be tempted to revise that figure upwards.

The last of the single-number systems to come under scrutiny is System 22 which has seen 1219 bets over the past five years of which 586 have been winners (48.07%) resulting in a total profit of 323.57pts which came at a rate of 26.54%. Once again though last season was poor in comparison to what had gone before. The first couple of seasons saw ROIs up around 40% but this was probably unsustainable anyway. Last season’s ROI was 8.89%, which in isolation would be respectable but is poor compared to the five-year average and previous seasons, and the strike rate was way down at just 40.82%. There are no divisional concerns at all this time and the profits are pretty evenly spread throughout the season but that tendency for the latest season to be the worst of the bunch is a little off-putting.

I have no problems with the edge this system seems to have with a breakeven SR of 37.99% due to average win odds of 2.63 but obviously the edge is reduced in the latest season with the SR so low. Followers of this one have experienced the worst of it too as the LLR and ELLR both come out as 11 losers on the spin which would suggest a bank in the region of 25 to 30pts. The total profit reaches a high of 339.70pts in mid-January of this year but it’s pretty much all downhill from there. In fact last season was very much a season of two halves, more so than I have observed for any of the other systems. It was profits all the way until mid-Jan, up 37.91pts at one stage but the rest of the season saw a loss of 16.13pts with losses recorded in January, February, March and April.

Let’s now have a look and see if this idea of using the crossover between individual systems works, starting with the first of the combo systems, System 6-21. Given that both constituent systems struggled in the most recent campaign compared to previous years it is only reasonable to expect the same from this system and it doesn’t disappoint. The five-year figures show 1546 bets of which 737 were winners – a strike rate of 47.67% – generating a total of 365.51pts of profit at a rate of 23.64% but last season that SR was down as low as 41.61% with a ROI of 9.08%. Once again these figures could be acceptable had previous years not set the bar so high. There are double-figure ROIs in each of the divisions covered so this combo effort has addressed the potential Championship defect seen System 6. With the exception of below-average figures for October – where the ROI drops off to under 5% – the profits are spread right throughout the season.

The decent overall SR allows a good margin over the breakeven SR which is 38.56% thanks to average odds on the winning bets of 2.59. Results to date have been relatively blessed though as the longest losing run has only reached nine in a row whereas the sums reckon on an expected longest losing run of 12 bets. The advised bank figure, based on that ELLR, is right in line with the other systems coming out at around 25 to 30pts. The peak in the total profit came at 370.81pts back in January of this year and things have been a bit flat since then. There were three losing months in the second half of the season but fortunately they were all small losses (-1.21pts in January, -4.35pts in February and -2.10pts in April).

Next under the microscope is System 6-22, the overlap between System 6 and System 22, fairly obviously. The intersection between these two systems is smaller than we saw previously with 944 bets in the past five seasons. In that lot there were 457 winners for a strike rate of 48.41% and a profit of 283.93pts at a healthy rate of 30.08%. The decreasing SR and ROI is evident once more but I am inclined to more or less forgive that given last season’s profit of 25.26pts at a return on investment of 13.66%. Even a further dip next season would probably still result in a nice profit. That’s not to say it’s not a worrying trend, of course, just that it is slightly less concerning than for previous systems. Once again the Championship difficulty seems to have been addressed as the profits are fairly evenly spread across the divisions and throughout the year.

The edge is slightly bigger for this system than for the previous system with a breakeven SR of just 37.22%, the lowest of any of the systems analysed so far. In terms of losing runs things could get a little worse as the ELLR comes out at 11, one greater than the longest losing run experienced to date but the figures are pretty similar so the data should give a reasonable idea of what lies ahead. As with previous systems the peak profits came midway through January, reaching 296.57pts, and things dipped in the second-half of last season.

The spotlight shines on System 7-21 now, a system that picked out 958 bets of which 483 were winners for a strike rate of 50.42% and a total profit of 244.45pts at a rate of 25.52%. And finally the spell is broken – the 2010-11 figures are right up there with previous years. OK, so the first season was a stormer with a ROI of 38.11% but since then things have calmed down a little and last year’s 19.39% ROI is almost identical to the figures from 07-08 and 09-10. The strike rate from last year is down a little on previous years at 46.28% but it’s not a world away from 07-08’s 47.03%. When the figures are viewed by division rather than by season a slight question mark appears over the SPL. There are far fewer bets in that division than in the other leagues, the strike rate is significantly lower and the bets seem less profitable with a ROI of just 6.44%. It may be nothing to worry about, the effects of a relatively small sample, but I felt it worth noting all the same. In terms of monthly profits, across the years February and April exhibit a dip in performance but again I don’t think it need overly concern us at this stage.

Once again the system seems to enjoy a sizeable edge, the overall SR being well in excess of the 40.17% breakeven SR dictated by the average winning odds of 2.49. There are longer losing runs on the horizon though as the longest to date has been seven but the figures suggest an expected longest losing run of 10 in a row. Given those figures one could reasonably employ a bank of around 25pts I’d say. For this system the profit peak, 250.77pts, is only a few points above the current figure and occurred in mid-March, a couple of months after most previous systems peaked. That suggests the second half of the season wasn’t so bad for Systems 7-21 and a look at the profits by month backs up that view. Losses were recorded in February and April but the magnitude of each was no worse than a typical winning month so in effect they both just cancelled out a winning month.

System 7-22 is one of the quieter systems on offer providing 667 bets over the past five seasons. Of those bets the system picked the winner on 336 occasions for a strike rate of 50.37% and made a profit of 224.14pts for a 33.60% return on investment. Unfortunately the all-too-familiar trend of the seasonal ROI dropping on a year-on-year basis is back again but despite that last season’s profit of 32.65pts was generated at a rate 24.92%. This may be nearly 20% down on the 2005-06 figure but it’s still bloody good. The SR is low again for the 10-11 season, the 45.80% recorded being the worst seasonal performance of the seasons I have data for, and it’s around 5% down on the overall average but that seems to be the way of things. When viewed by division it becomes apparent that profits are spread very equally throughout the leagues and the story is similar for the year-round split although February raises a very slight cause for concern.

The winners have come at average odds of 2.65 for a breakeven SR of 37.70%, a long way short of the overall system SR indicating a solid advantage here. Once again the expected longest losing run is a couple of notches higher of the worst run experienced to date. The ELLR comes out at 10 but we are yet to see a run longer than eight losers in a row on this one. Once again though a bank of somewhere around 25pts would seem sensible based on these figures. The total profit reaches a maximum of 234.43pts in mid-March, again suggesting a calmer second half of the season compared to the earlier systems. In fact System 7-22 underwent a similar season to System 7-21 in that respect.

We’re coming towards the end of what’s on offer now and second-to-last we have System 8-21. The past five seasons have seen a total of 325 winners from 636 bets for a strike rate of 51.10% and 168.42pts coming at a return on investment of 26.48%. The seasonal strike rate for 2010-11 is again well down on the average at 46.09% but isn’t a million miles away from the previous worst figure of 47.92% in 2007-08. It’s still the worst of the bunch though so it’s not all good news. The ROI for last season is also significantly lower than in previous years at 15.91% but the previous trend of an annual drop-off is not apparent here with a more random variation in the rates of return. As we have seen with some of the previous systems a question mark hangs over the SPL figures which actually show a slight loss but I have no real concerns other than that as the profits seem pretty well spread throughout the campaign.

The difference between the actual strike rate of 51.10% and the breakeven SR is around 10% again as it has been for previous systems I have analysed. The average winning odds are 2.48 resulting in a breakeven SR of 40.40%. Unlike the last few systems I have looked at though this one has seen the worst run out already. There has been a run of 10 losing bets in a row and that’s exactly what the ELLR predicts should happen. The peak profit is around 10pts higher than the current figure at 178.67pts, a value that was recorded in January but was almost equalled again in March so it seems again that we have another relatively stable second-half to the season for one of the systems. A closer look at the figures shows February was not as bad for this system as for some of the others but April was worse with a loss of more than 12pts from just 20 bets. Swings and roundabouts though I guess.

Finally we come to System 8-22 which has seen the fewest bets over the years of all the systems, just 457 of which 237 (51.86%) were winners creating a profit of 160.47pts at 35.11% return on investment. Like the previous system the seasonal strike rate was lowest of all in the most recent season, as was the ROI, but the variation in those figures shows no clear pattern and is more random than we have seen before. Also in line with the previous system the divisional performance figures are excellent for all divisions other than the SPL which does little better than breakeven really. A similar question mark can be placed over the figures for April as the bets in that month show a loss across the years, albeit only a slight one (-1.92pts, -3.92%).

The average winning odds for System 8-22 are a touch higher than for System 8-21 at 2.61 which gives a lower breakeven strike rate of 38.38%. This compares very favourably to the overall SR and one can expect to see a solid advantage from this system. The longest losing run to date has been eight which is one notch lower than the ELLR figure of nine. Similarly to previous analyses the peak profit is around 10pts above the current figure, standing at 171.22pts which was achieved in January and all but equalled in March. In fact this system seems to have operated almost in parallel with System 8-21. As with that one February was a steady losing month while April was a proper stinker, a loss of all but one of the 14 bets struck for a loss of 12.30pts.

With 11 established systems to analyse there is a lot to take in. Fortunately there is a general template that nearly all those 11 systems seem to follow and that’s one that includes a relatively poor season (in comparison with what has gone before) when the system is opened up to live trialling. We’ve seen that year on year decrease in the ROI and SR in the majority of the systems analysed and one can’t help but wonder what the cause of that is and whether it is set to continue. Why should there be such a drop-off in strike rate? Was last season an odd season results-wise (other analysis I have done on football data suggests otherwise)? Perhaps the systems aren’t able to live up to the billing afforded them by the backtested results. Maybe there is some other reason but in all likelihood we’ll never really know.

It’s an important point to raise because at this point we don’t know if this trend is an ongoing one. Are last season’s results typical of a live season for these systems and thus next season we should expect more of the same? Or next season could we expect a further drop away in performance? If so, it raises doubts about whether one should be following some of these systems. On the other hand though, despite the annual drop-off in performance, several of these systems have shown excellent profits in their live trials and that has to be respected. And of course if performance were to return to previous levels the profits would be incredible. Future performance can never be known in advance and ultimately there isn’t enough live trial data to go on at this stage to determine how these systems are likely to perform in coming years.

Graeme had mentioned previously that last season was one of two distinct halves that my analysis agrees with that finding. Lumping all the systems together we see a very profitable run covering September through to the end of the year, the ROI of which was running close to 25%. January is a transition month with only a small profit and then the rains came. A loss of over 60pts in February was cancelled out by March but there wasn’t enough action in May to rub out the 90pts-plus loss registered in April. One wonders what caused these poor months and the same questions around results etc arise again. If we look at SRs over this period the winners were coming along at an average rate (48.01%) until the turn of the year and it was the second half of the season that suppressed the seasonal strike rate.

On that basis, rather than worrying about last season’s figures as a whole I probably need only concern myself with wondering why the second half of the season was poor. As mentioned above, I don’t expect to find an explanation easily but what these figures tell me is that problems with these systems are either something that has only kicked in recently or are temporary. Until I have more live trial data to go on I won’t know for sure but unless the system rules have been changed mid-season (and Graeme assures me they weren’t) then I have to assume the downturn is a temporary one. Overall though the performance figures all include bad runs such as the one observed last season, in which case if I am happy with the numbers – which include 20%+ ROIs don’t forget – then the bad runs shouldn’t unduly worry me.

Given last season was the live test I have to give the figures from that year more weight than those from previous years. On that basis I am happy to rule out System 6, System 7 and System 21 due to the low ROI figures recorded in the 2010-11 season. The returns are better for System 8 and System 22 but are they good enough? I am happy with a reasonably heavy workload when it comes to football betting as I want the volume, or churn as it seems to be termed these days, but I can still afford to pick and choose the systems I follow. The six combo systems give better returns than their constituent parts and would give me around 1000 bets a season, which is plenty, so System 8 and System 22 also slip by the wayside.

Do I want to follow all six combo systems though? Looking at it again the discrepancy between the 2010-11 figures for System 6-21 and previous seasons is pretty large which puts me on the back foot. But the returns from that relatively poor season are still pretty good so I am tempted once more. The drop-off for System 6-22 and System 8-21 is less pronounced so I am happy enough with those I think. System 7-21, System 7-22 and System 8-22 don’t exhibit this same drop-off tendency and offer excellent returns so all make the grade. It then seems a little daft not to take on System 6-21 but to follow all the other combo systems. After all, System 6-21 still made a nice profit last year and more of that this coming season would be perfectly acceptable.

So there we have it, more or less. From the 11 established systems available I plan to follow the six combo systems with each tracked separately in my spreadsheet and each utilising a separate bank of around 30pts (exact figures to be confirmed). I will be on at low stakes as I look to build up more live test data before perhaps eliminating the weakest of the systems for 2012-13 and perhaps replacing them with other systems that are due to be trialled this season. I am going to keep it simple and stick to level stakes throughout with equal sums going on the home and away selections with no draw cover. That’s the staking I used when analysing the data and that’s what these findings are all based around so it seems only right that I stick with that staking. I saw recently that Graeme is using a different staking strategy but I won’t be following suit even if he is the expert on these systems. It’s my bankroll and I’ll play by my risk management rules. I also can’t verify the odds for any of these bets to date so the profits have to be taken on trust somewhat and that’s another reason for me to keep the stakes down.

In short (ha!): there’s a lot to like about what’s on offer and I have cherry-picked what I feel are the best systems but as independent verification of the odds and profits is not possible I will only be on to low stakes.

Categories: Football, Reviews
  1. July 27, 2011 at 11:19 am


    Superb blog and after reading the “about” section i can relate to the feelings of isolation!

    I’ve added you to my blog roll as lately mine has just been filling up with people trying to flog stuff so this will make a welcome change and a good read. Whats your views on SBC? Worth the money?

    Lastly please feel free to add me to your blogroll if you like what you see- I’ve been posting for a while.

    Geoff http://www.fulltimebettingblog.com

    • Mat
      July 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

      I’d say SBC’s worth the money, yeah. It partly depends on you current circumstances though. If you already have a well-balanced diverse portfolio with risk properly managed then you’re not going to get a lot out of SBC. Otherwise they can offer you quite a lot. The forum has some useful info on it and it’s useful to get an independent view on certain tipsters so for the low annual subscription cost I’d say it’s worth the money, sure.

      Oh, and I have added you to the blogroll too.

  2. Ingus
    July 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Hi Mat,

    Good article and review of The Football Analyst. It was a nice read. It wasn’t until this spring I was aware of TFA and since then I have tried to read up on all the info over at the blog and on SBC.

    There is one important thing about these systems, I think, that it looks like you haven’t touched upon in your review.

    From what I have learned:
    System 6 is the base system from rating A. System 7 is system 6 plus filters, to increase value and ROI. And then on system 8 this is taken a bit further, putting filters on system 7 again.

    What this means is that if you place a bet on a game with system 7, this same bet will always be on system 6 as well. And a bet on system 8 will always be on 7 and 6. The same goes for system 21 and 22. 21 is the base system for rating B. System 22 is system 21 plus filters.

    I think this is important to know. The strong correlation between systems, makes it kind of misleading to talk about these systems as a portfolio, I think. At least in the sense we are used to over at SBC with different tipsters.

    So if you end up following a lot of systems, there will be games and bets here that will carry a big stake, and have a big influence on week to week results.

    The fact that the game is picked on several systems, is an indication that it is a strong bet of course. But I am unsure whether the value is proportional to the increased staking, and it might open us up for more volatility – at least in the short run.

    I haven’t decided on which systems to follow yet btw. But ideally I would like to follow one or two systems that are very strong on its own and not having to play the same bet across several systems to let’s say a stake of 3,4 or 5 pts.

    Just some thoughts and ramblings, as I don’t think you touched upon this :-). Following all of the TFA systems, would not be like builing a portfolio of say racing tipsters, as the correlation between the TFA systems is stronger and many of them are related with each other.

    That is how I understand it, at least :-).


    • July 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Ingus.

      You are spot on with your post above.

      That’s an important aspect of this as I don’t suggest for one moment that anyone follow all the systems. That would involve you staking 11pts on some teams and 1pts on others.

      You are correct to point out that the more times the team is picked (8-22), then this is the strongest bets. Hence, 8-22 has the strongest bets and this appears through on the ROI for this system.

      There is nothing wrong with following more than one system though as long as you fully appreciate the fact you are staking more points on some teams than others. The double systems 6-21,6-22 so on are going to be followed by most and that will involve 6pts on teams who are picked on system 8-22 if following the 6 systems picked out by Matt. However, this needs to be factored into your staking plan. Pts doesn’t mean anything unless it’s in context though. If you have a 150pt bank, 6pts on a team is the same as 1pt on a team when using a 25pt bank. That’s the way to look at things. Your staking needs to take this into account too.

      You can’t start using massive stakes and then get 3 or 4 bets on system 8-22 one weekend and realise that you can’t fund the bets! Playing to a proper bank is key to these systems. Probably more so than other systems I suspect.

      It’s also important to understand losing runs. Hence, hitting 3 losers on 8-22 when following the 6 systems is a loss of 18pts. Common sense but worth remembering as the pts swings can sometimes seem fairly big but in reality, it’s not as big as you think!

      Great write up Mat and whets my appetite for next season now. 🙂


      • Mat
        July 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

        You raise some good points there Ingus, and thanks to Graeme for his clarifications.

        I understand what you’re both saying about systems being built on one another and how this could effectively mean some bets are staked more heavily than others, especially when incorporated into a portfolio, but I can’t help wondering if that actually matters. I looked at each of the 11 established systems individually and examined their ups and downs to get a feel for what they are all about. In doing so I identified the six combo systems as being the most suitable for my needs and betting style and said I would be following those next season. I did pull out some stats based on a portfolio of those six combo systems but by the time I got round to the relevant section of the blog post it was over 5000 words long so I decided not to go any deeper into the numbers and to just wrap things up. I can share some of my findings now though.

        During my analysis I looked at the LLR and ELLR for each system. Give or take a little here and there both figures came out around 10 for each of the combo systems. On that basis, if the planets all aligned in a bad way a portfolio comprising the six combo systems could potentially hit a losing run of something like 60 bets. Many of those bets would be the same as the various systems pluck out the same teams due to the way they are constructed but the exact make up of the losing bets isn’t terribly important. As it happens the lomgest losing run the six combo system portfolio has seen is a stretch of 49 on October 2008. It sounds pretty bad, a loss of 49pts (assuming level stakes) all in the space of one weekend and I suppose it is but don’t forget that for a portfolio like this one would need a bank of 150pts or more so we’re talking about a third of the bank being lost. When I analysed the individual systems I recommended a bank of 25-30pts for each. Multiply that up by the number of systems and you have the portfolio bank. And each system’s LLR would cost about a third of the bank. In other words, a portfolio of the combo systems is likely to be quite streaky with some long losing runs and long winning runs (there have been several runs of 30+ across the six systems) so it may not be for the faint hearted but my analysis reckons it will work pretty well overall.

        All I am really doing is following six individual football systems. That they share common roots doesn’t bother me in the slightest. For all I know Football Elite and other football tipsters all use common ratings, or at least common data, to pick their tips. I don’t know if that is the case but what I am saying is that it doesn’t matter. If each tipster (or system) can deliver the goods when analysed in isolation then that’s good enough for me. I always operate systems/services with a completely independent bank and so on from every other tipster/system I follow. My portfolio is simply the aggregration of the profits from these individual elements.

  3. Ingus
    July 31, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for the added info, guys. Just thought it was important to have a little discussion around this.

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