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Ole, I have about a million questions, but I'll try to cut that figure down. Some you might not want to answer because you consider it your professional secret. I understand.
First, how do you make your initial estimation? With so many leagues, do you use a computer projection, or keep a running power rating?
Do you even use the soccer equivalent of a power rating? A PR, by the way, is common in US sports, whereby we might rate Team A 110 and Team B 112, so that if they met on a neutral field, we'd make B a 2 point pick over A.
But of course in HDA betting, the quotes are by win or draw chance. So how do you make your initial estimation?
Also, how do you decide when to take a particularly strong position on a game, by which I mean, odds so high on a side that you lead the industry and attract a lot of action?
How much action do you take before you change your odds position?
If you make your own estimations, do you use a goal-rating, or a win % rating?
If the former, how do you correlate goal advantages into win and draw %? I mean, if you rate a team .6 goals better than another, playing on a neutral field, what do you make the line?
I estimate draw % by both closeness of the game, and amount of likely scoring (the less scoring, of course, the greater the chance of a draw.) Do you do this by formula, or instinct?
Is Yabet considering posting Asian handicap lines?
I consider myself "expert" on only one league: MLS. I did very well on it this summer, because I followed it closely, probably more closely than any european bookmaker. Do you find that bettors from the smaller soccer countries (the US is that) do particularly well when betting on their home leagues?
That's plenty for now. Thanks in advance.
Lots of interesting questions you had there. I'll do my best:
Initial estimations/ Power Rating: PR systems works only for statistical purposes. There are so many other factors involved, like injuries, suspensions, motivation, tiredness and so on (the list is long). I do my estimations primarily on instincts, backed up by statistics.
For HDA estimations I also look at "league specifics" like HDA% and average goals. You will see that the number of draws varies a lot from Italian Serie B to Norwegian Elite for instance. Youíre right; the higher average number of goals, the lesser draw%.
Action: At Yabet we do our best to publish realistic odds we can stand by all the way. But with very one-sided action we do have to change it from time to time. We don't have specific limits for when to change the odds. It depends again on a lot of factors.
Asian handicap: We consider a lot of additions in our sportsbook, but it really depends what the majority of our customers are asking for. We can't promise everything at once, but just start campaigning and we will listen!
Domestic/ foreign leagues: Of course there will always be bettors out there knowing more about a game/ league then any oddscompilor/ handicapper at any sportsbook. Thatís the beauty isnít it?
Hope this gave you something useful, and please don't hesitate with some more of our million questions...
Postponed or abandoned games can sometimes be tricky. Here's Yabet's rules:
"Postponed or Abandoned Matches
An unplayed, postponed or abandoned match will be treated as a 'non-runner' for settling purposes unless it is played during the same 'football week' (Monday - Monday (GMT/BST Time))"
In your case Lille vs Paris SG (Nov 25th) the game was abd after 60 mins due to weather conditions, and the football association in France ordered the game to be replayed from the start at a later date (Dec 13th). "No action" in our sportsbook.
Because there is not often an occasion to ask a soccer linesmaker:
(Although I know you do not offer Asian Lines until now)
In yesterdays SERIE A match Perugia - Roma I saw following odds:
Bookmaker A: 3,9 2,9 2,0
Bookmaker B: AL Perugia +0,5/1 1,85
If I place 0,5 units on Roma (2,0)with Bookmaker A and 0,54 on Perugia (AL 1,85) with Bookmaker B I will have following result:
Roma win by two or more goals - 0,04
Roma win by one goal +0,23
Draw or Perugia win - 0,04
This means that I theoretically place 0,04 units and if Roma wins by one goal I win 0,23, which is comparable with an odd of 5,75.
My question :
Am I wright or am I missing something ?
Yabet operate on such margins, so there's not much for guessing my answer to that one!
With low costs and solid risk management we doing fine. We are also in the healthy position of having a very solid financial backing and are well prepared for ups and downs in the market.
Would you like to share which leagues you bet <110% on?
The random sample of 6 leagues I checked were all 111%, give or take a quarter-point.
Not bad, but not under the mark that divides average and brilliant soccer bookmakers.
AV2 and Boris, great to see you guys here. For those who don't know, allow me to testify that these are both extremely knowledgeable soccer guys.
But AV, are you being sarcastic when you ask whether they can make money with 110%? Tell me you are. I mean, BM's make money on baseball with 102.5%. That's pushing it, I know, but certainly no BM should require more than the 104.7% common to US pointspread sports.
And I've never understood the math behind the excuse that BM's need more hold with a 3 way bet than a 2 way. The same with the "so many leagues offered" excuse. US sports college baskets is a fair equivalent. They still do the 20 cent line and make money.
No, I wasn't being sarcastic. Basketball and soccer are very different animals.
One thing about American pointspread sports, not many bookmakers will give you straight up win odds on the bigger underdogs - you get that in soccer.
I wouldn't be so sure about books making money on everything. Many books went to 20c lines for baseball last season, and several are rumoured to be going under (or simply closing their unprofitable sportsbook operation) during this NFL season.
The profit margin is usually made from multiple bets or parlays - why do you think they push these bet types so hard?
Betting three-way lines very rarely sees balanced action. It's hard enough to get it on a two-way game, three winners on a coupon market happen about as often as Halley's Comet.
Thus the actual margin bookies receive on a game is rarely the 10-12%. When the money comes on a game, it's rarely spread out.
But that's all about skilful bookmaking and whether they have a trading policy (ie if you can take action at 2.10, then back the same team elsewhere at 2.25, you've just improved your margins).
Why books often struggle is that the investors think opening the doors for sports betting will make money grow on trees instantly. It hasn't before, and it never will. There are only a very limited number of risk managers sharp enough to do it successfully, and most of them are with the big name books.
Been there, done that, in no hurry to go back to doing it again. (I don't claim to be one of the select few by the way). Much easier on this side of the counter...
Actually, Boris, the imbalanced action problem, on the 3-way, makes some sense. Hadn't thought of that before.
But about the hold, we come back to the real Asian Line, which is a very low theoretical hold, yet, apparently, very profitable. (although also, if there's a hold on the pushes, than the hold is higher than advertised).
There is a sometime poster here, Jetman, an Aussie in the business, who's posted something to the effect, if I remember it right, that his house is making more than ever since offering Asian lines. (I don't remember which forum, but it wasn't this one, if you want to look it up).
About the BM's struggling this year, I think the problem is more with the high cost of money (bonuses, credit card charges, etc.), COMBINED with an unusually good season for the players for actual game outcomes. I THINK (don't KNOW) that this baseball year was GOOD for them, for the ones spreading a dime line and attracting action, anyway (it was according to Reno, anyway).
We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, because I just can't believe that 1.82 on both sides, currently a very competitive offer for a book, doesn't murder the public.
Murders me often enough
Some places charge over 110% simply because they can. The three-way line makes it very difficult to appreciate the juice involved.
I mean let's say you're looking at:
Hometeam 1.67 or -150 or 2/3
Draw 3.25 or +225 or 9/4
Awayteam 4.50 or +350 or 7/2
Those odds might seem very attractive, but they work out to 113%-ish. An equivalent (as far as juice) football moneyline would be:
Need we say more?
Asian handicaps are high hold, low profit product but the reasons they can work are twofold.
1. Low competition (dimeline baseball books had better years because they were competing with less rivals)
2. Pro-active trading policy. If you can take action at 1.90 and buy it at 1.95, you've just got yourself an automatic margin. 5c might be too small to bother about, but you get my drift.
Jetman's company cater for Asians, who predominantly lump on one team, and Europeans, who are often very keen to take the start. They do a lot of trading themselves.
The added problem on Asian handicaps, for Aussie bookies, is the turnover tax they must pay the government that licenses them. That's not such a big deal on 1/2 ball bets, but on bets where there can be pushes (or draw no bet), the company has to pay tax on turnover (0.25-0.5%). Doesn't sound much, but remember that is on TURNOVER (Hold), not PROFIT.
That eats away at the profit margins, making it quite hard to finish in the black. Of course, the local black market men don't have to worry about paying tax or licence fees.....
Hope i haven't created a myth suggesting Asian Handicaps are gold mines for bookmakers, but they have some serious advantages over the traditional HDA.
1. Any bookmaker which chooses to go down this road has a huge largely untapped marketplace all over Asia.
2. The Asian money which is sizeable creates liquidity in the marketplace, making it an attractive proposition for all bettors. This and a 10 cent line create volume.
3. Through volume we are able to meet our margins, and at the same time time satisfying our clients who are able to trade with us for significant amounts. (our betting limits are $40,000 AUD).
4. Despite all this the reason we make money is because we structure our prices based on the opinion and analysis of one of the Industry's finest Odds Compilers, his expertise makes sure we are on the right side of the game more often than not. We rarely have two sided action on games that is not our intention , we aim to bring money through the door on the sides we want to oppose , if we are unable to attract money we will back it ourselves. On games where we appear to have no obvious edge, we will trade quietly. It's all about picking your spots.