One of the myth in football betting is that picking the ‘draw’ in tournaments like the World Cup is one of the best strategy to find value.

We wanted to clear things up and we did explore this strategy looking for the best information available from the last two World Cups in 2010 and 2014, and we discovered a few interesting things along the way. (Historical odds taken from Oddsportal.com)

These were the results:

– Betting on the ‘draw’ in all matches of the 2010 World Cup: -4.65 (LSP)

– Betting on the ‘draw’ in all matches of the 2014 World Cup: +4.34 (LSP)

If you had bet on the ‘draw’ in all the World Cup games in 2010, you would have ended with a -4.65 LSP, so betting 100 units on each game, you would have lost -465 at the end of the tournament.

In 2014 things were better for the ‘betting on the draw strategy’, so you would have ended up with a positive +4.34 LSP, or +434 Units (still far from the advertised 2,758).

Of course finding value on the ‘draw’ does not mean betting ‘draw’ on every game of the competition, but only when there is actual value. We then explored different strategies, looking at the odds in the last two World Cup, and comparing them to see which one would have worked for both tournaments. These strategies are purely numeric, based on the odds before each game, and they don’t take into consideration the form or value of each opponents.

Going more in depth, we noticed how different were the results from gameweek to gameweek, so we spit them accordingly. The first gameweek refers to all the 1st games played by each team in all groups of the competition. Being each group formed by 4 teams, there are 3 gameweeks before the knock out stages begin. 16 games for each gameweek.

Gameweek 1:


World Cup 2010:

  • Bet all ‘draws’ in every match of the 1st game week: +4.58
  • Bet all ‘draws’ with odds < 4.00, if not ‘favorites’: +4.46
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘underdogs’: +14.78
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘favorites’: +7.07
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: +18.90
  • Bet ‘underdogs’ > 5.00, if not ‘favorites’ > 2.00, if not ‘draws’: +3.18
  • Bet ‘favorites’ > 2.00, if not ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: +12.52

World Cup 2014:

  • Bet all ‘draws’ in every match of the 1st game week: -8.85
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘favorites’: -2.20
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘underdogs’: +1.18
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘favorites’: -4.78
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: +0.18
  • Bet ‘underdogs’ > 5.00, if not ‘favorites’ > 2.00, if not ‘draws’: +5.74
  • Bet ‘favorites’ > 2.00, if not ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: +9.61

Conclusion:

Although the 2010 edition was a great year for ‘draws’ in the 1st gameweek with 6 draws out of 16 games, it wasn’t the same in 2014, with just 2 draws out of 16 matches.

The 1st gameweek had some elements in common in both editions. Big underdog wins (Switzerland against Spain @14.32 in 2010; Costa Rica vs Uruguay @9.00 in 2014) or big value on draws with odds not higher than 4.20.

We applied different strategies and in the end the one who was successful in both edition implied looking first at the price of the favorites in the game. If the price was > 2.00 you should have bet on it, if it was less than 2.00 you should have looked at the price of the ‘draw’ in the same game to see if there was value. If the draw was < 4.20 you should have bet on it, as bigger odds usually imply a bigger risk. If the odds for the favorite were not > 2.00 and the draw was not < 4.20, you should have then bet on the underdog in the game, no matter the price.

2010 Bet ‘favorites’ > 2.00, if not ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: +12.52

2014 Bet ‘favorites’ > 2.00, if not ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: +9.61

Gameweek 2:


World Cup 2010:

  • Bet all ‘draws’ in every match of the 2nd gameweek: +2.14
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘favorites’: -5.70
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘underdogs’: -9.63
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘favorites’: -7.14
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: -9.63
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘favorites’: +3.26
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘underdogs’: +2.14
  • Bet all ‘draws’ > 5.00, if not ‘favorites’: +11.01
  • Bet all ‘draws’ > 5.00, if not ‘underdogs’ > 3.50, if not ‘favorites’: +18.44

World Cup 2014:

  • Bet all ‘draws’ in every match of the 2nd gameweek: +2.61
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘favorites’: -8.62
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘underdogs’: -0.40
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘favorites’: -4.47
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: -2.84
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘favorites’: +4.98
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘underdogs’: +2.49
  • Bet ‘draws’ > 5.00, if not ‘favorites’: +4.41
  • Bet all ‘draws’ > 5.00, if not ‘underdogs’ > 3.50, if not ‘favorites’: +17.54

Conclusion:

In the 2nd gameweek there were usually more opportunities for good value draws and in both editions there were 4 draws out of 16 games with at least 2 of them with odds higher than 5.00.

The key here seems to be to bet on these high value draw and then take the underdogs who are higher than 3.50, if not finally choose the ‘favorites’. Applying these parameters there would have been huge value in both editions of the World Cup.

2010 Bet all ‘draws’ > 5.00, if not ‘underdogs’ > 3.50, if not ‘favorites’: +18.44

2014 Bet all ‘draws’ > 5.00, if not ‘underdogs’ > 3.50, if not ‘favorites’: +17.54

Gameweek 3:


World Cup 2010:

  • Bet all ‘draws’ in every match of the 3rd game week: -2.29
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 3.50, if not ‘favorites’: +0.98
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 3.50, if not ‘underdogs’: +1.65
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘favorites’: -2.54
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘underdogs’: -9.78
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘favorites’: -0.04
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: -5.77
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘favorites’: -2.29
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘underdogs’: -2.29

World Cup 2014:

  • Bet all ‘draws’ in every match of the 3rd game week: -4.07
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 3.50, if not ‘favorites’: -0.06
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 3.50, if not ‘underdogs’: -5.47
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘favorites’: -1.91
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.00, if not ‘underdogs’: -12.28
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘favorites’: +5.76
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 4.20, if not ‘underdogs’: -4.07
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘favorites’: -2.94
  • Bet all ‘draws’ < 6.00, if not ‘underdogs’: -4.07

Conclusion:

Gameweek 3 seems to be the worst in terms of value, as the average of winning bets drops dramatically (2.96 in 2010; 2.44 in 2014), as bookies know by this time the teams who are most in form and they have corrected the odds on the teams that represented a surprise in the first two games.

Knock Out Stages:


In the knock out stages we couldn’t find any trends common to both tournaments. In 2010 only 4 times the draw was the correct bet out of 16 games, while 10 times the winning bet was the favorite. The 2014 edition was, on the other hand, the perfect edition to bet on draws in the knock out stages, with 8 of them in 16 matches, including 4 of them with odds higher than 4.00. Going back even further to 2006, we can see how the 2014 edition was more an exception than the rule. In 2006 for example there were 6 draws in the knock out stages, but just one of them with odds higher than 4.00, and 7 of the other games were wins by favorites.

Conclusion:

Value in the knock out stages varies from edition to edition. The 1st and 2nd gameweeks are were the real value and opportunities are, as nobody knows which teams are gonna be the surprise in the groups (Paraguay in 2010, Costa Rica in 2014, etc.), and some of the big teams play conservative football to avoid even one loss that could be huge for their chances to go through the group stages. What about this edition? Will these strategies apply to this one too? We will try to apply the strategies based on the historical data collected in the last two World Cup, and update our articles afterwards.

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *