This Bet Has Got To Be Worth A Fiver… Hasn’t It?

| May 14, 2018 | Reply

This morning I received a message from a mate:

“On Sunday, Swansea play an already-relegated Stoke at home & Southampton play a record chasing City. Swansea need a 10-goal difference to stay up. Bookies say it’s 100/1. Worth a fiver surely.”

100/1… that’s gotta be a worth a few quid right?

Well, no actually.

As far as I’m concerned it’s just another example of favourite-longshot bias whereby people incorrectly link the size of the odds with the ‘value’ of a bet…

In reality of course it is entirely irrelevant what the odds are in isolation – 1/10 can be fantastic value and 500/1 appalling value.

Returning to the Southampton/Swansea example, why exactly is 100/1 no good?

Well, for one thing Swansea need to win and Southampton need to lose…

Southampton will probably lose (they are playing Man City after all) but then they’re also at home, in excellent form and playing a team with little to play for who were held 0-0 by Huddersfield just last week.

As for Swansea, sure they’re rightful favourites against Stoke and they ‘must win’ but being favourites and having to win didn’t help them in midweek against Southampton and nor did it help them last weekend when they lost at home to mid-table Bournemouth.

In fact, they’ve now failed to win in nine games…

Personally, I’d want at least 2/1 just for the Man City/Swansea double.

Then we move on to the ’10 goal swing’…

Manchester City have been superb this season haven’t they, so they could rack up a big win in the unlikely scenario that Southampton down tools, but how big?

Well, City’s biggest win this season in all competitions was by six goals which they managed once (back in September when the team was in peak form and fitness)…

Aside from that result they’ve had a few five goal wins, all at home, and three four goal wins away from home.

So, realistically, the most they are likely to win by is five goals and that’s assuming a) they can be arsed to score a load of goals when they don’t need to and b) Southampton’s recent excellent form goes completely out of the window.

Then, even if City win by five goals and, even if Swansea win (after a nine game winless run remember), that’s still not good enough because Swansea would need to not just win but win by at least five goals.

Let me tell you a few reasons why that won’t happen:

  1. In this nine game winless run Swansea have scored two goals. That run included games against Bournemouth, Southampton, West Brom, Huddersfield and Everton.
  2. Swansea’s biggest winning margin in the league this season is three goals.
  3. Swansea’s biggest winning margin in the league since 2013 is three goals.
  4. Swansea are playing Stoke who have lost by more than one goal just four times in their last 20 games. Those games were against Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.
  5. In their ‘must win’ home game against Southampton in midweek, Swansea had three shots on target. The previous game against Bournemouth they had three shots on target. In the two games before that, against Chelsea and Man City, they had a combined total of four shots on target.

So, in order for this bet to even scrape home…

Manchester City need to equal their second biggest winning margin all season when they have nothing significant to play for and are travelling to a team with two wins and a draw from their last three games (and narrow one goal defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea before that)…

Swansea need to win for the first time in nine matches…

Swansea also need to score more than twice as many goals as they have done in all of their last nine matches combined.

“Bookies say it’s 100/1. Worth a fiver surely?”

No, no it isn’t.


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Category: Betting Advice

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