Monday, August 31, 2009

For the Punters: Keep Hope Alive

By El Chupa

After a difficult weekend, El Chupa has the following observations for our brother and sister wagerers.

Remember that the reason it is so difficult to make any money is the odds. Picking a likely winner is fairly easy, but picking one where the payout is even remotely worth the risk is very hard. The house always wins. And it's certainly the case that the house sets the odds in its favor not only for individual games, but also in order to steer bettors to certain matches. Man U at home vs Portsmouth is a no-brainer, and the house stands to make very little or even lose money if it is heavily played. So, they set the odds such that even the most die hard Man U troglodyte will lay off and look elsewhere. Do that for enough matches and the number of matches worth betting on gets smaller and thus attract the most attention.

The Luchametric is about to undergo a major revision. We're still very confident in the metric as a measure of a team's production, but we've learned a lot over the last few weeks and it's time to introduce some long-considered changes. Look for the new metric in the next few days.

MLS Parity: The Crew lost to NY yesterday. WTF? SEA lost at home to TOR. WTF? DC beat CHI at CHI. WTF WTF?! It's enough to make one give up on the beautiful game altogether. But a quick crunch of the numbers revealed just how much parity there is in the MLS this season and last season as well. Look for El Chupa's analysis in the next few days. Bottom line? Any team in the MLS can beat any other on any given night. LA and NE are both surging, but we really don't think they are better than the other top teams. We think that there are several teams (HOU, CLB, LA, NE, DC, CHI, SEA, even TOR) all of which are pretty much even. It makes for very frustrating attempts at sound wagers. If the best team in the MLS can't go into NY and beat the worst team, I don't give a damn about home field advantage, then something's fucked up. Either football is not the beautiful game but is in fact a completely stupid game, or the MLS has achieved a sort of parity that keeps each franchise in the hunt for the post-season thus generating revenue for each team and the league, but a parity that levels the playing field to such a point it makes for boring, stupid soccer with teams struggling just to create chances, goals and wins. We want competitive football, not every single team to be average, which is what you get when there is nothing BUT parity in the league. Think about it--parity means everybody is "average" as no one is better or worse than anyone else. Sounds like communism to me.

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