Summer Loving: It’s Amateur Hour! Part 3: Obscure Leagues, Obscure Statistics
Recently, I was speaking with my brother who wanted to know how I managed to do so well from betting on amateur leagues. I told him about my process and outlined how I found and used the required information. By the time I was finished, he said ‘sod it’ because the description I gave him was rather lengthy I must admit.
Alas, this is the only way you can hope to beat the bookmaker in the long-term. When they offer markets for obscure leagues, you have to assume that they have ample information on the teams and the leagues they play in. Knowledge is power, and if you don’t find the right data, you are relying on guesswork and luck; never a reliable combination.
Then there is the small matter of knowing what to do with the data. I have no evidence of this, but I am convinced that bookmakers don’t always properly analyse the information they find on summer leagues. It seems inconceivable that they would provide a market without the right statistics to hand, but you never know I suppose.
A prime example of using stats properly occurred with me a couple of years ago. It was the Macedonian women’s league (the nation is now called North Macedonia for the record) which was in the fourth or fifth match since a winter break. There was one team that performed well in the first half of the season but had been woeful since their return.
As it happened, they faced a team of a similar standard on paper, but in reality, the opposition was far better. The bookmakers did not take recent form into account and made a mess of the odds. I profited handsomely and felt smug that detailed research bore fruit. Now I am showing you how to find data from leagues that are not immediately apparent. I hope Google Translate works on your computer!
Your First Stops
You will find the majority of your stats on two websites: Soccerway and Futbol 24. The latter enables you to check out head-to-head results between the sides pretty easily which is a big plus.
However, I always use Soccerway which is filled with fantastic stats from dozens of leagues around the world. The site has continued to add information from obscure leagues and recently included data from the Finnish Fourth Division (Kolmonen) and the Russian Fourth Division which is a huge help.
With Soccerway, you can quickly and easily look at a team’s recent form and compare it to its opponents. You can also view the league table and the home and away stats. I would estimate that Soccerway covers up to 80% of the information I seek for obscure leagues; but what about the other 20%?
The International Language of Money
As the saying goes: Where there is a will, there is a way. With obscure leagues, you need to go the extra mile to find the data you need. There have been occasions where it has taken me 20 minutes to find the information I wanted, but when you get a three-figure payoff, it works out pretty well in a ‘pounds per hour’ sense.
When in doubt, look for the country’s football federation website. Hopefully, it comes up near the top of the page in Google and gives you the option to translate into English.
The Romanian women’s second division is a favourite of mine although unfortunately, it is NOT a summer league. That 8-0 scoreline you see was a very lucrative one for yours truly. You can toggle through the two divisions in the women’s second tier and go through each week’s scorelines. You can even get access to the third division data which occasionally comes in handy on the rare occasion a women’s cup match makes it into in-play betting.
The Latvian third tier is divided into several regions and is always good for a few high scores. The Riga league is the main one to focus on although you may see games from the others in-play now and then. It is also worthwhile for cup matches.
The Estonian lower leagues are wonderful when you know what to look for. The above is a screenshot with the fourth, fifth, and sixth divisions available.
Soccerway covers most of the Australian leagues, but every so often there will be games from the Brisbane Capital League 2 or wherever. I was easily able to find data for a game in the Sunshine Coast League by Googling Sunshine Coast League! You will find your information on the sportstg.com website but only after Googling the name of the league.
When I Googled Brisbane Football Federation, I clicked on this sportstg link and was directed to the page on the screenshot above. As you can see, there is virtually every league in Brisbane ready and waiting for me! You will need to check out the various Australian federations for good information on cup matches in particular.
Bet365 often have matches from the fifth tier in Sweden.