Diary Of A Football Trader – Issue 25
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ProTrader started his career and fascination with the financial markets as an Index Analyst at FTSE. He has since consulted for 15 years for some of the top Financial Institutions and Investment Banks in the world, where he specialized in financial instruments, pricing data, trading platforms and risk management solutions. He first started trading sports markets in early 2000, after the introduction and discovery of Betfair. He now trades the financial markets whilst working on entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on sports trading apps and e-commerce. He lives with his wife and young daughter and enjoy travelling (when permitted). In his spare time, he is writing a series of books, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, and of course, trading football markets.
Diary of a Football Trader
Welcome to the latest edition of “Diary Of A Pro Trader”, you can read all the past Issues here.
At his request, we have to keep is identity a secret, but here is what we can tell you about our new Pro Trader
ProTrader started his career and fascination with the financial markets as an Index Analyst at FTSE. He has since consulted for 15 years for some of the top Financial Institutions and Investment Banks in the world, where he specialized in financial instruments, pricing data, trading platforms and risk management solutions. He first started trading sports markets in early 2000, after the introduction and discovery of Betfair. He now trades the financial markets whilst working on entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on sports trading apps and e-commerce. He lives with his wife and young daughter and enjoys travelling (when permitted). In his spare time, he is writing a series of books, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, and of course, trading football markets.
Each week, ProTrader will be sharing his trading exploits and insights from his previous weeks trading and, if we're lucky, from time to time he'll also be giving a few pointers on upcoming trades that he'll be targeting.
This is something new for us but we are sure you are going to enjoy and benefit from ProTrader's insights.
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Diary of a Football Trader
Diary of a Football Trader – Issue 25
It’s been a busy week, with matches taking place every day. Personally, I have covered 45 markets over 20 matches. However, because it is unrealistic to write all of these up in the diary, the following daily summary will cover just the Trade of the Day recommendations. When interpreting analysis for any match, many different factors are taken in to account – much more than just previous head-to-head results, league position, recent team form and starting line-ups. One of the indicators analysed is xG; expected goals from previous matches.
A number of factors are taken into account when calculating xG. They include: type of assist, whether it was a shot taken with the head or foot, the angle and distance of the shot, and whether it was a big chance. The context of a scoring opportunity is precisely what informs its xG rating. A rebound falling to a player in front of an open goal six yards out will have a high xG score, but a shot taken from 35 yards at a narrow angle will have a low xG score. If you see that chance is described as having an xG rating of 0.35 that means a player would be expected to score from the chance 35 per cent of the time – a one in three chance. (Source: Goal.com)
Basically, xG are the chances created by a team defined as a number that can be more easily analysed. The below table gives the xG, results and variance for the past weeks’ Premier League matches:
In the above table, the closer the variance number to zero, then the more accurate the xG rating. For instance, the closest match to zero variance is Leeds v Everton, at -0.18. The xG indicator predicted that Leeds would score 1.57 goals, with Everton scoring 1.61, creating a total of 3.18. With the score ending 1-2, this was largely correct. The main thing to take-away from this analysis though, is that Everton were predicted to score more goals than Leeds, which they duly did. Of course, this analysis is not guaranteed by any means – it is just what it is – an indicator to help show which team are ‘likely’ to score more goals than another. However, looking at the above table again, the xG factor predicted the correct ‘win’ results of 7 of these 10 matches.
xG, is definitely a useful tool to consider using and learning from, especially if looking at the main, most liquid football trading markets of ‘match odds’, ‘goals over / under 2.5’ and ‘BTTS’ (both teams to score).
Saturday, 30th January, 2021
Summary of Market Trading
Arsenal v Manchester United
Manchester United go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.5, whereas Arsenal are 3.1, with the draw 3.55.
These teams go in to this match with contrasting fortunes in their last Premier League matches, where Arsenal beat Southampton 3-1 away, and Manchester United lost 1-2 at home to bottom side Sheffield United. It does appear that Arsenal have found their goal-scoring form again, and Manchester United are the second highest goal scorers in the league so far.
Although matches like this can be tight, cagey affairs, this one however appears that it will be more open and therefore have goals. Whilst also expecting both teams to score (back price 1.7), the over 2.5 goals market makes more appeal at 1.87.
Over / Under 2.5
I took a back position on ‘Over’ for £75 at average odds of 1.9 (before kick-off, and then as the match progressed). When the score was still 0-0 I began to increase this position by laying unders at an average price of 1.18. This strategy would have been beneficial even if there were a single goal.. but unfortunately, and against expectation this did not happen and resulted in a £123 loss.
Sunday, 31st January, 2021
West Ham United v Liverpool
Liverpool go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 1.82, whereas West Ham are 4.6, with the draw 4.2. Aside from Liverpool's last match (win against Tottenham), in their previous 3 Premier League matches they have scored zero goals. West Ham have also conceded just a single goal (total) in their last 3 home matches.
Combined with the closeness of their league positions, this is likely to be a tighter, cagier affair than anticipated by the markets. The under 2.5 goals market therefore makes good appeal at a value 2.5.
Under / Under 2.5
Before kick-off, I took a back position on under 2.5 goals at 2.5 for £50. Just after half-time, with Liverpool appearing more threatening than they had been in the first half, I closed the trade for a £54 profit.
Monday, 1st February, 2021
No Trade Day
Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021
Wolves v Arsenal
Arsenal go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.28, whereas Wolves are 3.65, with the draw 3.4. Wolves last 3 matches have seen under 1.5 goals. 2 of Arsenal's last 3 matches were also under this number. Whilst I'm expecting a low scoring match, the price of under 2.5 goals at 1.69 doesn't appeal, considering that Arsenal appear to be getting back to business as usual. It should also be noted that Arsenal currently have the second tightest defence in the league (just behind Manchester City).
With this in mind, the price on Arsenal in the match odds market makes most appeal at decent price of 2.28. Predictology are also highlighting this selection as high-value at 2.24.
Match Odds – Arsenal
Before kick-off, I took a back position on ‘Arsenal’ at average odds of 2.28 for £50. Arsenal scored first, and the position was looking healthy. However, shortly after, Arsenal concede a penalty AND get a man sent off (I don’t wish to name names, but it was David Luiz, again). This position is now looking precarious to say the least, but I let it run on the expectation of Arsenal making amends. This did not happen, Wolves scored a second and £57 was unbanked.
Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021
Fulham v Leicester City
Leicester go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.1, whereas Fulham are 4.1, with the draw 3.5. Leicester are currently ranked 4th highest in the league for goals scored, and interestingly score more goals away from home (2.1 against 1.45), whilst also conceding fewer (1 against 1.36). Although they will be without Jamie Vardy for this match, James Maddison has scored 4 goals in his last 6 matches, and Harvey Barnes has scored 7 goals so far.
Considering that Fulham have scored just 1 goal (total) in their last 5 home matches, it would appear that Leicester should have enough to edge this, and will be keen to bounce back from their recent 1-3 home defeat against Leeds.
Before kick-off, I took a back position on ‘Leicester’ for £100 at 2.1. With Leicester leading 2-0 at half-time, this was closed out shortly after and banked a £102 profit.
Thursday, 4th February, 2021
Tottenham v Chelsea
Chelsea go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.18, whereas Tottenham are 3.8, with the draw 3.55. With 4 of Chelsea's last 5 games having under 2.5 goals, and with Tottenham missing Harry Kane (their top goal-scorer), it appears this could be a low-scoring affair.
However, the price on under 2.5 is currently 1.89, whilst the more favorable back on Chelsea is 2.18. This makes a more appealing potential return, considering Tottenham have lost their last 2 matches, and Chelsea will be feeling the effects of the ‘new manager bounce'. It should also be noted that Tottenham have not beaten Chelsea in their last 6 meetings.
Match Odds – Chelsea
Before kick-off I take a back position on Chelsea at 2.2 for £100. When Chelsea are 2-0 up, I closed the trade (just in-case Tottenham decide to make a come-back, they don’t) for £85 profit. This wasn’t a perfect trade by any means, but it was good overall in its simplicity, execution and profitability.
Friday, 5th February, 2021
Swansea v Norwich
Norwich go in to this match as favourites, currently priced at 2.74, whereas Swansea are 3. with the draw 3.3. In their last 3 matches, Norwich have not scored a goal, whereas Swansea have scored in their last 5, whilst also not losing.
Backing ‘Swansea' in this market makes most appeal at a high-value price of 3. Predictology and Infogol are also highlighting this selection as high-value at 2.86 and 2.8, respectively.
Match Odds – Swansea
Before kick-off I took a back position on Swansea for £50 at the price of 3. I also layed Norwich for £50 at 2.72. Just after Swansea scored their second goal on the 48th minute to make it 2-0, I closed out the trades to bank a £120 profit.
It’s again been an interesting week, with some surprising results to go with it. The most surprising result though has to be Manchester United beating Southampton 9-0. It really was a game where it was possible to just keep backing the score to go up after every goal.
This week, 9.84 points profit was banked from Trade of the Day recommendations. Even at a modest £20 a point stake that’s an additional £196 profit banked. Investing £100 per point would be £980, tax-free profit for the week.
This coming weekend there’s all the top European Leagues in action, including 9 Premier League matches (and one more on Monday). As we move in to Tuesday, there’s two 5th round FA Cup games taking place (including Manchester United v West Ham). Wednesday sees a further four fixtures for this tournament, with Thursday having another two. Friday finishes the week with a Lancashire derby between Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End in the highly competitive Championship. Interestingly, five out of the last seven meetings between these sides have seen over 2.5 goals (four of which were over 3.5 goals).
There’s also Friday night matches from the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga. So all in all another busy week ahead, with analysis, match & market selection and the search for value in each and every Trade of the Day recommendation.
Tomorrow, I’ll most likely be covering the Fulham v West Ham game, that kicks-off at 17.30. Expect match analysis and trade recommendations to come out between 12-2pm.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, stay safe, and stay profitable.
ProTrader started his career and fascination with the financial markets as an Index Analyst at FTSE. He has since consulted for 15 years for some of the top Financial Institutions and Investment Banks in the world, where he specialized in financial instruments, pricing data, trading platforms and risk management solutions. He first started trading sports markets in early 2000, after the introduction and discovery of Betfair. He now trades the financial markets whilst working on entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on sports trading apps and e-commerce. In his spare time, he is writing a series of books soon to be published, enjoys outdoor pursuits with his family, learning Russian and of course, trading football markets.