Dominic J. Thoreau

System Notes

  • All names used are the property of their rightful holders, who weren't consulted.
  • Odds of upcoming fixtures are the property of which-ever Bookmaker offered them (most likely William Hill)
  • Data for back history was acquired from Football-Data
  • The system is writen in Perl. On my system, it runs under Debian GNU/Linux r 3.1 . The database back end is MySQL - but it should be fairly portable - in fact it would be even better with an SQL engine that has the functions I wanted to use (like UNION).
  • No, the software isn't available online - while I'm working out if I can make a profit of this (either by betting myself, or operating as a tipster service), I'm keeping it to myself. I suspect that Football Data would prefer I not give away their information too cheap.
  • All the file names are fairly self-explanatory. Some comments are in the code headers. Any filename beginning "build" is intended for batch and console environments. The CGI code has yet to be written (only parts currently exist)

The betting system in a nutshell

The betting industry as it approaches football is finely balanced - some matches are more predictable than others, but often pay less well than others. It is my belief that there is a wide margin to operate in here, especially betting against victories for popular teams.

Simply put, select a number of probable winners, and back them to win, and also back the accumulator of all winners with the same value. A 1 unit bet on six matches in this fashion costs 7. At average decimal winning odds of 1.5 (a good thumb rate) you get the following returns:

  • 4 correct matches returns 6 - a slight loss
  • 5 correct matches returns 7.50 - a slight gain
  • 6 correct matches returs 9 from match bets, and just over 11 for the accumulator - almost tripling your initial investment.
The average paid decimal odds are 2.65 - at this rate you get a profit after 3 wins, with a maximum payout of ~350. Unfortunately all the obvious winners pay rather lower.

Add to this that some of the lower leagues play 12 games a weekend, and the possibilties start to add up.

What the software here will do is make predictions based on past results for upcoming fixtures, so you can decide which matches to include.

© 2004 Dominic J. Thoreau - this is http://www.thoreau-online.net/football_notes.html
Updated and uploaded Fri Dec 29 11:45:07 2006