Comebacks often gather
momentum once under way. If the team who are losing score, they become more
likely than they would otherwise to score the next goal in the match. This has
clear implications for one of the fastest-growing areas of sports betting -
betting while a match is in progress.
A good way to illustrate how
comebacks gather pace is to analyse statistics from the Premier and Fooball
Leagues over the past 10 completed seasons. Overall, home teams scored 58% of
the goals that were scored. In games where the score reached 1-1 and somebody
then added a third goal, the home team scored that third goal 58% of the time.
So there was no difference in the likelihood of them scoring at 1-1 than there
was at 0-0. However, if the home team had equalised, they scored the third goal
61% of the time. If the away team had equalised, the home team scored the third
goal only 55% of the time.
These differences are small, but sports
betting is all about identifying and exploiting small differences.
the home team equalised the score at 1-1, they went on to win 34% of the time.
When the away team equalised the score at 1-1, the home team went on to win
only 31% of the time.
A similar bounce-back factor was evident for
other states of play. For example, teams losing 2-1 were more likely to
equalise to 2-2 if they had scored the most recent goal - that is to say, if
they had just reduced their deficit from two goals to one. Brian Clough, it
seems, was right. Goals can change games. When teams start bouncing back, they
can keep on bouncing back. Kevin Pullein is football tipster for the Racing