Bookmakers do not often
put up prices that are unquestionably wrong - but some are at the moment and
the mistake should be exploited while it lasts. The errors are occurring in the
markets that spread bookmakers offer on how many corners will be taken during
each half of a televised football match. Put simply, they are underestimating
how many will occur in the first half and overestimating how many will occur in
They assume corners are distributed throughout a game in the
same way as goals, with roughly 45% occurring in the first half and 55% in the
second half. But evidence now shows the distribution of corners is much less
uneven than the distribution of goals.
In Champions League games played during
the past two seasons, only 51% of corners were taken during the second half. In
Premier League games played last season, 52% of corners were taken during the
second half. The clinching evidence, however, is that a study of data from
nearly 15,000 domestic games played in different competitions over a number of
seasons also found that 52% of corners were taken during the second half.
To exploit this look at the markets of the three spread bookmakers, IG,
Sporting Index and Spreadex. Use the midpoints of their own
total corners spreads as a guide to what the total corners expectation should
be. For example, if the spreads were 10.50-11.00, 10.75-11.25 and 11.00-11.50,
the midpoints would be 10.75, 11.00 and 11.25, of which the average is 11.00.
Multiply 11.00 by 0.48 (the percentage of first-half corners in the
study of 15,000 games) to get a first-half corners expectation of 5.28. If you
can buy at a lower price with IG or Spreadex - the firms whose prices can be
wrong - then do so. Now multiply 11.00 by 0.52 to get a second-half corners
expectation of 5.72. Sell these at a higher price if possible. These sorts of
opportunities will not last forever - try to profit from them while you can.