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06/04/2007 No.11
Kevin Pullein
Friday April 6,, 2007
  Weirdest of football markets

The European ties being played next week may offer an opportunity to exploit an error in the weirdest of football markets: multiple injuries. This is a spread bet on the number of minutes added to the end of the first half, multiplied by the number of minutes added to the end of the second.

Why, you might ask, bet on the length of stoppage-time in a football match? For the same reason that you might bet on any other event: if the prices are wrong, you can hope to win money in the long run. And prices for multiple injuries are sometimes wrong.

The key is the knowledge that any number multiplied by zero equals zero. If the fourth official's board at the end of the first half shows a zero, sellers of multiple injuries will be in profit no matter what figure is shown at the end of the second period.

German referees, for some reason, do not like adding stoppage-time to the end of the first half. In Champions League games this season the average multiple injuries make-up has been nearly four minutes. In games refereed by Germans, it has been one and a half minutes.

That is not a surprise. In Bundesliga matches, the average multiple injuries make-up has been less than one minute. In Spanish games it has been five and in French, Italian and English games six minutes. In two-thirds of German games, the referee adds no time to the end of the first half. It is almost unheard of for an English referee not to allow at least one extra minute.

Sporting Index, which bets on multiple injuries, knows German referees are reluctant to extend the first half. It knows that most of its customers do not know this and that most prefer to buy rather than sell in a market like multiple injuries. So prices are sometimes not as low as they should be and selective selling can yield profits in the long run.


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