Quick on the Draw: A Strategy for Long Price Winners

Best Strategies for Betting

It’s not in human nature to bet on draws really; most of us are pre-occupied with wins in our singles, doubles and accumulators. But when you really think about, betting on a draw or a series of stalemates really does make sense.

Open up your newspaper or flick to a football results service and you will see just how many draws there are in any given weekend. Now, knowing that these are available to be backed at anything from 3/1 to 4/1 on any given weekend should help to focus the mind!

Should you still require persuading, here is a table using data from across Europe’s top divisions for the 2015/16 season, and the percentage of draws witnessed.

Country % Home Wins % Away Wins % Draw
Belgium 48% 28% 24%
Denmark 46% 33% 21%
England 41% 31% 28%
France 42% 29% 29%
Germany 44% 33% 23%
Holland 45% 31% 24%
Italy 46% 29% 25%
Portugal 43% 32% 25%
Spain 48% 28% 24%
Switzerland 44% 29% 27%

What do the numbers tell us? Well, almost across the board we can see that around one in four matches end in a draw. For a random weekend in the English Premier League, the odds for a draw range from 3.50 to 4.50, so let’s take 4.00 as the mean point.

Here is a breakdown of four weekly £10 wagers placed on a draw, given that one in four encounters typically ends in a draw:

Bet 1 – £10 on a draw – loss (-£10)

Bet 2 – £10 on a draw – loss (-£10)

Bet 3 – £10 on a draw – loss (-£10)

Bet 4 – £10 on a draw – wins (+£40)

As you can see, we return a 1pt profit on our total outlay should the results go the way they are expected to.

But if we think about it logically, we can bump our chances up to a win once in every three bets – as a minimum – if we are smart about the matches we wager on.

Digging for Gold

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There is no easy way to find draws in a packed betting coupon; often the most bizarre combinations of teams create turgid 0-0 stalemates and others deliver thrilling 3-3 blockbusters. Of course, relative proximity in the league table is an obvious point of consideration, but other than that there is very little too work with.

Or so you might think.

But take a step back and think about the nature of a drawn football match, and how this is reflected in the league table. More often than not, teams at the top of the table win more matches than they lose or draw, while conversely those propping up the table clearly are losing more games than they win or draw. So the hypothesis would be that teams in mid-table draw more matches than anybody else.

Does this theory have any weight? Let’s take a look at the 2015/16 data from across Europe’s top five divisions (according to UEFA) to find out more, by pulling out those sides that draw more than any other:

Number of Draws League Position
West Ham United 14 7th
Chelsea 14 10th
Everton 14 11th
West Brom 13 14th

 

In a twenty team league, we would classify ‘mid-table’ as any side finishing between seventh and fourteenth, so by that token the English Premier League delivered on our theory in 2015/16.

How do Europe’s other top leagues stack up?

Spain:

Number of Draws League Position
Deportivo 18 15th
Malaga 12 8th
Real Betis 12 10th
Valencia 11 12th

 

La Liga is another 20-team league, so of the four teams that achieved the most number of draws only Deportivo fall outside of our mid-table range; a success rate of 75% for our theory.

Italy:

Number of Draws League Position
Sassuolo 13 6th
Hellas Verona 13 20th
AC Milan 12 7th
Atalanta 12 12th

 

Our theory is skewed slightly by Serie A, with the two teams most likely to draw falling outside of our mid-table quadrant. The two ‘next best’ do satisfy our criteria, however.

Germany:

Number of Draws League Position
FC Koln 13 9th
FC Augsburg 11 12th
Darmstadt 11 14th
Ingolstadt 10 11th

 

Those good old Germans; they satisfy our mid-table criteria, and the four most likely teams to draw in 2015/16 were all in that middle third.

France:

Number of Draws League Position
Marseille 18 13th
Lille 15 5th
Monaco 14 3rd
Bordeaux 14 11th

 

A touch of variance in France, with a 50/50 split between mid-table and outside (curiously, Monaco finished inside the Champions League places – imagine what they could have achieved if they had turned some of those draws into wins).

So we can conclude, with some confidence, that backing the draw in matches featuring two sides in mid-table of your chosen division *should* prove to be a profitable strategy in the long term.

Why Bet on Draws?

There are multiple reasons to bet on draws, and these can be summed up rather neatly in a series of bullet points:

  • Great Odds

The nature of draw betting means that you will only need one in four bets to come in to be profitable; improve that ratio to one in three and you are really in business.

  • Decent Hit Rate

If there are ten Premier League fixtures in a given weekend, then around 2.50 of them will finish in a draw (obviously that’s not possible but you know what we mean!). A 25% hit rate is not bad considering you can triple or even quadruple your stake for picking out a winner, and so you only need 4/10 draw bets to be successful in any given weekend to actually turn a nice profit – three can lead to a break-even point.

  • Stay in Control

Don’t forget, every football match starts as a draw! That may seem obvious to say, but the longer the scoreline stays 0-0, the greater your chances of winning. Even at 1-0 to either team, you’re not out of the game.

  • Cash Out Potential

As mentioned above, the longer a match stays 0-0 so to your cash out value on the draw will increase exponentially. If you get an itchy trigger figure after 60 minutes or so, you are likely to be able to cash out in profit on your original stake.


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