Chelsea – West Ham: Betting with a look at the data

It is time for a rare comeback, a blog post about looking at the data with a betting purpose. The early Boxing Day game is a London derby between two teams that have impressed heavily so far. Chelsea currently top the table and they will face West Ham, who sit nicely in fourth position at the moment.

Chelsea at home

Chelsea FC have won almost everything this season and they look unbeatable, especially at Stamford Bridge. Now they will be tested a bit with a game against high-flying West Ham United. Here are some of the data in Chelsea’s home games so far in the 2014/2015 season of Premier League.

Data from Chelsea’s home games so far in Premier League. Data are taken from

Chelsea have eight wins in eight home games and with a goal difference of two in six of them. With only three conceded goals a first guess could be that the opponents didn’t have much of the ball at all and that they haven’t been able to create any chances. This is not completely true. In four games the away teams have managed to create ten or more chances (I think that mark all shots – on target/off target/blocked – as chances) and in two games the away teams (Arsenal and Tottenham) have had more possession of the ball than Chelsea. What is much more striking is the Shots on target column. The away teams have only had eleven shots on targets in the eight games, making an average of 1.375 shots on target per game! The ’shoots on taget’-metric is actually used by many football scientists and data bloggers to model and predict football goal scoring results. Take a look at this very interesting blog.

Looking at Chelsea’s data alone a home win looks very possible and the prices are also low for a Chelsea victory. At the moment the bookies pay around 1.33 for the home win and around 2.00 for Chelsea at the -1.5 Asian Handicap line (at the moment Bet365 is best with 2.02).

West Ham away

West Ham have three wins, three drawn games, and two losses away from home so far in the 2014/2015 season. Moreover, they have scored (and conceded) in all eight games.

westham_away_2014_12_26The wins have come against teams that are expected to finish in the lower regions of the table, the drawn games against teams expected to finish mid-table, and the losses against expected top six/seven-teams. Actually, West Ham have had extremely hard to get anything out of away games to elite teams lately. Last season West Ham only managed to beat Tottenham of the seven top clubs. They also got a 0-0 draw away to Chelsea, but according to the stats there seems to have been some luck involved there.

westham_away_2013_2014It is perhaps not fair to use stats from last season for West Ham. They seem to be another team now, but at the same time, the only losses this season have come to Manchester United and Everton. Is West Ham’s decent away record this season mostly thanks to the schedule? Will they start losing now when they will visit better teams?

Prediction: Chelsea and under

Despite West Ham’s fantastic start of the season I see value in Chelsea here. I don’t believe that Chelsea will allow West Ham to create high quality chances. I am a bit scared of the 1-0 and 2-1 victories however and I am taking the lower line, Chelsea -1 (AH) at 1.50.

West Ham’s stats away from home have affected the goal line prices. At the moment, under 3.0 goals (Asian line) can be taken at 1.88 and I take a small one on that. Chelsea have only scored more than three goals in one of the eight home games in Premier League and as long as West Ham doesn’t score, under 3.0 seems to posses value.

It could be a good idea to bet on 2-0 (Bet365 offers 7.50 at the moment and the prices differ between 5.30 and 8.00). I stick to Chelsea -1 and under 3.0 though.

Bet 1: Chelsea -1 at 1.50 (Pinnacle Sports). Medium wager.

Bet 2: Under 3.0 goals at 1.88 (Pinnacle Sports). Small wager.

Let’s hope that John Terry can help us to get 2-0 (or otherwise 1-0 or 3-0) for Chelsea.


World Cup Doubles

If you bet small (as I usually do) Comeon offers a fine bonus where a 100 SEK (Swedish Krona) deposit becomes 500 SEK playable money as long as you turn over your 500 SEK eight times on doubles with accumulated odds at least 2.0. I took the opportunity to play small doubles almost for free during the World Cup.

During the early game today I played doubles with the following (Asian Handicap) bets:

Costa Rica – Greece: Costa Rica +0 at 1.86. Result: 1-1. Push.
France – Nigeria: France -1 at 1.75. Result: 2-0. Win.
Argentina – Switzerland: Argentina -1 at 1.84. Result: 0-0. Loss.
Belgium – USA: Belgium -0.25 at 1.65. Result: 0-0. Half loss.
Brazil – Colombia: Colombia +1 at 1.53. Result: 2-1. Push.

Hence, 10 doubles has been played (25 SEK each) and I hope I will get at least three of the games in. All doubles are:

Costa Rica +0 & France -1 at 3.26. Result: +18.75 SEK.
Costa Rica +0 & Argentina -1 at 3.42. Result: -25 SEK.
Costa Rica +0 & Belgium -0.25 at 3.07. Result: -12.50 SEK.
Costa Rica +0 & Colombia +1 at 2.85. Result: +-0 SEK.
France -1 & Argentina -1 at 3.22. Result: -25 SEK.
France -1 & Belgium -0.25 at 2.89. Result: -3.13 SEK.
France -1 & Colombia +1 at 2.68. Result: +18.75 SEK.
Argentina -1 & Belgium -0.25 at 3.04. Result: -25 SEK.
Argentina -1 & Colombia +1 at 2.82. Result: -25 SEK.
Belgium -0.25 & Colombia +1 at 2.52. Result: -12.50 SEK.


Quick thoughts:

  • Costa Rica have been better than Greece so far and I do not think that Greece will win during full time. A draw no bet price of 1.86 for Costa Rica is fine.
  • France are one of the best teams so far and I believe that they are too good for Nigeria.
  • Argentina have not impressed very much, but they have a much stronger team than Switzerland and I expect that Messi will show his qualities.
  • Belgium should be a lot better than USA and the prices are good in my opinion. I am a bit scared of the draw though and take Belgium -0.25.
  • Colombia have been much better than Brazil so far and, despite the home advantage for Brazil, I believe that Colombia should be slight favourites. I play it a bit safe and take Colombia +1 though.
Will James Rodriquez continue with his brilliant game? Photo from
Will James Rodriquez continue with his brilliant game? Photo from

Bets from Spain

Three games will be played in Primera Division in Spain tonight and I have placed bets in two of them.

Sevilla – Rayo Vallecano

Sevilla have struggled in the opening games of the league.  With two points in five games they are placed bottom in the league. I have seen two of their games and I must say that they have been a bit unlucky, especially against Barcelona where Barca got their winner in the very last seconds of the game. Sevilla should have much more quality than Rayo Vallecano and I believe that they will win tonight.

Rayo Vallecano try to play offensive regardless whom they play. I believe that we will see goals tonight and place an over bet and one bet on a home win.

Bet 1: Sevilla – Rayo Vallecano: Sevilla -1.25 (Asian handicap) @1.847 (Pinnacle Sports). 1.5 units (max four per game).

Bet 2: Sevilla – Rayo Vallecano: Over 3.0 goals (Asian line) @1.847 (Pinnacle Sports). 1 unit.

RESULT: 4-1, +2.12 units

Elche – Real Madrid

Elche did very well last season and qualified to Primera Division after a lot of 1-0 and 2-0 victories. To this season they seem to have weaken the squad and should not have a chance against Real Madrid. Real play an important derby game against Atletico and will probably rest a few players. However, the quality in the squad should be good enough to defeat Elche with a couple of goals. I see value in the prices and place two units on Real Madrid -1.25.

It could be a good strategy to wait for the starting elevens. If Real rest their star players the price for the away win might increase.

Bet 3: Elche – Real Madrid: Real -1.25 (Asian line) @1.719 (Pinnacle Sports). 2 units.

RESULT: 1-2, -1.00 unit.

Good luck if you place bets tonight!

In-play betting: Always look at the Asian handicap prices

Today I watched and live-bet on Denmark – Georgia. I started with 1 unit on Denmark -1 (Asian handicap) after 24 minutes of play since they were much better (without creating that many chances). Denmark lost possession though and suddenly Georgia scored. After a while Denmark took over the game again and I decided to ’save’ my initial bet with a bet on Denmark to win or draw if and when I got a price with good value.

As always, I had Bet365’s in-play site and Pinnacle Sports’ Asian view site up together with the in-play sites from one or two more bookies. And, as always, the prices on the Asian handicap bets were a lot better than the prices for Denmark to win or draw (or Denmark DnB which I also considered). Bet365’s prices for Denmark -0.5 from the current result (0-1, thus a bet on Denmark to win or draw) were always at least 0.10 higher than the actual bet on Denmark to win or draw. This is almost always the case with in-play betting and also often pre game (see image below for just one example from the games tomorrow).

I waited until 72 minutes when I placed 0.5 units on Denmark -0.5 at Pinnacle. I got 2.25, which was a bit better than Bet365’s price for the exact same bet and much better than Denmark to win or draw at Bet365 (which was an equivalent bet). So, what do we learn from situations like this?

  1. Always have more than one in-play site up when you consider bets during the game.
  2. Always compare your thoughts with the equivalent bet on the Asian handicap market. The prices differ in general and are higher on the Asian handicap market due to lower ’tax’ (higher payout) than in other markets.

So, how did the game end? Denmark turned things around and got a 2-1 win!

Are you new to Asian handicaps and Asian lines? Take a look at Wikipedia or my explanation for easy to understand explanations. There are also a great deal of books about Asian handicap betting.

Even pre game the prices for identical bets have different prices! Always look at the Asian handicap price!