|Football Bettor's Survey|
Football Handicapping - Form
by Daniel Andersson
In this short article I will be giving my opinion on form in betting and how I use it. First I will say that form is one of the big four in betting, the others being "general strength", "team dynamics" and "motivation and other psychological aspects". All of these vary in importance from game to game but in general I would say that general strength and team dynamics comes first then form and after that the psychological aspects. But that is a discussion for another time.
In general I don't look further back than six games when looking at form but it can be beneficial to add in ten or more games to study the form curve of the team deeper. But in general six games is enough. From the six games you can see a tendency to the movement of form for the teams in question and also see where they stand at the moment form-wise.
The statistical tools I use is to either apply a two point system, two points for a win and one point for a draw, to give the teams a power number. The reason I use a 2 point system is that I think it takes the draw possibility better into account. or use the teams goal difference for the games in question to get that number. Then it just to compare the teams numbers to see which is superior.
The way I use the mentioned tools is like follows. First I get the numbers for the six most recent games then for the three most recent games. Now I already see tendencies of form curves and which team is in better form.
After this I do a more detailed form curve by taking the three first games to get a number, then the three games after the first game in the six games being used and then leave out the two first games and get a number on the three games after that and so on until you have four numbers.
From this you get better and more reliable flow of the curve. Here it is good to use more than six games to see the form in better detail. It is also good to use the same six games again but this time take two games at a time instead. This can give great detail and help immensely to find good bets.
After those form statistics I do some home vs away stats on form. This I usually only use the latest three games for. So if Newcastle played Blackburn at home I would use Newcastles three latest home games and Blackburns three latest away games. This is a very important factor to consider since home and away form may differ a lot and could easily make or break a bet.
I should add that I usually use the average point per game when I put the stats on paper. Not that that is any better really but I prefer it and I see the differences better that way.
As an example of what I have discussed, lets say Manchester United played Chelsea at Old Trafford with the following stats (I will make the example with a 2 point system).
P W D L PH WH DH LH PA WA DA LA
Man U 6 4 1 1 WDLWWW 3 3 0 0 WWW 3 1 1 1 DLW
Chelsea 6 3 2 1 WDWWDL 3 2 1 0 WWD 3 1 0 2 LWL
Man U has 4 won 1 draw and 1 loss in their 6 latest games so they get 9 points. Chelsea has 3 won 2 draws and 1 loss so they end up on 8 points. This shows Man U to be in slightly better overall form stats wise (just because the figures says so doesn't necessarily make it true. Structure of games and form without results is also important parts of form but that will be dealt with in a different article). From this you could also get a percentage on how much better Man U is at the moment but that isn't really needed. To get that number you just have to divide the points of one team with the overall points of both teams. So to get Man U's percent divide 9 with 17 and you get 53% compared to Chelsea's 47%.
To get the three latest just do the same but just use the three latest games. Man U won all three so that is 6 points. Chelsea has 1 won 1 draw and 1 loss which ads up to 3 points. This one confirms the first form stat and shows Man U to be in better current form.
Now lets look at the form curve (you get a simpler form curve from the first two stats. If the second one shows a higher number then their form is going up and vice versa).
Man U first three games gives 1 won 1 draw and 1 lost which gives 3 points, then the three after the first game also gives 3 points, after that it is LWW and therefor 4 points then WWW and 6 points.
So a form curve would look something like this:
Sorry for the poor illustration but it is a rising curve since the for numbers were 3, 3, 4 and 6. Chelsea score are 5,5,5 and 3 which gives a descending curve:
The last stat to deal with is the home vs away form. And in this example we will use Man U's home stats and Chelsea's away stats since the game is at Old Trafford.
So Man U has a full score of 6 points at home and Chelsea has 2 points on their 3 latest road games.
So from the statistical form stats Man U is a good bet but their is more to form that just stats. We have to look at what kind of teams they have played since it is very different to face Man U on the road and Bolton on your home ground. A draw at Old Trafford actually shows more than a win at home against Bolton. Then there is "form without results" which is a great way to find bets that will be discussed on another time.
Out of so many tipster services available out there, I have been very fortunate to have found yours and decided to try it out. It's not been too long since I have become a member but so far, I am truly impressed.
- Joseph Tullgren, Hässleholm, Sweden
"I notice prices get short on many of the teams you tip. Is this because your subscribers are plenty or are you betting heavily on your own picks yourself? Either way, keep up the great work!"
- Jeffrey Low, Singapore