The current form and how it is reflected in the value of sports betting odds

Friday, 27 May 2022

The current form is a concept that analyzes the recent developments of a football team, quantifies the preparation for the game and the chances to obtain favorable results. An indicator taken into account by many punters who know that there are many unknown aspects and its value should not be overestimated.

Beyond limits and risk factors, the current form can be extended to direct confrontations between two teams. There are quite a few duels in which a team dominates copiously in direct meetings, whether it’s home games or away.

The current form of a football team

Looking at the statistics, you will often notice formulations such as:

  • Team A have lost 10 of their last 11 away matches;
  • Team B has won 6 of the last 7 games in all competitions;
  • Team C ended the last 4 games in a draw;
  • Team D has won the last 5 home games and has scored at least twice in each of them.

These are formulations that express the current form of a football team, most often accompanied by a graphic representation. Because the images are evocative and much easier to bet on.

The tendency of odds compilers to take into account the current form of teams is clear. Unlike punters, however, they give a lower “confidence” percentage. Basically, the shape of the moment influences the quotas with a percentage between 5 and 10%.


How important is the recent form for punters

When it comes to the factors we take into account when betting on the final result of a football match, the results of a 2020 study conducted in the Premier Leauge show that:

  • Punters attach great importance to recent form;
  • The odds offered are the second most important factor for players;
  • The results of recent matches have the same weight as injuries or unavailability at the level of each team;
  • The individual form of the players has a fairly high weight but is not seen as a decisive factor.


Regarding the evolution on their own stadium or away, it is known that there are teams that excel on their own ground and teams that feel more comfortable away on certain periods.



Manchester City – Real Madrid – current form

An extremely interesting duel in the semifinals of the Champions League 2021-2020 between 2 of the strongest European teams. At home, City has a 64% chance of winning the match with Real Madrid, the first leg of the semifinal between the two.

Based on the last 5 games played, Guardiola’s team is rated at a current form of 60% while the Spaniards have an exceptional percentage, 80%.


Even if it seems simple, a closer look leads us to the stakes of the game. Being a round-trip meeting with the favorite “citizens” on their own field, we can expect the Spaniards to try hard in this game.


The final result: 4-3 (2-1) – comments City dominated the game in all chapters, Real, however, managed to score 3 times and took a good option for the game in Madrid. 3 goals in the first half and 4 in the second show a game on the counter.


Odds before the game starts: 1 – odds @1.50 X – odds @5.00 2 – odds @7.00, GG – 1.90


Several studies have shown a few things to keep in mind:


The odds available for teams considered favorites are sometimes too generous in terms of their probability. Similarly, betting odds available for home teams are underestimated or overestimated in most cases. Punters cannot exploit these differences due to the margin with which bookmakers operate and the fact that they constantly monitor the market.

Dixon and Coles (1997) state that a good mathematical model should reflect the different abilities of each team and to take into account the advantage of the host team and the recent form of the team. Although the strength of a team and the ability to mobilize can never be known with certainty, each team has some inherent qualities.

Football teams with clear statistical characteristics, such as the high average goals scored and the low average goals conceded, should be more likely to win than teams with poor characteristics.

The advantage of the team playing on its own field is indisputable and statistically confirmed

There is a distinct home advantage found in football results. The hosts tend to win more games than the guests when the heterogeneity of the teams is taken into account.

In terms of recent form, it is estimated that teams in better shape tend to win more easily against teams with poor results. The ability of each team to take the 3 points at stake is influenced by several factors such as changes in management, depreciation of the lot, new transfers, etc. There is even speculation that the new coaches have preferences that may be very different from the capacity of the existing players of a team and this is quickly reflected in the results obtained.

It is obvious that some bookmakers offer better odds than others. This can be a general truth or it can only refer to one or more sports sections.

Below is a study done on some betting operators, taking into account 5 European championships, a significant number of games in each championship and the (average) margin practiced by the operators:

The differences are substantial, the higher the margin, the higher the profit of the operators. As the margin decreases, punters can win more with their choices.

Author: Editor

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