Why averages can distort your final betting prediction

by , 20 June 2019

Did you know that one of the most popular ways to assess information or data could be distorting your final betting prediction?

Yes, the humble average can lead to failed outcomes.

And today I want to show you why the average should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Let's get to it…
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Why the humble average should not be trusted

Averages are great when analysing a large sample size with score lines of limited variance. However, the problem comes in when looking at a sample size of just 15 matches.

This can become a big problem as one irregular result can distort the average and in the end your final decision.

Take a look at this example:

If Liverpool have played 15 games at home and scored a total of 45 goals, that’s an average of 3 goals per match.

This looks tempting and the over 2.5 might seem like a promising bet.

However, when looking deeper, we see that of those 15 games played, two of them were particularly high scoring. One game has 4-2 and another a 5-1 result.

That is a combined total of 12 goals scored.

Those two games have severely distorted the average, which would be 2.53 in the other 13 games.

What looks like an easy pay-day, suddenly seems like a money trap.

So while averages are great for large sample sizes, it’s always better to track occurrences rather than averages.

And by occurrences, I mean how many times has a team gone over or under a particular goal total?

You may find out that a team has only gone over 2.5 goals 50% of the games played at home.

So if the average is 3 goals per game, but the over 2.5 occurrence has only been 50% - would you still bet on the over?

Probably not…

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Conclusion to the average problem

While the average gives you an idea, it is useless in predicting the final outcome of a game.

Now that you understand the limitations of using an average, rather consider other strategies such as the such as the Bayesian analysis, or even Poison Distribution.

Until next time,

Christopher Ammon,
Head Tipster, The Winning Streak Team

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