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Modelling Association Football Scores and Inefficiencies in the Football Betting Market

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A parametric model is developed and fitted to English league and cup football data from 1992 to 1995. The model is motivated by an aim to exploit potential inefficiencies in the association football betting market, and this is examined using bookmakers' odds from 1995 to 1996. The technique is based on a Poisson regression model but is complicated by the data structure and the dynamic nature of teams' performances. Maximum likelihood estimates are shown to be computationally obtainable, and the model is shown to have a positive return when used as the basis of a betting strategy.

Keywords: Betting strategy; Expected return; Football (soccer); Maximum likelihood; Poisson distribution

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Lancaster University, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1997


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