Friday, 26 August 2011

Sunderland Betting

The natives are starting to get restless: 1 point from the first two games isn't too bad but that combined with the Shrewsbury result and lack of goals and some people are starting to get twitchy.

It's been a long time since we've not expected to be in the top half of the table but the fact is Wigan stayed up last season with only 9 wins (their 15 draws helping to keep them up) so those days of coming away with 3 points are likely to be few and far between.

Sunderland come in to the game in a similar situation but with a greater weight of expectation, so it could well be that like Wigan they'd be happy with a point with the hope of maybe sneaking a victory.

With that in mind a repeat of last week's 0-0 doesn't seem that unlikely. This is available at a best price of 8-1 at a number of bookmakers.

This highlights one of the first things you should know when betting: if you can get the same (or actually in this case a better) price go for No Goalscorer rather than 0-0. This is because No Goalscorer covers you for both 0-0 and also any instances where the only goals scored are from own goals.

For some reason Stan James are offering 10-1 on No Goalscorer but only 8-1 on 0-0, this highlights the value that can be had when searching around for bets that cover roughly the same areas (another option would be using a combination of Asian Handicap and straight with betting e.g., where you get better value for Swansea +0.25 goals than the odds for a Swansea win or a Draw.

Generally speaking, the more possible outcomes to bet on, the greater the margin a bookie will make on a market. Where there are only 2-3 outcomes the margin will be relatively small. Where there are numerous possible outcomes the margin can be far greater.

An example of this is the First Goalscorer market, which is more to make watching a match a bit more fun than a great option on which to bet. I like Craig Beattie but it's nuts that he's practically the same odds as Scott Sinclair to score first (you can get 7-1 on Scott and 15/2 on Craig).

Saying all that 40-1 for Steven Caulker (multiple Bookmakers) does seem tempting, especially given Agustien's excellent dead ball delivery.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Wigan Review - Chalkboards

Could have been better, could have been worse. It is certainly far too early in the season to have been a 'Must Win' game, but had Ben Watson converted his penalty then two games and two defeats would have made grim reading.

It's certain that there'll be countless 'What if' and 'If only' moments in a season but confidence and belief go a long way to what seperates 15th and 20th place.

The first chalkboard below looks at Swansea's overall passing compared to Wigan's. After 523 completed passes against Man City last week, there were 508 against Wigan, with the main focal points being Caulker - Agustien - Rangel:

 by Guardian Chalkboards

The second chalkboard looks at activity at the sharp end with attempts on goal for the two teams. These show a much more even balance with Swansea's 4 shots on target coming in the 2nd, 82nd, 84th and 85th minute which suggests for all that posession, actual threats were limited.

 by Guardian Chalkboards

It should also be pointed out that 2 of the 4 attempts on target came from Stephen Dobbie who only came on after 74 minutes (nothing against Wayne Routledge, but I do have a soft spot for Dobbie).

Friday, 19 August 2011

Now the real work begins

Well, I suppose you could say I was half right in predicting a 0-0 vs. Man City (both in terms of that being the half time score and that's how many Swansea scored!).

Never have I felt less downbeat after losing 4-0, there were plenty of plusses, especially in the first 20-30 minutes when it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say we controlled the game.

Even in this period though, David Silva ghosted in to space on a couple of occasions and looked a different class to everyone else on the pitch - although this standard would be matched later on by Sergio Aguero.

Luckily there are only a handful of people on the planet with a talent to match those two so while Saturday's visit of Wigan is no walkover, it's certainly more of an even contest.

If the bookies are to be believed it is one in which the Swans are strong favourites.  Whilst my heart says the 10-1 at Stan James on a 2-0 home win is the best bet, I am amazed that Wigan are 3-1 (with Red32) to win the game as despite our great home form last season whether we are capable of beating an established Premier league side (even one that is more often than not down at the wrong end of the table) has yet to be proven.

Man City Away - Chalkboards

Along with everything else that's bigger and better with being in the Premier League, the amount of in-depth analyis that's available is miles above what's available in the Championship.

One of those is the Guardian chalkboards which enable users to analyse Premier League games using Opta stats.

Below is a quick example of what can be done, this shows Michel Vorm's passing in the first and second halves.  The charts show the drop off in passes in the second half in particular passes to the centre backs:

The potential for analysis both player by player and game by game is immense and is something I'm hoping to look at in much more detail in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

And so it begins...

Welcome to the blog.

The aim of this blog is to document the adventures of the Swans in the Premier League.  Will it be a fleeting visit and Derby-style embarrassment or the beginning of Top Tier stability such as achieved by the likes of Bolton and Stoke.

In keeping with my day job as a Data Analyst, the blog will focus on the more analytical areas of the season such as Betting, Stats and Chalkboards.

In my opinion at time of writing (10pm on Sunday), value for me is the 16-1 with unibet on a 0-0 draw.  I'm far from saying it's a cert but I think it's a great time to play City with Tevez and Aguero unlikely to start (that just leaves Dzeko, Silva and Balotelli!).  I think they'll improve throughout the season but I can see with the odd slice of luck City failing to score.