Are you familiar with Nigel Rees’ Book of Humorous Graffiti? Alan Partridge loves it. One of his favourite lines for using when opening an after-dinner speech is: “I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.”
As well as being a hilarious ice breaker for Norfolk’s finest, it’s a good starting point for a look at Paddy’s Double Chance market. For many matches, there is often an obvious choice to pick in the Match Odds market, but not always. It can be difficult to know which option to select.
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Paddy allows you to increase your chances of a payout by selecting two of the three possible match outcomes in a single bet: ‘Home Win or Draw’, ‘Away Win or Draw’, or ‘Home Win or Away Win’. The odds are obviously less generous because you’re taking on 2/3rds of potential outcomes – Paddy’s no fool – but that does not mean there is not money out there to be pocketed.
Before we get to which teams to put your faith in or run away from screaming, let’s look at the maths behind the market. Here comes the science bit, concentrate.
Let’s look at the last five years of Premier League football, from the start of the 2017/18 season through to the conclusion of 2022/23. In that period, 844 of the 1,900 matches (or 44.4 per cent) were won by the home side. The away team was victorious 33.4 per cent of the time, with the remaining 22.2 per cent of matches – you guessed it – drawn.
To work out the hit rates for our three double chance options, we simply average two percentages as appropriate. However, while that will tell us how often each selection was successful, we should also factor in whether the winning bet was also the favourite.
For instance, ‘Home Win or Draw’ was the shortest priced option 47.1 per cent of the time in the last half decade, yet it only paid out in 33.3 per cent of matches. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the wrong selection to make, of course – a big team will almost always avoid defeat at home against a relative minnow – but it is the option most susceptible to an upset.
The numbers were far more in line for ‘Away Win or Draw’: it was the favourite for 24.2 per cent of matches and was successful 27.8 per cent of the time. It’s important to remember that it was not successful choice every time it carried the shortest price, just that it paid out roughly as often as when it was favourite.
This leaves us with the most intriguing option. ‘Home Win or Away Win’ was successful 10.1 per cent more often than it was the shortest priced selection. This is therefore your best opportunity to beat the bookie but you must select wisely.
Teams of Interest
The natural assumption is that the strongest teams are your friend in this market and to some extent that is true. The Double Chance favourite paid out in 161 of 190 matches (84.7 per cent) for both Liverpool and Manchester City over the last five seasons.
It’s vital to consider the weak teams too though – Paddy often expects them to lose, or at the very least fail to win, and they rarely disappoint. Though the sample sizes were smaller, Huddersfield (86.8), Norwich City (85.5), West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff (both 81.6) and Sheffield United (80.3) all saw a success rate above the favourite’s average of 78.7 per cent.
Notice how simply selecting the shortest priced option with no further thought applied works over three quarters of the time? You won’t make your fortune but it can be a nice little selection.
So which are the teams to avoid? Of those who were ever-present in the top flight in the last five years and will be there in 2023/24, Wolves, Brighton (both 73.2), Everton (74.2) and West Ham (76.8) all had below par averages.
And this makes sense – they are all teams who can upset the odds from time-to-time against the big boys while also being very familiar with losing games you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
It’s good to know which teams have been at the extreme ends of the market though. Chelsea have been the biggest underachievers, losing 27 times when a bet on them winning or drawing was the favourite in this market.
Away from the big six teams, Wolves were the next biggest offenders with 18 such defeats. They also won 17 times when the Double Chance odds implied they wouldn’t, though, which puts them third behind Newcastle (21) and Burnley (20) for unexpected victories.
While this information is useful, it’s all history now. Chelsea will likely improve under Mauricio Pochettino, Newcastle will continue to invest in their squad and it’s impossible to know how the newly promoted teams will perform in 2023/24. If you keep an eye on the data, you should have a double chance of success more often than not here though.
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