Bookmakers Soccer Predictions – 2008 vs 2009

Bookmakers use their own soccer prediction models. Their odds are usually calculated in a way that minimizes the payoffs for match favorites. The accuracy of these predictions can be analyzed by comparing between the betting odds and the real outcome of soccer matches.

This article compares between the accuracy of the soccer predictions made by bookmakers during 2008/09 and the first half of 2009/10. The comparison is based on the average betting odds from the top European soccer leagues.

Data and methods

To compare the accuracy of the bookmakers’ predictions, the authors of this article analyzed the match outcomes and average betting odds of the following 10 major European soccer leagues: Austrian Bundesliga, English Premier League, Dutch Eredivisie, French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga 1, Greek Ethniki, Italian Serie A, Scottish Premier League, Spanish Primera Division and Turkish Super Lig.

The outcome of a match was estimated on the basis of the average payoff offered by the bookmakers for that match. The possible profit of a bettor who bets on bookies’ favorites was calculated according to the average betting odds.


The conclusion was that the bookmakers successfully predicted the outcome of more than 54% of matches during the seasons 2008/09 and 2009/10. Thus, the average accuracy of bookmakers’ soccer predictions is relatively high in the case of major European leagues. Nonetheless, the low profits make these predictions highly unprofitable as betting tips.

1×2 betting:

— Losses of -4% and -2% respectively were estimated for bettors, who used fixed odds as betting tips.

— The only profitable league during those two seasons was Austrian Bundesliga (+14% and +6% of profit) with more than 60% of correct match predictions.

— The most unprofitable leagues were Scottish Premier (-22% and -6%) and German Bundesliga (-11% and -6%).

— The most drastic improvement in 1×2 betting profits was observed for the Dutch Eredivisie league where the profit changed from -11% to +8%.

— The most drastic degradation in 1×2 betting profits was observed for the Turkish Super Lig league where the profit changed from +4% to -18%.

Total under/over bets are the most unprofitable:

— Total under/over 2.5 losses were nearly the same during both seasons and equal to 10%.

The conclusion is that using bookmakers’ soccer predictions as betting tips does not pay off in daily betting. Though the accuracy of their predictions is high, their odds do not result in betting profits.

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