Hockey World championships, which markets to bet ?
On my Way, to accumulating my betting capital from hundreds to one million, the Ice Hockey World Championships played a big part. Since 1987, I have made a profit in all World Championships. (In the Olympics Hockey I lost once).
Three decades ago, I even traveled to the tournaments. I saw almost the whole tournaments live in Prague 1992, Vienna 1996, and Zurich 1998, and of course, the 1991 and 1997 competitions in Finland. Unfortunately, I missed the 1995 Stockholm glory, the first gold medal to Finland. I saw the decisive moments in the Finjet car ferry when moving my family from Finland to Brussels.
In those days, one gained a big edge in betting by watching the matches live and making notes of them. I was probably one of the pioneers in counting expected goals, even if I did it manually, in a very basic and brutal way. But it was enough to make considerable profits. Typically, the profitable were correct scores on low 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 types of scores, bets on unlucky teams, and bets on "bad teams" with long handicaps.
Nowadays, the betting markets are more sophisticated. Good metrics and statistics, even Xg-information is available to the general public. However, there are still profit opportunities in the tournaments. The tendency of the general public and the media to overreact to the first results has remained. That offers good investment opportunities nowadays.
A good example is Switzerland in this year's tournament. Before the tournament, the odds 20x was available for the Swiss. The media and the bettors found Switzerland to be as a "grey", workmanlike team without the class to be a champion, doomed to their earlier fate of being eliminated early in the play-offs. Now after getting three good re-enforcements from the NHL and clinching their first place in their group win by winning the first six meaningful games, conceding only one goal per game, they have turned to the favorites for the IIHWC championship.
the run of events has been very typical for the behavior of the betting markets. First the market underestimates the good coaching, the good defence and the solidity of a team without "weak links". then the market overreacts to a handful of results and to a couple of "big names" included to the team.
Switzerland was by far more probable winner pre-tournament, than their odds 20x suggested. But it is hard to believe, that they are worthy favorites now at 4.25x without home crowd support in the play-offs games, even if they face the weak Germany in the first round.
At the moment (GMT lunchtime on Wednesday the 24t of May), the outright World Champion market trades as follows (odds source Oddsportal.com)
Czech Republic 11
As can be seen, the teams playing surprisingly well in the tournament have been well-backed now. On the other hand, the big pre-tournament favorite Finland has drifted from ca. 3x to 5x. Yes, they have been prone to mistakes and ineffective in the goal-scoring so far, but not to the degree that they should be only in "one of the level five", as the betting market suggests at the moment.
Providing you share my opinion that one would profit by betting on Finland and laying Switzerland in the playoffs, should you bet/lay on the outright market or on the individual matches?
There are pros and cons.
On the outright market, you'll pay the bookmakers vigorish only once, and You gain slightly from the favorite bias. The biggest advantage is, that if you "were right" with your idea, your odds don't suffer to the semifinal and to the final after the quarter-final.
On the other hand, if you'll bet the individual games by letting Sportmarket to search you the best offer, bookmaker and form of betting, you'll probably find much better value on the individual games. You'll bet against a clearly smaller take-out percentage. For a third reason, you are free to change your opinion after seeing the games. You can even bet in running and adjust your position according to, what you have seen and how is your overall risk position. The home advantage differs from match to match.
For the flexibility and the advantages of reacting to the new information, I mainly prefer the individual match betting and let the Sportmarket brokerage service to at least suggest to me the best odds and the markets.
Now I'll pack my bags and travel to Tampere to root Finland and probably even Chech Republic vs. USA.
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