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Jul 21, 2017
Jul 21, 2017

How Premier League teams perform in handicap betting

How to use historical data to empower your betting

Which teams consistently outperform expectation?

Does reputation outweigh performance?

How Premier League teams perform in handicap betting

With an increasing number of bettors turning away from the 1X2 soccer markets and towards Handicap betting to get better odds, knowing how to profit from handicap betting can get you ahead of the curve. This article explains how to use past performance in Pinnacle's handicap betting market to your advantage in Premier League betting.

What is handicap betting? 

Handicap betting (sometimes referred to as ‘the spread’) is simply placing a bet on the outcome of a match that involves a virtual deficit determined by a bookmaker. While the bookmaker is trying to counter perceived bias in the abilities of two opposing teams, Handicap betting can provide informed bettors with more value than the traditional 1X2 in soccer betting.

What does previous handicap betting data tell us?

The below table looks at how well the current Premier League teams performed in the handicap market over the last seven seasons, pinpointing which teams did better than Pinnacle expected and which ones did worse.

Last season was the first time Liverpool have managed to cover the spread 50% of the time in the last seven years.

Analysing traditional markets such as 1X2 simply shows how often a team won, drew or lost and the odds for each result. Analysing a team's performance in terms of handicap betting, however, shows how they performed against the market’s expectation - using Pinnacle’s closing odds provides the most accurate assessment of result probabilities as it benefits from valuable information and the Wisdom of the Crowd.

If you bet on a team in the handicap market and that bet wins, the team you bet on have “covered the spread.” At a basic level, the teams that cover the spread more than 50% of the time have beaten the bookmakers in handicap betting.

Premier League handicap performance 2010/11-2016/17

Team

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

Average

Arsenal

39.50%

42.10%

44.70%

57.90%

42.10%

47.40%

44.70%

45.50%

Bournemouth AFC*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

34.20%

52.60%

43.40%

Brighton and Hove Albion*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Burnley*

N/A

N/A

N/A

39.50%

39.50%

N/A

50.00%

43.00%

Chelsea

34.20%

28.90%

52.60%

57.90%

47.40%

28.90%

54.10%

43.40%

Crystal Palace*

N/A

N/A

N/A

50.00%

57.90%

47.40%

42.10%

49.40%

Everton

42.10%

39.50%

42.10%

44.70%

44.70%

50.00%

52.60%

45.10%

Huddersfield Town*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Leicester City*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

44.70%

71.10%

42.10%

52.60%

Liverpool

39.50%

31.60%

39.50%

44.70%

39.50%

39.50%

50.00%

40.60%

Newcastle United*

47.40%

60.50%

44.70%

44.70%

31.60%

39.50%

N/A

44.70%

Manchester City

42.10%

57.90%

34.20%

55.30%

52.60%

36.80%

39.50%

45.50%

Manchester United

47.40%

52.60%

47.40%

44.70%

42.10%

47.40%

47.40%

47.00%

Southampton*

N/A

N/A

50.00%

50.00%

50.00%

52.60%

39.50%

48.40%

Stoke City

50%

52.60%

55.30%

63.20%

55.30%

52.60%

50.00%

54.00%

Swansea City*

N/A

50.00%

47.40%

39.50%

47.40%

47.40%

45.90%

46.30%

Tottenham Hotspur

42.10%

52.60%

55.30%

50.00%

52.60%

50.00%

53.80%

50.90%

Watford*

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

44.70%

41.00%

42.90%

W.B.A

52.60%

52.60%

47.40%

47.40%

52.60%

55.30%

60.50%

52.60%

West Ham United*

44.70%

N/A

52.60%

47.40%

52.60%

60.50%

42.10%

50.00%

*Teams that haven't played in the last seven consecutive Premier League seasons.

Stoke City - Consistently outperforming expectation

Since winning promotion to the Premier League, Stoke City have finished no lower than 14th. Under Tony Pulis, The Potters were labelled as defensive and hard to beat, but since Mark Hughes took over in 2013 their style of play has dramatically changed.

Stoke City are the only side to cover the spread 50% or more over the course of the season in each of the last seven campaigns.

The change of manager may have brought about their highest percentage of covering the spread (63.2% in the 2013/14 season), but from 2010/11 onwards they have been remarkably consistent (averaging 54%). Stoke City are the only side to cover the spread 50% or more over the course of the season in each of the last seven campaigns.

If this trend continues, betting on Stoke City’s handicap odds (e.g. Stoke City +1 if they are playing against a stronger team or Stoke City 0 if they are playing against a side of similar perceived ability) throughout the season can lead to increased winnings; even if they fail to win those matches or only win by a narrow margin.

Liverpool - Reputation outweighing performance

Liverpool is a prime example of a club’s reputation affecting their handicap odds. Since last winning the league in 1990 they have failed to live up to expectations. Liverpool’s 40.60% average of covering the spread in the last seven seasons is by far the lowest of any club who has been in the division throughout the same period.

In fact, last season was the first time Liverpool have managed to cover the spread 50% of the time in the last seven years. What this means for bettors is that betting on Liverpool’s opponents to cover the spread throughout the season could prove to be more profitable than betting on Liverpool at short 1X2 odds.

Tottenham Hotspur - Reliable but predictable

Tottenham Hotspur is one team that, over the past seven seasons, has performed almost exactly as Pinnacle expected. Despite a dip in 2010/11 (42.10%) they have covered the spread - on average - 50.90% of the time.

Although this average might not provide a handicap betting opportunity, bettors can use Tottenham’s consistency and reliability as a predictive tool for future performance - if Spurs find themselves on a run of failing to cover the spread, their previous record suggests a positive run will follow.

Everton - Potential value in steady improvement

One team that has consistently improved in their ability to cover the spread since 2011/12 is Everton. The Toffees average for covering the spread hasn’t fallen since David Moyes’ final season in charge.

Analysing a team's performance in terms of handicap betting shows how they performed against the market’s expectation.

Although Everton unperformed in terms of the betting market’s expectation up until 2015/16, they averaged 50% in that year and 52.60% last year (an overall average of 45.10% in the last seven seasons).

The progression might be minimal in terms of how often they cover the spread but if Everton continue to improve and outperform market expectation, there could be value in betting on their handicap odds in the 2017/18 Premier League season.

Use Pinnacle's Handicap Table to keep up-to-date with Premier League teams' performance in the handicap betting market this season.

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Benjamin studied English with Creative Writing (BA) before pursuing a career that combined his love of sport and fascination with betting. An avid fan of numerous sports, his writing now covers anything from in-depth major sporting event previews, to examining betting trends and techniques.

By Benjamin Cronin

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