The Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge has been running since the opening day of the season. Pinnacle’s predictions are calculated using the Handicap odds available before kick-off, while Lawrenson’s come from his weekly score predictions submitted to the BBC website.
The scores currently sit at 113/200 for Pinnacle and 114/200 for Lawrenson. However, because the BBC pundit often sides with a draw and has managed to pick a few underdog victories, he is €343.54 in profit while Pinnacle is only €5.13 up.
Neither the bookmaker nor BBC pundit got off to the best of starts in part five of the challenge. Pinnacle’s score of 6/10 predictions resulted in a €6.34 loss compared to Lawrenson’s €6.24 loss from 5/10. Once again, it was the draws - Watford vs. Middlesbrough and Manchester United vs. Tottenham - that gave Lawrenson the edge.
Pinnacle struggled once again in week 22 of the challenge - a score of 5/10 meant it was a second consecutive week in the red with a loss of €15.14. The benefit of picking the draw was evident once again as the BBC soccer pundit was €20.13 in profit after also getting 5/10 predictions correct.
Week 23 marked three weeks of negative returns for Pinnacle in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge. This time, it was €22.05 after scoring just 3/10. Mark Lawrenson only managed one better in terms of the number of correct predictions - the draw in the Stoke vs. Everton game (at closing odds of 3.370) helped the talking head notch up €14.05 worth of profit though.
The bookmaker finally managed to stop the rot in week 24 - 7/10 correct predictions meant the €10 hypothetical bet on each game would have resulted in a €25.77 profit for Pinnacle. With no draws from all ten fixtures, Lawrenson’s tendency to find the high odds let him down as he picked up on 5/10 predictions and suffered a €13.05 loss.
The pattern that has remained a constant over the 250 predictions so far was apparent once again in week 25. It was six predictions apiece out of the possible ten, but another two draws (West Ham vs. W.B.A at 3.280 and Middlesbrough vs. Everton at 3.330) proved to be the difference. The BBC pundit picked up €27.47 worth of profit, while Pinnacle was just €4.37 up for the week.
The Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge is incredibly close after 250 predictions. Pinnacle has correctly predicted 139/250 results, while Mark Lawrenson is on 138/250. However, despite being separated by just one correct prediction, there is a dramatic difference when a hypothetical €10 bet is applied to each selection.
When analysed as betting predictions, Mark Lawrenson has amassed an impressive €385.89 profit compared to the bookmaker’s €8.26 loss.
When analysed as betting predictions, Mark Lawrenson has amassed an impressive €385.89 profit compared to the bookmaker’s €8.26 loss - consistently predicting a draw has proven to be a successful tactic for the BBC pundit (even when his strike rate with draw predictions is lower than 40%).
Pinnacle’s Handicap market may well benefit from the wisdom of the crowd - a high volume of bets helps make the odds as sharp as possible - but it doesn't seem to have helped the bookmaker produce more accurate betting predictions.
There's 180 predictions left to make. Will Pinnacle stay ahead with more correct predictions? Can the bookmaker turn around the betting preictions defecit? Find out in part 6 of this challenge.
Want to make your own soccer betting predictions? Get the best Premier League odds online at Pinnacle.