As the Premier League season enters the final few weeks, the title race and relegation places are close to being decided. One thing that still hangs in the balance is the soccer predictions challenge between Pinnacle and BBC “expert” Mark Lawrenson. Who will make the most profitable predictions over the entire season? Read on to find out.
If anyone isn’t up-to-date with the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge, an intriguing battle to determine who makes the most efficient predictions has developed over the past seven months - a hypothetical €10 bet on each selection has made things even more interesting.
Pinnacle currently leads the way in terms of correct predictions with a score of 139/250 to 138/250. However, using the hypothetical €10 bet and analysing these selections as soccer betting predictions changes the picture completely - Pinnacle is currently down €8.26, while Mark Lawrenson is €385.89 in profit.
Pinnacle has left it late to claw back the deficit in terms of hypothetical profit made but made a promising start to part six of the challenge. With cup competitions and European commitments starting to affect the fixture list, only eight games were played in week 26 - Pinnacle scored 6/8 and Lawrenson 5/8.
Although it is the BBC pundit who has been rewarded for selecting the draw throughout this challenge, it was the bookmaker’s draw selection in the Watford vs. West Ham game (at closing odds of 3.23) that proved to be the difference - Pinnacle notched a €36.41 profit for the week compared to Lawrenson’s €22.66 profit.
It was back to a full set of fixtures in week 27 and the bookmaker continued the good start to part six of the challenge with 8/10 correct predictions. Lawrenson struggled again and only managed 6/10 predictions and his reliance on the draw to return more profit backfired once again - the pundit only managed €3.66 profit compared to Pinnacle’s €44.06.
Week 28 marked the first time Pinnacle has recorded better results than Lawrenson for three weeks in a row for the first time in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge. The FA Cup quarter-finals meant only four Premier League games were played - the bookmaker correctly predicted the result in three of those games, with Lawrenson only managing 2/4.
Once again, a lack of draws cost Lawrenson as he ended up €1.20 down for the week. Pinnacle, on the other hand, returned a profit for the third successive week with €14.95.
Despite both Pinnacle and Mark Lawrenson scoring 7/10 with their selections in week 28, it was Leicester City’s away win at West Ham (3.22) and the draw between Manchester City and Liverpool (3.80) that proved to be the difference - the BBC pundit’s hypothetical soccer betting predictions would have returned €61.47 compared to Pinnacle’s €39.73.
The theme from the previous week and in truth, the majority of the challenge, repeated itself in the final week of part six. Mark Lawrenson successfully predicted that Southampton and Bournemouth would draw (at closing odds of 4.13).
The bookmaker and soccer pundit were tied with a score of 6/10 each in week 28 but the draw gave Lawrenson a profit of €60.04 in terms of soccer betting predictions, while Pinnacle managed a return of €36.61 from the hypothetical €10 bet on each selection.
Pinnacle’s Premier League Handicap market has proven to be efficient, but if it makes more profitable betting predictions than a professional pundit remains to be seen.
There’s now only eight weeks to go in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge. After 30 weeks and 293 selections each, Pinnacle leads BBC “expert” Mark Lawrenson 170/293 to 165/293. After applying the hypothetical €10 bet to each selection, Lawrenson has amassed €532.52 profit with his soccer betting predictions. Pinnacle, by contrast, is up just €163.50.
Pinnacle’s Premier League Handicap market has proven to be efficient, but if it makes more profitable betting predictions than a professional pundit remains to be seen. The wisdom of the crowd could ultimately help Pinnacle triumph in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge but there’s still plenty of time left for things to change.
Mark Lawrenson’s results might appear to be impressive on the surface but as the Green Lumber Fallacy suggests, we should always test the credibility of someone who makes a living from providing predictions - we'll have to see how the pundit does in part 7 of the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge.
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