Nov 4, 2016
Nov 4, 2016

Part 2: Premier League predictions – Pinnacle vs. Mark Lawrenson

A look at the last five games in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge

Find out who's made the most correct soccer betting predictions

Part 2: Premier League predictions – Pinnacle vs. Mark Lawrenson
Ahead of the 2016/17 season, we set up a Premier League predictions challenge between Pinnacle and BBC soccer expert Mark Lawrenson. After 10 games, we’ve got another five weeks worth of results to analyse. Read on to find out who is on top in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge.

In part one of this article, Pinnacle and the ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson were very closely matched. Although the bookmaker managed to successfully predict 29/50 Premier League results - compared to Lawrenson’s 28/50 - the pundit would have made almost twice as much in terms of profit if these were Premier League betting predictions. 

Unlike tipsters who will often claim to have specialist knowledge, Pinnacle’s predictions are calculated using our handicap market - influenced by traders and the activity of bettors. Mark Lawrenson uses his ‘expert’ knowledge to predict scores for the BBC - instead of using these score predictions; we have just used the outright result.

To make this challenge more interesting, we will continue to analyse the predictions with a hypothetical 10 bet placed on each game.

Week 6

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One of the main themes from part one of this article continued in the first week of part two. Both Pinnacle and Lawrenson managed to correctly predict six results, but different selections showed a marked difference in terms of profit.

The bookmaker correctly predicted wins for Arsenal and Southampton at odds of 2.48 and 2.44 respectively, whereas the pundit picked the Stoke vs. W.B.A draw and a win for Burnley against Watford. At closing odds of 3.43 and 3.40, these correct predictions - at much higher odds - yielded a 32.29 overall return compared to Pinnacle’s 13.19.

Week 7

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Pinnacle suffered the biggest loss to date in the challenge in week seven. With only three correct predictions - Chelsea at 1.463 being the most profitable - the bookmaker chalked up a 57.02 loss. Lawrenson didn’t fair too much better, but correctly predicting a draw in the Watford vs. Bournemouth game limited his losses to 23.72.

Week 8

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A clear pattern started to develop by week eight. If these were Premier League betting predictions, the pundit would have made 26.01 with a 10 bet on each game in this week, while the bookmaker would have lost 21.29. One selection made all the difference with Lawrenson’s Man City vs. Everton draw selection returning 47.30 (odds of 4.73).

Week 9

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Things went from bad to worse for Pinnacle in week nine. A loss of 28.08 meant it was three weeks in a row the bookmaker had ended up in the red. Conversely, predicting draws in both the Bournemouth vs. Tottenham and Swansea vs. Watford games and a win for Stoke against Hull meant Lawrenson made 45.42 profit.

Week 10

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The bookmaker managed to gain some ground on the pundit in the final week of this instalment. Eight correct predictions resulted in a 52.56 profit for Pinnacle. The draw prediction in the Everton vs. West Ham game cost Lawrenson as the talking head only managed a 33.71 profit.

After analysing ten weeks worth of predictions, the BBC expert has put some distance between himself and the bookmaker. Lawrenson is currently 179.88 in profit in the challenge, whereas Pinnacle is at a 11.63 loss. Surprisingly, the two are still closely matched on the number of correct predictions. Pinnacle is currently on 55/100, with Lawrenson on 57/100. 

We can pinpoint exactly where Lawrenson has made his money thus far. Predicting the draw. The pundit made 13 draw predictions between week six and ten and five of these (38%) were correct. The bookmaker failed to pick any of the correct draw predictions Lawrenson made and at average closing odds of 3.69, this gives him a considerable edge.

In our article that questions how good are betting tipsters, we highlighted the importance of analysing betting predictions against the length of someone’s record. Considering we are merely a quarter of the way through the Premier League season, we can’t be jumping to any kind of conclusions just yet. 

Will we see traders and the wisdom of the crowds help Pinnacle catch Lawrenson in the Bookmaker vs. Soccer Pundit challenge? Find out in part three of this article that will focus on the next five Premier League fixtures.

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