Do You Get Money Out Of Doing A Football Pool What Are the Odds of Winning the Football Pools?

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What Are the Odds of Winning the Football Pools?

Winning the football pool regularly seems like a dream (or pure fantasy) to many. It can be done if you have a system. How can you work out the odds? This is a question that many people ask!

Let’s look at the basic possibilities. With a 49 match (games) coupon, we are looking to identify a winning line of 8 score draws on the British triple chance pool if we want to win the first dividend (score draw or SD is the result in which both teams end up with the same number of goals, not zero). If you only bet on 1 line (no one does, but don’t put it aside for now), the odds of picking the correct 8 matches out of 49 are roughly 450 million to 1. The odds in the UK lottery are 14 million to 1. By comparing six number combinations.

If we include 45,000 rows in a record, that reduces the odds (on a purely random basis), to about 10,000 to 1. That’s getting pretty good. Now, there are complications. A given coupon does not always have 8 SD results and can sometimes have 15 or more. In late 2009, the number of drawn matches (both SD and no-score draws) varied between 12% (1 no-score and 5 score draws) and 38% (5 no-scores and 13 SD) of coupons. The maximum number of score draws during that 12 week period was 14. See accompanying chart.

Let’s take a week in which there are 13 score draws. With 13 such draws, there are 1,287 possible combinations of 8 required for the 1st dividend. This helps our odds considerably – 10,000 to 1 was 7.77 to 1 (well, 8 to 1 to keep it simple). That’s with our random selection of 45,000 lines.

Now, let’s assume that football teams play to form (not always or consistently true), but we can predict draw games with 60% accuracy in our picks. This means we are 20% better at odds (10% edge over 50% random). So, the odds of 8 to 1 now become 6.4 to 1 (or 13/2 if we’re betting on horses). There are other ways to sharpen the odds on our end, and more to make the system work, but I hope this article has given you a taste!

(c) Phil Marks 2009

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