Covid and VAR effect in football outcomes



Covid and VAR effect on football outcomes





Summary

The football reality in the last year changed dramatically because of two major events. The first one is the COVID pandemic, which leads to tragic consequences in all aspects of human activity; I hope we will have an end to this tragedy soon. The second one is the extensive use of VAR.
These events seem to affect the well-established, during the last decades, home advantage in football games. We have empty stadiums and a high-tech system that aims to minimize the errors in referees’ decisions.
Imagine how difficult it was, for an average referee, to give a doubtful penalty to the guest team with a full stadium curse him or worse. Imagine how easy it was to show a red card to a guest team’s player in doubtful conditions; the crowd would encourage him to do so.
Now we have these two factors out of the equation; we have no crowd, and we have a clear view of every doubtful moment because of the VAR. This article will try to find if the home advantage still exists and how much affected by the new game conditions.

By using my optimal equations method you can improve your betting decisions. See the performance update until January 31st.

The question is : Have new conditions affect the home team’s advantage?

Methodology

First, I will take a look at the past. We will examine 106380 games from 22 football divisions from season 2006-2007 to season 2019-2021 to find each outcome’s percentages. The data came from http://www.football-data.co.uk, an excellent website about football betting in general. To be more accurate, I will also, examine the first months of each season, until January 31th, to see if the time that events took place affects the outcome.
Then I will compare the past results with the current year’s results and, hopefully, I will be able to give a clear answer to the original question.

Compare results

First, let’s see the outcomes of all the past games in our dataset.

Season

games

-1-

-X-

-2-

2006-2007

7810

46.2%

26.1%

27.7%

2007-2008

7810

45.2%

27.0%

27.8%

2008-2009

7810

45.2%

26.7%

28.1%

2009-2010

7634

45.8%

26.9%

27.4%

2010-2011

7744

45.4%

27.0%

27.6%

2011-2012

7744

45.0%

26.4%

28.6%

2012-2013

7744

43.7%

26.7%

29.5%

2013-2014

7810

45.0%

26.0%

28.9%

2014-2015

7875

44.2%

26.7%

29.2%

2015-2016

7810

43.7%

26.5%

29.8%

2016-2017

7836

45.2%

26.1%

28.8%

2017-2018

7034

44.6%

26.4%

29.1%

2018-2019

6904

44.3%

26.7%

29.0%

2019-2020

6815

43.6%

26.9%

29.6%

The minimum home win percentage in these years was 43.6%, the maximum was 46.2% , the median was 45.0%. The standard deviation for the home win is 0.8%. For the guests, the minimum win percentage in these years was 27.4%, the maximum was 29.8% , the median was 28.8%. The standard deviation for the away win is 0.8%

This season, until 31th January 2021, the home win percentage is 40.0%, the draw percentage is 26.5% and the away win percentage is 33.6%.

This is a huge difference! The home win is -3.6% below the minimum home win percentage in the past years and the away win 3.8% above the maximum away win percentage in the past years.

Now I will examine if the specific timeframe affected the results (months from Aug to Jan).

Season

games

-1-

-X-

-2-

2006-2007

4591

46.2%

26.6%

27.2%

2007-2008

4513

44.5%

27.4%

28.0%

2008-2009

4488

46.1%

27.0%

26.9%

2009-2010

4403

44.9%

27.3%

27.8%

2010-2011

4436

45.8%

27.2%

27.0%

2011-2012

4511

44.5%

26.8%

28.7%

2012-2013

4555

43.2%

27.5%

29.3%

2013-2014

4523

45.3%

25.9%

28.7%

2014-2015

4616

43.7%

27.3%

29.0%

2015-2016

4666

43.4%

26.3%

30.3%

2016-2017

4556

45.3%

26.6%

28.1%

2017-2018

4277

44.0%

26.6%

29.5%

2018-2019

4120

43.7%

27.0%

29.3%

2019-2020

4588

43.8%

26.9%

29.3%

The minimum home win percentage in past years, for the specific timeframe, was 43.2%, the maximum was 46.2% , the median was 44.5%. The standard deviation for the home win is 1.0%. For the guests, the minimum win percentage in these years was 26.9%, the maximum was 30.3% , the median was 28.7%. The standard deviation for the away win is 1.0%. As expected, almost identical with the full year’s results.

Home favorites

But what are the results if, according to bookmakers’ estimations, there is a clear difference between the two teams? Let’s examine the games with home win odds below 2.10
.

Season

games

-1-

-X-

-2-

2006-2007

3980

56.9%

24.1%

18.9%

2007-2008

3881

56.4%

25.6%

18.0%

2008-2009

3766

56.9%

25.1%

18.0%

2009-2010

3706

57.4%

25.0%

17.6%

2010-2011

3664

56.9%

24.9%

18.2%

2011-2012

3642

58.1%

23.7%

18.2%

2012-2013

3521

55.6%

24.4%

20.1%

2013-2014

3528

58.3%

23.6%

18.1%

2014-2015

3435

57.8%

24.1%

18.0%

2015-2016

3384

58.2%

23.9%

17.9%

2016-2017

3362

59.4%

24.8%

15.9%

2017-2018

3107

58.1%

24.9%

16.9%

2018-2019

2968

59.0%

24.4%

16.5%

2019-2020

2864

57.1%

24.1%

18.8%

The minimum home win percentage in these years was 55.6%, the maximum was 59.4% , the median was 57.6%. The standard deviation for the home win is 1.0%. For the guests, the minimum win percentage in these years was 15.9%, the maximum was 20.1% , the median was 18.0%. The standard deviation for the away win is 1.0%

This season, until 31th January 2021, the home win percentage is 57.5%, the draw percentage is 22.5% and the away win percentage is 19.9%.

Hhmmm… The home win is 1.9% above the minimum home win percentage in the past years, almost at average, and the away win -0.2% below the maximum away win percentage in the past years.

Matching teams

Let’s see what happens if we have two matching teams. I will check the games when home and away odds are above 2.10.

Season

games

-1-

-X-

-2-

2006-2007

3154

37.9%

29.2%

32.9%

2007-2008

3221

37.2%

28.9%

33.9%

2008-2009

3336

37.1%

29.6%

33.3%

2009-2010

3149

38.5%

29.9%

31.6%

2010-2011

3385

38.0%

29.9%

32.1%

2011-2012

3278

36.1%

29.7%

34.2%

2012-2013

3471

36.9%

29.5%

33.5%

2013-2014

3439

37.4%

29.2%

33.4%

2014-2015

3516

37.0%

30.1%

32.8%

2015-2016

3520

35.5%

29.5%

35.0%

2016-2017

3534

38.2%

28.6%

33.1%

2017-2018

3126

38.1%

28.6%

33.2%

2018-2019

3078

36.6%

30.5%

32.9%

2019-2020

3076

37.0%

30.4%

32.6%

The minimum home win percentage, for almost equal teams, in past years was 35.5%, the maximum was 38.5% , the median was 37.2%. The standard deviation for the home win is 0.8%. For the guests, the minimum win percentage in these years was 31.6%, the maximum was 35.0% , the median was 33.2%. The standard deviation for the away win is 0.8%

This season, until 31th January 2021, the home win percentage is 34.3%, the draw percentage is 30.3% and the away win percentage is 35.5%.

The home win is -1.2% below the minimum home win percentage in the past years, and the away win 0.5% above the maximum away win percentage in the past years. We can see a transfer of value (about 2 - 2.5 percent) directly to away win.

Away favorites

What are the results if, according to bookmakers’ estimations, there is a clear difference between the two teams? Let’s examine the games with away win odds below 2.10
.

Season

games

-1-

-X-

-2-

2006-2007

663

21.6%

22.6%

55.8%

2007-2008

704

19.9%

25.7%

54.4%

2008-2009

675

20.3%

21.3%

58.4%

2009-2010

769

19.6%

23.7%

56.7%

2010-2011

695

20.7%

23.6%

55.7%

2011-2012

802

21.9%

24.9%

53.1%

2012-2013

739

19.4%

24.8%

55.9%

2013-2014

842

20.9%

23.2%

55.9%

2014-2015

900

19.7%

23.8%

56.6%

2015-2016

906

21.3%

24.5%

54.2%

2016-2017

940

20.3%

21.0%

58.7%

2017-2018

801

17.1%

23.0%

59.9%

2018-2019

837

20.1%

21.7%

58.2%

2019-2020

867

22.0%

23.4%

54.6%

The minimum home win percentage in these years was 17.1%, the maximum was 22.0% , the median was 20.3%. The standard deviation for the home win is 1.3%. For the guests, the minimum win percentage in these years was 53.1%, the maximum was 59.9% , the median was 55.9%. The standard deviation for the away win is 1.9%

This season, until 31th January 2021, the home win percentage is 15.4%, the draw percentage is 23.3% and the away win percentage is 61.3%.

The home win is -1.7% below the minimum home win percentage in the past years, and the away win 1.4% above the maximum away win percentage in the past years. We can see a transfer of value (about 3.5 - 4 percent) directly to away win.

Conclusions

Well, the numbers can talk, and they answered our question. The home advantage, if it still exists any, took a huge blow. When the home team is an overall better team still holds the winning percentages at an average level, although the away team has better chances of succeeding (about 1 – 2 percent).
The big difference is when we have either matching teams or an overall better guest team. Then we observe that the guest team’s winning percentages gain about 2.5 to 4 percent at the home team’s expense, and this is a huge difference.
So, double-check if you want to bet on a home team at odds above 2.10. If you like a guest team, bear in mind that you have extra value if the home team isn’t a strong favorite. If you want to bet on a favorite home team, you may do so, give a few more minutes to assess the game’s overall conditions, especially check if the guest team can win this game.

Finally, you can view a performance update of my optimal equations here..

Good luck!!!



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