Zeljko Ranogajec and Half Time and Full Time AFL totals.

X_box_X

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I have done some analysis and even though it's only a small sample (ten rounds of a season), I have found some of the results fairly significant. If you can't be bothered reading a few paragraphs, refer directly to the graph I have posted at the end of this post.

Reading suggested bets recently from Benno where he targets bets based on handicaps posted by bookmakers for quarters as opposed to full time handicaps got me wondering if there is any logic to these bets, or whether it is a coincidence that the performances of certain teams are stronger in certain quarters.

The reason I have wondered this is because the lines and odds quoted by bookmakers are consistent with their odds for the full time line handicap.

Example:
Adelaide are a +15 point better side than Geelong in second quarters this year (+212 v +62 over ten games). Despite this, bookmakers have these teams pretty much neck and neck to win the second quarter (much like the Full Time line being almost neck and neck) of this Friday night's match.


  • If there was anything logical about this rather than a coincidence that teams perform better in certain quarters, wouldn't we see some bookmakers react to this?

Now brings me to the world's highest profile professional punter, believed to be the world's most successful professional punter.

  • 10-15 years Zeljko Ranogajec identified that you could take advantage of First Half Totals in the NBA because of coaches like Greg Popovic and Phil Jackson who adopted different game plans and employed different game styles and methods for the first half of matches compared to how matches would be played in the second half.

  • Up until 10-15 years ago, if the full time total of an NBA was handicapped at 206.5 points, Vegas would just split that total in half to come up with their Half Time total. Ranogajec used this to his advantage and capped his own first half totals to ensure he would end up ahead in the long run. It took a couple of years for Vegas to react to this until they started capping First Half Totals independently to Full Time totals. To this day, the Half Time and Full Time totals for matches involving Popovic's San Antonio Spurs appear to be very independent to each other. The same goes for the Half Time and Full Time handicaps. If the Spurs are -13.5 for the Full Time line, quite often you will see their Half Time line at -8.5, instead of -6.5 or -7.0 (the way Vegas used to cap it by simply splitting the full time handicap in half).

If there is any logic to teams performing better in certain quarters, I am interested to know if and when certain AFL books will react to this. If some of them catch on quicker rather than later (assuming this is not purely a coincidence), then there are going to be massive arbitrage opportunities, with some books reacting to the performances of teams in certain quarters independently to how they perform over an entire match.

I am inclined to think (and almost confident) that it is more coincidental than anything, but what may not be coincidental are First Half and Full Time totals.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Below is a table that I have compiled which shows the First Half, Second Half and Full Time totals in matches this year involving every team.



Key points:
  • Richmond, Sydney and WCE are the only teams whose matches in first halves produce a higher total score than their matches in second halves.
  • Brisbane, Carlton, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Sydney, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs appear to be quite consistent with the totals produced in the First Halves and Second Halves of matches this year.
  • Geelong, Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Melbourne and St. Kilda all produce significantly larger second half totals than first half totals in their matches. Hawthorn especially whose matches in second halves on average produce 25 more points than their first halves of matches.
 
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FallingLiefs

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Surprises me bookmakers opt to go with half thought they would have been more onto it. Shows how much I follow footy odds. Thing with this stuff is when do these variances become trends. Very hard to determine whether particular teams continue with similar patterns before it's too late. Then how often do teams carry it over? From memory port were great in '14 and haven't won a final quarter since. Then there was that team that turned the lights off pre game because they couldn't win a first quarter but now that's gone.
 

Duritz

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Brisbane score well early and poorly late, due to younger and less developed players. That might not effect totals but it does effect final margins at given quarters.
 

kingston67

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Interesting topic.

In general I would have thought that second halfs would be higher as the game "opens up" and defensive pressure / structures starts to drop off as players tire.

It would be interesting to reconcile where a team's "prime movers" are at the time of a team's surge.This might help identify whether it is just statistical variance or a planned tactical move. For example Dangerfield / Selwood time on the ball for Geelong should correlate to stronger performance and scoring. In the few games I have seen from Geelong Dangerfield seems to get "rested" in the forward line more in the third quarter but has maximum on ball time in the last which then results in strong last quarters.
 

ricardogp

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Nice analysis. I have noticed that the bookies seem to give the game total a goal or two more than double the half-time total, however my sample set has been quite small. If there are teams that lock the game up or run out of gas in the second half then you would think there would be opportunities around.

I think more attention should be paid to what the game total is set at in-play at half-time. Looking at pre-match half-and-full-time totals are then subject to what actually happens in the first half.

I've also noticed when betting on soccer that bookies odds can vary a bit at half time (in soccer I was looking at match totals), and some bookies (Ladbrokes springs to mind) would count the half time break as the first half, so you would see prices on say Sportsbet adjusted a couple of minutes after the HT whistle and Ladbrokes would not adjust until the 2nd half was underway. So even more leeway to make HT plays.

Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk
 

benno_

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I don't feel like they'll ever adjust the quarter lines too much, most I've seen is maybe 1-2ish points. A line for Kangaroos/Crows may be something like 40.5 for the game, each quarter being roughly crows -10.5 (give or take). Based on how these teams go a more accurate line per quarter could potentially (give or take) be 1st (Roos -20.5), 2nd (Crows -30.5), 3rd (Crows -15.5), 4th (Crows -15.5) (these are all just some made up example numbers, but you get the point of the big differences there could be). It would take a very very brave bookie to have those kinds of lines each game and imo it would probably create more edges for punters. I think they're better off just doing what they currently are.

I feel certain teams definitely do better or worse in certain quarters at times. Some fade, some start fast, some start slow, some are very good at finishing, some need a quarter to adjust to the other team, some struggle after the half time break, etc. Just looking at quarter winners/percentage can show some decent bets (which is what I used to do very casually last year) but can be a bit misleading at times. IMO though you can definitely find some great value with an in depth look and out of the 36 quarters each week often at least a few stand out as good picks.

Tigers -1.5 vs Bombers in the 4th last week was a perfect example of a team that fades vs one that finishes strong. There are a couple of very similar ones this week I like too. I posted a few in the punting forum yesterday, but if you check out the link below in my signature it has a bit more of a detailed look at a few standouts this week :thumbsu:
 
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asanque

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The biggest issue you will have is that quarter and half markets (particularly totals) have lower limits generally and are offered by fewer bookies.

Lines are also normally 1.87 rather than 1.90 markets.

The work you have done is good, but we really need legislation that mandates a minimum bet limit.
 

54Dogs

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Nice work Xie. Would be interesting to see how the last 2 years stack up and if it's a genuine trend vs a blip.

I agree it's likely due to reduced defensive pressure in second halves as players tire. The "against" split for teams would be interesting as well
 

Oraaaaazio

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A bit beside the point but I'm quite sure you've got the story of Haralabos Voulgaris mixed up with Zeljko. Whether or not the story is true or not is considered debatable too as there's no real standout timeframe for where his 'edge' was actually profitable.
 

Duritz

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A bit beside the point but I'm quite sure you've got the story of Haralabos Voulgaris mixed up with Zeljko. Whether or not the story is true or not is considered debatable too as there's no real standout timeframe for where his 'edge' was actually profitable.
Yes I was going to point this out at some point too. I am pretty sure Z has never bet seriously on basketball etc.
 

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hedgedhog

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A better way to implement this strategy with the teams with better 2Hs is to wait for HT and then place your O/U bet. That way you reduce your risk further than trying to work out if the original totals is too high or low to start with because the pace of the game has now been dictated.
 
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