Not everything that can be counted counts

It’s been more than 30 years since I was a kid doing bizarre calculations with vehicle license plates to find some revealing patterns.

During that same time, Football became my passion that joined my enthusiasm for Numbers in an unusual way.

I used to simulate the Italian Serie A right after the release of the new season’s calendar, which I would buy in paperback at the newsstand.

I would crunch the numbers with pen and paper to observe the possible final standings.

Just like a human Monte Carlo Simulator.

I also quenched my thirst for numbers with the stats from the Panini sticker album and football almanac.

Buy Low and Sell High

It’s been more than 20 years since I discovered Football Manager, a management game I played for about a decade.

I had found a way to challenge myself in the transfer market: negotiations, deals, and player value caught my attention.

My goal was to grow underrated low-tier teams from the stables to the stars and buy players at bargain prices for selling above their fair value.

The enthusiasm for Value Investing was quietly growing.

Over the same years, I got confirmation by playing Fantasy Football with my friends.

While drafting and trading players, I always tried to buy players below the fair price.

Poker and Probability

It’s been more than 10 years since I lost interest in football during the online Texas Hold’em boom.

I remember that, as a teenager, opportunities to play cards with family were frequent enough to sharpen my memory and math skills.

So, thanks to online poker, I picked up where I left off, and I was able to play millions of hands, in both Sit and Go and Cash Game mode.

The main focus was on positive expected value, sound bankroll management and embracing uncertainty with a stronger mindset over time.

At the same time, I was also a user of online poker communities to discuss the math and thinking process behind the hands played.

Within one of these, discovering the works of Nassim N. Taleb was an unexpected and precious gift.

Thanks to Taleb, I also learned about Benoit B. Mandelbrot’s fractal vision of financial markets.

What an aha moment it was!

Back to the Football

It’s been more than 5 years since I watched “Moneyball”, a Baseball movie about a revolutionary approach to scouting and analyzing players.

It brought me close to football again by looking at it with new eyes.

I began swimming far and wide in Soccermetrics communities, discovering innovative applications and enlightening books such as:
“Numbers Game” and “Soccermatics”.

The insights found within helped me in the analysis of football I did for online Fantasy Football tournaments.

Buy and Hold

In addition, I realized that the metrics I was using to pick players for my Fantasy teams were also useful for odds compiling.

So, the next stop was Football Betting.

Value Betting, to be honest.

The key pillar of this strategy is similar to that of Value Investing, the successful investment approach of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.

Betting on odds priced above their fair value as investing in stocks priced below their intrinsic value.

Trying to stand on the shoulders of these giants, I took inspiration from their methods to develop Value Betting strategies on Football Draws.

Football and Analytics. Risk and Probability. Value Investing and Value Betting.

I am just connecting the dots.


 Twitter @Massiball  Medium Massiball  Linkedin Massimiliano Imparato