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What is mug betting? Can mug betting make money?
Placing bets without a methodical approach, realistic plan, knowledge, histroical information or analysis means you're probably a mug betting punter.
Published on 09 April 2020
Updated on 09 April 2020
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What is the meaning of mug betting?
Mug betting is when punters wager money on a bet (or a range of bets) when they do not have any statistical or mathematical advantage.
More often that not, Mug bettors risk their money without the necessary due diligence.
Many people believe in betting with some kind of prior knowledge, statistical research or betting experience, but others who focus on random events without any pre-work, research or knowledge are subject to losing runs and the often cursed ‘bad luck’.
With that in mind, take a look at the two questions, below:
1. Can you prove, calculate or explain why you have an edge before you place a bet?
2. Do you have a mathematical, statistical or analytical approach to finding betting value?
Answering ‘YES’ to the two questions identifies if you have a better chance than most to make consistent betting profits.
Mug betting is the most popular form of betting
Mug betting is widespread and more often than not, loses money. The problem is not always with the person placing the bets, but the way betting is portrayed by family, friends or online.
In a similar fashion, betting success is not always due to expert sports knowledge, but sometimes, it’s down to your ability to use information to inform your betting decisions.
The next time a friend tells you about a good tip or their next bet. Simply, ask yourself if this person is placing a bet with knowledge and do they have a track record of profitably betting over the long-term.
Most sports bettors and punters are losing money and they’re shockingly inconsistent. They usually do not have a background in mathematics, statistics, pattern recognition or a reliable betting methodology, which would lead to realistic betting profits.
How can you prove mug betting is unprofitable?
We can look at this from a statistical perspective. If we assume most people can randomly choose a correct selection from a pool of options (even a broken clock is correct twice a day), we can quickly run a spreadsheet exercise to see if random choices can ever present profitable outcomes over the long-term.
There are a couple of exceptions; some people may have more luck or some people may have fewer lucky selections than others, but in aggregate random selections should provide a realistic baseline for all mug bettors without any gambling expertise.
We can quickly model pessimistic mug betting against the more sensible mug bettor by choosing an average number of bets and randomly running tests for correct and incorrect selections.
We can make this more accurate by using historical match data and identifying bets, which may have the potential to accidentally (or randomly) find betting value.
Initially, we have to place some limits on how we can perform our tests:
How can we select our mug bets?
If we give mug bettors the benefit of the doubt and assume that all bets are randomly selected. In reality, this is not the case, as punters will prefer certain teams or their opinion may be changed by a pundit on a sports show.
However, for the sake of this experiment, we can consider all mug bets as random, which should give mug betting a pure randomised chance at finding betting value.
We can create a spreadsheet with a random number generator against historical results and then run the test multiple times to see the probability of successfully turning a mug betting profit.
For this test, we’ve decided to use English Premier League results from August 2019 to February 2020 (i.e. the month before the football season was suspended due to the Coronavirus), as it should be possible to demonstrate mug betting and the associated returns.
What are the results for English Premier League mug betting?
We ran the historical results exercise by using underdog, random or favourite betting for the entire season and assumed someone would make bets against every single match within the Premier League season.
Obviously, this is not realistic for most bettors, but it may be the best option instead of picking and choosing matches. This also assumes each bettor maximises their returns by increasing the number of selections instead of finding a mathematical or statistical ‘edge’.
We ran the random selections test 100 times against the 2019/2020 EPL season (250+ matches) and then repeated the same test a further 5 times. This means we ran the mug betting test 500 times against the same 250+ matches!
The averaged returns based on a £10 GBP stake for each of the 250+ match selections within the 100 repetitions is provided below:
1st 100 times: Averaged Return: -£7.02 (loss)
2nd 100 times: Averaged Return: £4.73 (profit)
3rd 100 times: Averaged Return: £28.35 (profit)
4th 100 times: Averaged Return: -£32.72 (loss)
5th 100 times: Averaged Return: £5.54 (profit)
If we take an average of the 500 repetitions, this provides: -£0.02 GBP as a random mug betting test, which is very close to breakeven. A breakeven betting result using randomised mug betting would be a great result, but probably not what most punters would hope for.
Unfortunately, punters are sometimes not quite so predictable and it would be close to impossible for punters to replicate, as they would need the bankroll to support a bet on every single match in a season and they would need to maintain genuine random bets.
It would be very easy to skip matches, forget to place a bet or decide the random bet generator is wrong and manipulate the results. Any one of which, would invalidate the results and potentially change a breakeven position into a significant negative return.
How to improve the mug betting tests
A more enhanced test would be to randomly run the test several times and repeat the process over multiple occasions to see the likelihood of finding a profitable mug betting strategy over multiple seasons across different football leagues.
This should give an indication of the best football leagues for mug betting and with more research, this could be used as a viable betting strategy.
The last words for all punters without a betting plan
As with anything...There will be exceptions to any rule, but as I’m sure you’re aware, some mug bettors will make lots of money, whereas the vast majority will lose substantial amounts of money over a long period.
However, if mug bettors can resist the urge to choose and let a model or random generator make their selections for them, it could ensure they do not lose tremendous amounts of money over a long period.
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