JD's Betting Blog: Why you shouldn't rely solely on data when betting

Our expert explains why it's important to consider more than statistics when deciding on your betting strategy and has two weekend tips including another win for Spurs
We have been treated to some memorable football this week in the Champions League. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund produced two wonderful performances to put themselves firmly on course to contest the final.  

An all-German final is now as short as 1/6 (1.17) with Paddy Power. The manner of both victories demonstrated the great strength of Germany's top two teams and it does illustrate a shift in the football landscape.  

At one stage Borussia Dortmund were in excess of 50/1 (51.0) to win the competition and Bayern Munich were 16/1 (17.0). As highlighted before in this column, the market can often get it wrong and, as a punter, you should always prize reality over sentiment.

Be careful with use of data - Liverpool as an example

One of the most common questions I am asked by punters in the Premier League is about Liverpool. For some time now, they tend to be priced up as a top four side and seemingly attract a lot of money in the market place.

Put simply, their results do not reflect their pre-match price in the outright match betting market yet they continue to attract short quotes from the bookmakers and people continue to back them. To a smaller extent, this applies to Everton too.

Odds compilers and numerous influential bettors use certain data to make informed betting decisions. Many of them look at shots per game as an indicator.

It might surprise you that Liverpool are top in Europe's top five leagues in terms of shots per game at an average of 19.4. They are ahead of the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich in that statistic. Everton have been in the top 10 all season too.

This kind of data is looked at by odds compilers and some influential bettors and it has an effect on the match betting price on matches involving these teams.

Why do Liverpool's high shots per game total not result in more wins? Well they are profligate in front of goal and they miss a lot of chances. It has been a feature of their play for some time now and although on paper it means they appear to have a better chance of winning the game than in reality.

It does show that such data should not be strictly adhered to by bettors to back them. This kind of research can hold value but it should form part of a more rounded view taking into account more factors.

I am much more inclined to oppose them because their prices simply don't offer value and their high shots per game total do not materialise into enough wins. It is something to be aware of in your betting strategy.

Weekend Tips

Looking ahead to the weekend, Cagliari's excellent form in 2013 has slipped under the radar.

They are unbeaten in home matches in 2013 and have recently defeated Inter and Fiorentina. 

They can be backed at 11/8 (2.38) on a draw no bet basis at home to Udinese with Paddy Power which offers plenty of value and the option of having your stake refunded if the match finishes as a draw.  

In the Premier League, Tottenham can follow up their excellent win over Manchester City with victory over Wigan. They can be backed at 21/20 (2.05) with Paddy Power.

Selection One
Selection Two
Cagliari to win (Draw No Bet) at 11/8 (2.38) with Paddy Power Tottenham Hotspur to win at 21/20 (2.05) with Paddy Power

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