Russian Ruin

Russian Ruin

Russian Ruin

If you read my previous article on trying to get the better of the Russian Premier League you will know that my data driven betting approach, was one that cost me a single penny and oh how I wish it was only that bad this time around.

That’s because it was not a good weekend at the office, and with only two predictions correct out of seven (one game was postponed and if anything that only spared my blushes further) it means I’ve not only taken a heavy loss but it has almost wiped out all of my profit.

If we first have a look at the predictions from the week before:

Russian Ruin

You will see that a number of top teams were at home over the course of the weekend and should have meant a raft of bankers coming in at their respective full times, although if I’ve learned anything from the project over the past 8 weeks, life is never simple in Mother Russia.

Take the top five clubs that are currently in the table – I will list them in order and how they fared in their last outing:

Zenit – Win
Lokomotiv Moscow – Lost
FC Krasnodar – Draw
CSKA Moscow – Lost
FC Rostov – Draw

Which when you consider that ‘StatBot’ picked four home wins and Lokomotiv to drew with crosstown rivals Dynamo at home, means that these predictions could not have been much far wider than the mark.

What Were The Success Stories?

In short not a lot, but let’s list them anyway:

Zenit – Win
FK Akhmat vs Rubin Kazan – Draw
PFC Sochi vs FC Orenburg – Postponed (Stake Returned)

This meant that from 8 units (£4), I returned just £2.75 and that means for the project so far, I am now on a total of £32.14 returned and that more importantly is just 14p profit overall (0.43% ROI). Although profit is still very much profit, let’s not forget that.

So Who Is To Blame Here?

It would be easy for me to point to the results, but for only one of the top five to record a win last weekend means it was something of a shock week in terms of the Russian Premier League. However, this is not the first time the so called ‘big names’ have collectively fallen by the wayside.

With two fixtures taking place yesterday (Monday December 2nd) the profit/loss conundrum was still very much in the balance and with CSKA Moscow and FC Krasnodar having very favourable fixtures, you would have thought that two home wins would get me over the line.

As we now know, this was not the case and frustrating as it is, you do have to ask yourself why would you bet against these two teams? I could understand if they were away from home but when in front of their own fans, even gut-feel would push you in their direction.

Which leads me to ask the question is the league to volatile to predict or is the model itself too rigid and trying to apply the same logic across each of the eight fixtures. The answer is somewhere between the two and this means I now have to think of making ‘StatBot’ far more agile.

The concept of league wide modelling logic is causing havoc (although the results are mitigating circumstances here) and with one week to go before the massive winter break, the quest for overall profit is going to go down to the wire.

Happy punting and thanks for reading. Dan

If this has grabbed your interest and you would like to discuss/feedback then please feel free to drop me a message at While I am always looking for new football/data projects to work on and if you feel that my skills would be of use, I can be contacted at the same address.

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