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Happy drawing! Football stalemates in focus

Football: Betting on the draw

Backing the draw in football is becoming an increasing trend – but where can you find the value?

In a previous post, we looked at some research across 3,000 games in various leagues outside the big five, and how they returned a 34% success rate, bringing a 15% yield.

Now we will look at what value we can find in the draw around specific matches in the top seven football leagues in England – plus the top leagues in Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

Five-year football draw trends

2019/20 2018/19 2017/18 2016/17 2015/16 Average
Premier League 25% 19% 26% 22% 28% 24
Championship 27% 29% 27% 24% 31% 28
League One 28% 27% 27% 28% 25% 27
League Two 31% 27% 26% 26% 26% 27
National League 28% 26% 30% 23% 26% 27
National League North 24% 27% 21% 25% 26% 25
National League South 26% 23% 24% 22% 26% 24
Spain La Liga 28% 29% 23% 23% 24% 25
Italy Serie A 23% 29% 22% 21% 25% 24
France Ligue 1 25% 29% 25% 25% 28% 26
Germany Bundesliga 21% 24% 27% 24% 23% 24

Looking at the current season, the percentage of draws is highest in League Two – where 31% of games have resulted in a draw.

The Premier League is relatively low at 25%, though this represents a jump from 19% last season.

Moving abroad, the draw percentage in Serie A this season is 23%, suggesting that last season’s 29% was an anomaly, especially when you look at the averages over the past five years.

The mid-season dilemma

Looking at the percentages mid-season is interesting – will we see a pattern whereby the back end of the season produces more (or less) draws, to send a league back towards its average? 

For instance, League Two has averaged 27% over the past five years, and this season – so do you keep backing the draw based on the 31% so far, or do you figure that there will be significantly less draws between now and the end of the season.

Let’s look ahead to this weekend’s games, based on our draw trend criteria, which is:

  • Neither team can have drawn in any of their last three matches
  • There isn’t a heavy favourite

Back the draw in these games

Here are all the qualifying games for this weekend in the 11 leagues.

Southampton v Aston Villa (Premier League)
Charlton v Luton (Championship)
Fleetwood v Portsmouth (League One)
Northampton v Exeter* (League Two)
Wealdstone v Dorking Wanderers (National League South)
Werder Bremen v Dortmund* (Germany Bundesliga)
Osasuna v Granada (Spain La Liga)
Roma v Lecce (Italy Serie A)

Games with a * are on the borderline of having a heavy favourite, so you may want to make a decision based on the odds on offer.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could have a go at these long shots with heavy favourites:

Lille v Toulouse (French Ligue 1)
SPAL v Juventus (Italy Serie A)
Inter v Sampdoria (Italy Serie A)

Based on the trend, we could expect three of the eight listed to come in (or four of the 11, including the extra three); or you may want to simply lay against any winner in those matches.

In future experiments, we may discount games in leagues with a draw percentage lower than 25% – which at present would rule out Germany Bundesliga, Italy Serie A and National League North.

Happy drawing!

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