# Sports Betting for Italian Soccer, Calcio: Results, Tips, Laws

## By Ion Saliu, Founder of Sports Betting Mathematics

Posted on January 08, 2001.

In Reply to: Prognostication for the Italian soccer, Serie A, January 7, 2001 posted by Ion Saliu on January 06, 2001.

• The results of giornata 13, serie A:

```
Home1	Visitor2  1       X       2    Goals1  Goals2 ByStats Results

Atalanta Roma	 33.33	25.00	41.67	1.08	1.33	12     0-2 2
Bologna Brescia  58.33	25.00	16.67	1.50	1.00	1      1-0 1
Juventus Fiore	 36.36	45.45	18.18	1.27	1.09	1X     3-3 X
Lazio	Napoli	 54.55	36.36	9.09	1.55	0.64	1*     1-2 2
Lecce	Verona	 36.36	45.45	18.18	1.45	1.36	1X     4-2 1
Milan	Inter	 50.00	33.33	16.67	1.83	1.00	1X     2-2 X
Parma	Reggina	 83.34	8.33	8.33	2.25	0.67	1*     0-2 2
Perugia	Udinese	 45.45	36.36	18.18	1.64	1.09	1X     3-1 1
Vicenza	Bari	 50.00	30.00	20.00	1.60	1.10	1      1-0 1
```

The Italian soccer championship is no joke. It is a lot tougher to predict than the American football (point spread included). My method missed two games. The results were big surprises from a statistical point of view: Lazio-Napoli 1-2 and Parma-Reggina 0-2. Napoli had no wins away; Reggina had no points whatsoever on the road, not even a tie. But there were some indicators, if the surprisability factor was considered. Both Lazio and Parma had lost their previous home games. They were going through a hot negative surprisability streak. I am sure a few players hit the two surprises playing the Italian soccer pools. I knew soccer pools players who always started with a list of potential surprises. That's how the big money is won…

Before I bring closure to this topic.

I consider a conservative success rate of my statistical method of 66.7% (p=2/3). Suppose I pick a sport team at random and bet on it. I would be successful in 2 out of 3 cases applying my statistical method. Of course, the streaks will not be regular. The teams going through that hot surprise factor streak will bring me longer losing streaks. Other teams, however, will bring me success 3 or more times in a row. I would play straight-up bets (one team at a time, not combinations of games). I will consider also betting straight up on a couple of currently surprising teams. The payout is really enticing.

Playing combination bets reduces the probability. For example, betting on 4 games, the probability becomes 0.667 to the power of 4 = 20%, or 1 in 5 cases. I would select a group of 4 games with the least hot surprise factorchance. I would also select a second group where I drop in a surprising team. Again, the payout can be really great. I don't need to win every time…

Some are greedy and only think of playing, say, 8 combination games. After all, the payout can go over 2000 to 1, or 5000 to 1 (if there are several surprises). How about the probability? It goes down to .667 to the power of 8 = 4%…

Which brings me to the final point: Never put all the eggs in one basket! I always think of the Loss as part of Reality, on equal footing with the Win.

And, finally, some gambling legalese. Many governments ban now gambling over the Internet. The ban does more harm than good. Somehow, it resembles the futile and tragic experience America knows as Prohibition. I remember, some people in my area strongly opposed the opening of off-track wagering outlets for horse racing. Those puritans claimed that off-track wagering (OTW) would bring addiction and high crime in their neighborhoods. The reality today is a far cry from such a fear. The OTWs are nice and clean. They actually brought the crime rate to zero in their vicinity. The places were very crowded in the beginning. Now, they are rarely half full. The current patrons would have otherwise spent (and lost!) much more money playing the government-sponsored lotteries.

There is no more illegal betting on horseracing. Since it is all done in daylight, the government actually collects some extra money in taxes. Why are other forms of gambling banned? I can see no other reason BUT to encourage illegal gambling. And anything that's illegal increases the crime rate and addiction, to say nothing of lost billions in uncollected taxes.

Instead of banning it, regulate it, Big Brother!

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