Be wary of the draw

Oct 21, 2020 3:08 AM

There have been several inquiries about the diabolical Draw, a third option on typical three-way offerings that can make handicapping soccer especially torturous.

In Dante’s third circle, El Futbol Diablo is right there, tempting with odds on A, B and Draw. It’s such a thorny path, a handicapper I respect announced over the weekend that he will no longer speculate on the sport.

He had tapped a service that offers multi-star plays, up to five stars. “They sucked,” he said.

Another provides a database that digests English Premier League statistics. “They weren’t much better. Blessing in disguise as I’m doing well in everything else.”

In England on Saturday, two of four Premier League matches drew. Sunday, three of four ended in ties, as did both in the German Bundesliga.

The payoff for a knot certainly is sweet. The Draw figures on Frankfurt-Cologne (+275) and Union Berlin-Schalke 04 (+234) on Sunday meant a daring punter could have turned $100 into $1,152.50.

A tip o’ the cap to those who have been betting Wolfsburg and AZ Alkmaar to tie this season. Both are 0-0-4 and play Sunday. The former plays host to Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga, the latter is at Den Haag in the Dutch Eredivisie.

However, I will rarely wade into that part of the pool because it’s tough enough to pick either side in a spread or total wager. A third option represents the third rail.

Conner Streeter has employed the Draw, and aspects of it, like a maestro. That’s his professional alias. We have mentioned bits of this scenario, but more has unfolded and his actions merit further examination.

On Aug. 2, he had earmarked FC Winterthur, at +600, against Grasshoppers. His safety valve was Draw at +480. He laid a unit on each wager.

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The two Swiss clubs had tied their three previous meetings, so Streeter felt confident that this would, at worst, end in a draw. Plus, the recent form of each, to him, did not justify such odds.

If Grasshoppers won, both bets would have lost, which can be mitigated, he advised, by placing a half-unit on both.

Winterthur won, 6-0.

A month later, Streeter noted how Grasshoppers had been upgrading their roster specifically, it seemed, for their next battle against Winterthur. This time, he bet on Grasshoppers, at -125, sprinkling a bit on Draw at +274.

Grasshoppers won, 3-2.

When we chatted last Tuesday, Streeter had just implemented the Draw, again, as insurance.

Luxembourg was +350 to beat Montenegro on the three-way, and Streeter caught plus a half-goal, at -110, on an enviable Luxembourg spread line, to cover a potential Nations League draw.

A month earlier, Montenegro had won, 1-0, on an extra-time penalty kick against a 10-man Luxembourg, which had outshot Montenegro 21-10. He equates total shots to effort along with aggressiveness. For the rematch, he put a unit on Luxembourg getting that half-goal and a half-unit on it to win at +350.

“To me, Luxembourg was the better team and, at best, the return match would be a toss-up—they certainly aren’t 3.5-times worse,” he says. “It was significant for their group play, and Luxembourg needed to win. To me, that was great value.”

Luxembourg won, 2-1, getting the winner in the 86th minute. Streeter nearly tripled his 1.5-unit investment. He had stared down El Diablo, and El Diablo blinked.

Saturday

Sampdoria at Atalanta, Total 3.5 Ov -115: It has been raining goals in Serie A, and this is projected to be one of the weekend’s top-three highest-scoring matches in Italy. Great to see sharpshooter Josip Iličić, sidelined for three months due to personal issues, return to the Atalanta fold last Saturday. OVER

Real Betis at Atlético Madrid -164: The home side has suffered no defeats over its past 20 La Liga matches. Atlético keeper Jan Oblak has clean-sheeted five of Madrid’s past seven foes. Betis has not tallied a goal in its past four at Atlético. ATLÉTICO MADRID

Sunday

Udinese at Fiorentina -135: Udinese is 0-3 and has been outscored 4-0. Among the Big Five’s 98 teams, it’s the only one averaging 0.00 goal-creating actions. The home team averages 26 shot-creating actions, 13th in the B5. FIORENTINA

Monday

AS Roma at AC Milan, Total 2.5 Ov -144: Zlatan Ibrahimović returned from quarantine to net two within 20 minutes last weekend at Inter. Zlatan has led us out of a previous horizontal spin, so we tap him again for guidance. OVER

Last week: 0-3

Season: 8-13-1