Norjasta tulee seuraavaa. Tämähän on myös monarikohteena, toivottavasti on jollekin jotain iloa.

T: Neo

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Lillestrom vs Stabaek (7 June at 19.00 CET)

Match records:

Lillestrom (9th place): 2-4-3 (11-11) overall and 2-1-1 (5-3) at home

Stabaek (11th place): 3-1-5 (10-14) overall and 1-1-2 (2-4) away

Only goal difference separates these two teams in the league table, and both have had a less than impressive early season. Lillestrom's only wins came at home against bottom teams Fredrikstad and Sogndal, and neither win was impressive. Last game was away against Ham Kam, and Lillestrøm was lucky to take 1 point there. There are two notable absences for this game: Striker (and captain) Magnus Powell is still out with injury, while goalie Emille Baron has recieved a 2 game suspension by FIFA for not showing up for duty for the South African national team. Another thing that might have an influence (on the team morale at least) is the fact that coach Erlandsen will not get another contract after this season. The players are reported to have wanted this coach change, and although this is speculation from my side, I assume that the atmosphere and morale in the club might be a bit negative after Erlandsen was denied another contract.

Stabaek have not exactly been shining so far either, but after having won two in a row (2-1 over Brann at home and 2-0 over Fredrikstad away) they looked to have picked up form. The winning streak was short-lived however, as they lost last game 0-1 home against Viking. The return of Martin Andresen (back after having played for Blackburn) is positive for the team, but Andresen will not be ready to play before after the summer break. Stabaek are reported to have a full strength squad for tonight. Historically this has been Stabaek's game, and the record from 1995-2003 is 2-2-5 (10-15) in favor of Stabaek. The two previous seasons Stabaek has won both times.

Now for some probability considerations. As you know, I haven't got my own methods to reliably estimate wining and draw chances, so my arguments will be a little hand-waving. But bear with me, and we'll see what we can find. In my last pick (Tromsdalen vs Stromsgodset) i mentioned that I would pull out statistics from NIFS and use those numbers as a starting point. In addition I have two other sources for estimates, namely the calculations done by the prediction engines of

http://hat-trik.com/ and League Pad. Now, opinions may differ about the quality of the methods that each of these three sources use, but an important point for me is that each source deliver probabilities that are calculated in a consistent manner, following a set of predefined rules where the rules are unique for each source. Therefore, If all three sources agree upon an estimate, then it's makes sense to assume that we are on track of something useful.

OK, here are the home, draw and away probabilities:

NIFS: 38 - 23 - 39

Hat-Trik: 36 - 29 - 35

League Pad: 35 - 40 - 25

All who have tried to model the outcome of soccer matches will agree that accurately predicting draw and away wins is difficult (the draw being notoriously difficult) , while home win probabilities are easier to estimate. The exact distribution between draw and away win vary with these three methods, but they all end up with approximately the same winning chance for Lillestrom: 35-38%. Note that NIFS take history into account while the others sources (to my knowledge) do not, but still Lillestrom' s winning chance becomes virtually the same regardless of method. This i find interesting.

Let's be generous and give Lillestrom 40%. Then the X2 double chance has 60% chance and it should be playable from 1.67 and upwards. To this we can add Lillestrom's absences, some (possibly) negative vibes around the coach and the weight of the last 10 years of history. Without exaggerating these latter effects I will just conclude that I find value in a Stabaek X2 double chance bet at 1.67 and better, which corresponds to Lillestrom lay odds at 2.49 and lower.

Where to find playable odds for Stabaek (+1/2):

PointBet: 1.91

Betfair: 1.85 (after 5% commission, calculated from Lillestrom's lay odds of 2.12)

SportingBet: 1.80

Gamebookers: 1.73

NordicBet: 1.70 (using the Stabaek (+1) regular handicap)

FonBet: 1.70

Expekt: 1.65 (borderline case)

From BetBrain's list of odds, the highest odds that can be constructed by combining draw and away win is 1.92. To achieve this, put 54.8% of the stake on Ladbroke's draw @ 3.50 and the remaining 45.2% on ParadiseBet's away @ 4.25. Finally it should be mentioned that this has the look of an UNDER game, but for those bets one needs more careful analysis, so I won't touch any OVER/UNDER bets here.