Exceptions to the rule bets – yes or no?

How to find underestimated by bookmakers and other team members on the market and whether it is worth betting on such exceptions to the rules – all this you will learn from our today’s material.

Bookmakers put their quotes on this or that event, based on the information available on the market. However, there are exceptions to each rule. It happens that bookmaker experts, who have to pay attention to many different events, do not take into account some facts that testify in favor of the underdog, and here betters, according to a widespread theory, can (sometimes even intuitively) catch their chances and gain an advantage in the market. But is this concept correct?


It happens that most of the market participants, including the most experienced and intelligent specialists, do not see or do not want to see the obvious, and miss the right moment to make a decision, which after a while seems simply the only correct one. Well, in this case, as they say, all they have to do is bite their elbows in frustration.

Many basketball fans know the name of Jeremy Lin, who has played a lot for various NBA clubs lately. So, while studying at Harvard University, this player of Taiwanese descent had phenomenal performance in the so-called Ivy League (a competition between students from eight leading American universities), but in the 2010 draft he was not selected by any NBA club. A stereotype of thinking affected: the team managers did not like the “unsportsmanlike” appearance of the young player, which later many of them had to regret.

In his playing style, Lin seemed to be a perfect match for the Houston Rockets, and many believed that the “Rockets” would pick him in the first round of the draft. However, this did not happen: a year later, when the speed of the first two steps of basketball players was measured in this team, one of the most impetuous was Jeremy, who surpassed most of the NBA players.

In fact, this basketball player, having got into the NBA, showed himself from the best side (and, by the way, he nevertheless played several good seasons in Houston). So the prejudices of leading experts prevented a promising player from immediately getting into one of the NBA teams, almost breaking his sports career. However, are there similar inconsistencies in the world of sports betting?

Kosovo national football team: who would have thought?

Not even four years have passed since FIFA and UEFA accepted the national football federation of Kosovo, a partially recognized state in the Balkans, into their ranks, and the national team of this country got the opportunity to participate in international competitions at the official level. Her rating, which is quite natural, at first was one of the lowest in Europe, and the results were not impressive – nine defeats in the first ten matches. Of course, the bookmakers gave this team little chance before starting almost any game.

And, as it turned out, they missed one essential detail, namely the presence in the team of several players of a fairly high level, who play in the composition of serious European clubs. Meanwhile, judging by the bookmaker quotes, before the start of the League of Nations qualifying tournament, the Kosovars were equated to the level of such football “dwarfs” as Malta or Andorra.

However, it was enough to look at the approximate market value of the squads of the teams of their qualifying group to understand the clear discrepancy between the coefficients and the level of the team. If the national team of Kosovo had a total “weight” of players in 31 million dollars, then their rivals from Azerbaijan had only 9 million, and in the Faroe Islands and Malta – 2.5 and 1.7, respectively.

Meanwhile, the odds for the victory in the group of Kosovars were estimated by bookmakers at only 2.75, and Azerbaijan was the favorite here. And for some matches the quotes were appropriate: for example, for the home victories of Kosovo and Azerbaijan in the games against the Faroese, they were 1.61 and 1.53, respectively.

It is clear that the Kosovo national team in this case was the very exception to the rule, which was mentioned at the beginning of this material, and the betters who were able to catch a subtle moment of discrepancy between the sufficiently high coefficients for this team and the market value of its players, undoubtedly were able to get a good profit in the market.


The arguments in favor of the Kosovo national team seem very convincing, but one should not forget about the impossibility of predicting in advance whether the expectations of a player who places such a rather intuitive bet on this team will come true. Indeed, in order to obtain reliable data for analysis, you need a statistical sample based on many games, and not a few successful results. It is possible that, having survived the coronavirus pandemic, and once again considering the Kosovars’ favorite in matches with the middle peasants and outsiders, we will be severely disappointed.

As for Jeremy Lean, his successful performance in NBA clubs does not mean that hundreds or even thousands of other basketball players underestimated at the student level who did not get their chance are now sitting in their office chairs. Imagine that the same Lin would have learned a serious trauma in the last year of university – most likely, we would never have known about him.

Human psychology is designed in such a way that we remember those who became the exception to the rule, having achieved success, but forget about the losers or those who failed to achieve the desired result. The national team of Kosovo and Jeremy Lin can be considered classic examples of the so-called survival trend.

What data can be used?

Yes, exceptional events and situations are initially difficult to calculate and objectively assess, but you should not ignore them. For example, the Houston Rockets’ approach to assessing the technical data of basketball players, which eventually made it possible to discern Lin’s talent, was subsequently adopted by many NBA clubs.

In the case of the Kosovo national team, the approach to assessing the market value of team lineups can also be useful in some cases – it is likely that bookmakers do not always take this indicator into account when setting their own odds.

One way or another, such exceptions to the rules, having appeared on the market, quickly disappear. If bettors want to gain an advantage by betting on exceptions to the rules, they must constantly keep their finger on the pulse of events.

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