I'm horrible, I know - I've promised an article on closing/kick-off odds more than a month ago and now I'm going to split it into more than one part? Unbelievable. Unfortunately, as always at this time of year, there's plenty of something I like to call the "actual work", which means I have to try and keep the blog alive (among other things) in my so-called spare time - and you can't buy spare time.
Anyway, for starters, here's what Joseph Buchdahl wrote about the closing odds in one of his educational articles for Pinnacle:
Closing odds reflect the largest amount of information about matches, and the maximum number of opinions being expressed through wagering on that information, and hence are most likely to be the most efficient.
I don't think there's many, if any, who'd say that beating the closing odds at Pinnacle in the long run isn't an obvious sign of a good tipster - possibly not the only sign, but a well obvious sign. In that light, I've decided to take a closer look at the closing/kick-off odds for my official picks in the last six campaigns (starting with the 2010/11 season, which is when I've started to record all odds with a significant delay in the official stats and compare the pre-mail odds, recorded odds and the closing odds, and ending with the 2015/16 season - I'll write more about the current season as soon as it ends in May), along with the so-called "pre-mail" odds (those available before I send the pick, but at an extremely fixed moment in time, which I'll write more about in the next article, and days after those juicy opening odds which would - in all fairness - return the biggest theoretical profit by far, but at severe limits and odds movements in practice) and the so-called "recorded" odds (those recorded with a fair delay, when they're usually at their worst - I've experimented with various delays, never shorter than sixty seconds, in recording the odds since the 2010/11 season until I've settled with a sixty-second delay at the beginning of last season, which ensures that everyone who can take the bet straight away, at an extremely fixed moment in time, is able to beat the so-called "official" results).
2010/11 - 2015/16 (PRE-MAIL ODDS): +206.35 points profit (11.0% ROI)
2010/11 - 2015/16 (RECORDED ODDS): +157.93 points profit (8.4% ROI)
2010/11 - 2015/16 (CLOSING ODDS): +138.52 points profit (7.4% ROI)
I'll go into more detail in the next article (consider this an intro article to this very interesting topic), but beating the closing odds at Pinnacle in the long run? Check. However, my results based on closing/kick-off odds are now outperforming the results based on recorded odds for the fourth consecutive season (not by far, but still), which is a fairly interesting phenomenon (and another sub-topic I'll write more on in the next article). As I really do record the odds when they're at their worst, it probably isn't as bizarre as it may seem at the first glance, and - as I wrote in the 2016 review - "both the results based on pre-mail odds and the results based on kick-off/closing odds have outperformed the official results in 2016 - in most cases, recorded odds will be a bit shorter than the pre-mail odds and the kick-off/closing odds will be either a bit shorter or a bit longer than the recorded odds (for example, 1.79 - 1.75 - 1.72, which was the case with the (-0.25) Torquay bet on March 5, or 1.72 - 1.65 - 1.69, which was the case with the (0) Cheltenham bet on April 1), but it only takes a few bets to make things more interesting". There were eight cases of significant (10% or more) odds movement between recorded and closing/kick-off odds in 2016. The odds drifted out (at least 10%) in seven of these eight cases and five of those seven bets landed (+4.67 points profit at a 32.2% ROI based on recorded odds; +7.12 points profit at a 49.1% ROI based on closing odds). The only odds-shortening (10% or more) bet landed for a +1.76 point profit based on recorded odds and a +1.2 point profit based on closing odds respectively.