NRL: Why it's a very bad idea to bet on the Warriors

By Niall Anderson

Shaun Johnson reacts to the loss against the West Tigers. Photo / Photosport
Shaun Johnson reacts to the loss against the West Tigers. Photo / Photosport

It's been suspected for years and can now be statistically confirmed: The New Zealand Warriors are the biggest underachievers in the NRL.

While their propensity for performing below expectations has been deeply suffered by Warriors fans, this disappointment can now be proven by betting data.

Betting data is the most valuable way to measure expectations of both season-long and game-to-game nature, with the scrupulous bookies more impartial and informed than fan or media predictions.

Data from Pinnacle Sports shows that if you bet $10 on every Warriors game since available records began in 2009, you would have lost $317 - the worst return of any NRL club.

That scant return may even be underselling it, with the Warriors often listed at shorter prices at the New Zealand TAB, where patriotic money often comes in on New Zealand teams at greater rates than overseas bookies.

If you bet $10 on every Warriors game since available records began in 2009, you would have lost $317 - the worst return of any NRL club.

Of course, it would be silly to bet on the same team every single week without considering odds and value, but the data can craft a much more significant picture of just how much the Warriors are underperforming traditional expectations.

Due to a wariness built up for backing the Warriors as favourites after years of inconsistency, many punters favour putting money on the Mount Smart side when they are underdogs with lower expectations.

However, the Warriors rarely taste upset victories on the road - in fact, the Warriors are the worst team in the NRL to back as an underdog. Since 2009, betting $10 a game on the Warriors as underdogs would have lost you $226 - 40 percent worse than any other side in the competition.

The bulk of the Warriors' woes have come from 2012 onwards, where five straight seasons of missing the playoffs have resulted in five straight losing seasons at the bookmakers.

A playoff appearance in 2010 provided an 11 percent return on investment, while their 2011 run to the grand final would have brought back 17 percent in profit. However, that superb season saw them overestimated by all in 2012, crashing back down to earth with one of the least-backable seasons in NRL history. They haven't been a season-long profitable entity since.

Even if you back the Warriors with a points start, they're still a losing proposition, holding a 42-52 record against the spread since records were tracked in 2013, including a 9-14 mark ATS this season.

Twist these numbers around though, and you may have a get-rich slow scheme on your hands.

If you bet $10 every game against the Warriors since 2009, you would have made $123.40 - a tidy profit for the casual punter. Boost those numbers up to a figure more relatable to the sharps - say $50 per game - and you would have seen a profit of $617.

Perhaps most tellingly, betting against the Warriors every week would have been a profitable endeavour for the past five years.

The lesson from all this? Maybe think twice before taking that $1.40 price against Parramatta this weekend.

Betting on the Warriors - Return on Investment:
2016: 22% loss
2015: 37% loss
2014: 15% loss
2013: 5% loss
2012: 50% loss
2011: 17% profit
2010: 11% profit
2009: 32% loss

Worst Warriors Losses (Since 2009)
2013: 28-24 to Penrith ($5.36 outsiders)
2012: 24-19 to Newcastle ($3.88 outsiders)
2013: 19-10 to St George ($3.80 outsiders)
2015: 32-28 to Gold Coast ($3.48 outsiders)
2016: 41-22 to South Sydney ($3.43 outsiders)

Biggest Warriors Upsets (Since 2009)
2013: 23-12 over Sydney ($3.81 outsiders)
2011: 18-14 over Melbourne ($3.80 outsiders)
2011: 22-20 over Wests Tigers ($3.36 outsiders)
2014: 20-16 over North Queensland ($3.16 outsiders)
2010: 12-6 over Penrith ($3.11 outsiders)

- NZ Herald

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