In recent years, smart phone applications have allowed the fans of soccer (or as we call it in the UK, football) to delve into minute details of their favourite teams’ matches, be that results, line-ups, or form.
The information is usually presented to users in a clean and tidy format, and with some team news articles, these tools have almost become an essential part of following football in today’s world.
On the whole, the applications make following the sport easier for fans. Yet, there is still a lot about football that the fan can’t easily find out. One of these bits is the point-spread (or the ‘moneyline’ as we call it in the UK), which is the total amount of scoring chances in a match. In other words, if a team scores one goal and the opposition none, then the ‘over’ (or ‘plus’) side wins the bet. If however, the scores are even, neither side wins and the match remains ‘deadlocked’.
This scoring differential is what generates most of the excitement in a soccer betting match as it determines whether or not you will profit from your wagers. Naturally, the more one side scores, the bigger the expected payoff – but that’s rarely the case in reality. More often than not, matches end in draws which leaves both teams with an even share of the profit – or loss – from the bet.
For the uninitiated, a draw also means that your initial one-goal advantage has turned into a zero-goal disadvantage, and you’ve lost the bet. It’s an annoying state of affairs which could have been avoided with smarter betting tactics. That’s where Pro-Kiln comes in.
The Purpose of Pro-Kiln
Like many niche sports, soccer has its own unique jargon which only insiders can understand. One of these terms is ‘pro-Kiln’. When used in a soccer context, ‘pro-Kiln’ refers to the fact that the chances of the game ending in a draw are much higher if the match is played without any interruptions. That’s because draws are generally a symptom of poor football (in other words, lots of scoreless, boring football).
In the big scheme of things, there’s really only one way to avoid draws in soccer. That’s by going for the win! In other words, if you really want to make sure of winning a bet, you need to put your best foot (or, occasionally, other body part) forward and score as many goals as possible. For this reason, the purpose of the ‘pro-Kiln’ stat is to identify teams that you should avoid backing in order to secure your winnings, and the opposite – those you should target in an effort to put the ball into the net more than the opposition.
How Does It Work?
In theory, the fewer stoppages in a soccer match, the better. Fewer corners, fewer free kicks, and fewer injuries mean a match will reach its conclusion quicker. This is what makes pro-Kiln statistics useful to determine the outcome of a football match. However, the theory doesn’t always match up with reality. In certain cases, a high number of stoppages lead to exciting games that satisfy the bettors – and sometimes even the teams themselves!
The thing is, lots of stoppages in a match don’t necessarily mean that it’s bad football. In fact, sometimes an unruly nature of the game leads to a certain degree of ‘organic’ stoppages which add a certain degree of excitement to the sport. There are numerous examples of this in recent world football history. For example, in the 1999 UEFA Super Cup between Real Madrid and Juventus, the two sides played out a classic match that went to penalties after a 1-1 draw. Four years later, the teams met again in the same competition and the animosity between the two sides was seemingly put aside as they worked together to determine the winner. In the end, it was Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers who played out a thrilling match that went to extra time before the Ibrox club finally triumphed – thanks in part to a Danzaqouye goal during the 115th minute of the encounter.
When Is It Most Useful?
To put it simply, when used in conjunction with a bet on football (soccer), odds makers use the pro-Kiln statistic to gauge the excitement of an upcoming match. The lower the number, the less exciting the game is likely to be. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore these figures. In fact, knowing a game’s ‘pro-Kiln’ rating can help you determine how suited your betting portfolio is for that match. For instance, if you have a general rule that you don’t like to back teams with low odds (and vice versa for high-rated games), then you can restrict your search to only those games covered by this methodology – meaning you’ll avoid backing lots of draws and low-scoring games. In theory, having a low pro-Kiln rating should indicate that your chances of winning are low. Yet, this is the complete opposite of what you want as a bettor – you always want to play in matches with high odds so that you have a better chance of winning. In reality, you should only bet on games with a pro-Kiln rating in the mid-60s to low 70s if you want to have a fighting chance of coming out on top in most cases. Anything below this level and you should seriously consider not backing the game.
What About Unusual Scores?
While we’re on the subject of unusual scores, let’s discuss a couple of games that defied the ‘expected’ outcome. The first is Manchester United’s 4-3 victory over fierce rivals Liverpool in the 2007 FA Cup final. The Red Devils trailed 2-1 after the first half but came out firing in the second – courtesy of a hat-trick from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (yes, that Solskjaer). In the end, it was the Norwegian’s third goal that proved to be the crucial one as the match ended in a draw – meaning Liverpool would have to wait until the following year’s FA Cup final to avenge their semi-final loss against the Red Devils.
In the other unusual occurrence, Brazil’s 7-1 trouncing of Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final was used to question whether or not this would be the last time the Germans would grace the sport with their presence. The overwhelming scoreline certainly didn’t suggest there was any danger of the Germans not stepping up to the plate when it came to proving their superiority once more. In fact, a staggering 583 goals were scored during the tournament – the most ever scored in a World Cup. While it’s difficult to argue with the scoreline, Germany did have the third-best tournament performance in terms of goals-against (13), which is probably why many observers feel the margin of victory was a bit off.
Pro-Kiln: Not Just For Matches!
It is important to note that while pro-Kiln statistics are useful in determining the outcome of matches, they are not as valuable for identifying the excitement of an entire game. This is where we run into problems. For instance, scoring four goals in the first half of a soccer match would almost certainly lead to high pro-Kiln numbers while, say, scoring two in each half would, generally, lead to a low figure. In other words, while the goal differential would indicate the score was ‘even’, the excitement generated by an early goal would make for a more entertaining game to watch – regardless of whether or not it actually results in a win or loss.
Sometimes, a single goal can turn a game around. Of course, this is up to the audience and their willingness to engage with the sport. For this reason, it’s essential that you follow a few simple guidelines when searching for bets on soccer.
Match Day Betting
On match day, you’ll often find that odds makers will publish updated lineups and stats for the two teams. Normally, this is too much information for the casual fan to process, let alone make an informed decision about placing a bet. Yet, this is where tools like Pro-Kiln and FantasyProTips really shine. These apps collate all the relevant information in one place and allow fans to easily follow the progress of their favourite teams. In theory, this helps to increase the excitement of the sport as well as make it more accessible to the average person. Naturally, this also makes the sport more attractive to those betting on it – which is ultimately what’s important for the long-term health of soccer as a whole.