A new biathlon season coming up, will Black Swan be on fire again?
21 November, 2020

Last season our biathlon tipster “Black Swan” showed a profit of almost 108 units with a mere 136 tips. His yield of 24.38% for bets with an average odds just in excess of 2 is almost unheard of.

Normally it would be a safe assumption that such a splendid season would be followed by a more mediocre, as the results of the tipster in question exceedingly likely would have been influenced by a lucky spell. As all tipsters and punters eventually runs out of luck their results tends to regress if they have produced stunning results. 

Personally I doubt that Black Swan will be able to produce a profit of more than 100 units for a second season in a row, but I am very confident that he will have another great season. This is because our website measures the performance of our tipsters not only against the actual results, but also against Pinnacle’s odds.

When we evaluate Black Swan’s performance using the closing line value it seems obvious that even if his performance should regress it is still likely to be most impressive. The average odds of his bets last year was 2.132 and the average closing odds was 1.831.

When you beat the closing odds by that much, it is likely that the tips provided are something truly special. To calculate the closing line value we need to remove the bookmaker’s margin (https://godsofodds.com/en/previews/how-to-remove-the-bookmaker-s-margin-to-calculate-true-odds) and when this has been done we arrive at a closing line profit of 62.45 units and a closing line yield of 14.13%. 

Based on the numbers above it seems probable that the actual performance of the tips has been benefitted by some luck, even if Black Swan several times has indicated that he expects his actual profit to be slightly larger than what is projected by his closing line value. Even so a yield of 14% is not at all bad in its own right. 

Our tipster is thrilled that it at the moment seems likely that the IBU has planned for a biathlon season containing the usual amount of races, albeit in fewer locations than usual. Even if the world wide pandemic makes most things harder than usual to plan, he is extremely confident that his tips will perform well yet again and is not worried that Covid-19 will make this a particularly hard season to predict. 

The website Sportindepth has simulated the entire BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon season, as we know that Black Swan is a huge fan of data-driven approaches, we asked for his opinion about Sportindepth’s season projections:


“Even if I am impressed by the size and scope of the project, running such a season simulation is likely a much larger task than most casual biathlon fans realizes, I am not in perfect agreement with the output. 

On the women’s side I think young athletes like Lisa Vittozzi, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, Elvira Oeberg and Marketa Davidova have been grossly underrated. 

On the men’s side I feel they have failed to incorporate the possibility that Johannes Thingnes Boe can get ill or injured. Even if he was able to win, sitting out several races last year, I am far from convinced he will be able to do the same this season. Having your first kid can be a draining experience and it hardly ideal for a top athlete, considering the amounts of rest which is required by the top athletes. 

Based on what I see I am not convinced that the model used is capable of beating the market odds, but I will follow it closely as the season gets in full flow.”



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