Scorecasting Economists

English Championship 23 10 21

English Championship 23 10 21

 

The is the first week for a while, in the Championship, that we’ve had a team on two expected goals. In the table below you can see West Brom hit that milestone this week at home to Bristol City.

West Brom have actually lost two of their last three games but both our model and bookmakers Mean Odds (in table above) seem pretty confident of a West Brom win against Bristol City (64.2% our model; 65.2% bookmakers Mean Odds). According to our model there is an  equal 11.5% chance of a 1-0 or of a 2-0 win as the most likely exact score).

Another game where there is a high likelihood of a particular outcome is, Bournemouth winning against Huddersfield. This is a bit less likely than West Brom winning but still at 60% according to our model. Bournemouth have maintained an unbeaten record so far and although Huddersfield are 6th in the league bookmakers have Bournemouth as likely winners as well at 57.2%.

Our model predicts a 1-1 draw as the most likely score in the Birmingham v Swansea game, this is the game with the biggest difference in likely winner when comparing our model to bookmakers. We favour Swansea at 41% but bookmakers odds have Birmingham on 39.6%.

 

Premier League 22 10 21

Premier League 22 10 21

Of the games I’ll be looking out for this weekend, I think they’ll probably be Man Utd v Liverpool – can Utd’s defence stand up to Salah, Mane and Firmino? And does Solskjaer have it in him to outwit Liverpool and get the best out of the attacking part of his side?

In terms of upsets, Brentford v Leicester looks interesting. Leicester had an exciting mid-week in Europe, winning 4-3 against Spartak and Daka scoring 4 goals. They have also had some patchy league form (despite winning last weekend) with Brentford outperforming everyone’s expectations.

Also for nostalgia reasons, Everton v Watford is one I’ll be interested in largely because it was the first full F.A. Cup final I actually watched (I watched the Man Utd v Brighton replay, the year before, when they still had those). I’ve covered all of these games below the table.

 

Man Utd v Liverpool

This is one of those matches where our model stands up to bookmakers mean odds. We have Utd on 33% to win, they have them on 32% – we have Liverpool to win at 42% with bookmakers mean odds they have 0.7% less. All in all this suggests a very close game. Liverpool edge it on expected goals being 0.2 (so 1/5 of a goal more!) higher.

Most likely score: 1-1 (exact score 11.5% likely according to our model). – Personally I think Liverpool will win.

Brentford v Leicester City

Brentford have had a great start to the season and although Leicester managed to win in the Uefa League and a win last weekend, their form has been a bit patchy. This is reflected in our model. Home advantage probably gives Brentford an edge at just under 41% to win. They also are 0.14 higher on expected goals. Bookmakers slightly disagree with us with their mean odds as they have almost nothing at all between the two teams (0.2%!)

Most likely score: 1-1

Everton v Watford

The likely outcomes in this game are much clearer. Watford have a new manager but looked utterly hopeless last week against Liverpool. Although it was a very much in form Liverpool. Everton are clearly not Liverpool but are 8th and have only lost two games all season compared to Watford’s five. Everton are very close to 2 expected goals and this is reflected in our exact scores section (Home wins with 11.4% for 2-0 as the most likely score and 11.7% for 1-0). We have Everton at 63% to win.

Most likely score: 1-0

English Championship 19 10 21 – 20 10 21

English Championship 19 10 21

The Champions League may dominate the headlines tonight but as usual the English Championship looks like it will produce some much closer games.

Weekend review (How did we do?)

The most likely score in any Championship match in the last 18 months or so (and probably for many years) is usually 1-1 or 1-0, or unsurprisingly 0-1, at least it is when we are trying to predict the most likely exact score.

Our model for instance will often predict more 1-1 draws than anything else in a given week or weekend.

Looking back at the weekend’s fixtures though there was just one 0-0 (Preston and Derby – we had this as 1-0 as the most likely score), two 1-0’s (the first being, Reading v Barnsley – we had this as 1-1, favouring the home side by 2%).

Of those 1-0 home victory’s we got one exact score, West Brom v Birmingham City. There were no 1-1 draws with most games producing at least one team with more than 2 goals.

Across the rest of the matches that took place our model was broadly correct in terms of which team we favoured to win, although it predicted a 1-1 as the most likely score, with one exception – Millwall v Luton, where we had both teams as fairly even, favoring Millwall by around 8% and bookmakers mean odds favoring them 1% higher, Luton actually won 2-0.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Tonight however, it is a similar story to the weekend, for our model, with no teams yet regularly on over two for expected goals.

The closest we get to that is Fulham at home to Cardiff. Our model predicts a 1-0 home win as the most likely score (11.8% as an exact score, 11% for a 2-0 home win).

This feels pretty obvious as Fulham are third in the league but Cardiff have also had an utterly dismal run, losing their last six games (we have Fulham to win at over 60% likely, with bookmakers Mean odds (see table below) very close to that at 63%).

Elsewhere the 1-1 strikes again for a number of games, about half of which we strongly favour the home team (Reading, Sheffield Utd, Preston, Hull), one of these, Preston v Coventry, although we favour Preston at 46.5%, bookmakers actually just about favour Coventry instead by 0.3%).

Then there are the rest where for the most part there is only a maximum of 4-5% points between how heavily our model favours them (for instance, Bristol City, Derby, Stoke). It also looks like our model has under valued West Brom’s odds with bookmakers mean odds favouring them to win at 47.5%

Premier League Mid-October 2021

Premier League Mid-October 2021

Leicester v Man Utd

Leicester have not had a great time in their last four games in the league, drawing the last two and losing two before that. They have home advantage against a United team that has lost then drawn in their last two games.

Our model favours Leicester at 41% (bookmakers disagree having Utd on 45%) to win.  We don’t take into account player status but if we did, we’d probably consider that Utd could be playing with a second-string defence if both Maguire and Varane are injured. It’s also going to be a test of whom Solskjaer picks as his forwards as their have been accusations that rotation has cost them recently.

Most likely score : 1-1

Norwich v Brentford

The two promoted teams here have had wildly different fortunes. Brentford have probably surprised most people by being in 7th, whereas Norwich managed their first point in their last game. Norwich have home advantage and our model slightly favours them at 40%.

This is one of three games where there is either a difference in outcomes in our model and bookmakers mean odds or a sizeable difference in the confidence levels. Here bookmakers favour Brentford at 45%, so this is a decent test for our model.

Most likely score 1-1

Watford v Liverpool

Our model gives Watford over 22% to win this which seems unlikely as Liverpool are hardly struggling. If there is a win then our model gives Liverpool a 55% chance of winning with a 2-1 away win the most likely winning score. Watford have just over 1 on expected goals with Liverpool approaching but not quite at 2. Bookmakers have Liverpool at 70% to win though.

Most likely score 1-1

Elsewhere, Burnley are given next to no chance against Man City (7% our model, 4.4% bookmakers mean odds). Also both our model and bookmakers agree on Arsenal winning against Palace (58% (with 0.2% between our Arsenal likely win and bookmakers mean odds).

 

Championship Mid-October 2021

 Championship Mid-October 2021

Club football returns this weekend in England for the top two divisions, after the International Break.

Our scorecasting model has thrown out a few interesting results this week.

Huddersfield v Hull

Our model has a 1-1 draw as 13% likely as the exact score here, the highest probability for an exact score this week. Both teams are as you’d expect, on almost 36% to win (see table below).

Bookmakers disagree however, favouring Huddersfield as home winners at 47.7%. Huddersfield are actually 7th in the league, compared to Hull in 21st, although at this stage of the season there is only 8 points between the two of them so there isn’t that much in it.

Blackburn v Coventry

The other match where our predictions are different to bookmakers is Blackburn v Coventry, where we have Blackburn at 46.6% to win but bookmakers marginally favour Coventry. Our model gives a 1-1 draw as most likely.

Elsewhere, we have Preston winning 1-0 and West Brom also with the highest odds for winners at 63%.

 

Premier League 2 10 2021

Premier League 2 10 2021

Man Utd v Everton

Man Utd and Everton kick off the weekend games.

It’s only six games in but Everton under Benitez have performed pretty well and above expectations. They are fifth. Man Utd are fourth. The two teams are both on 13 points having each lost one game.

Man Utd have home advantage and with this factored in and the fact they have a higher ELO rating. The two teams have played each other 206 times with Utd winning 90 to Everton’s 70 wins. With all this taken into account, we have Man Utd winning 1-0, although Everton’s expected goals is at 0.99 just 0.1 shy of ‘1’ that would take them into a likely 1-1. The most likely exact score is at 11.4% likely (1-0) with a 1-1 draw at 11.3%. We favour Utd at 54.9% with bookmakers having a Utd win at 64%.

*Although having just noticed at 11.30am that Man Utd are starting without Ronaldo and Pogba, I do wonder if this now gives Everton a decent chance to win.

Most likely score: 1-0

 

Liverpool v Man City

Pre-season, most pundits seemed to fancy either Chelsea or Man City to win the league.

Liverpool are currently the only unbeaten team, one point ahead of the rest of the top six. This is going to be a close game in terms of determining a winner but should see some goals. It is also the only game across the league this weekend where there is more than a 10% difference in the likely outcomes from our scorecasts and bookmakers mean odds.

That Liverpool have Trent Alexander-Arnold injured and that may have some impact, especially against such a good City side. Individual player absences or selection isn’t included in our model.

This game is closer than Man Utd v Everton in terms of odds, in both our model and bookmakers. We favour Liverpool at 44%. The most likely score is 1-1 but conditional on a win happening then 2-1 is most likely. Bookmakers favour Man City at 39%.

Most likely score: 1-1 

Championship 1 October 2021

 Championship 1 October 2021

Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion

This game kicks off the Championship weekend. Home team Stoke are 5th but West Brom are joint 1st with Bournemouth both teams at the top, undefeated, having won 6 and drawn 4. These two teams have been playing each other for a very long time, the first time in 1888 with West Brom winning an FA Cup match 4-1

Stoke on the other hand have won 62 times to West Brom’s 49, one of these being the last time the two teams met in January 2020. We have both teams on the same expected goals (see table below). And there is 0.1% difference in the likely winner with teams on 36.7%/36.6% in our model in terms of expected winners. However, bookmakers mean odds (in the table below) favour West Brom at 42.8%.

Most likely score according to our model: 1-1

Elsewhere in the league, on Saturday it is the Championship, so this week our model predicts a 1-1 draw for every game as the most likely score! That said it also favours the home team in every game except Coventry v Fulham and Derby v Swansea.

Cardiff v Reading

Cardiff have lost their last four games, whereas Reading were on a 3 match winning streak, that was ended by Derby in mid-week, so both teams will be trying to reverse defeats. Our model favours Cardiff at 45.4% and Reading on just 29%. Bookmakers pretty much agree within 1-3%.

Championship  28 September 2021

Championship  28 September 2021

 

Derby v Reading

Two teams that have been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately play each other Wednesday, Derby who have already been deducted 12 points and Reading who are also facing that possibility.

So far this season, their fates have also been fairly different. Although, both got off to a bad enough start, with Derby have fared worse and have already had their points deducted. Reading started badly but have now picked up and have won their last three games. Putting it bluntly Derby can’t score but also don’t let many in (scored 6, against 8) and bizarrely have a defence that would put them in the play-offs, if that was the measure.

Reading are the opposite. They are joint 3rd with a number of teams, on goals scored (16) but have the second worst defence in the league.

Our model (See table below in Score Picks) has rather boringly predicted a 1-1 draw as the most likely score. Our model favours Derby by just under 3% as likely winners, with bookmakers giving a more generous difference between the teams at over 11%. Despite Derby’s defensive record this does feel like a game where both teams will probably score.

Most likely score: 1-1

Cardiff v West Brom

There aren’t many games this midweek where there are vast differences between our likely predicted winners and teams that are favoured through bookmakers mean odds (see table above).

That said this game between Cardiff and West Brom has quite a difference in odds. We include home advantage in our model, which may help to explain why Cardiff are marginally favoured in this game by 2.6%, whereas bookmakers have Cardiff at only 24% to win, with West Brom on 48.5% (West Brom are unbeaten this season apart from a 6-0 defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup).

The last time the two teams played Cardiff won 2-1 but in the same season West Brom also won their home game 4-2.

Most likely score: 1-1 (13% likely according to our model as the exact score, the highest for any exact score prediction this week). 

Premier League 25 9 21

Premier League 25 9 21

The weekend kicks off with three of the four most likely league winners all playing at 12.30pm on Saturday.

The ‘big’ game is Chelsea v Man City. This is obviously far t oo early to decide the title but the three points from this game could prove decisive at the end of the season. The most likely score is 1-1. We favour City by just 2% as winners at 38.4% highlighting how close this is. Bookmakers have just 0.1% between the teams.

The ‘other’ game is Man Utd v Villa. Villa could be a problem for United in this game after winning 3-0 against Everton last weekend. We have Utd winning 1-0 as the most likely score. A Utd win is 57.5% likely which still somewhat reflects Villa’s potential for an upset here. Bookmakers disagree having Utd on just under 69% to win.

Model-wise the other game of interest is Brentford v Liverpool and includes the only other likely title winners. We actually have a 1-1 draw as the most likely score (exact score as 11.6% likely). Brentford have started well and home advantage is built into our model. That said we still favour Liverpool to win at 48.7% with bookmakers much more confident at 64%. I think Liverpool will win it but Brentford will be tough opposition.

 

Championship 24 September 2021

Championship 24 September 2021

 

There are two Friday night fixtures in the Championship this weekend.

Coventry v Peterborough and West Brom v QPR.

Coventry have started the season pretty well and are in 4th place at present, Peterborough on the other hand are 22nd, and although they did win their last game had lost at least four in a row before that. We have Coventry drawing 1-1 although favouring Coventry at 50% (See table above).

The other game, has West Brom in 3rd and QPR in 8th. This also is a 1-1 as the most likely score but favouring West Brom at 45%. Bookmakers are surer at over 55%.

Some of the other games look fairly unbalanced Bournemouth v Luton and Stoke v Hull City, at least on current positions in the league table. These are two of the games, where we have a home 1-0 win. That said Reading have started to win (2 in a row) and play Middlesbrough at home, who are just 2 places behind them in the league. We favour Reading but bookmakers mean odds point to Middlesbrough so this could be close.