Scorecasting Economists

Championship, R8 (21-22 Sept, 2019) – Reading marginal favourites against Blackburn (1.4 vs 1.2 expected goals)

The 1st Reading Football Economics Workshop is currently taking place. After the talks have finished, several participants are attending this weekend’s Championship fixture between Reading and Blackburn. According to RED, this won’t be a goalfest. Reading are expected to score 1.4 goals and Blackburn just 1.2 goals. The home side, although struggling this season, have a slight advantage, with a 40% chance of victory. Nonetheless, the most likely outcome is 1-1 (13%). Interestingly, the Model has almost exactly the same opinion on this fixture as the average among bookmakers, with the latter seeming to predict a 39% chance of a Reading win.

The table below gives the rest of the Model’s forecasts for Round 8 of the English Championship, along with forecast probabilities estimated from current online bookmaker odds.

Champ forecasts, R8, 2019, RED
  • Expected Goals: the forecast average number of goals the Model expects for Home and Away teams
  • Outcome Probs: the model predicted % chance of either a Home or Away win, with 100 minus these two numbers being the % chance of a draw.
  • Score Picks: the Most likely forecast scoreline outcome, as well as the most likely conditional on the most likely result outcome happening.
  • Home wins / Draws / Away wins: the predicted % chance of various potential scoreline outcomes of the match.
  • Mean odds: Estimates of online bookmakers’ average probability forecasts for the Home and Away teams to win, which could be compared with Outcome Probs.

Premier League, R6 (20-22 Sept) — City given 78% chance of bouncing back with a win

Man City were humbled in East Anglia last weekend. The long-term injury to Laporte appears to have left them threadbare at the back. But at home Manchester City are still a frightening beast, and the new Watford manager has slim chances in his first game. The Model expects Man City to score 2.6 goals to Watford’s 0.7, and gives the hosts a 78.3% chance of a win. The bookmakers appear to argue this is an underestimate, as the average of their odds implies an 86.3% chance of a home win. The most likely outcome is 2-0 (13%).

The table below gives the rest of the  Model’s forecasts for Round 6 of the Premier League, along with forecast probabilities estimated from current online bookmaker odds.

EPL forecasts R6 2019, RED
  • Expected Goals: the forecast average number of goals the Model expects for Home and Away teams
  • Outcome Probs: the model predicted % chance of either a Home or Away win, with 100 minus these two numbers being the % chance of a draw.
  • Score Picks: the Most likely forecast scoreline outcome, as well as the most likely conditional on the most likely result outcome happening.
  • Home wins / Draws / Away wins: the predicted % chance of various potential scoreline outcomes of the match.
  • Mean odds: Estimates of online bookmakers’ average probability forecasts for the Home and Away teams to win, which could be compared with Outcome Probs.

Spotlight on… Oldham Athletic

Oldham make the trip east to Scunthorpe this evening. It’s been a regular fixture in recent years, but a regular League One fixture, before each team has taken a dive in fortunes of late. Scunthorpe got their first win on the weekend and will fancy their chances tonight. Not least, the bookies think the Iron are favourites, 45% likely to win. RED sees it being much, much more nip and tuck.

Not unlike the last six matches between the sides at Glanford Park, only one of which, in 2018, saw the two teams separated by anything more than a single goal.

Of course, 1-1 is most likely (12.8%).

League Two

In League Two, Plymouth, the early favourites who have stumbled of late, go to Crawley. It means that in RED’s table, where clubs are abbreviated to three letters, this is CRA v PLY. In hashtag terms, #CRAPLY. RED is not necessarily above a puerile and childish take on an important fixture in the early stages of the League Two season.