Scorecasting Economists

Spotlight on… Oldham Athletic

A fixture with little more than Cup history, really. Three FA Cup visits in 22 years, one EFL Trophy visit, and two league trips. The league trip in 2003 was tasty with multiple red cards. In all that time, just one defeat for Oldham – the EFL Trophy visit in 2017.

It’s not impossible that that might carry on, given both teams have flattered to deceive this season. But the bookies rightly favour Mansfield (49%), while RED does with a little less fervour (44%). It looks like it’ll be tight. 1-0 for the home team is at 12%, Oldham to steal it 0-1 is 9.4%.

Spotlight on… Oldham

Another week, another tough match. Dino Maamria’s third in charge of Oldham sees in-form Cheltenham Town arrive at Boundary Park. Despite Cheltenham being unbeaten in five, picking up 13 of 15 points available, and being in third place with more than twice as many points as Oldham, the bookmakers still make Oldham favourites, 39% to 33%.

RED reflects a little better the current disparity between the teams a little better, putting Cheltenham at 41% to win.

Thus far in these spotlight features, past fixture history has meant a lot. Oldham lost at Carlisle, expected given past form there, and they got results at Scunthorpe and Plymouth when they might not have been expected to, perhaps due to good past form at those place.

The past history of this fixture is three wins for each team. Last season Oldham won 2-0. There’s a mere 5.3% chance of that happening this time out…

League Two, Round 12, October 5

Should we have adjusted to the unexpected nature of League Two this season? Last season’s strugglers Grimsby and Cheltenham doing well? Arguably, RED has.

Grimsby are 47.4% to beat last season’s promotion challengers and this season’s strugglers Mansfield, and 1-0 is the most likely score (13%), but the bookmakers still slightly favour Mansfield.

Equally, Cheltenham are 41.5% to win at Oldham according to RED, yet the bookmakers have them at 33%. A 1-0 away win has a 10.2% probability of happening.

Indeed, it’s a home banker of a weekend in League One. The only visiting side with a higher expected goals total than their hosts is Cheltenham.

RED back in Europe

It’s another weekend of football all across Europe, which has already begun in France and Germany. RED has posted its forecasts. Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A.

Reflecting the lack of balance in the Premier League, Bayern Munich’s visitors Hoffenheim have just a 6.2% chance of winning according to RED, 4.3% according to the bookmakers. In Ligue 1, the bookies give PSG’s visitors Angers just a 6.9% chance, although RED gives them a 27.1% chance.

Championship, R11 (4-6 Oct, 2019) — Reading FC expected to score less than one goal; RED has no loyalties

Reading lie just above the relegation zone. So unsurprisingly the Model makes them underdogs away to Bristol City, with just a 21% chance of a win, and expected to score only 0.93 goals, compared with 1.67 for Bristol. The most likely outcome in this match is 1-0 (10.3%).

The table below gives the rest of the Model’s forecasts for Round 11 of the English Championship, along with forecast probabilities estimated from current online bookmaker odds.

Champ forecasts, R11 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, R8 (5-6 Oct) — The uncompetitive state of football: Wolves have 5% chance of a win

The Model gives Wolves just a 5.4% chance of beating Man City away this weekend. The bookies are even more pessimistic about their chances, suggesting only a 4.5% chance that Wolves will overcome the Champions. Such uncompetitive fixtures were rare before the Premier League and the sheikhs arrived. There are lessons throughout sporting history whereby a lack of competitive balance destroyed the popularity of sports. Fans want to see a contest. Anyway… [Good luck to Wolves in making the Model and the Bookies look silly!]

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

PL 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.

Champions League, Group Stage Game Week 2

RED still can’t quite adjust to the early games. Perhaps Real Madrid are also struggling, too? Though RED only had them at 45.3% to win. How the mighty have slipped.

Either way, here is RED’s output for all tonight’s Champions League matches, including the two early games…

As with last Champions League gameweek, Jean-Louis Foulley has submitted his picks. It was a tough first game week for those trying to predict. Let’s see if we can do better this week…