Scorecasting Economists

Premier League midweek 11-12 May 2021

Premier League midweek 11-12 May 2021

Relegation to the Championship is now confirmed for Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United so the main things to fight for are European places, although technically Man Utd could still win the league.

If they win tonight they are seven points off of Man City, who would have to lose all three games or lose two and draw one, with Man Utd winning all three.

Man Utd v Leicester

This is the first game of the midweek games this week. It’s 2nd v 4th so should be pretty close. We have Man Utd as clear favourites with over 2 on expected goals, at nearly 69% as likely winners (Leicester on just 13%) and a 2-0 home win as the most likely score.

Bookmakers radically disagree and have Leicester as more likely winners than United at 38.2% to win and Utd on only 33.5%. (Having now seen the line ups and Utd switching out 10 players, bookmakers mean odds look a lot more likely)

Southampton v Crystal Palace

We have this as a 1-1 draw but favour Southampton at 43% compared to bookmakers who have them on 48%.

Chelsea v Arsenal

The way Chelsea have been playing recently you’d think they will win this. The team was rotated somewhat at the weekend so may be again for this match. Arsenal also had some changes from their Uefa League Semi-Final defeat at the weekend, so it’s quite likely that both teams look a bit different again to what they did.

Compared to the Utd v Leicester match what is actually fairly amazing is we have Chelsea on almost exactly the same odds as bookmakers do to win (55.6% to 55.2%). Both our model and bookmakers give Arsenal give exactly the same likelihood to win – 19.2%.

There are also games taking place on Thursday, in particular Man Utd v Liverpool but our model won’t update for that until Man Utd have played tonight.



Championship 8 May 2021

Championship 8 May 2021,

With the top half of the table secured, the English Championship season ends on Saturday this weekend, until the promotion playoffs start.

So this weekend is all about relegation, or surviving it.

There is a  massive fixture of Derby v Sheffield Wednesday at 12.30 which will probably settle things.

There are a few different scenarios but if either team wins then they are safe, unless Rotherham also win, in which case they are safe, unless Derby win.

Our model predicts a 1-1 draw in the Derby v Sheffield Weds game.

Derby have a slightly higher expected goals (1.39) than Sheffield (1.11). A home win is also reasonably likely.

A 1-0 win is the second most likely score at 11.4% compared to the 1-1 (12.7%) – these are shown in the table below in the ‘Home wins’ and ‘Draws’ sections. Bookmakers have Derby on slightly lower odds to win (40.4%) than our model (43.3%) whilst our model and bookmakers have less than 1% difference between them on whether Sheffield Wednesday can win (30%-30.9%)

Rotherham are away to Cardiff and our model gives them little hope of survival.

Cardiff are really the most likely team to win in this whole weekend set of Championship matches (62.7%), according to our model. Bookmakers actually seem to disagree with this extent of favouring Cardiff. Their mean odds, have them at only 40.2% to win, giving Rotherham more than double the chance of winning than we do (33.6% to our 15.3%).

Wycombe, mathematically are not relegated. Realistically they’d need to win by a ridiculous amount and have Sheffield Wednesday only win 1-0 against Derby. That said, our model relegates them by not only predicting a 1-0 Millwall win but it is also less than 1% different to bookmakers mean odds when predicting the likelihood of a Millwall home win (51.8% to 52.7%).

So really the most likely result is quite banal for the neutral.

A 1-1 draw keeps Derby up and relegates everyone else. If that then happens, Rotherham would need to win by 6 goals against Cardiff (they would then presumabl stay up having scored more goals, despite being on the same goal difference). Stranger things have happened but not often.


Premier League 7 May 2021

Premier League 7 May 2021

It’s the final week of the Championship in England but somewhat of a bumper Premier League week too, with a host of midweek fixtures in addition to the weekend games.

The majority of the weekend games are included in our model below (at the time of writing it hasn’t updated for the UEFA league teams).

A draw for Newcastle tonight away to Leicester would see them clear of relegation, if Burnley can beat Fulham.

However, we have Newcastle getting soundly beaten 2-0 away to Leicester and Burnley drawing with Fulham. In some ways, all this would do is prolong the agony for both teams as Fulham would still be 8 points behind Newcastle with 3 games to go. Bookmakers have Leicester on exactly the same odds to win as our model at 66.6%, so it doesn’t look good for Newcastle but they do have a big enough points cushion to survive.

Fulham have a 35% chance of winning against Burnley, whereas Newcastle have less than half that tonight (13.5%). Leicester are of course 3rd in the table so again it really doesn’t look for Newcastle but it also doesn’t look to be enough to keep Fulham up.

Elsewhere our model stands up pretty well. Wolves v Brighton has some differences, with bookmakers favouring Brighton (42%) to win and our model favouring Wolves (46%).

Our model favours Man City against Chelsea (57% to 17%) but bookmakers have City on less than 50% in what is a rehearsal for the Champions League Final. Our model also under values Everton slightly against West Ham at only 24.5% whereas bookmakers have them on 31.1% – although our model has a 1-1 as the most likely score.

**Edit** 8 May 2021

Model has now updated to included Thursday night’s Uefa League Semi-Finals, so includes Man Utd and Arsenal games. Arsenal are overwhelming favourites to beat West Brom (Our model is almost identical to bookmakers mean odds). Man Utd are most likely to draw away to Villa. However, if there is a win, it is most likely to be a 2-1 away win. Again our likely winner odds, as with the Arsenal game are very close to bookmakers odds.



Premier League 30 April 2021

Premier League 30 April 2021

There is still plenty to play for in the Premier League at the top half of the table this weekend.

Man City haven’t won the league yet but are 10 points clear with 5 games to go.

Our model suggests they should get a clear win away to Crystal Palace. They are showing at over 2 for expected goals and we have them at 69% to win, with bookmakers having them at 71%.

Chelsea’s Champions League quest (assuming they don’t win the tournament anyway) continues and they should do well at home to Fulham. Again we have them on over 2 for expected goals and at 74% to win (bookmakers temper this with only 65.7%).

At the other end of the table West Brom really have to win to stay up (a defeat won’t completely relegate them but it will bring it very very close, especially if Brighton win against Leeds).

We have West Brom drawing 1-1. Our model favours them at 43% whereas bookmakers have them only on 30%, giving an over 40% chance of a Wolves win.

Our model probably favours them because it takes into account home advantage, although West Brom do also have one more point from their last 5 games than Wolves.

If Brighton beat Leeds then it’s all over for West Brom. We have a 1-0 home win as the most likely result (13.5% for a 1-0, with 13.4% chance of a 1-1 draw). Bookmakers favour Brighton at 42.5% with our model only giving Brighton a 39% chance of a win.


**Edit**. Model now includes Man Utd v Liverpool, with a 1-1 predicted but our model favouring Man Utd at 55% to win, with bookmakers only having them on 34.5% to win. If Chelsea do win this takes Liverpool a lot further away from a Champions League spot. There is actually an equal chance of a 1-0 win for Man Utd (11.1%) as there is a 1-1 draw (also 11.1% – in the table below under ‘home wins’ and ‘draws’)

In addition, includes Newcastle v Arsenal, with again a 1-1 predicted but favouring Arsenal at 46.4% to win, with bookmakers having a very close 46.9% win likelihood for Arsenal too.



English Championship 1 May 2021

English Championship 1 May 2021

The Championship only has 2 games left to play, except for Luton Town and Rotherham (their ‘game in hand’ takes place on Tuesday).

Play-off places are decided, with Reading missing out and now 8 points behind 6th. Norwich have a 5 point lead over Watford so would have to lose both games and Watford win both for the league title to go to Watford.

Our model has Norwich winning 2-0 at home to Reading, with Norwich on more than 2 for expected goals and at 63.6% chance of winning, bookmakers give Norwich a 55% chance. We also have Watford losing away to Brentford, with Brentford having a 46% chance of winning but Watford only 25%. Bookmakers have it closer at 40% to 31%. Either way if one of these results happens the title is Norwich’s.

At the other end of the table though there is still plenty to play for. Huddersfield are pretty much safe at 8 points clear of Rotherham, despite Rotherham having that game in hand. Sheffield Wednesday are on equal points with Rotherham so also have a chance at survival.

The team at the greatest risk of slipping into relegation is Derby but their form is as bad as Rotherham’s.

Derby vs Sheffield Wednesday next weekend though, could prove to be the most important game but only if Wednesday gain at least a point in their next two games and Derby don’t (if Derby win at all then they are going to be safe).

Our model has both Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday drawing their games, with Derby losing 1-0 away to Swansea.

If this happens it really does make things very close for the last day of the season. We give Derby just a 17% chance of winning on Saturday, whereas bookmakers have them on 28.6% to win. Bookmakers more or less agree with our prediction for the Rotherham and Wednesday games though.

English Championship 24 4 21

 English Championship 23 4 21

There is no Friday night game for the Championship this weekend but ten games take place Saturday and two more on Sunday.

Reading are 6 points off the playoffs and really need a win against Swansea to stay in with a chance of catching a Barnsley team that is in pretty decent form (10 points from 5 games).

Reading haven’t won for three matches now but we have it a pretty close game. Not much at all between the two teams on expected goals (1.15/1.08). The very slightly good news for Reading is our model favours them at 37.3% to 33.9%. My first thought was this is just ‘home’ advantage but it’s worth noting that bookmakers favour Reading by an even greater margin at 42.2-28.6%.

The teams have historically won an equal number of the games between each other, 33 (each), with 16 draws. So it seems fair enough that our model has predicted a 1-1 draw as the most likely result (this exact result is 13.3% likely)

Watford have good odds to secure promotion, with 1.86 on expected goals and a 64% chance of a win against Millwall (the highest likely win percentage from our model for the Championship this weekend). Bookmakers remarkably have them exactly only 2 percent lower in terms of odds of likely winner.

Our model has Norwich only drawing with QPR, with bookmakers giving Norwich a 10% better chance of a win than our scorecast does.

At the other end of the table, a draw for Derby may not be enough to survive if Rotherham can win some of their games in hand but both teams have shocking form, Derby losing their last four and Rotherham their last 3.

We have Derby drawing with Preston, which could be enough to save them. Especially if we are right about Barnsley beating Rotherham 1-0. Of course, if they do that would all but kill off Reading’s chances of the playoffs unless they also win.

Premier League 23 4 2021

Premier League 23 4 2021

Scorecasting Economists still haven’t recovered from the announcement of a Super League involving six of the Premier League’s clubs, only for it to be effectively cancelled within about a day of the original statement.

We haven’t altered our model to reflect the fact the rest of the league will probably hate the other six for quite some time though.

Man City, Tottenham, Southampton and Fulham are not playing in the league this weekend because of the League Cup Final between Man City and Tottenham. 

So it looks like Liverpool wins against Newcastle (73% likely our model, 75% bookmakers mean odds), Chelsea have a tough London derby against West Ham (1-1 most likely score) and Arsenal are still not very good (I think they will struggle against Everton tonight) and their fans seem to be pretty upset – possibly more than most but our model thinks they will win tonight against Everton (bookmakers have them 14% less likely to win than we do).

Our model also favours Man Utd to win away to Leeds and is only 0.3% different to the percentage that bookmakers favour them.

Goodness knows what a Mourinho-less Tottenham will be like for the rest of the season, let alone the League Cup Final but I have to say I’m less inclined to be interested (if they were playing Fulham – amusingly our model thinks they would draw).


Championship 20 April 2021

Whilst most of the footballing world is (correctly, in my opinion) getting very cross about a European Super League, English Championship football goes on.

Looking across the table you have an ex-European Cup Winners (Nottingham Forest), and teams that have won the Premier league or old Division One, or won cup finals or appeared in them, such as Blackburn, Derby, Huddersfield, Norwich, Watford, Millwall, Cardiff, Preston, Middlesbrough, Coventry and a few others.

In fact most of the teams here have competed at the top-level at some time or other and plenty in the very recent past have finished in the top half of the Premier League.

I’ve not seen Norwich play this season but am looking forward to watching them next season, and they are hoping to take the Championship title tonight by winning at home to second-placed Watford.

Our model predicts a 1-1 draw, favouring Norwich at 45% for a likely win, with Watford at only 29%. Bookmakers have it closer at 39.6% to 31.7% in terms of winners.

Play-off places look pretty sown up suddenly with only Reading outside with a chance. They are now 4 points adrift from Barnsley. With our model typically under-marking Reading compared to bookmakers, Reading have just over a 25% chance of winning against Luton according to our model with bookmakers giving them much better odds at 40%,

Barnsley on the other hand have fairly consistent odds – 40% for a win in our model, 44% with bookmakers with a 1-1 draw predicted.

Right at the bottom of the table, our model gives the faintest of an escape chance for Wycombe (they’d need to get at least 10 point to have a chance of staying up because their goal difference is so bad). We have them with a 40% chance to win against Bristol City but bookmakers have an almost opposite prediction with Bristol on 38.

Premier League 16 4 21

Premier League football somewhat clashes with the F.A.Cup semi-finals this weekend. It also has meant that some of our data is for games taking place later in the week or a couple of games haven’t got data collected for them.

Some things jump out from the data we do have – firstly that Chelsea are 13.7% likely to get an exact 2-0 win and 13.8% likely to get a 1-0 win.

They are overwhelming favourites against Brighton at 68% likely winners in our model and 60% with bookmakers.

For some reason our model hasn’t picked up the Fulham v Arsenal or Man Utd v Burnley on Sunday.

It has however collected the data for Leeds v Liverpool on Monday night.

Liverpool are 14.4% likely to get a 1-0 away win against Leeds as the most likely score in that match. Frankly there aren’t many matches where I’d expect Leeds in where there is only one goal. Bookmakers also favour Liverpool by 8% more than our model does. I wouldn’t write off Leeds.

Everton play Tottenham tonight and our model 1% between the two teams and just 0.02% on expected goals.

I think our model is underestimating West Ham against Newcastle in tomorrow lunchtime’s game. If there has been a surprise team this season, West Ham are definitely one of them. I can’t think of anyone who thought they’d be in the top four at the start of the season. Our model predicts a draw but bookmakers have West ham on 47.5% as likely winners, with Newcastle on only 25%. I think it’s probably somewhere between what we have and what bookmakers mean odds are showing.

Championship 16 April 2021

Championship 16 April 2021

Football continues this weekend and continues to kick off at odd times, such as 6pm on a Friday. Whilst these times can help maximise TV viewers by avoiding clashes with some matches, it will be interesting to see how far this carries on into next season with fans returning to stadiums.

Blackburn play Derby and Reading are home to Cardiff tonight in the early kick offs, and these look like they are scheduled so they don’t clash with the Everton v Tottenham game at 8pm.

Both today’s games are predicted to be 1-1 draws in our model.

Looking more closely though Blackburn are nearly 14% more likely to win than Derby in our model, with bookmakers giving a 17% difference between the two teams on likely winners. Similarly with the other game, Reading are 42.6% likely winners with bookmakers giving nearly 1% extra odds. They also have Cardiff at 4% less likely to win than we do.

There are also two, 2-0 wins predicted; Swansea v Wycombe and Brentford v Millwall.

The home teams are 3rd and 4th in the league and whilst they are both a good few points off of automatic promotion, are looking rather likely for play-off spots. Wycombe are still bottom having lost their last match after a 2-match winning run. Bookmakers are slightly less generous than our model but still strongly favour both home teams.

Both Norwich and Watford are predicted to draw 1-1 in their matches, this pretty much means Norwich are simply not going to be stopped from winning the league. Except for one thing, they each play one another in their next game, so the league could be decided on Tuesday evening in yet another 6pm game.