Too much information!

One of the key necessities for predicting a match outcome is determining which information is relevant and which isn’t.  Nowadays there are abundant sources of football data, which can help better model the likelihood of a particular event happening. It’s certainly vastly better than 20 or 30 years ago, when the league table was pretty…

2017/18 Premier League Preview

Here’s my pre-season analysis and projection for the Premier League. I use a simple shot based model to assess teams, it’s explained here – but to summarise, it works out each team’s attacking and defensive strength by applying factors to goals, shots and shots on target, to produce a rating I call “adjusted goals”. Adjusted goals for…

Penalty Shoot-outs – Why Ronaldo going 5th makes sense

Cristiano Ronaldo was vilified for choosing to take the 5th penalty in Portugal’s Confederations cup shoot-out against Chile, in the wake of defeat after missing their first 3 spot-kicks.  Ronaldo didn’t get a chance to take one. The media based its derision on a view that Ronaldo was seeking glory by choosing to take the…

Desperate data – the extreme numbers that defined Ipswich Town’s dismal season

Think Ipswich Town’s 2016/17 Championship record redefined tedium? Think again. Despite a low mid-table finish, set against a background of increasing supporter discontent at insipid management and directionless ownership – Town actually topped (or tailed) the league for many key attributes. Not the characteristics of a mundane team. First up, passing. Nothing defines a Mick…

Model reflections – part 2, individual matches

Part 2 of my 2016/17 model analysis looks at the performance of individual match modelling. Throughout the season I’ve used my adjusted goals rating assessment to generate probabilities for each match to test its effectiveness. I’ve analysed probabilities generated purely from the model (i.e. based solely on retrospective shots and goals data), and also probabilities…

Model Reflections part 1

As the curtain falls on another Premier League season, leaving only sporadic finals and tired internationals, to be followed by the football-free wasteland of summer sport that happens in a year ending in an odd number – it offers a great chance to reflect on and review prediction models. This is the first part of…

Could Ipswich be relegated?

The 2016/17 season is shaping up to be one of the least memorable in Town’s history. A season where the club’s lack of investment is cruelly exposed – seemingly petering out to a bottom-half, but safe, finish. February brought a fleeting upturn in form – delivering draws, that could have been wins, against accomplished opposition,…

The subtleties of Asian handicap betting

I’ve always had an aversion to Asian handicap betting, simply because the outcome isn’t intuitive. For example – a bet on Middlesbrough to beat Spurs is immediately understandable, a bet on Middlesbrough to beat Spurs with a handicap of 0.75 isn’t. However – there are circumstances where Asian handicap (AH) odds can be more attractive…

Assessing the model – the season so far

I use my adjusted goals model to generate probabilities for each Premier League match.The international break gives a chance to assess the model to find out if it’s beating the market. For an initial assessment of my model’s overall performance against the market I’ve used a Brier score method (explained here  in a good article by Pinnacle)….

Social Responsibility – Can the Betting Industry improve its image?

The Government’s recent call for evidence for its review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures offers the UK betting industry an important opportunity to improve its image. Although the review relates primarily to gaming machines – it also considers the industry as a whole, particularly concerning social responsibility measures to minimise the risk of…

Mick McCarthy’s magic method – 2016/17 Season update

Last November I wrote about the peculiar characteristics of  Mick McCarthy’s tactical signature – copied below. In particular, his unusual ability to deliver results with a consistently minuscule pass success rate. So, how’s he faring this season?  A quick look at the stats tables reveals that Ipswich are, yet again, bottom of the pass %…

Effective player assessment (and is Wayne Rooney really playing that badly?)

Quickly assessing the ability of individual players isn’t a particularly easy task; firstly because a player’s overall effectiveness isn’t necessarily the sum of a series of data points (goals, assists, passes, tackles etc) and secondly – good quality, manipulable, player-data is difficult to get hold of. There are a few good sources of Team data…