Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Match Forecasts: December 20-23

Our models' best bets were finally profitable last week so let's see if they keep it going! Flip around the tabs to explore the complete lineup of games this weekend.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Match Forecasts: November 29 - December 2

Happy Thanksgiving to fellow Americans! Flip around the tabs below to look at the big games, best bets, and games for all of the top five leagues:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Match Forecasts: November 22-25

After the merciful end of the international break, we get back into league football this weekend.

I've added a couple new features to match forecasts this week. Firstly, the big games of interest across the leagues covered here are all grouped together on one sheet! In addition, I've taken the odds from Bet365, put them against my probabilities, and noted the games with the best perceived betting value, which happens this week to be mostly for home teams. The "amount" refers to a calculation made by the Kelly Criterion, which should always be used to determine a model's strength in beating books.

Flip around the new features and the usual fully detailed forecasts of the top five leagues in the sheet below:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Match Forecasts: November 8-10

With another weekend of matches to come in Europe, let's take a look at the match odds.

The first of the main events in this round features Manchester United hosting Premier League leaders Arsenal, who we split about evenly. Meanwhile, Napoli visits Juventus, who now top our Serie A predictive ratings, and our model likes them to take a win over half the time. In Spain Real Madrid are expected to take care of Sociedad and Villarreal, who our numbers have loved all season long, are surprising favorites to come out on top over Atletico Madrid.

More content to come in this space when I get some more time, including final table predictions with a view to handicap races for titles, Champions League spots, and relegation.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Match Forecasts: November 1-4

We've got another full slate across Europe to look forward to this weekend, so let's get to it.

These forecasts favor Arsenal on par with the books, projecting a win over Liverpool at the Emirates just short of half the time. As for the other fixtures between big clubs, we have Lille and Monaco about even, and Milan a solid favorite to capture three points against visiting Fiorentina.

As for betting value, look to Verona to win at home against Cagliari in Italy, Roma to keep the perfect season alive in their visit to Torino, and Real Sociedad to beat Osasuna. There also may be a bit of value in England for Hull and West Brom to win home games against the Premier League's worst two teams.

Flip around the tabs here to look across the big five European leagues:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Match Forecasts: October 29-31

A quick update to post probabilities for midweek league games in Spain and Italy. Team ratings have also been updated.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Match Forecasts: October 25-28

After an interesting week in the Champions League, domestic competitions are back in Europe this weekend and that gives me the opportunity to cook up another batch of match probabilities.

Two high profile games stand out among the rest. In England, the top two teams in our rankings square off as Manchester City travel to London to face Chelsea. Our mathematical model likes a home win just a bit more than the bookmakers do at a 46.6% clip, though against big clubs like City, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho tends to play very conservatively.

In Spain, we get the first Clasico of the season hosted by Barcelona. While Real Madrid managed to regain the second spot in our La Liga rankings from local rivals Atletico, our forecast has them coming out on top only 6.2% of the time. We therefore see some value in a Barcelona win, currently priced at 1.75 over at Bet365.

Flip around the tabs here to see the probabilities of games from each of the top five European leagues:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Match Forecasts: October 18-21

After a long international break, European leagues resume this weekend.

The big clashes of this round are in Serie A. Our logistic model likes Roma to continue their astonishing winning streak at home against second place Napoli more than half the time and make it eight wins in eight, while it also sees some betting value in Fiorentina to come away victorious over the defending champions Juventus.

Elsewhere, incredibly, we also see some value against the books on a Bayern Munich victory over Mainz that would pay out ten cents on the dollar. In the Premier League, the big clubs are heavily favored, but expect Aston Villa to give Spurs all they can handle.

As the ratings begin to get a feel for newly promoted teams and the landscape of each league, over the next month or two I will begin to examine betting recommendations and handicap the races for titles, Champions League places, and relegation.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Match Forecasts: October 4-6

After I crazy week I found just enough time to produce some match probabilities for this weekend. Enjoy the games!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Match Forecasts: September 27-30

Back to post the game probabilities for this weekend's action.

Of the big games this weekend, our model gives Spurs and Chelsea each an equal shot in their early Saturday showdown, while it likes Real Madrid to come out on top of their local rivals Atletico nearly 70% of the time. Bayern Munich's dominance continues, as we give them only a 2% chance to lose at home to an above average Wolfsburg team.

Flip through the tabs on the table below to examine the forecasts for each of the top five leagues. As always, the ratings that feed our model have been updated after the midweek action and can be viewed over on the left frame. Enjoy the games this weekend.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Match Forecasts: September 24-26

While the English and German teams look towards a week of cup action, there are league games to be played in France, Italy, and Spain. Here's the debut of our Serie A predictions along with the other midweek fixtures.

It's worth noting just how badly Sassuolo has fared in the Serie A thus far. With one goal scored and fifteen conceded in their four games, we rate them more than three goals worse than Verona, the second worst team in our rankings. We need to expand our decimal places to see that our model gives them a 0.04% chance to win in Napoli--good for once in 2,500 tries! So don't get tempted by the 14 to 1 payout betting them.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Match Forecasts: September 20-22

And we're back!

I have run my first version of team ratings for the top five leagues, which can be found on the left sidebar, and fed them into our logistic regression model to assign probabilities to this weekend's games.

As our ratings are still trying to get a good grasp on newly promoted teams, I won't be tracking bet amounts for the model for another week or two. Also, as the Italian league has played only three rounds to date, we are going to give the model another week to adjust before publishing forecasts in Serie A.

Flip around the tabs in the spreadsheet below to examine different leagues.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The 2013-14 Season

Well, it's August 9th and the leagues in Germany & France kick off today. Just a quick update here to inform everyone that these match forecasts will be back soon--the goal is to have them up by the first matches of September. Given the summer of player turnover throughout Europe, any objective prediction I could make using publicly available data based on last season's results would be shaky, at best, so I believe this is the way to go for now.

As of now the plan is to offer forecasts for the top divisions in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France. Time permitting, I hope to add the UEFA Champions League and Europa League as their group stages get underway.

Enjoy the start of the new season and watch this space come September!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Premier League Match Odds: Final Round

Back for the final time this season to post odds on this weekend's final round of Premier League matches.

With Manchester United winning the title last month and Wigan confirmed as the final relegated team on Tuesday, the only race with long term consequences is for the final Champions League spot between Arsenal and Tottenham (though Arsenal have a chance to move ahead of Chelsea into 3rd). Tottenham need to defeat Sunderland at home and have Arsenal either lose or draw in their game at Newcastle. Using the match forecasts in the table below, Arsenal have a 70.6% probability to finish ahead of their rivals, giving Spurs odds of only 29.4%.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Handicapping the Premier League Top Four and Relegation Races (5/10)

Not going to waste words here as everyone knows the stakes at this point with two games to go. Another 5000 simulations, another new set of odds. Tottenham's draw in Chelsea's ground did not drastically change the picture for the Champions League spots:

Odds of Finishing in the Top Four
Chelsea: 94.1%
Arsenal: 80.5%
Tottenham: 25.4%

Meanwhile, down in the relegation zone, Wigan's defeat at the hands of Swansea has left them as quite unlikely participants in the next Premier League season:

Odds to be Relegated to the Championship
Wigan: 82.1%
Norwich: 9.5%
Newcastle: 6.9%
Sunderland: 1.25%

Aston Villa, Southampton, and Fulham go down at a rate of less than one-tenth of a percent.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Premier League Match Forecasts, May 11-14

Now that I've posted the preview of the Championship Playoffs, all that's left for this football season is the final two rounds of Premier League action, as well as the FA Cup final. I'll be back tomorrow to give an update to the races for the Champions League places, as well as the relegation battle, following the midweek games.

EDIT: Please note that the FA Cup final was treated as a neutral field. Also, if you were to assume that extra time and penalties are a 50/50 proposition, Man City would win the cup 82.5% of the time, leaving 17.5% to Wigan.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Championship Playoff Preview

With Cardiff City and Hull City already locking up their spots in the next Premier League season, the Championship Playoff for the final spot is set to begin.

Using the Poisson goals model, I ran 5,000 simulations of the two-legged first round and the resulting final. The four contenders to grab the final lucrative spot in the top division are profiled here, along with their odds of winning (ranks include clubs currently in the Premier League):

Table position: 3
Goal difference: 27
Attack rating: 2.11 (Rank: 13)
Defense rating: 0.95 (Rank: 31)
Overall: 1.161 (Rank: 22)
Advances over Leicester City at a rate of 51.69% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 28.34% of simulations.
Likely to be the flavor of the neutrals after scoring 85 goals this season, these numbers say that Watford's offense is worthy of a mid-table team at the top level.

Brighton & Hove Albion
Table position: 4
Goal difference: 26
Attack rating: 1.81 (Rank: 26)
Defense rating: 0.65 (Rank: 16)
Overall: 1.162 (Rank: 21)
Advances over Crystal Palace at a rate of 60.55% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 30.30% of simulations.
A shade better than Watford overall in our rankings. Thanks mostly to a draw against the weakest first round opponent, Brighton are favorites to secure a spot in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace
Table position: 5
Goal difference: 11
Attack rating: 1.78 (Rank: 28)
Defense rating: 0.96 (Rank: 34)
Overall: 0.83 (Rank: 29)
Advances over Brighton at a rate of 39.45% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 15.98% of simulations.
The longest shot to gain promotion according to our numbers and the bookmakers, but in a four team knockout, the odds are never all that long.

Leicester City
Table position: 6
Goal difference: 23
Attack rating: 1.90 (Rank: 21)
Defense rating: 0.76 (Rank: 20)
Overall: 1.14 (Rank: 23)
Advances over Watford at a rate of 48.31% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 25.38% of simulations.Crept into the picture on the final day with a huge win over Nottingham Forest. You know, like a fox. Okay, I'm done, I'll be back soon to post weekend match odds for the Premier League, FA Cup Final, and give an update on the top four race. Enjoy the games.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Premier League Top Four and Relegation Odds: May 7

Before tonight's pair of games and tomorrow's massively important Chelsea-Spurs showdown, I re-ran the team ratings, which are updated on their page, to provide the current odds for relegation and Champions League qualification.

Manchester United is obviously locked in for the Champions League with their title in hand, while their local rivals do not fail to finish top four in any of my 5000 simulations for the remainder of the league. That leaves the final two spots to be fought out in London, between Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur. In our sims, Chelsea qualifies 94.52% of the time, having received a huge boost winning at Old Trafford on Sunday. Meanwhile, Arsenal manage to finish in the top four in 82.04% of our seasons, which leaves Spurs behind at 23.46%.

Currently, I have Chelsea as a 55% favorite to defeat Spurs at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, with 27% chance of a draw and only a 18% chance that Spurs come away with a vital win. If they do that, however, it would be a massive boost as Spurs would finish top four 62.9% of the time, with Chelsea's odds dropping to 76.7% and Arsenal's to 60.4%.

At the bottom, with Reading and QPR already down, the final relegation spot looks certain to belong to one of Wigan, Norwich, Newcastle, or Sunderland. The full odds are below for all candidates:

Wigan 47.42%
Norwich 30.62%
Newcastle 14.48%
Sunderland 6.10%
Southampton 0.62%
Aston Villa 0.60%
Fulham 0.16%

I will be back of course to preview the Championship playoffs later in the week!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Champions League, Promotion, and Relegation Odds: May 3

Back to handicap the races for spots in the Champions League, promotion playoffs, and relegation in English football.

Our projections continue to be optimistic for Chelsea and Arsenal, with the outlook even more positive after Spurs dropped points against Wigan. At the bottom, though, even the hard earned point for the Latics wasn't enough to offset Aston Villa's big win on Monday, as they are now heavy favorites to be the final team to go down. Villa's win and Newcastle's horrific form has even opened the door for the possibility of relegation for the Magpies.

In the Championship, with one game to go, Nottingham Forest and Leicester still may have a say in the promotion playoffs. Down below, while Wolves aren't officially relegated, they do not claw their way back into 21st place in any of our 5000 simulations. The final drop spot will likely be contested between Barnsley and Peterborough.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Match Forecasts May 4-8

The calendar has turned to May, and in English football that means that the Premier League is winding down and the lower divisions are finalizing the teams that will be promoted and relegated. For The Football Forecast, it means we don't have League Two poisoning our bet numbers anymore. Also, the numbers finally seem to have caught up to Reading's disastrous managerial change as, at last, they do not see value in victory for the Royals against Fulham this week.

The strong plays are the ones you'd expect from a statistical model: bet the teams with no reason to care to defeat highly motivated sides. This week is a good litmus test, as our Premier League projections see value in West Brom over Wigan, West Ham over Newcastle, and Man United over Chelsea.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

League One Playoff Preview

The League One playoffs begin this weekend to determine which teams advance to the Championship along with Doncaster and Bournemouth. The four candidates are Brentford, Yeovil Town, Sheffield United, and Swindon Town. Swindon was able to sneak in by securing 6th in the table, but they are the favorites, pointing to a far superior goal differential of +33.

Using the Poisson goals model along with the team rankings, I simulated both legs of the first round 5,000 times. The results:

Sheffield United advances over Yeovil Town 63.36% of the time.
Swindon Town advances over Brentford 64.67% of the time.

Going a step further, for each simulation, I ran the resulting final alongside it to handicap each side's chances of promotion:

Swindon Town: 37.60%
Sheffield United: 30.20%
Brentford: 17.34%
Yeovil Town: 14.86%

Currently paying 2.5 to 1, Swindon is easily the best value for a future bet.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Champions League, Promotion, and Relegation Odds: April 25

As we enter the home stretch in the English football season, we again simulate the remainder 5000 times to handicap the races for the Champions League, promotion playoffs, and relegation.

Tottenham gets a big boost after unexpectedly winning against Manchester City, but still appear the least likely of them, Arsenal, and Chelsea to lock up a spot in next season's champions league. Meanwhile, the third relegation spot looks to have come down to Aston Villa or Wigan with QPR and Reading already doomed.

In the Championship, the drama has turned to the playoff spots, as it's likely that three of them will go to Watford, Brighton, and Crystal Palace. Contending for the final spot are Bolton and Leicester, with Nottingham Forest on the outside looking in. When the playoff begins, I will be back to break down each team's chances of gaining promotion to the Premier League.

Match Odds April 27-30

Checking in today to post the odds for this weekend's matches, update the team ratings, and the wagering results.

This is apparently the final weekend of games for League One and League Two. Oddly, the former is the best league so far for the predictions here, while the latter has been disastrous.

As for the Premier League, the best values appear to be on Reading at home against QPR and Sunderland playing away to Aston Villa.

Back soon to forecast the top four, relegation, and promotion races.

Monday, April 22, 2013

England Matches April 22-23

A quick post for odds on the Tuesday English matches you will probably ignore this week while you watch the Champions League semifinal. I have included today's Premier League game from the last post as well too, showing United with a good chance to seal the deal.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Champions League, Promotion, and Relegation Odds: April 19

Back just before this weekend's games to give updated odds for Promotion, Relegation, and Champions League qualification for the top two English divisions, taking into account the Hull City draw earlier today.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Match Forecasts April 19-22

A new week of football is here, with the Champions League semifinals being the cherry on top! In England, we have a full weekend of league fixtures, all of which are projected here for your forecasting pleasure.

I have also updated the team ratings and wagering results accordingly. Back tomorrow with odds for Champions League qualification, relegation, and promotion!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top Four, Relegation, and Promotion odds

Using the current Team Ratings and applying the multinomial projection model, I have simulated the remainder of the season in the top two English football divisions 5000 times to handicap the battles for promotion, relegation, and Champions League entry:

Match Odds April 12 - April 14

After the apocalypse that hit home teams last weekend, let's take a look at the odds for this week according to each model.

Note: I have changed the ratings slightly, they now only go back one season and the weights favoring more recent games are increased. You can find the updated version here, as always.

Both models are quite fond of the value offered for Notts County to defeat Colchester at home at odds of 2.25.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Midweek Fixtures April 9-10

Ouch. After a promising run in testing, the Poisson model managed the incredible feat of getting every Premier League prediction wrong. How could this have happened? The only possible explanation is match fixing orchestrated by Dan Tan. Surely it's not these models.

In the other leagues we saw small losses across the board except for some profits in League Two, where both models tested horribly. On the whole, I'm optimistic that they will net a profit in the long term as they seem to be spitting out fairly reasonable probabilities for each game.

After the action Wednesday I will produce a new set of ratings and run simulations for the remainder of each season in order to predict the battles for the Champions League spots, relegation, and promotion. In the meantime, here are today and tomorrow's fixtures for the lower leagues now that odds have been posted.

This format in Google docs will probably work better than the fusion tables I was previously using. Both models like the value for Millwall to beat Sheffield Wednesday.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekend Tips April 5 - April 8

I have posted the probability of a win, draw, or loss for every team's match this weekend. Let's take a look at the best betting values, according to the consensus of our two models. No games from League 2 will be considered until our performance improves in that arena.

Notts County to win at Bournemouth
Odds: 6.5; Multinomial model: 30%; Poisson model: 27.3%
Bournemouth is looking towards promotion while Notts County is toiling in mid-table of League One, but while our model likes Bournemouth's chances, it cannot resist snatching up Notts at such appealing odds.

Manchester United to defeat Manchester City at Old Trafford
Odds: 2.2; Multinomial model: 50.9%; Poisson model: 57.8%
The title race is all but over, and our numbers see value in United putting the final nail in the coffin at their home ground.

Coventry City to beat Brentford at home
Odds: 2.8; Multinomial model: 43.6%; Poisson model: 46%
Coventry easily has the best goal difference in League One's bottom half and our projections like the value in them defending their home ground against the promotion candidates.

Reading over Southampton at home
Odds: 3.25; Multinomial Model: 35.3%; Poisson: 47.8%
Our numbers love Southampton more than you'd expect (11th overall, 9th best attack) but these odds indicate that the bookies have overlooked Reading's chances to beat them at home as they fight to stay in the top division. Note that our projections do not factor in a new manager for Reading, only last weekend's poor result against Arsenal. Proceed with caution.

Good luck and enjoy the games!

Poisson Model Projections April 5 - April 8

Here are the result probabilities and suggested bets for each of the matches happening in England this weekend from our Poisson model. Bets are in Kelly betting units, this is how we track the profits, a higher number indicates greater confidence. I would recommend staying away from the League 2 games until we see a performance improvement!

Apologies for the format, I'm currently using Google fusion tables, which I'm not sure is the best long term solution. For information on this model and its past performance, please navigate to "More Info".

Multinomial Model Projections April 5 - April 8

Here are the result probabilities and suggested bets for each of the matches happening in England this weekend. Bets are in Kelly betting units, this is how we track the profits, a higher number indicates greater confidence. I would recommend staying away from the League 2 games until we see a performance improvement!

Apologies for the format, I'm currently using Google fusion tables, which I'm not sure is the best long term solution. For information on this model and its past performance, please navigate to "More Info".

Enjoy the games!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hi, thanks for visiting! I have just debuted my team ratings for English football, which you can find permanently linked near the top of the page. I will begin publishing predictions for games this weekend, and for the league finishes (top 4, relegation, promotion) next week. Stay tuned!