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.

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