Another new Rangers Report feature: Expected Points v Actual Points

courtesy of PA

written by – Rangers Report

With the season finally upon us, we continue to roll out the new features that will be part of this site.  Alongside our Elo Ratingsyou will find an ongoing table that looks at the Expected Results v the Actual Results for both the Scottish Premiership & the Championship.

It’s very simple, really.  You take the results that the bookmakers expect to happen on a weekly basis & compare then with the actual results.

Simon Gleave, the Head of Analysis for Infostrada Sports, developed this idea & applied a formula to determine the Expected Points for each club in any given match.

On his blog Scoreboard Journalism, Gleave wrote – “League tables showing current form have been used by media for many years and, as data has become easier to store, access and distribute, a variety of league tables can now be easily published to show how teams have performed over the last few matches, the current calendar year, since a particular date etc.”

“However, all of these tables are flawed for one simple reason – they do not take account of the relative strengths of the teams playing in the matches which make up the league table.”

As a season goes on, not only are you going to be able to gauge how authentic a club’s form is, you will also be able to get a real sense of which management teams are maximizing the results their club should be getting.  Conversely, you will also get a sense of which club’s are truly not living up to their potential.

Here is the Expected Points v Actual Points  table for the Scottish Premiership after one week:

Team Exp Points Actual Pts Difference
Motherwell 0.58 3 2.42
Dundee 1.34 3 1.66
Hearts 1.83 3 1.17
Aberdeen 1.94 3 1.06
Celtic 2.93 3 0.07
Ross County 0.02 0 -0.02
Partick Thistle 1.37 1 -0.37
Hamilton 1.4 1 -0.4
Dundee United 0.83 0 -0.83
St Johnstone 0.93 0 -0.93
Kilmarnock 1.4 0 -1.4
Inverness 2.26 0 -2.26

It is clearly very early & the bookmakers are still trying to figure out which teams will be most effected by the turnover in their squads.  Many experts are touting Dundee to be a top six side this season & a month from now probably will be stronger favorites against clubs like Kilmarnock (projected to be a draw in week one).  Also,  the bookmakers are likely in a process of seeing how much a club like Inverness Caley Thistle will be affected by the loss of talent from their squad during the summer.

The main disclaimer here is that the certain teams in each division, like Celtic & Rangers, are nearly always going to be strong favorites to win each of their matches.  Their Expected Points will likely be the maximum available, which means the difference will be minimal for their wins but quite drastic when they lose.

Ben Mayhew has also done extensive work with Expected v Actual results covering the English Championship on his site Stats and Snakeoil.


I will be using Oddschecker to get the odds for each match & will be applying Simon Gleave’s methodology to determine Expected Points each week.

1. Take the (decimal) odds of the three possible results of each match.

2. Divide 1 by each of the odds in order to get the chance of each result.

3. Sum these as the bookmakers will have built in a profit so the calculated
chances will add to more than 1 (in this case the figures we get show that the
bookmakers’ profit is around 7 to 8%.

4. Divide each of our original chances (from step 2) by the sum of the three
chances for each match in order to ensure that the chances of the three
possible results add up to 1.

5. Calculate the expected points by multiplying the win and draw chances for
each club by 3 and 1 respectively.

The table will be updated regularly & can be found here.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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