Wednesday 17 October 2012

GW8 What The Bookies Think

Despite my Analytical Powers! there is a group of people who have invested millions of pounds and years of intellectual prowess into predicting football scores - they are called bookmakers.  Whilst he bookmakers don't really give much of a damn about Fantasy Football they do have a vested interest in predicting the results and likely goalscorers.

In contrast to my personal rankings for GW8 here's a look at how William Hill view the weekend's fixtures.  I am not a gambler, never have been, nor do I frown upon it whatsoever., but the data is clearly useful from a fantasy perspective.

I'll take a look later at how my rankings contrast with those of the bookies.   It's fair to say that if my rankings and the bookies agree then it's a good call for the result. 

One thing to say up front though is the bookies don't just look at the prediction of the result - they also forecast the expected market for a team or fixture.  Popular teams like United and City, as well as "attractive fixtures" garner more interest from punters than unfashionable teams or hard to call fixtures and the bookmaker will reflect this in their odds. 



  1. One comment to make as someone who does gamble (and knows quite a lot about it :) ): bookmakers aren't necessarily trying to predict the outcome of a game, they are trying to ensure that the bets are evenly distributed. Now, team power ratings go into that, but there is more than a little influence from public affinity for certain teams.

    What I am saying is that a team like Man U will have a ton of followers and thus more casual fans will almost certainly be drawn to them versus, say, a team like Southampton. As a result, the odds for the most popular teams tend to be a bit skewed, although the difference is probably pretty minor. It is there nonetheless.

    Something to keep in mind as I would presume our models would not have such built in bias.

  2. I made a point to this effect in my last paragraph. I'm going to explore the differences in the bookies rankings compared to mine some more in a seperate post.

  3. Aye. Sorry about that mate. For some reason, I seemed to miss it even though it's right in front of my face!