Monday, 11 March 2013

Football Sim: 9/10 March performance review

The four fixtures played on Saturday seem to have been acknowledged by everybody on my Twitter feed as 'a bit tricky'. I placed small bets on each game again, not really to gamble but because it keeps me honest. If I'm forced to actually pick a result, then there's no making excuses afterwards and claiming the model did ok when it was poor, or that I'd really have gone for a draw in the end, not a home win. When you're only looking at percentage chances of a result, it's easy to convince yourself that some of the bad forecasts were random chance.

From Saturday's forecasts, I'm fairly happy with the percentages that the model turned out, with the exception of QPR. The bookies said QPR would win. Other models said it was close. My model said Sunderland would win.

When Sunderland scored first I was feeling pretty smug, but then QPR got three and that was that. I've only seen the highlights but it looked like QPR deserved it, so I'm going to do some diagnostics on that one and work out what went wrong.

I changed my mind on the predictions at the last minute, after re-running the sim with confirmed starting line-ups. This led to a switch from draws in Norwich v Southampton and West Brom v Swansea, to picking Norwich and Swansea wins for betting purposes (N.b. even though I picked Swansea for a bet, West Brom had the highest chance of winning that game.)

Overall, I had on Saturday:

Reading v Villa - Away Win - Won
QPR v Sunderland - Away Win - Lost
Norwich v Southampton - Home Win - Lost
West Brom v Swansea - Away Win - Lost

And on Sunday:

Liverpool v Tottenham - Home Win - Won
Newcastle v Stoke - Home Win - Won

50% correct, which is pretty much bang on the model's average. We were a missed penalty away from getting Norwich right too.

Betting with £10 stakes again, you'd be £3.30 up. Hardly setting the world on fire but a win's a win and that's wins two weeks in a row (four actually, but I didn't blog the first two so they don't count).

I'm going to spend some time with shot calibration this week, if I can find the time, and will try to post about that at some point. Goalscoring in the model is hard to get right, because there aren't that many historical goals per player to set the conversion chances. We see hundreds of passes every game, but only a couple of goals and the model is quite sensitive to the settings for each player's chance of a shot being a goal. I'm pretty sure there are some performance gains to be had here.

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