Thursday, 25 November 2010

Nonsense And Noise

Mark confirmed my suspicions yesterday that his assessment of form is not based solely on the final score, and that the weighting factors I use probably account for some of the difference between our opinions of Everton.

In Mark's comment, he gives an example of

"If WBA were to beat Chelsea 1-0 it doesn't necessarily mean they were the better side".
Long-time readers with sharp memories will be aware that this is a topic I've touched on many times in the past, going back to at least 5th March 2009, when I wrote:
Goals are obviously important, but in a way, they are overrated. There are 1-0 wins, and there are 1-0 wins. A team can totally dominate and come away with ‘just’ a 1-0 win, or conversely, a team can be totally outplayed and win by that same score, but most systems will look at the two results and treat them the same. One of the interesting items in “Profitable Football Betting” is about the importance of looking past just the results, but looking more deeply into the statistics, in particular shots and corners.

I like this idea, although it is going to take more time to research every game. The author compares a number of systems, and this “Penetration” based system fared extremely well, placing second overall of the fifteen he analysed, and first in a number of categories. He breaks his results down by predicted home wins, draws etc.
Perhaps I put a higher emphasis on the quality of the opposition or on some of the other factors, but certainly for Everton, it still seems a big difference of opinion.

Back to the WBA 1 Chelsea 0 scenario, the beauty of an Elo based ratings system is that WBA do not suddenly leap ahead of Chelsea, which would clearly be nonsense, but a factor such as 'shots-on-goal' can become very subjective. A shot-on-goal could be an effort that tamely rolls up to the goalie, or a shot to the top corner requiring the keeper to make a world-class save. Is a penalty only worth half-a-goal for ratings purposes? and as I wrote realtive recently, is a goal against 10 men worth less than a goal against a full-strength side? As I wrote just a few days ago:
If a team wins, but a star player is injured and likely to miss several games, this should impact the ratings.

If a team loses, but had two players sent-off in the first five minutes of the match, this result should impact the ratings differently to the same result achieved in a match where the opposing team had two players sent off in the first five minutes!

If a team loses but had more shots on goal and more corners than the winning team who won the game on a dubious penalty, this should be factored in.
If I had all the time in the world, every game could be analysed, but I live in the real world with a regular job with football ratings just a small part of my betting / trading life.

I'll let you guess who the commenter is who wrote this:
I've been waiting for ages to see if Cassini would ever twig that a quality ratings system is not based purely on results.
"Waiting for ages!" Classic! It's been out there for at least 21 months! That really is one of the more stupid comments he's made, and he's certainly made a few!
It's not as if the best brains in the business - the guys who both set and move the markets - simply input final scores into a spreadsheet and then put their feet up. But thousands of wannabee pros do just that and expect to have a magic answer. And will come up with nonsense like in the latest post where Spurs were expected to win by nearly 3 goals at home to Bremen.
Yes, complete nonsense - but profitable nonsense. Lucky for me, I don't simply enter final scores into a spreadsheet and that I have no aspirations of becoming a pro. And finally this comment, that could have been taken directly from previous posts of mine:
How you move it on from simply pure results is the tricky bit. There's no single right answer but there is, or should be, a single aim, and that aim is key.
Brilliant! His comments are superfluous noise, but in a way it's amusing that he misses so much.

There's a guy at work who told me yesterday that he had seen Person A on the phone, and then added 'talking to someone about something'. Well I suppose Person A could have been texting, but the additional comment really added nothing of value.

Oh well - the poll clearly suggests most people would like to see an end to his negativity and I have decided to block his tedious and often offensive remarks, comments such as this will not be missed:
Cassini is just some dullard blogger taking thru his arse with his own perceived air of authority. Most of his value bets lose, I read quite a few blogs and like Cassini all the losing ones avoid talking about the real aim of gambling their pnl.
He won't be missed. It's much more pleasant having a reasoned debate with someone like Mark, who puts his own ideas out there for constructive criticism and has some real-world trading / betting experience to draw upon.

Now to enter some final scores into the spreadsheet and come up with the value bets for the weekend.

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