Sunday, 22 August 2010

Barking On Simple Mathematics

With nine visits to the blog in the last 24 hours, Anonymous from Barking and Dagenham is one of my most loyal followers.

He's also a rather confused individual.

As some of you may have followed over the last few posts, Barking Anon has made some faitly dismissive comments on my assessment of Chelsea's superiority going in to the Wigan game.

As I said yesterday, "one game, especially one so early in the season, does not prove anything" but my point is that dismissing -2.5 goals simply because "no team has ever been 2.5 goal favourites away before" makes absolutely no sense to me. Sports and markets are constantly changing, and the Premier League today is certainly no exception.

Barking Anon seems to be suffering from cognitive dissonance. Having a set belief, such as that the maximum superiority for an away team in the Premier League is two goals, is dangerous. Failing to accept this results in misperception, rejection or refutation of the data, and the seeking of support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others to restore consonance. I am not sure anyone out there also believes there should be a two goal limit on away team superiority, but perhaps Barking Anon will find some support among his "statistical expert" friends. Well, probably not.

Rather than respond to my reasoning with counter-ideas, the sour grapes result in this:

Such a poor post, in so many different ways.

Best leave the over-confident Cassini in the belief his ratings system is accurate despite being at odds with all statistical experts in this field.

I look forward to seeing Chelsea at -3.5 at home to Wigan later this season. It's pretty much the same thing. We'll see.
Leaving aside for the moment the fact that I clearly said "one game, especially one so early in the season, does not prove anything", hardly an approach suggesting any over-confidence, it should be more obvious to all that over-confidence is reflected in ill-reasoned (and self-described as "confident") comments such as "I can confidently state a team has never been a 2.5 goal favourite away from home in the Premiership. And nor are Chelsea this weekend."

More evidence that Barking Anon is confused can be found in these two contradictory comments:
[21.Aug 22:31] -3.5 at home is pretty similar (not quite the same) as being -2.5 away v the same team. There's such a thing as home advantage.
[20.Aug 21:03] And home advantage sure as hell isn't worth a whole goal.
2.5 plus 1 doesn't equal 3.5? I would suggest that Barking Anon is at odds with all statistical experts in this field [of simple mathematics].


Anonymous said...


Think a little harder about that last comment of mine which you have tried to mock about home advantage. You've shown yourself up big time there Cassini.

Simple question:

If home advantage were to be worth a whole goal. And, let's humour you and say Chelsea are 2.5 goal favourites away to Wigan, what would they be at home?

Oh, by the way, I've never said you can't have more than a two goal favourite away from home. I have simply pointed to historical evidence which means your suggested away supremacy for the match in question suggests the gulf between Wigan and Chelsea is so much more than between any other Premiership teams (ever).

Anonymous said...

How did your suggested bets go by the way? Any winners?

Cassini said...

Anonymous said...

Is that your way of avoiding my question? Or avoiding the answer that makes you the one who looks like a statistical fool.

Anonymous said...

After reading all the comments on your blog, Ayn Rand's first book the "The Fountain Head" springs to mind.
Enjoy the compliments