Premier Leagues – After Completion of Week 13
There have been two rounds of EPL matches since the last article summarizing the results of the simulations at simodds.com. Once the interlull finally ended we've been treated to some excellent matches, several of which had rather large repercussions on the odds. All the odds discussed below were valid immediately after the individual matches. These odds will have changed due to any subsequent matches.
11/22/2014 – Arsenal (1) v Manchester United (2)
The article on 11/7/2014 said “One suspects that, assuming their injury situation resolves, Manchester United will be better than this the remainder of the season”. Although their injury situation hasn't resolved, Manchester United have most certainly improved recently. With three wins in a row, Manchester United's rating has risen from 1789 to 1823. Their victory against Arsenal (at the Emirates) had a particularly large effect.
That win caused Manchester United's odds of finishing top four to rise from 38% to 63%. They are also now more likely to finish above Arsenal in the table. It is difficult to underestimate how important a “six-pointer” against a team's nearest rival for a particular position in the table can be. It is even more important as the away team.
Arsenal, on the other hand, had their rating drop to 1803 after this match and their top four odds declined from 66% to 54%. Why did their rating not drop as much as Manchester United's climbed? For the answer, please see...
11/23/2014 – Crystal Palace (3) v Liverpool (1)
Quoting from the same 11/7/2014 article mentioned above, “It can tell you that Liverpool is showing every indication of declining to a new, and much lower, performance level”. They then lost away to Crystal Palace.
ELO odds take into account home field advantage, the relative skill difference between the two opponents, and the margin of victory. Liverpool's rating dropped from 1804 to 1783 after this match, which is an impressively large decline. Perhaps more impressive was their decline in top four odds. They dropped 40% to 17% because of one match, played in November, that was not even against one of their direct competitors!
Can Liverpool dig their way out of this hole? Sure, the simulation still sees a 1 in 5 chance they will claw their way back into the Champions Leagues. Their form since this match has improved marginally.
For the Crystal Palace fans, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Crystal Palace's odds of relegation, from this one match, declined from 44% to 21%. It really helps when a relegation team picks up three unexpected points.
11/22/2014 – Stoke City (1) v Burnley (2)
The Brittania has not been the fortress of old for Stoke City this season. However, Burnley were the big beneficiaries and their odds of relegation declined from 73% to 57% from this match. Interestingly, this result did not do much for Stoke's relegation or top seven odds. Both hardly moved and both remained low.
11/30/2014 – Southampton (0) – Manchester City (3)
One point from four possible and Southampton is sliding. The Manchester City match caused their top four odds to drop from 28% to 15% and their top seven odds from 83% to 70%. If they win a couple of their difficult upcoming matches then their odds should stabilize around this level. If they lose them all the odds of top four will plummet to zero quickly. This match, in particular, has created a stable top four (for the moment!) of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal.
This win did bump Manchester City's odds of winning the league from 7% to 14%. However, that was due more to Chelsea' draw against Sunderland than Manchester City's strong performance.
11/29/2014 – QPR (3) v Leicester City (2)
A highly entertaining match also had six pointer implications. This win lowered QPR's odds of the drop from 81% to 64%. Leicester City odds increased 27% to 44%. Ouch. The last article said “However, I suspect the ratings are skewed a bit high because of lingering Championship adjustment effects. Leicester City’s odds of relegation will likely increase over the next several weeks.” Since this was written, Leicester has gained one point from four against weak opposition and their odds have increased accordingly.
Arsenal and Tottenham each had significant victories in their last matches. Although the jump in odds were not huge, both teams have cemented positions in the top four and top seven respectively. December is often considered the month when wheat is thoroughly separated from chaff. It will be interesting to see if the odds reflect this common wisdom come New Years. Certainly the odds are starting to show distinct separation, in the top four in particular.