How to predict goals in a football match

How to predict goals in a football match

So there’s a lot of interest in previous
videos that have done around football matches and how to work out the
mechanics of all match and historical data and the like like that so I think
it’s worth doing a few videos on football and giving you some of the
knowledge that you’ll need to participate effectively in football
matches but we’re going to start right at the beginning which is we need to
talk about goals that’s what we’re going to talk about in this video please like
or dislike the video or leave a comment below that will allow me to produce
better videos and more of them in the future
so yeah the basics of football okay the first thing you learn about football is
its highly variable why is that the case and that is because you’ve got a fixed
time limit you’ve got the possibility of a match ending in a draw and also you
don’t tend to have that many goals during a match on average the number of
goals is relatively small and because of that football tends to be variable but
also it can throw up unexpected results you know there’s an incentive not to
concede a goal because you can get a draw but also if you look at at ninety
three minutes or you know 9600 depending upon the extra time that’s added on to a
football match and it’s quite possible that a goal could go in accidentally or
by a complete fluke and actually win the match so the first thing to point out is
it’s really hard to you know nail a prediction you can you know push
something in the right direction you can say that something is likely to happen
or less likely to happen but if people say – you all are united gonna win it
the weekend the only thing you can really say is well they’ve got an X
percent chance of winning and there’s a standard deviation of Y which will mean
that that doesn’t occur but of course nobody wants to hear that and I remember
going to a football match not so long ago and people saying what do you think
of the first half and I gave them this statistical analysis of what happened in
the first half and they just laughed and said no actually you know did you enjoy
it well the problem is once you get into that mindset it’s difficult to throw it
away so you know you’re looking at a team you want them to win but you know
in reality that because there are only a few goals again
that luck could have a part of it and they could play really well but not win
and that’s the nature of football now when you’re looking at League
competitions there’s an incentive to draw and in knockouts European
competition there’s an incentive to get an away goal but when you’re looking at
outright Cup competitions you know it’s winner-takes-all so you’re
like you can play a much bigger part in a Cup competition than it does within
the league so the first thing you need to do is you need to separate out each
of these into their component areas to analyze them properly
and and that’s why when people ask me about the ratings I often say to people
I’m great at domestic football they’re not so great at Cup or European
competition because all the adjustments required to adapt for that make that a
little bit harder whereas on European European on domestic leagues
I’ve actually got loads and loads of data so for English football I’ve
actually updated going back to 1888 more 1889 because there’s not that many
matches I got in 1888 but for every single match I’ve got yeah for as many
matches as I can get I’ve got all of the data surrounding it in terms of what
happened in the match how it happened how many goals were scored when they
were scored and so on and so forth and the advantage of having a database like
that is you can cross compare situations so you can actually look at scenarios
that was similar and and compare them with scenarios that are coming up over
the next weekend and so on and so forth and that’s part of how I form my
judgment is going back through that database to cross compare similar
looking sets of matches so for example I can look at a match this weekend
highlight the key characteristics behind it and then I can map it against that
database to look at all of the information that came spinning out of it
and that’s a way of looking at some of the data but you know that’s probably
more appropriate for another video is what we want to talk about here is goals
and as you mentioned otherwise I mentioned a little bit earlier I was
saying that football is very variable and the reason for that is you generally
get small number of goals in a match so over 93 96 minutes or so you’re going to
get less than three goals on average in a match
and therefore you know you could get to three goals really quickly and then none
for the rest of the match or you may get none for the entire match and so on and
so forth so typically what you do is you start
when you’re looking at assessing a match and what chance there is of there being
absolutely no goals at all and how would you do that well again you go back to
historic because what we’re trying to do is we’re not trying to predict what’s
going to happen in the actual match itself and then what we’re trying to do
in this video is understand how many goals are likely to be scored and how
that influences all of the other elements within the match so if you
actually do a plot of all of those matches from 1889 and plot it forward
you get this lovely graph that occurs which I should shall magically appear in
front of you I have it down here I’m going to read it to you so you don’t
have to look at me looking down when the graph appears but if you look at this
graph this is an analysis of English football all the goals scored in every
match for over 100 years and what you notice first of all if you look at the
blue line the blue line Peaks around two to three goals per game and this is
where you get the average number of goals in a match so the average number
of goals over many decades now for a long period of time averages out at
about two point six goals per game and so you can tell that you know whenever
you based your decision on how many goals that you’re going to likely to
have an again that’s where you’d start you’d start right down the middle and
you’d say I think they’re going to be two point six goals again now you can
see that if you go to the left on that blue line their chance of having no
goals at all in a game is about 7% so on average about 7% of games will end up
with no goals at all and that could be for any number of reasons maybe both
teams aren’t very good at scoring goals and therefore they get no goals or maybe
it’s just luck that you know that hits the post to goal is disallowed it’s
offside somehow the goalkeeper close it away
from the line and it wasn’t awarded a goal and various things thereon I
actually think that nil nil is quite hard to predict because they sort of
come out of the blue and it can be a really competitive match an
uncompetitive match it sort of comes out of the blue so I find that the hardest
to predict is if a match is going to be you know you know it occurs that
regular sort of raid it’s going to be sort of depending upon the structure of
match seven or eight percent so odds at eight would be twelve and a half and
decimal odds and you can say that that’s going to occur with a certain amount of
regularity by predicting it as a little bit harder however if I you can see
therefore you know the graph rises rapidly from one to two goals and then
it tells off a little bit but it’s a slightly shallower on the right-hand
side so that’s the curve that’s the distribution of goals that you tends to
look at you will pitch it at two point six probably favor a few more goals for
uncompetitive matches but if you’re trying to predict less than that it’s
you can see the the graph falls away a little bit steeper on the left-hand side
but when I look at a match and when I come up with football ratings I’m
looking at the profile of the match and I’m sort of saying well on average
there’s going to be two point six goals and I’m going to nudge it in one
direction or the other depending upon what I expect to see in the match and
you when we do another video we’ll talk about the draw because you tends to look
at how many goals are on match then you actually price up the draw and then you
go forward and do all of the other things in the match but yeah you know my
center point is two point six and then I’ll move up or down according to how
many goals I think it going to be scored if you look at a historical data set
like you know this team haven’t scored in six games that doesn’t mean that
they’re more likely not to score in the next game so there was a match last
night with Derby who was struggling to score and they won to nil away and it’s
a common trap to fall into it’s a classic gamblers fallacy trap where you
see a sequence of you know results occurring and therefore you you suddenly
imply more importance on the next match when in fact you can’t do that it
doesn’t work like that the ability you know there may be some evidence within
there but unless if you can describe what’s going on it could be that they
were just really unlucky and you know like I said they hit the post goal was
disallowed you know some dodgy offside decisions and so on and that’s why the
Golden go in but they’re probably creating the chances they just haven’t
taken them or it could be that they were up against a team that had very good
defensive record and you may not even know that yet
take you know a third of the season to go before you realize that it’s the
structure of the team that stopped them during that little period of winning or
not scoring or something they’re in they’re off so anyway sent to point two
point six and then you’re saying you know are we going to go above a brother
I know it sounds weird talk in terms of 0.6 of a goal or 0.7 or 0.3 but what
you’re doing is you’re saying if this mattress played a hundred times on
average how many goals would be scored in this type of match and that’s where
you’re getting your average figure form and it’s an important to work like that
but also that explains to you why it’s so hard to get a result correct if
you’re trying to tip a tipping is is sort of suicide on football because you
know the team may have had enough shots and action on the pitch to have scored
two or three goals and actually end up scoring none just through you know blind
bad luck so it’s very hard to get it right and I suffer from this when people
I go to Fort Hodge people say what’s the score going to be Peter then and I can’t
tell them and yet they always forced me to make a decision on it so I just give
them the most common score that’s likely to occur and hey presto very often a
notice and I look like genius all I’ve done is just picked the most
common score based upon the bias that I see within the match but if you look at
this graph again one of the things that you’ll notice is I’ve plotted the home
and the away team so you can see if you look at the home team they tend to sort
of peak here one or two goals per game and then it tells off significantly but
you can see that the chance of them getting no goals in a game is a several
of just under 20% but then you flip to the weighting and you can see the chance
of them not scoring is much much higher so what you’re looking at there is home
advantage and if you look at the number of goals that are likely to be scored in
a game then I pretty much automatically twist the model to be 0.4 of a goal
favorable to the home team because point four of a goal is what you see with home
advantage home advantage is worth point four of a goal which when there is only
an average of two point six goals per game is pretty significant that’s you
know is very significant you can see as we go to the right-hand side of the
graph it just tails off and then the chance screen four five six or so
angles tails off fairly dramatically and typically from a coaching perspective if
you’re in a two nil lead and you’re only expecting two point six goals in a game
and there are thirty minutes left what do you do would you go on the attack and
try and win it three or four nil or do you just sit back thinking well they’re
not going to score two goals in 30 minutes or it’s very unlikely and that
is what tends to happen so that explains that you know really thin tail when
you’re looking at games with many more girls and I tweeted the other week where
I said I can’t remember which match was I think this man United went for nil up
a half time and I said you know teams that race to a significant lead at
halftime tends to sit back and the match ended up for one and that’s a common
characteristic because from a coaching perspective and from a player
perspective why risk much more when you can just sit back defend deep knowing
that if the average number of goals is quite small over a match that if you
defend and don’t make any stupid mistakes don’t get injured and don’t do
any of those things don’t get booked red carded etc etc and then you’re probably
quite likely to win a game without a fuss and just why bother risking it so
you tend to finance a characteristic a lot of matches teams tend to defend a
lead rather than attempt to add to it which can be frustrating from a fan’s
perspective because you want them to absolutely stuff the away team but you
can’t think like that in in those sort of terms tactically that’s an inept
attitude so especially from a coaching perspective you tend to do the thing
that gets you the result which very typically is defending and the you know
that’s the way the football works and it can be a little bit boring that way but
if we merge all of those statistics together and stick them into a matrix we
can put the away team at the top and the home team down the side and then we can
actually look at how those two things begin to interact and it’s quite funny
really because if you want to be clever and you want to be assured of getting
the right result most of the time the best results to pick for a particular
matches one all because actually one all occurs much more frequently than any
other type of result in fact it occurs about just under twelve percent of the
time so actually came close to winning a
tipping competition once and all that I did was going every week and just enter
1 or 1 or 1 or 1 or 1 or 1 or which was absolutely hilarious I beat I came over
how and it was about 80,000 people or nearly 80,000 because I didn’t win the
competition there were people above me just by predicting the most common score
so people were inserting their knowledge and bias into the market and
successfully getting completely the wrong school so the next graph I’m going
to throw up actually shows you all of the potential results so across the top
you have the away team and the amount of goals they score and then down the left
you have the home team and how many goals they’re going to score and I’ve
shaded it so that you can actually see where the most common occurrence of
scores are and you can see actually from that perspective that merges the data
that we saw in the previous graph quite well and focuses you in on what the most
common score lines are within football and you can see it’s biased towards the
home team but if you look at the home team you can see that they tend to score
a goal or two girls quite frequently and the away team is more likely to score
one goal less likely to score two and may actually not score any at all so
from that you can begin to cluster together the most common occurrences now
along the bottom what I’ve done is I’ve added up all of those totals as well so
you can see that for the home team I’ve circled away team nil-nil sorry add
no goals let’s do that properly for the away team no goals adds up to nearly 34%
of the time and one goal adds up to 36% of the time
two goals is only 19 percent of time then you can see scoring three goals
away from home it tails off quite significantly
apart from if you’re playing West Ham at the moment it seems sorry if your West
Ham supporter eye everybody has to go through that Marron again and it’s not
pleasant I’m sure their form will return soon but if you look on the other side
of the graph this is the number of goals on average to the home team I likely to
score so you can see scoring and no goals it goes 18 percent of the time and
scoring one goal 30 percent of the time to girls 24 percent and then again it
tails off a little but not as steep as the away team and if you wanted to work
out the chance of like a 2-1 all you do is
add up both those columns if you sort of said you know I want my team to win by
two one you can actually multiply those two end numbers and then that will give
you their likelihood of the result it should I haven’t checked that but that’s
what it should do so yeah the number of goals within football gives you a clue
as to how the match is going to play out and there’s a bias towards the home team
so when you look at that bias towards the home team is worth generally about
0.4 of a goal and that’s generally reflected in all of the stats that you
can see and if you want to look at the average number of goals in an actual try
and work out how many goals are going to occur in a match then you would tend to
use that total goals graph that we saw before you put yourself in the middle
and you say well based upon the defensive record based upon the
attacking records I think they’re going to be less goals so we start to push it
down a level and based upon you know a good attack or a weak defense you’d
start to push it up a level and you know this team’s at the top of league versus
team at the bottom you tend to push the model towards three goals in the match
and if it’s a very competitive match and it’s between two teams they’re very
close to each other in the league and there’s not much to separate them it
could be at the bottom it could be a top or whatever then you tend to push it
down towards two goals but generally you won’t find me forecasting outside the
range of two to three goals it will fall somewhere in that range because you
can’t forecast an eel nail you can’t forecast no goals at all all you can say
is that there is a chance that that could occur but you wouldn’t actively
forecast it because what you’re doing is you’re saying there’s a standard
deviation here’s your forecast of you know two point four goals and in fact
there could be an extra goal on top of that or there could be one less you know
you plot your standard deviation around that center point so you pick your
center point being two point seven or maybe two point two and then you accept
that there could be goals going for on goals not going in on that particular
match and that would affect the outcome but it’s you’re looking at that center
point it’s the most important thing because if you do that accurate over a
long period of time then you tend to produce pretty consistent and good
results but yeah in terms of average number of goals two point six in terms
of the specifics of those two point six goals have a look at the
because this tells you the total number of girls and average that occur within a
match and the frequency which they occur how they’re distributed to the home when
you’re waiting and if you’re looking at a three one or two nil or a tool or
something like that have a look at the second graph and that actually plots
that out beautifully for you and shows you what are the most common occurrence
within a match once you’ve got your head round that and we can start to move on
to specific topics so I’ll follow up on other videos with detail about certain
things and logically you tend to start with the draw when you’re looking at a
football match I know that may sound unusual to some of you but we’ll cover
that in the next video once you’ve digested what I’ve said about total
goals in a football match anyway I hope that’s been helpful for you please
comment and like if you do if you do comment and like more frequently and ask
me questions I read all of them and I’ll take that forward to the next video so I
hope that’s been helpful for you and look forward to giving you the next
video on this subject click here to subscribe to our You Tube channel you’ll
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62 Replies to “How to predict goals in a football match”

  1. Hey Peter this comment isn't about trading, I have seen pretty much all of your videos and this one you look pretty rough lol?. Take a day off and play some golf you deserve it.

  2. Great video Peter. With the second graph I'm not clear how you are calculating your percentages for each field. Is it, for example for 2-1, an average of the likelyhood of 2 goals scored by the home side and the likelyhood of 1 goal scored by the away side?

    If you're doing more of these, a video on forecasting time of goals, especially time of the first goal, would be great. Thanks for this!

  3. Great video with a lot of useful tips however i cant understand why you are giving away your hard earned secrets and diluting the edge you have!

  4. Fascinating video – very good quality content, thank you very much. Looking forward to the follow-up with baited breath.

    Do you also have data for goal times? I.e. would you be able to say that, when the result in a match is 1-1, the first goal will on average be scored during minutes 40 to 50 (for e.g.)?

  5. Also, when you are trading on football, do you watch each game that you trade on? I would find it difficult to trade on games I'm not watching – I like to get a feel for the tempo and mentality of the teams.

  6. i think nobody is as good in euro football as domestic … it is a mess ! 🙂 great interesting graphs btw Thanks, hope keep them coming

  7. Great video as always Peter. Can I ask what tool(s) you use to do your comparisons and calculations on your database?

  8. Really interesting stuff Peter. Out of interest, based on historical results, are confident enough in your model, that if nothing else existed (Betangel, horse trading etc), you could make a full time living solely from Football betting / trading?

  9. Thanks Peter. That's the type of video I was talking about last time. I'm waiting fornext one's about this topic but I have one question. I know it's not hard to find results for English Premier League but how can I find that many results for eg. Chilean Premier League. Because I understand the more historic results the better prediction I will get.

  10. Fascinating as always. I'd be interested to know if you've ever done any analysis on how accurate Betfair's exchange SP odds are of an event actually occurring. In short, just how Wise is the Betfair Crowd?

  11. Great video Peter. Reassuring to know I am doing very similar things to you in my research.In your dataset of games from 1888, I wondered if you noticed a difference in goals when 3 points for a win was introduced?  I would have thought that would provide an increased incentive to score.

  12. Thanks Peter – really interesting and "de mything" all the nonsense and exaggeration about score predictions. Very useful analysis, even way back a hundred years +!! It would be useful to see what you take from this into action – i.e. do you tend to set a position on the under's pre start or wait and determine how the match is going? What about automation in BA for football, what do you recommend? Cheers

  13. Good video but don't the bookies have this covered? If 0-0 is 7-8% occurence then you need odds of better than 12/1 to get any value in the market. You will see this but only where a strong side is playing a weaker one.

    Likewise 1-1 is a common score (11-12%) then typically this is offered at 7/1 to 10/1 depending on the teams so really no value in this bet and the under 2.5s odds are poor as well.

  14. Excellent Peter! I use a mathematical model to calculate CS for specific games based on most recent data, and use this to see if their is value in any of the CS from my model and those being offered. Its in its infancy but has thrown up a couple of excellent value CS's, but a long term trial of the model is the goal. Teams need to settle so to speak this season and then i believe the data may be more reliable. Look forward to the follow ups.

  15. Very interesting, I am interested in trying to build a database stats model around Premier League games that finish Exactly 2 or 3 Goals. The bookmakers offer 2.0 on this occurring but if I can work out the goal expectancy/ frequency.

    If you like to contribute your thoughts great, trying to implement this as a betting strategy lets hope it may take off!!!

  16. When you say "in football" are you collecting data from every single match world-wide including friendlies or is the data used in the graph for a certain league?

  17. interesting Peter, but would you not say that 100 years ago there used to be many more goals per game (6-2, 5-4 etc) and this would have given you a different chart thanif you'd only plotted games from say 1970 onwards, for example?

  18. studying your chart it seems more likely that 6 or more goals in a game is more likely than a 0-0 result, surprising.

  19. Peter, have you considered setting up a tipping service for betfair exchange only? Maybe a combination of back/lay trading mixed with regular backing. The issue of bookmakers restricting & closing accounts, usually on little more than a few wins in a row, seems to be getting more & more common.

  20. i totally agree i also get the average goals scored and conceded by the teams in that year and against that opponent to give a little more accuracy on their currently form

  21. @peterwebb @betangle you can quickly buy /sell, lay/ back then end trade without loses because you very good. what research is needed, surly its 5 min thing? lol

  22. I love your channel peter, I am new at trading and still can't get my head around some aspects of trading but I have just made a few good trades, the best return being in the super bowl at half time I layed the the eagles who had taken a shock lead in the game and then cashed out as soon as the patriots scored in the second half, not a huge profit but it was just more a practice but it worked.

  23. Hi Peter mate. I gotta tell you av just stumbled across your channel, researching for my son really. He's just signed up to Betfair and he had a gouple of win bets win and a couple of lay bets he copped on. As I'm sure you can guess!!! Yes he immediately thinks he's KING of the PUNTERS, this is bloody easy Dad I'm gonna be a millionaire, you know the way us punters are (us meaning to seperate you from the us) compared to a true Professional gambler. So I immediately told him to '' Pull his Horns'', and tried to explain to him that it looks easy but you can catch plenty of colds. At this point I should explain to you, I've been a punter and gambler all my life and have bought probably every system known to man or variations of them. Also used many tipping lines too and most tipsters couldn't tip a waiter and as another of your videos explains (this is the 3rd video of yours I've watched) there are many scams afoot. I can say though, I've considered a passion to find a way to beat the bookie, hence over the years I'd collate stats from the whole spectrum and I have to tell you that my belief, where (if ever they could possibly have) the bookies achilles heel lies is with football matches. Is why I love this video you are doing, cos I swear, I used to get the longlist saturday footy coupon every week. I did the stats for averages of each match score, I amassed maybe 3 seasons or so straight of results, I'm accepting nowhere near as your from 1878 or whichever year you stated. Anyway, by the by, although what is truely relevant is that the stats are a remarkable accurrate siimilar/identical average season upon season decade upon decade, The first stat, where the bookie scrambles on having right, I say scramble cos they adopted it basically from THE POOLS which is the 1-1 draw averaged the best of an average of just about or over 7 a week and 8 score draws was the magic pools jackpot and hence the POOlS Firms gaining their edge of just under one score draw. My list in order ish of scores went 1-1 then home wins 1-0, then 2-1 then 2-0 and then 0-0 I believe. Obviously the away wins an identikit-ish of previously mentioned home wins. 3-3 if i recall would average between 2 and 3 i think and 3-2 0r 2-3 were an equal average. I used to love the edge we had the punter beginning with that lucky 15 bet that gave you triple odds for one winner. When your doing scores back then the shortist price would be the 1-1 at normally 11/2 and 1-0 could be as skinny as 6/1 and 2-0 could go low as 13/2 but not predictably often. Cut long story short, if Cheltenham is the ''Punters Graveyard''. Well the footy score odds combined with you lucky 15 triple odds one winner was the ''Punters' Paradise''. Right, sorry about all that flim flam but I guess my ego got better of me there. So what it is you seem, a real genuine honest man and I told my son before he runs, learn to walk. I went on to tell him, if you master the art, cos is an art, the art of not being a gambler and being disciplined then you can be a success at edging and arbing . One problem is son, I told him. we (again Peter we as in punters and not yourself) all think we can do it, be disciplined, but we can't, av to take the gambers stance at some stage, cos we're gamblers. He says he gets it. I told him he has to watch your videos, study one of your methods to the point of A plus as if it was an exam grade. Then, once he knows it like the alphabet backwards, to then go online and play and to not deviate in any which way, but to ply it religously as is explained, i went on to ad lib IT AINT BROKE SO DON'T NEED FIXING. I've also told him, that this fella (your good self) talks to you and not AT or DOWN to you, which, in my view makes him a very good teacher and you (my son) is to look at you (your good self) as HIS MENTOR. In ending this script of 'War and Peace' to you Peter the angel. I'd to afford you that compliment, as is another art I guess you have mastered the art of talking/teaching without being condescending and I believe (I consider myself a good judge of character) you're genuine and really would like to help people improve their gambling techniques. Lets face it though Peter most gamblers cant spell technique let alone apply it lol. Please if you wish to reply my email address is [email protected] thanks mate for taking time out to read this

  24. That’s an awful lot of historical data, way back to 1899. The one thing that sticks out from all your videos etc is your dedication and your meticulous approach. I think it’s forgotten sometimes and people just want a do I back or lay at whatever point answer. My question is, A – did you enjoy that half of football (you didn’t actually say) And B – how did you go about collecting and plotting such vast amounts of data? It’s this that seems one of the biggest mysteries to me. Another great video though ?

  25. You can not totally rely on the complete past history between two teams as you also have to take into consideration personnel changes. Recent history in the last 2 years is relevant and it is also worth looking at teams current form against similar teams . If you are looking at Man U V Man City it is worth looking to see who they have played recently and if they have both played the same team. Say if both have played a team in the top 5 and then the bottom half and look at the scores to gauge their current form. Another factor that was not mentioned is injured players. Are the key players in the starting line up and are they in form scoring goals.

    That fascinated me concerning the most common score being 1-1. I remember doing the pools and you had to get the score draws. Out of 60-70 games on the coupon it was still difficult to get the draws otherwise they wouldn't do the pools if it was easy to predict the draws . I currently have a betting strategy laying the draws under certain market conditions and out of 390 games 95 were draws and 44 ere 1-1. Next highest is 32 0-0. Currently considering revising strategy and laying the draw backing 1-1. Interesting stuff though….
    Two draws this afternoon 4/12/18 what was the score ? 1-1.

  26. If you were to collate goal information from premier league teams would you need 100 games of stats per team to get a decent average or could you do it with less? Great video BTW

  27. In the last 5 years of premiership, the percentage of 1-1 is down to around 9.95% i think 🙂 Please dont tell me my spreadsheet i wrong, i might cry lol

  28. Fantastic as always Peter. There was a comment further down, where someone asked you to provide so type of trading service I would be a member straightway!!

  29. Haven't bookmakers essentially done all this analysis for you as reflected in the odds they offer? Naturally they'd probably be somewhat skewed, but I imagine they should still give some relative indication e.g. if the odds of 2-1 was say 4.0 and the odds of 3-0 was 9.0 then you know that 2-1 should be much more likely!?

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