Modelling Versus Instinct

Modelling Versus Instinct

Modelling Versus Instinct

In one of my articles from last week I once again looked for data driven betting excellence in the English Premier League and although that meant the dusting off of ‘PremBot’ there was also something of a twist to the tale.

That’s because, not only was I set to test the ability of ‘PremBot’ but it was also set to go up against gut instinct and it was a gut that came not from me but from my very own flesh my blood, as my brother offered up his own raft of predictions.

However, his were not data driven football predictions, instead they were a simple offering from gut instinct and now we’ve set the scene, it is time to quickly recap what those picks looked like:


Modelling Versus Instinct


Chelsea Tottenham – H

Crystal Palace Newcastle United – A
Burnley Bournemouth – D
Sheffield United Brighton – H
Southampton Aston Villa – H
Leicester Manchester City – A
Manchester United Watford – H
Wolverhampton Wanderers Norwich – H
Arsenal Everton – D
Liverpool West Ham – H

In addition to that, there were two action points and they were:

a) do better than 60%
b) do better than my brother


After a quick reminder of the results from last weekend, we cancelled each other out and both got 6 out of 10 correct and that means in this first week of modelling versus instinct, neither method came out on top.

Ultimately this means, that neither action point was meant, because:

a) I got 60% but not over
b) I matched my brother

However, that of course is as close as you can get to not succeding and more importantly it shows another above-average in week in terms of correct predictions from a ‘PremBot’ point of view and for the second gameweek in a row, there has been a 60% success rate.

What that does for the overall success rate, is that leaves me with 58 correct picks from 120 – giving me a percentage rate of 48.3% – up 1.1% from the previous effort and also edging closer to halfway and a bit more respectibility.

While 50% is perhaps the barometer that any gut instinct predictions should be measured by, so I guess I need to give my brother a pat on the back, even if I didn’t manage to get the better of him this time around.

Although with that said, with our picks not being a million miles apart, this was always going to be something of a danger because how much variance between the two samples were there – something that looks like this:

Chelsea Tottenham – H (I picked Draw) Different

Crystal Palace Newcastle United – A (I picked Palace) Different
Burnley Bournemouth – D (I picked Burnley) Different
Sheffield United Brighton – H (I picked Sheff Utd)
Southampton Aston Villa – H (I picked Southampton)
Leicester Manchester City – A (I picked Draw) Different
Manchester United Watford – H (I picked Man Utd)
Wolverhampton Wanderers Norwich – H (I picked Wolves)
Arsenal Everton – D (I picked Draw)
Liverpool West Ham – H (I picked Liverpool)

This means that six of our ten picks matched up, and the only difference on the correct picks were:

I opted for Burnley to win
My brother opted for Chelsea to win.

Apart from that the other five correct picks matched each other, which meant we were either going to be relatively successful together or both completely crash and burn. Thankfully though, it turned out to be the former.

Ultimately, all this means is that we will have to do it all over again and when we have a full fixture schedule in a fortnight’s time, we will once again get an idea of who is best in the battle between modelling versus instinct.

Happy punting and thanks for reading. Dan

If this has grabbed your interest and you would like to discuss/feedback then please feel free to drop me a message at While I am always looking for new football/data projects to work on and if you feel that my skills would be of use, I can be contacted at the same address.

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