Pick And Choose

Pick And Choose

Pick And Choose

If you read my previous article you will be fully aware that the pursuit of data driven betting has started again and although the process is steeped in models and figures, it is a process that is a little bit more difficult in the early weeks of the season.

If only because there is very little data to be playing with – if we’re honest, there is pretty much none (unless you look from a retrospective point of view and use the tail end of the previous campaign as an indicator)

Which makes the ability to create data driven football predictions difficult, but not necessarily impossible and as referenced in the previous article, in the opening few weeks of the season (the first six to be exact), I am going to go with intuitition instead.


With eight Premier League fixtures taking place over the course of an extended weekend, the premise was simple and it all needed was a blind pick from yours truly and it was an octopick that looked as follows:

Arsenal – Y
Draw (Crystal Palace vs Southampton) – N
Liverpool – Y
Draw (West Ham vs Newcastle) – N
Leicester – Y
Tottenham – N
Wolves – Y
Chelsea- Y

5 out of 8 to get us started, something that shows that the gut instinct was not too bad, but not good enough to land a 308/1 8-fold. What is interesting is that the draw predictions were completely wrong and Tottenham were just….well Tottenham.

Of course, I also wanted a variance on the gut instinct and therefore, I also asked for a blind sample of another octopick and here is what social media threw up on Friday:

Arsenal – Y
Crystal Palace – Y
Liverpool – Y
West Ham – N
Leicester – Y
Tottenham – N
Wolves – Y
Chelsea – Y

6 out of 8, which shows a random sample of gut instinct was better than mine in week 1 and this will be one of components that I will be testing throughout the season and of course, we will eventually be comparing this against data driven football predictions also.

Only West Ham and Tottenham were the fall guys in this one and were it not for those two slips ups, a 203/1 8-fold would have got over the line and given both me and the random punter a fantastic start to proceedings.


My Gut Instinct: 62.5%
Random Gut Instinct: 75%

The sample size is very small at the moment, so we cannot read too much into these percentage terms just yet. Although if either party could retutrn that at the end of the season, you would most likely be placing your predictive data models in the bin.


19:15 Brighton – Chelsea  1:3 6.04 4.43 1.56 12
17:00 Sheffield Utd – Wolves  0:2 3.28 2.89 2.61 12
13 Sep 2020 1 X 2 B’s
15:30 Tottenham – Everton  0:1 2.07 3.43 3.83 12
13:00 West Brom – Leicester  0:3 3.34 3.36 2.28 12
12 Sep 2020 1 X 2 B’s
19:00 West Ham – Newcastle  0:2 2.01 3.61 3.84 12
16:30 Liverpool – Leeds  4:3 1.28 6.24 11.00 12
14:00 Crystal Palace – Southampton  1:0 3.09 3.25 2.47 12
11:30 Fulham – Arsenal  0:3 5.45 3.97 1.67 12

What is also interesting that on just five of the eight pre-match odds, did the favourite get over the line and win. This equates to 62.5% of the early sample and again this will be interesting to map out across the course of the season, as we want to get a better idea of whether the favourite also wins and how we can apply that to any data driven football predictions going forward.


For the next six gameweeks, I am going to repeat this process of blind picks and also using someone else’s blind picks and from there, it will then split off into two different directions.

A) A pure gut instinct tally of predictions over the course of the season
B) A hybrid tally of gut instinct in the first six weeks and data for the rest, to give an overall representation of how my predictions have fared overal.

While in addition, there will no doubt be some different models in play, once the element of mad science gets going. However, if we look back at the opening week, it suggests that gut instinct can get you some of the way but not perhaps all.

In summary, that is your lot until later in the week. It was nothing more than good housekeeping and me setting the stall for a lot of work over the course of the season.

Happy punting and thanks for reading.


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