Pure Gut Instinct

Pure Gut Instinct

Pure Gut Instinct

If you read my previous article, you will know that there was a rather positive reversal of fortunes after making some fundamental changes to ‘PremBot’ at the start of February, it seems as if we are one step closer to data driven betting excellence.

However, even a broken clock is right twice a day and although the English Premier League split gameweek was one that reflected a relatively good showing, it is time to once again put my model where my mouth is.

Not only that, but I’m going to try something different this week (and probably until the end of the season) and it is one where I’m also going to try pure gut instinct. With that said, there is going to be a twist in all of this.

The gut instinct will not come from me but from my brother, because for this experiment to work I need someone who is far removed from the analytical side of football and his predictions will come in the form of a blind pick.


Now to provide full disclosure, my brother is a football fan – so this isn’t the most absolute random of picks (Although maybe I could ask my Mum for even greater sample variation? – hold that thought for another week) but he’s not necessarily someone who pores over stats/analysis.

Therefore without being an absolute footballing luddite, he can quite easily pick out a winner or two and offer up some valid predictions, even if they have literally been selected at breakneck speed and not a moment’s additional thoughts.

Which means it is time to see what my brother is serving up for this extended weekend of Premier League action:

Outcome (Home/Draw/Away)
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

Apologies for the lack of formatted table, but these were sent over email. Anyway regardless of the layout, the picks are the most important factor here and this means that I can compare and contrast against my picks from ‘PremBot’. A set of picks that look as follows:

Pure Gut Instinct

Now if we compare the two predictive picks, you will see that we are not million miles apart, but most importantly, there is a level of variation between the two sample sizes and more importantly, I’ve left the model as it was last week.

In doing this, I can test two different methods:

a) the success of the model compared to last week and whether that was a ‘one off’
b) data driven football predictions vs pure gut instinct

While the reason I have not gone with my own gut instinct is that I’m too far ingrained in all of this, to then take a subjective non data driven view in all of this. But now I’ve got a variant sample of predictions, there are two action points:

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

Let’s see what I manage to achieve by the end of Monday evening.

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 dan@realfootballman.com. 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.

Follow me on Facebook at Dan The Stat Man
You can also check out my Premier League Podcast on Soundcloud

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