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Bloomberg Sports Predicts Premier League Outcomes for 2013-14 Season

August 09, 2013


On Wednesday, Bloomberg (News - Alert) Sports (BSports) for the first time released its soccer predictions for the Barclays Premier League’s 2013-2014 season. If the results play out on the field like they do on the computer, it will be a very tight race among three teams.

A number of metrics go into making the predictions. A team’s defense is rated on its players rankings in the league for their position. Statistics for tackles, clearances and interceptions are also factored in, but the analysis does not stop there. The strength of the opposing teams’ attacking units (offense) is also factored in.

Similarly, players on a team’s attacking unit are ranked within the league. Statistics like shot location, passing ability and converting scoring chances are combined with the rankings to give the attacking unit a score. This is then combined with the strength of the opposing defenses the team will face.

After every team gets an overall rating, BSports’ computer simulates each match in the upcoming season 10,000 times. The predictions are then formed on the basis of these simulations.

Teams are ranked on the number of points they accumulate during a season. For a win, a team gets three points; a draw gets both teams one point. There are no points for a loss. The teams will play 38 matches during the season, so an undefeated and untied team could earn 114 points.

Based on averaging out the simulations, Chelsea wins the Premier League with 81.7 points. Manchester City gets second with 80.8 points and Manchester United gets third with 80.3 points. This is about as tight as it gets, since the difference between first and third place in terms of points is less than the margin of a single win. Instead of referring to these teams’ rankings as 1, 2 and 3, it might be more accurate to call it 1A, 1B and 1C.

The gap between third and fourth place is wider, with Arsenal predicted to earn 72.8 points. The results also include probabilities like winning the championship; finishing in the top four and top 10 and the likelihood of being relegated to a lower division.

Without a doubt, BSports has developed a thorough analysis in compiling its predictions. As thorough as these predictions are, they cannot account for weather, injuries and upsets. As the sports cliché says: that’s why they play the game.

Edited by Alisen Downey