Southampton v Swansea

Starting Bank:£5,000 | Running Total:£4,414.10 | RoI/RoT:-15.94%| RoC:-11.71%
Level Stakes Profit/Loss to 1 Point: +0.64

Last weekend a few people questioned my sanity when I placed over 10% of my bank on Southampton 0 Asian Handicap v Manchester United, basically draw no bet. The reason I placed that bet and a stake of that size was due to my model telling me that Southampton it was likely that Southampton would have five shots on target to Manchester United’s three. This gave a goal expectancy of 1.50 v 0.94, therefore I did not expect Manchester United to score more than one goal and defiantly not three. The final statistics of the match had Southampton with eight shots on target to Manchester United’s three, the difference between the sides was David De Gea and a lucky break for Manchester United with an offside in their favour and defensive error. They have now scored with their last six shots on target, which obviously isn’t sustainable and in this case I think I had the write bet but just go the wrong result.

Regression to the mean is something that I spend a lot of time talking about and looking for, it’s the same principle as what goes up must come down. At the moment Southampton are conceding a goal from 61.54% of the shots on target they face. To put that into some context Derby County finished the 2007/08 season with 11 points, 89 goals conceded but still ‘only’ conceded from 28.8% of shots on target faced. The 61.54% in Southampton’s SOT/Goal% column will start to come down and I’d be surprised if it’s any more than 33% come at the end of the season, I’d actually be surprised if it’s more than 33% by the end of October. To put all that in a simple statement, Southampton will concede less goals in the coming weeks and will therefore gain improved results.

Swansea are a good side in my book and I fully expect them to finish in the top half of the table. At the moment I think they are about where they should be be, 40.7% of their shots are on target, however only 20% of these are finding the net. I would expect to see that 40.7% decrease over time, whilst the 20% increases, because of this I can’t re-rate Swansea as they appear to be performing to expected levels. One thing that would concern me if I was a Swansea fan is that result look good on paper, but looking at the games in greater depth takes a bit of the gloss off.

  • Their draw at Chelsea will prove to be a good result over time, but Chelsea were poor at the start of the season and also had to play with ten men. 
  • Newcastle are not a good side and again had to play with ten men.
  • They could only manage a draw at Sunderland.
  • They were beaten at Watford and failed to score in that match.
  • They’ve now failed to score in their last three league and cup games.

Goal Expectancies
Southampton – 1.698878
Swansea– 0.836463
Modelled Match Odds
Southampton – 1.72
Swansea – 5.47
Draw – 4.18
Most Likely Correct Score: 1-0 
The value correct score bets in this match are the ones where Southampton win to nil, of those I like the 10.50 that 888Sport are offering on a 2-0 home victory. I have that score priced up at 8.74.

Asian Handicaps


On the subject of ‘regression to the mean’ Graziano Pelle massively underachieved last year, with the number of chances that Southampton created for him he should of had another nine goals. This season he already has four goals and, again, Southampton are creating a lot of chances, with 16.33 shots per game and 34.69% on target they will score goals. That number of shots they have may come down slightly, but their conversion rate should rise from 20.59% to nearer 30%. When I add that into my belief that Southampton will now start to concede fewer goals I don’t see how they are worse than last season, despite the personnel changes. If they continue to have more shots for and concede less against that they did last term I would expect them to improve on the 60 points haul the achieved in 2014/15.

With Southampton being the poster boys for regression to the mean junkies I believe they are a team to follow for the next few weeks. My model is telling me that backing them -1 on the Asian Handicap is the best way to profit long term from this game. Earlier this year against the same opposition they were 2.15 to cover the -1 line, today they are 2.95, yet I don’t believe they’ve gone backwards as a team. That game back in February was won by Swansea, who scored from their only shot on target, I’m expecting Southampton to get the correct result today and not concede from 100% of the SOTs they face.

Back Southampton -1 Asian Handicap at 2.95 for 3.53% of bank, with 888 Sport.

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