Crystal Palace v Sunderland

I have no time for sentiment when it comes to betting, which is helped by building data models to point me in the direction of my bets. I am a Crystal Palace supporter, however when an opportunity to profit on them losing arises I have no issues in taking it.

I was a ‘fan’ of the way Alan Pardew set Palace up and wrote a small peice the role that variance played during his time at the club here. After the 17 games that Pardew was in charge for this season Crystal Palace were sitting 10th in both the Shot Difference Table and Shot On Target Tables. However the club were sitting down in 17th place in the league table. My belief is that if Pardew had stayed the results would’ve naturally improved.

That wasn’t to be and Sam Allardyce took over, he’s now had six games and results haven’t improved, taking four points from a possible eighteen. However I’m prepared to give him time before I make a full judgement on his capabilities, but from a performance point of view some interesting trends could be developing.

Under Pardew in 2016/17 Palace were being outshot in matches by an average of 1.23 shots per game, whilst they were conceding an average of 0.82 Shots On Target more than their opponents. Under Allardyce Palace are conceding, on average, 4.83 shots per game than their opponents and producing 1.50 fewer shots on target. Now this may all be insignificant as it’s from a small sample size of six matches and the performance against Arsenal could skew things, but as a bettor, analyst and Palace supporter it’s something I’ll be keeping a close eye on in the coming weeks.

As we can see from the shot tables of the last six matches, Palace are no longer performing as the 10th best side, however again it’s worth remembering that this is just a small sample size.

One constant from those four tables is how poor Sunderland have been, again. Sam Allardyce kept them up last season, but even if he was in charge I’d still feel that they’d have roughly the same number of points as the do now, due to the poor shot data they would have posted under him.

Looking at this matchup today and using a full seasons data, as well as indicators of home and away results, I have the below numbers.

I can’t have Palace as odds-on favourites in this, for me to back them at the 1.7x that is on offer in the win market I’d want to see them as a side who could pick up 28 points at home in a season, which is something they haven’t done since their return to the Premier League. From a betting point of view this leaves me looking at the Asian Handicap lines on the Sunderland side of the market, with the 0 (draw no bet) line being flagged up as the optimum bet.

This isn’t an anti-Allardyce play, despite some of my comments on Twitter┬áin the last few weeks, it’s purely a numbers play and I trust my numbers to produce a profit in the long term.


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