Generally, people overreact.
They fail to analyse things as a whole, and make rash judgements based on what they have just witnessed, experienced or heard that reinforces their existing values or beliefs.
A magnificent example of this is watching a televised football match with two football fans – one who supports team A, the other team B. They watch the same broadcast, listen to the same commentary but will react very differently to the referee’s decisions.
Even referees fail to react impartiatly at all times. Studies have proven that home teams get more ‘borderline’ decisions from the referee than the away side. This is not because of any skulduggery, but simply because a referee is human and is prone to external pressures – one of these external pressures being a crowd of 40,000 reacting as one to a supposed infringement of the rules (i.e.) a bad or mistimed tackle.
Statistics, if used correctly, enable us to analyse a game without prejudice, and then for us to make independent judgement calls. For example on the face of it QPR’s 0-4 home drumming by Bolton was very poor, but the Trotters only had five shots on target and two of the goals were deflected. QPR on the other had managed seven shots on target and were a little unlucky to be beaten by that score line.
One other group of individuals who are prone to overreactions are bookmakers. When bookmakers make odds on anything they do take into account the likely popularity of the bet. So, for example, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City are all likely to be shorter odds to win a match than they should be.
They do this because they can reduce their liabilities as they know that there will be a large proportion of their turnover (and indeed p/l) tied up on these teams in singles, doubles and multiple bets each weekend. In short they offer smaller odds on things on which their audience will probably be interested in betting.
A good example is the betting on the English Top Goal Scorer market, known as the Golden Boot. At the beginning of the season Wayne Rooney was 8/1 to score more goals than any other player. Then on Sunday 14th August, he was cut to 5/1 following his one goal against West Brom.
Sergio Aguero was 16/1 to win the Golden Boot when Saturday’s Premier League action kicked off – yet following an eye catching 31 minutes against a tiring Swansea defence where he scored two goals he was slashed to 4/1 – yet following no goals at the Reebok he is now out to 5/1. Certainly both Rooney and Augero have better chances now than before the first game of the season to win the Golden Boot but these cuts to their odds are simply an overreaction fuelled by media coverage and ultimately a desire to second guest liabilities.
I’m not saying they either won’t top the charts – but at the odds they are now they simply offer no value. Augero’s odds are simply an overreaction to what happened inside 31 minutes against a tiring Swansea side who had given everything and were tiring. If Aguero is to play say 31 league games this season that price is based on just 0.9% of the total minutes he will play in the league.
And so we come back to QPR’s 0-4 defeat at home to Bolton and their forthcoming match away to Wigan on Saturday.
Most people thought that QPR were less likely to beat Everton on Saturday than they were before losing 0-4 to Bolton at Loftus Road on the opening day. They were wrong. First of all we know from past teams he has managed that Neil Warnock builds from the back forward. His QPR team last season had the best defence record in the Championship conceding just 32 goals in 46 matches, and kept more clean sheets than any other team in 25. So a tight game was envisaged.
Secondly, upon analysing Saturday’s opening fixture Opta statistics we can see that QPR actually only had five shots on target against them, with six shots off. They also had no defensive errors (compared to one by Bolton) and only gave the opposition 19 chances (10 inside box). Just to put some contest to these figures Liverpool conceded 14 chances against Sunderland, Man Utd conceded 16 at West Brom, who themselves – against the best offense based on last year’s figures – conceded 12 chances.
Finally, Everton had failed to win their opening game in the Premier League for the previous six seasons.
Now QPR travel to Wigan on Saturday. The Latics had the fourth fewest shots last season with 370 and scored just 40 goals – the second worst total in the league behind Birmingham. Of those 370 shots, 22.7% came from two players who are no longer at the club, while those players – Charles N’Zogbia and Tom Cleverley scored 32.5% of Wigan’s total number of goals.
Of QPR’s 24 games away from home last year, no less than 16 ended in games of less than three goals, while four ended goal less – more than any other side in the Championship. I tend to read that Warnock sets his team up with a more defensive mindset than offensive when on the road.
Finally, given that QPR did concede four goals on their first venture back into Premier League football for fifteen years I feel that the players and the management will be keen to ensure that they don’t go and concede another three or four – and will forgo an offensive mindset to achieve this aim. A 0-0 is not out of the question against Wigan in my mind, but I will be certainty be looking at backing the under 2.5 goal option.
- Good Read