ADO Den Haag and FC Twente amongst the surprise packages

Just under a quarter of this season’s Eredivisie fixtures have now been played and five of last season’s top seven are already sitting pretty in the top five of the league table. This, however, tells us nothing about whether they are overperforming or whether we should have expected this to be so.

I have developed two ways to chart how well a club is performing with both taking the strength of the opposition into account. One is an expected points model based on the bookmakers’ odds and the other is a naïve base model which compares this season’s results to the exact same fixtures last season. There are four clubs in each model who are overperforming by at least two points so far but only two are achieving this in comparison to both models.

The full interactive graph is here

Looking first at the naïve base model, ADO Den Haag, Feyenoord, PSV and FC Twente are all outperforming their results from last season to date. Three of them by five points and PSV by four. This quartet therefore look like the most likely teams to improve on their points totals from last season. At the other end of the scale, NEC (-7) and Heerenveen (-6) have recorded poorer results than in the same eight fixtures last season.

In our expected points model, FC Twente (+5.11) and Vitesse (+4.90) are the overperformers with ADO again (+2.85) and FC Utrecht (+2.14) also outperforming the bookmakers’ assessments of them. Champions Ajax have 1.33 points fewer than would be expected from the bookies’ odds on their first eight matches. The big underperformers in comparison to expectations are AZ (-3.97) and VVV (-3.67).

It is interesting to note that both Ajax and PSV are underperforming according to the bookmakers and I wonder if this is realistic or due to them being priced up artificially short due to the weight of money likely to be wagered on them as they are big names. This is perhaps something for further study using a more independent odds based model.

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