As I discussed here, I received 76 predictions for the winners of six finals or end of season competitions last week. Those 76 can perhaps be seen as “the crowd” and therefore it is interesting to analyse whether that crowd has some wisdom, at least in comparison to the market odds or a predictive model like the Euro Club Index (ECI). As the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs conclude tonight and tomorrow, how did the 76 predict in comparison to the market and a statistical model?
The 76 were much more bullish about the chances of Fulham with significantly more than half of them selecting the London team to win this season’s Championship play-offs and be promoted to the Premier League. Fulham were also favourites on the market odds before the first legs but the Euro Club Index selected Sheffield Wednesday as the most likely team to be promoted. Reading and Huddersfield were the outsiders with all but the 76 fancied even less than both the Euro Club Index and the market due to the overwhelming support of the predictors for Fulham.
The first legs of these play-offs were played at the weekend and both ended in draws – Reading host Fulham tonight after a 1-1 result at Craven Cottage and Sheffield Wednesday play Huddersfield tomorrow at Hillsborough having played out a goalless draw in the first leg in Huddersfield.
These two results have been reacted to very differently by the market and the Euro Club Index. As Fulham did not win at home, their chances of winning the play-offs have reduced from 28% to 23% according to the ECI. A 1-1 home draw for Fulham has had very little effect on the market odds though as the club are still favourites for promotion with a reduction of just 1% to 33% chance.
On the Euro Club Index, Reading are now the second most likely team to be promoted to the Premier League, after Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday’s away draw at Huddersfield has made little difference to their odds of promotion in the Euro Club Index but they have risen 4% with the bookmakers to go up so both ECI and the market are now roughly in line with each other on the South Yorkshire club’s promotion chance.
The confident pick of Fulham by most of the 76 looks at this stage that it might go wrong and potentially cost 47 people a correct prediction. Luckily this will only be counted as an elimination in the fifth of the sixth events as that is where the final falls. Why the predictors were so out of kilter with the bookmakers or statistical model on Fulham is something of a mystery though. Whatever the reason, 47 of the 76 will be hoping that their entries do not already have a red line through them just three days after the deadline closed.