Saturday, 8 April 2017


The New York Times had an article yesterday titled "Where Have All the Goals Gone in the Bundesliga? written by Rory Smith.

It starts with a flowery introduction, before we get this:
“The Bundesliga, historically, is the highest scoring of the big European leagues,” said Simon Gleave, the head of analysis at the data company Gracenote Sports. “It has been the highest scoring every season since 1989, and has never been lower than second since its inception.
“But this season, goal scoring has declined to its lowest level for decades. The other four leagues are all experiencing an increase, so the Bundesliga is not only likely to lose its crown, but it could end the season as low as fourth of the five.”
At the time of writing, the averages are:
Has goal scoring in the Bundesliga really dropped to its lowest in decades? 

Not really - this century has seen two seasons end with fewer goals per game:
It is interesting though to see the 26 year run come to an end, but even more so if the Bundesliga indeed ends up fourth this year. 

Fewer goals means value on the Unders and Draw, correct? Not in this league, long nicknamed the Wacky Bundesliga.  

Backing the Draw blindly at Pinnacle's Closing Price, and you'd be down 19.10 points to date this season.   

Backing the Unders blindly at the best odds, and you'd be down 10.06 points.

If you're betting blind, backing the Home is the selection. In the 141 matches where the implied probability was in the 10% to 49.99% range, the returns are impressive: +43.01 points, an ROI of 30.5%.

Laying in the traditional Bundeslayga range of 50% - 74.99% this season shows a profit (just) of 0.22 points from the 75 selections so far.  

Long time readers may have seen me use the term "Blip or Trend" - I first used it in 2011, and it seems to be catching on.
“It is not a one-off,” said Markus Weinzierl, the Schalke coach, scotching the idea that it is nothing more than a blip. “It is a trend.”
Markus seems very confident. He may not be a betting man, because if you confuse your blips and your trends, you can get badly burnt. 

We shall see. Just two seasons ago, the 2014-15 Bundesliga season ended with an average of 2.755 and an average of 2.76 goals per game over the remaining 62 games of this season, will see that number surpassed, so this season isn't yet as exciting as the headline might suggest, but maybe the author just need an excuse to talk about the metric of "packing". 

It is curious perhaps that the relative decline in goals in Germany is matched with an increase in goals elsewhere, but in an age where players and coaches are employed in countries other than that of their nationality, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the Bundesliga is showing signs of adopting a similar personality to that of its cousins.

No comments: