Historical statistics or data-based simulations?

Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of winning the Premier League in the 2023-2024 season are dramatically different. Empirical records guarantee a minimum of 50%, but supercomputer calculations show only 1.9%.

According to a report by British media outlet Football London on Tuesday, the program BETSiE from gambling site Bettingexpert ran 100,000 simulations of the rest of the season and found that Spurs had the best chance of finishing fifth.

On the other hand, according to data provided by the BBC, Spurs have about a 92% chance of finishing at least in the top three.

Spurs are unbeaten through 10 rounds.

They have eight wins, two draws, and 26 points. Arsenal and Manchester City follow with 24 points, Liverpool with 23 points, and Aston Villa with 22 points.

Since the inception of the Premier League, there have been 13 clubs with 26 or more points after 10 rounds, including Tottenham this year.

In half of the previous 12 occasions, six teams went on to win the league title and 11 finished in the top three.

The only exception is Newcastle in the 1994-1995 season (finishing 6th), but that was a 42-game season (today it’s 38), so direct comparisons are difficult.

Based on this empirical statistic, it’s hard to see Spurs finishing lower than third.

The supercomputer disagreed. In 100,000 simulations, Spurs averaged 20.7 wins, 8.3 draws, 9.0 losses, and 70.4 points. A rough estimate of 21 wins, 8 draws, 9 losses, and 71 points would mean 13 wins, 6 draws, and 9 losses in the remaining 28 games.

The scenario of Tottenham finishing first was only 1.9%. Man City was the most likely at 52.8%. Arsenal had 22.7%, Liverpool 16.8%, and Newcastle 5.2%.

Tottenham had a 37.9% chance of finishing in the top four and a 77.2% chance of finishing in the top six.

Simulations can be more accurate than simple empirical predictions because they analyze more detailed data.

However, there are obvious limitations, such as the difficulty of accounting for mood swings, synergies, and injury variables that come with winning or losing streaks.

Tottenham last won the league title in 1961.

It will be interesting to see if captain Son Heung-min can lead his teammates to end Tottenham’s 60+ year wait.

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