Football ratings systems

A good football ratings system does not have to be bewildering or overly reliant on mathematics. Here we have discussed various football ratings systems that can be used to improve a football betting strategy.

Further reading for sports betting rating systems.

English football

Profitable Football Betting by Paul Steele, explains 15 football forecasting models using points based ratings systems. The aim of each system is to calculate side superiority. Side superiority is calculated differently using points for home and away performance. Performance is calculated using various data indicating team strength. For example, league points, league positions, or goals conceded and scored. However, if you need more complex reasoning then ratings can also be based on match statistics such as shots on goal, corners, and possession.

A ratings system taking the strength of the opposition into account.

Rateform is similar to power ratings in that it takes the qaulity of the teams each side has played in their previous matches. This is important because it has a big impact on the forecast for side superiority. The Rateform system was first published in Professor Elo’s book ‘The Rating of Chessplayers’. Later adapted by Tony Drapkin and Richard Forsyth in their book The Punter’s Revenge.

Obviously, the ratings have to be updated after each game is played over the season. Further developed by Bill Hunter, in his book Football Fortunes, he explains the important parts of Rateform are:

  1. each team has a points total or rating which represents its current playing form;
  2. the average number of points for individual teams remains constant at 1,000;
  3. for each match the home and away teams contribute points to a kitty;
  4. the winning team takes the complete points kitty; and that
  5. teams that draw share the kitty.

Further reading

Profitable Football Betting

The Punter’s Revenge

Football Fortunes