Alright, here we go again. We went 5/10 last week, a couple behind the bettors books but we maintain a strong average for the year and basically about half right is what we come out at, which is a decent result with three possible results.
Villarreal presents one of the weird conundrums for the algorithm this week. Osasuna is favored and if, on the surface, that makes sense to you then you are in good company. Here’s where the trouble lies, best I can tell. The algorithm does a rolling average of xG and xGA over the last five league matches. Our average conceded xG in that time is 1.36 per match which is high, but it’s also skewed by giving up 1.9 to Real Madrid and giving up 2.8 to Granada (part of which was a penalty). That Granada match in particular was bizarre because we had 5.3 xG of our own, also aided by penalty decisions. Osasuna, for their part, has only conceded 0.72 xG per match over their last five, which included a match against Atleti where they lost 0-3 but only conceded 0.5 xG. Osasuna also gets a slight prediction bonus for being the home team.
All in all, what I think this amounts to a situation where the match checks out but it strongly belies our intuition. A draw may not be out of the question here as Osasuna tries to make the game play out with a low number of overall chances but I don’t think we’ll lose.
Real Madrid are colossal favorites this week over Real Sociedad, though it looks like they’ll be playing without Toni Kroos in that one. That’s a match we need the league leaders to win. The lowest chance to win, though, doesn’t go to La Real but rather to Rayo Vallecano, who have somehow contrived to be incredibly large underdogs against Cadiz. This is definitely a particularly interesting week of predictions.