E Ratings update: League 2, 28 Jan 2017

Here is the latest update of the season to the E Ratings and how they predict the rest of the season will pan out. The rating system is explained here, but in a nutshell it’s based on the combined quality of chances that clubs create and allow, rather than their results.

The attack rating broadly equates to how many goals’ worth of chances a team would create against an average opponent (so higher is better), with the defence rating equivalent to the chances they’d be expected to allow (so lower is better). The overall rating is the difference between the two – effectively the average expected goal difference per match – so a positive number is good and a negative one is bad.

The graphic below lists each club in descending order of their overall E Rating and shows how this – along with their individual attack and defence ratings – has changed over the past 30 league matches. The red and green arrows indicate how the overall rankings have moved in the past month and the numbers in brackets show the ranks for each team’s attack and defence ratings.

2017-01-28-l2-sparklinesYou can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

Another convincing win for Doncaster leaves them looking increasingly credible champions, although Portsmouth‘s ratings will take some overhauling.

Barnet continued to climb after an impressive performance at Carlisle – their attack is looking almost as impressive as the Cumbrians’ these days.

At the bottom it looks like Notts County‘s big win moved them close to rising off the foot of the ratings table, with a poor Hartlepool performance edging them closer.

Predicting the rest of the season

Below I’ve used each club’s current ratings and those of their remaining opponents to predict how the rest of the season could play out. Each of the remaining fixtures has been simulated thousands of times, using the current E Ratings to generate probabilities for where each club will finish.

This graphic shows the cumulative probability of where each club could end up, in descending order of average points won. You can think of the ordering of the teams down the left hand side as a “best guess” of the final league table, with the coloured bars showing the relative likelihood of each club ending up in a certain section of the table:


Doncaster took another step towards automatic promotion and now look all but certain to form part of the final top three, with Plymouth and Portsmouth still likeliest to join them despite Pompey’s slip at home to Exeter.

Carlisle‘s unconvincing draw at home to Barnet leaves them looking over their shoulders but they and Luton still look to be on course for a play-off place at least.

Exeter‘s win inflates their own play-off prospects to just shy of 50:50 but only two out of the Grecians, Wycombe and Colchester can secure a top seven spot as it stands.

At the bottom, Newport and Notts County remain relegation favourites despite their wins, but it would only take a few similar performances to drag others more precariously into the mix.