E Ratings update: League 2, 15 Feb 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.

l2-sparklines-2017-02-15You can see how the model assessed the latest round of matches here.

The changes are over the last seven days so will factor in the weekend matches too. Exeter‘s impressive rise has them looking more than capable of securing promotion this season, with an attack almost as good as Carlisle‘s and a defence which has looked far more reliable. Barnet are also improving steadily while the stock of recently-promoted Grimsby and Cheltenham continues to fall. Hartlepool are now the worst-rated team in the division, with Dave Jones unable to arrest their slide so far.

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 remain title favourites despite their reverse at the hands of Carlisle, but another win for Portsmouth keeps them looking likelier than the Cumbrians to snatch a top three place.

Wycombe‘s dip in form leaves the final play-off berth very much up for grabs, with a host of teams all looking capable of wresting it from them.

At the bottom Newport and Notts County‘s midweek draws – plus a massive win for Leyton Orient – leave them as the two likeliest sides to be relegated, although it would only take one good set of results for either’s survival chances to move above 50%.