# What is Pythagorean Expectation and how can it help with your next soccer bet

by , 15 August 2019

If you did maths and more specifically geometry you will no doubt remember this…

In a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse equals
the sum of the squares of the other two sides

That is what Pythagoras is most famous for - The Pythagoras theorem…

But he was profoundly influential in the writings and thinking of future philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato and in particular, George William James (born October 5, 1949 an American baseball writer, historian, and statistician).

James has written more than two dozen books devoted to baseball history and statistics. His approach scientifically analyses and studies baseball, often through the use of statistical data, in an attempt to determine why teams win and lose.

And in 2006, Time named him in the Time 100 as one of the most influential people in the world.

It is he who created this famous sports betting theorem - Pythagorean Expectation that I want to show you how to use in your soccer betting today…

Let's get into it….
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How James baseball theorem is translated over to soccer

The formula looks like this:

Win percentage = (points scored x points scored) / ((points scored x points scored) + (points allowed x points allowed))

Simplified:

Win percentage = points scored² / points scored² + points allowed²

With soccer however, points scored is not the amount of goals scored, it is the points won after a match. Which is why this information is more valuable as it gives you an accurate representation of the strength of a team.

Soccer is scored as follows, three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. There are a total of 114 points that are allowed.

For example, Manchester City’s win percentage is the following:

Points scored = 98

Points allowed = 114

The equation goes like this:

98² / 98² + 114² = 0,4249

Manchester City’s win percentage is 0,4249 or 42.49%.

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The challenges facing Pythagorean Expectation

There are some challenges that face the Pythagorean expectation when translating it to soccer.

One of those challenges is the draw.

Draws in soccer are more likely to happen than in American sports such as basketball and baseball.

Another challenge is red cards, and teams may find themselves with one less player, which invariably distort the scoring chances.

One way to mitigate these challenges is to alter the exponent. The initial equation calls for 2, but by altering the exponent, it helps reduce the root mean square error.

For soccer, we changed the exponent to 1.35 instead of 2, changing the equation to look like this:

Win percentage = runs scored1.35 / runs scored1.35 + runs allowed1.35

Using the same example as before our equation looks like this:

98 ^(1.35) / 98^(1.35) + 114^(1.35) = 0,4491 or 44.91%

Plotting these on a graph you can easily see the difference between a strong, weak and average team.

For a bad team, the graph will look like this:

For a good team, the graph will look like this:

These visual aids, greatly help and add to your sports betting strategy.

Incorporate the Pythagorean Expectation into your strategy, and reap the benefits for years to come.

Until next time,

Christopher Ammon,
Head Tipster, The Winning Streak Team