Mark Lawrenson’s Pundit Performance Record

Last week, we analysed Lee Dixon’s record as a pundit. This time it’s the BBC’s Mark Lawrenson. 208 matches, 208 predictions, all summarised in to one lovely infographic…

There are few more recognisable pundits than the BBC’s Mark Lawrenson. Love him or hate him, he’s been on our TV screens predicting how matches will finish for decades… but have you ever wondered how often he gets it right or wrong?

It’s easy to pick Man Utd and Man City to win every week. 7 or 8 times out of 10, they’ll do just that and you can claim to have a 70 or 80% success rate. It’s not so easy to predict the outcome of an Everton -v- Stoke game or Aston Villa -v- QPR. That’s where pundits really earn their money.. when the odds aren’t tipped dramatically in anyone’s favour. Last week, we saw Lee Dixon had a 54% success rate at average odds of 2.25. Could Lawrenson match that? Could he beat it? Let’s find out…

The ‘Mark Lawrenson Pundit Performance Record’ Infographic

Remarkably, Lawrenson has the exact same success rate as Lee Dixon – 54%. However, this figure is based on over 208 predictions and spread evenly across all premier league sides. Lee Dixon’s record was based on 35 predictions in which he cherry picked certain sides more than others. So there’s no doubt about it, Lawrenson has proven himself a match for the ex-Arsenal defender.

Dixon’s average winning odds were 2.25. Lawrenson’s came in at 2.08. A small but relatively significant drop if you’re a betting man (or woman). Nobody likes shorter odds only bookies. Still, at odds of 2.08 with a 54% success rate, taking Lawrenson’s advice would leave you in profit. Profit to the tune of about 12% -v- Dixon’s 22% although Lawrenson is possibly more reliable because he’s got almost 6 times more predictions under his belt than Dixon.

Other fun facts? Well, Lawrenson seems to know Reading pretty well. He’s correctly predicted the outcome in 15 of 20 Reading matches. He’s also pretty handy when it comes to predicting the outcome in Man City and Stoke matches. He’s got it right 15 out of 21 times when both sides have played. His kryptonite is Everton. He’s called it right in just 7 of 21 matches involving the Toffees.

Who’s next up for the chop?

If you’d like to see a certain pundit put under the microscope, let us know in the comments section and we’ll do our best to gather their predictions and compare them to Dixon and Lawrenson. So far, it’s pretty much all square between the two. Maybe we’ve stumbled upon some sort of scientific prediction equation which always results in a 54% success rate or maybe it’s just a fluke. In any case, we’re determined to find the best and worst pundit out there (based on statistics).

Sean MacEntee

Designer, United fan and Head of 25/7 Sports social media time-wasting department.

7 thoughts on “Mark Lawrenson’s Pundit Performance Record

  1. the profit % is incorrect. He may have staked £2080 but he could have done that with a bank of £200 (depending on variances). He has returned 104% on his initial bank. I kept track of this for the 05/06 season (when Reading got promoted) and it was a very similar return

    1. Good point and this is a better way of looking at it, assuming of course your starting bank doesn’t get wiped out initially. We’ll take this approach moving forward and probably do a comparison between multiple pundits when we’ve enough data…

      1. @257sean. I’m glad you posted this as i’ve told a lot of people that if you randomly followed Lawro you’d make money. Another thing to compare them to is if the picks were randomly selected (by a num gen etc). Where did you get the historical betting odds from? I’ll quite happily sort the data for you. Look forward to future posts and i’ll stick this link up in a few places. Top work

        p.s. i was alluding to losing some of your bank with the depending on variances

        1. Historical odds in this case were from match previews and came largely from paddypower although where possible we’ve also used betfair as odds tend to be a little better. Again going forward, this will be more transparent and we’ve also been alerted to other odds comparison sources.

          Glad you like the work and we’ll do our best to keep it flowing!

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