While the slope term of the PPM regression is slightly greater than one (1.0028), the intercept term (-0.3086) is larger than the resultant product of any match day 13 PPM and the slope term. This suggests there is a slight fall off to be expected by season's end when it comes to point accumulation. Based upon City's current PPM, the nominal prediction is a finish of 2.39 PPM and a 50% PI of 2.22 to 2.58 PPM. Manchester City has only a 25% chance of finishing with a PPM lower than 2.22, which is certainly championship material as it would put them right in the middle for PPM of clubs who have won a Premier League championship.
Far less sustainable is City's start in relation to GD per match. The slope term in the GD per match regression is much less than one (0.689) while the intercept term is only slightly positive (0.0598). This means there is a much bigger fall of in GD per match than in PPM. Based upon City's current GD per match, the nominal prediction is a finish of 1.70 GD per match and a 50% PI of 1.44 to 1.99. Manchester City has only a 25% chance of finishing with a GD per match lower than 1.44 - only four EPL champions have finished with a higher GD per match.
Projecting City's Odds of Finishing As Champions
So where does this put City's odds of winning the EPL Championship? Certainly more sophisticated models could look at strength of remaining schedule, odds of injury, distractions from other competitions, and many other attributes that contribute to a full season of results. Ironically, a far simpler model that looks at City's PPM can help quantify their odds of finishing at the top of the table.
Using the Statto.com data, a binary logistic regression (BLR) model was created. The outcome used in the model was "top of table" vs. "not top of table". Both the constant and variable (PPM) terms tested statistically significant. The plot below shows the nominal and 50% PI lines demonstrating the odds of winning the Premier League when the first place team at match day 13 has a range of PPM values. Again, Manchester City is represented by a light blue dot with it's y-value set to the projected odds based upon the nominal regression equation. Click on the graph to enlarge.
The BLR model's nominal projection is a 94% chance of City winning the EPL Championship. The 50% PI bounds are 85% and 98%, respectively. Manchester City's odds of winning the EPL in 2011/12 are very good based upon their start to the season.
While Manchester City's performance will certainly drop off as the season progresses, there is no doubting how good of a start they've had so far. They're not only off to the best start in the history of the Premier League, they're also off to a start that would be better than 96% to 98% of the all the teams that would be in first place after 13 matches. They're also highly likely to win the league. That being said, Manchester United is only 5 points behind and Tottenham is only 7 points back with game in hand. Things are far from over, and I will check back in at the 2/3's point in the season (26 matches) to see if City has kept up their fast start.