Finding the promotion play off winner

Take a deep breath, its playoff time. I personally think playoffs are a bit unfair. You play well all season only to suffer some injuries which mean you are not automatically promoted, then lose in a knockout competition. It must be gutting.

The team that finishes in sixth..

Each year a range of statistics will be put forward to put some ‘logic’ into the playoff positions.  Have you noticed, teams that finish in the top position in the league in respect to the playoff teams, often don’t get promoted? It’s long been the frustration of many a manager or team that this happens. But there are key factors as to why this happens.

The rather simple key to playoff success

One year I decided to analyse all playoffs and what happened to see if there was a correlation. Was there some substance to this, ‘The team that finishes…’ line that appears each year?

There was and it was quite obvious really, “Form” is the answer.

When you look at playoff success over the years, form stands out as the key determinate. Form teams traditionally do well in the play playoffs on average and teams that are on the slide at the end of the season tend to fluff it at this stage.

Any picks should be based on the recent form of all the teams. It’s a pattern that repeats year after year and it explains the oddity of teams that do not finish third but go on to get promoted. Goal difference seems important as well, look at the teams who topped the goal difference tables, which is more or less another derivative of form. You will always get exceptions to the rule of course, but the form is so obviously important. It can be a bit tricker some years if there is no stand out form team, things really become a lottery at that point. But fundamentally speaking, and luck aside, just look at the form.

Good luck if your team is going through the lottery of the playoffs this season, rather you than me!

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