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Forecasting exact scores in National Football League games

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  • Baker, Rose D.
  • McHale, Ian G.
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    Abstract

    The paper presents a point process model for predicting exact end-of-match scores in the premier league of American football, the National Football League. The hazards of scoring are allowed to vary with team statistics from previous games and/or the bookmaker point spread and over-under. The model is used to generate out-of-sample forecasts, which are evaluated using several criteria, including a Kelly betting strategy. In predicting the results of games, the model is marginally outperformed by the betting market. However, when it is used to forecast exact scores, the model proves to do at least as well as the market.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Forecasting.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 122-130

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:29:y:2013:i:1:p:122-130

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijforecast

    Related research

    Keywords: Sports; Predictions; Point processes;

    References

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    1. William Dare & A. Steven Holland, 2004. "Efficiency in the NFL betting market: modifying and consolidating research methods," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 9-15.
    2. Zuber, Richard A & Gandar, John M & Bowers, Benny D, 1985. "Beating the Spread: Testing the Efficiency of the Gambling Market for National Football League Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 800-806, August.
    3. Sauer, Raymond D, et al, 1988. "Hold Your Bets: Another Look at the Efficiency of the Gambling Market for National Football League Games: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 206-13, February.
    4. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H. O., 2003. "Predicting the outcomes of National Football League games," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 257-270.
    5. Herman O. Stekler & David Sendor & Richard Verlander, 2009. "Issues in Sports Forecasting," Working Papers 2009-002, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
    6. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Why are gambling markets organised so differently from financial markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 223-246, 04.
    7. Raymond D. Sauer, 1998. "The Economics of Wagering Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2021-2064, December.
    8. William Dare & John Gandar & Richard Zuber & Robert Pavlik, 2005. "In search of the source of informed trader information in the college football betting market," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 143-152.
    9. Grant, Andrew & Johnstone, David, 2010. "Finding profitable forecast combinations using probability scoring rules," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 498-510, July.
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