A Model for Improving Guesses of Future Soccer League Game Results

Main Article Content

Sharon Garyn-Tal
Nissim Ben-David


In this paper we propose a model for predicting future soccer game results by using information about the results of past league games. First, from regressions we extracted the prediction confidence interval for the goal difference between the winner and the loser in each game. Second, we created an arbitrary range around zero and defined criteria for forecasting a win, a tie or a loss according to the location of the confidence interval relative to the arbitrary range we defined. Third, we gradually changed the edges of the arbitrary range and repeated the second step. Among all the arbitrary ranges, we chose the one that best predicted the match results. We found that the best arbitrary range accurately predicts 52% of the match results. Finally, we upgraded the model by allowing double chance betting, which offers gamblers five possible betting options: home team wins (1), home team wins or game ends in a tie (1 and X), away team wins (2), away team wins or game ends in a tie (2 and X), game ends in a tie (X).  When double chance betting was allowed, the model accurately predicted 77% of the match results.

Article Details



J Aitchison and SD Silvey ‘The Generalization of Probit Analysis to the case of multiple Responses’ (1957) Biometrika 44, 131–140.

RF Baumeister ‘Disputing the effects of championship pressures and home audiences’ (1995) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 68, 644-648.

N Ben David and E Ben David ‘Estimating Soccer Results in the Israeli League‘ (2011) The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics 5(2), 23-41.

N Ben David ‘A Model for Estimating the Probabilities of Winning, Reaching a Tie, or Losing in a Soccer Game‘ (2010) The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics 4(3), 13-19.

SR Bray ‘The home advantage from an individual team perspective‘ (1999) Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 11, 116-125.

B Buraimo, D Forrest and R Simmons ‘The twelfth man? Refereeing bias in English and German soccer’ (2009) Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.

F Carmichael and D Thomas ‘Home-field effect and team performance: Evidence from English Premiership Football’ (2005) Journal of Sports Economics 6, 264-281.

AV Carron and HA Hausenblas Group dynamics in sport, 2nd ed. (Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology, 1998).

A Carron, V Loughhead and SR Bray ‘The home advantage in sport competitions: Courneya and Carron's 1992 conceptual framework a decade later’ (2005) Journal of Sports Sciences 23, 395-407.

AC Constantinou, NE Fenton and N Martin ‘Profiting from an inefficient association football gambling market: Prediction, risk and uncertainty using Bayesian networks’ (2013) Knowledge-Based Systems 50, 60–86.

AC Constantinou, NE Fenton and N Neil ‘Pi-football: A Bayesian network model for forecasting association football match outcomes’ (2012) Knowledge-Based Systems 36, 322–339.

KS Courneya and AV Carron ‘The home advantage in sport competitions: A literature review’ (1992) Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 14, 13-27.

M Dixon and S Coles ‘Modelling Association Football Scores and Inefficiencies in the Football’ (1997) Betting Market, Appl. Statist. 46, 265.

M Dixon and M Robinson ‘A Birth Process Model for Association Football Matches’ (1998) The Statistician 47, 523.

S Dobson and J Goddard ‘Persistence in sequences of football match results: A Monte Carlo analysis’ (2003) Euro. J. Operational Res. 148, 247.

I Graham and H Stott ‘Predicting bookmaker odds and efficiency for UK football‘ (2008) Applied Economics 40, 99–109.

A Heuera and O Rubner ‘Fitness, chance, and myths: an objective view on soccer results’ (2009) Eur. Phys. J. B 67, 445–458.

LM Hvattum and H Arntzen ‘Using ELO ratings for match result prediction in association football’ (2010) International Journal of Forecasting 26, 460–470.

L Koppet ‘Home court: Winning edge’ (1972) New York Times, 1(3).

A Lee ‘Modeling Scores in the Premier League: Is Manchester United Really the Best?’ (1997) Chance 10, 15.

JC Moore and J Brylinsky ‘Facility familiarity and the home advantage’ (1995) Journal of Sport Behavior 18,302-311.

AM Nevill and RL Holder ‘Home advantage in sport -An overview of studies on the advantage of playing at home’ (1999) Sports Med, 28, 221-236.

A Pace and AV Carron ‘Travel and the home advantage’ (1992) Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences du Sport 17, 60-64.

H Rue and O Salvesen ‘Prediction and retrospective analysis of soccer matches in a league’ (2000) Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series D (The Statistician) 49(3), 399-418.‏