Evaluating Strange Forecasts: The Curious Case of Football Match Scorelines

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See all articles by J. James Reade

J. James Reade

University of Reading, Department of Economics

Carl Singleton

Department of Economics, University of Reading

Alasdair Brown

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Date Written: February 23, 2019

Abstract

This study analyses point forecasts for a common set of events. These forecasts were made for distinct competitions and originally judged differently. The event outcomes were low-probability but had more predictable sub-outcomes upon which they were also judged. Hence, the forecasts were multi-dimensional, complicating any evaluation. The events were football matches in the English Premier League. The forecasts were of exact scoreline outcomes. We compare these with implied probability forecasts using bookmaker odds and a crowd of tipsters, as well as point and probabilistic forecasts generated from a statistical model suited to predicting football match scorelines. By evaluating these sources and types of forecast using various methods, we conclude that forecasts of this type are strange. We argue that regression encompassing is the most appropriate way to compare point and probabilistic forecasts, and find that both types of forecasts for football match scorelines generally add information to one another.

Keywords: Forecasting, statistical modelling, regression models, prediction markets

JEL Classification: C53, L83, G14, G17

Suggested Citation

Reade, J. James and Singleton, Carl and Brown, Alasdair, Evaluating Strange Forecasts: The Curious Case of Football Match Scorelines (February 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

J. James Reade (Contact Author)

University of Reading, Department of Economics ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Carl Singleton

Department of Economics, University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Alasdair Brown

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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