Forecasting the outcomes of sports events: A review

Publication: Contribution to journalScientific review articlesResearch


In the scientific community a large literature on sports forecasting exists, covering a wide range of different sports, methods and research questions. At the same time a lack of general literature such as reviews or meta-analyses on aspects of sports forecasting can be attested, partly attributable to characteristics of forecasting in sports that make it difficult to present through systematic approaches. The present study contributes to filling this gap by providing a narrative review about forecasting related to the outcomes of sports events. An overview about relevant topics in forecasting the outcomes of sports events is presented, a basic methodology is discussed and a categorization of methods is introduced. Having a specific focus on forecasting from ratings, we shed light on the difference between systematic and unsystematic effects influencing the outcomes of sports events. Finally an outlook on the expected impact of the increasing amount and complexity of available data on future sports forecasting research is presented. The present review can serve as a valuable starting point for researchers aiming at the investigation of sports-related forecasts, both helping to find appropriate methods and classify their work in the context of the state of research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2020