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UEA study shows Twitter can predict the outcome of football matches

Tweets can help predict the outcome of football matches Credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

New research by the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows Tweets can help predict the outcome of football matches. The study found the tone of Tweets can show when soccer bets are mispriced.

Researchers examined 13.8 million Tweets during the English Premier League 2013/2014 season. These compared prices generated during matches on gambling site Betfair. They found if the tone of Tweets in any given second was positive then the team was more likely to win than bookies predicted.

The study says Tweets are most helpful after goals and red cards. Researchers think this is because social media is particularly good at analysing new information as it comes in during matches.

Social media is already being used as a forecasting tool by a number of companies and agencies but this study has shown its accuracy.

This is a real 'wisdom of crowds’ kind of outcome. It says that if we listen to the right parts of the crowd, we can gain more information and make better predictions.

– Dr James Reade