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University of Salford creates machine that can 'predict sports results'

University of Salford Photo: Press Association

A team at the University of Salford says it has created a machine which can predict sports results.

The Sport Analytics Machine has been developed by statisticians and uses a series of algorithms to forecast the results of a variety of sporting fixtures.

The machine takes into account multiple factors to come up with its predictions, such as recent results, which team is at home, the strength of teams that both sides have played as well as the quality and the form of the players on the pitch.

The machine is pitting its predictive powers against ex-Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson to see who comes out on top. The university say it's machine is currently the most successful predictor in the league with an average of 110 points so far.

“Data is the fuel of our system. It is entirely done using numbers, there is nothing subjective about the results that SAM comes up with.

“We have developed this over the last three years and it’s looking good at the moment, our tests have shown that we will probably outperform the expert in the long run and we’re currently top of all the people who have predicted results.”

– Ian McHale, Professor of Sports Business at The University of Salford

Currently the machine is being used to predict top flight football results in England, but it has scores from all of Europe’s top leagues from the past seven years and the university says it could also be used to predict results from other leagues.