Entropy | Free Full-Text | Hybrid Basketball Game Outcome Prediction Model by Integrating Data Mining Methods for the National Basketball Association | HTML
The sports market has grown rapidly over the last several decades. Sports outcomes prediction is an attractive sports analytic challenge as it provides useful information for operations in the sports market. In this study, a hybrid basketball game outcomes prediction scheme is developed for predicting the final score of the National Basketball Association (NBA) games by integrating five data mining techniques, including extreme learning machine, multivariate adaptive regression splines, k-nearest neighbors, eXtreme gradient boosting (XGBoost), and stochastic gradient boosting. Designed features are generated by merging different game-lags information from fundamental basketball statistics and used in the proposed scheme. This study collected data from all the games of the NBA 2018–2019 seasons. There are 30 teams in the NBA and each team play 82 games per season. A total of 2460 NBA game data points were collected. Empirical results illustrated that the proposed hybrid basketball game prediction scheme achieves high prediction performance and identifies suitable game-lag information and relevant game features (statistics). Our findings suggested that a two-stage XGBoost model using four pieces of game-lags information achieves the best prediction performance among all competing models. The six designed features, including averaged defensive rebounds, averaged two-point field goal percentage, averaged free throw percentage, averaged offensive rebounds, averaged assists, and averaged three-point field goal attempts, from four game-lags have a greater effect on the prediction of final scores of NBA games than other game-lags. The findings of this study provide relevant insights and guidance for other team or individual sports outcomes prediction research.