The Statistical Examination of Winning and Succeeding in Sports

16 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2019

See all articles by Elisee Joseph

Elisee Joseph

Felician University, School of Business

Date Written: November 4, 2018


Certain statistical strategies that cater to a particular team's style of play can enable a team to establish a competitive advantage in a sporting event. The purpose of this paper is to cultivate a linear statistical model that contributes to the success of a competitive sporting game between two teams. Using a linear success metric, this paper also examines the relationship between the success of both teams and the scoreboard outcomes of these respective sporting events. This linear statistical model is independent of the given score of a sporting event. This researcher uses empirical data from 5,200 games in the 2017-2018 season across all 4 major professional sports leagues in North America (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL). Results suggest that roughly 94% of the scoreboard outcomes agree with the success rate instituted in this study. The results also highlight Coach Wooden's distinction between winning and succeeding where the conclusion of 306 games comprises of winning teams that do not have a higher "success rate" than the losing team. The principles of the statistical metric used in this paper provide practical implications in economics through game theory and technical analysis in finance.

Keywords: Game Theory, Statistical Simulation, Time Series, Technical Analysis

JEL Classification: C10, C15, C70, C71

Suggested Citation

Joseph, Elisee, The Statistical Examination of Winning and Succeeding in Sports (November 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Elisee Joseph (Contact Author)

Felician University, School of Business ( email )

262 South Main Street
Lodi, NJ
United States
3475223025 (Phone)

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