Real-time control has been widely adopted to enlarge the energy extraction of a wave energy converter (WEC). In order to implement a real-time control, it is necessary to predict the wave excitation forces in the close future. In many previous studies, the wave forces over the prediction horizon were assumed to be already known, while the wave force prediction effect has been hardly examined. In this paper, we investigate the effect of wave force prediction on the energy absorption of a heaving point-absorber WEC with real-time latching control. The real-time control strategy is based on the combination of optimal command theory and first order-one variable grey model. It is shown that a long prediction horizon is beneficial to the energy absorption, whereas the prediction deviation reduces extracting efficiency of the WEC. Further analysis indicates that deviation of wave force amplitude has little influence on the WEC performance. It is the phase deviation that leads to energy loss. Since the prediction deviation accumulates over the horizon, a moderate horizon is, thus, recommended.