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SPORT PREDICTION MODULES - HOW THEY WORK

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As you may well be aware. Bookmakers, sports-betting funds, betting syndicates and professional gamblers use predictive math based modules (Algorithms) to calculate correct odds. By doing so they hope to achieve a betting advantage over the opposition .The people responsible for performing the maths are known has quantitative analysts. In this article, we take into consideration the maths model against the human:


Algorithmic betting systems (ABS) come in all shapes and sizes. Whilst some bookmakers and betting syndicates might have invested millions in trading software. Others work on a shoestring budget. It´s fair to suggest their are many different levels . One thing is for sure, an algorithm can only be as good as the human who programmed it!


The data required to build a predictive sports betting module is dependent on the individual sport. It will be dependent on the individual sport. There are also other contingencies to take into consideration, such has an individuals performance and the effect it will have on a game. In a head to head sport such as tennis, a player having a bad day will probably lose. In a team sport like Football, an underperforming or injured player can be replaced. The disadvantage will obviously be dependent on the quality of the player coming off and the one replacing him.


Lets look into some of the variables in sports such as: Tennis, Football and Horse-racing (European) .


TENNIS (Pre game)


The first thing we would like to point out is reliability varies between men (ATP) and women (WTA). It will need taking into consideration. A look at some other aspects:


-Surface:Several variations to consider including clay, hard-court ,grass,carpet. Indoor and outdoor.

-Form: Recent performance and on what surface.

-Head to head : Past performance against the same opponent.

-Ranking : Probably means less than current form.

-Time of year : Some players peak at a certain times but it´s usually surface related.

-Past performance : Look for past performance at the same event (horses for courses)

-Fitness : Look for injury issues such as pulling out of recent tournaments, movement on court in most previous match, bandages and reports on illness.

-Fatigue : Some players need plenty of games to maintain fitness. Others can´t take a hard schedule.

-Preperation : If someone went out of a recent tournament early it could be a advantage, they would have had time to prepare and acclimatize to the new environment.

-Time of day : Some people are born to get up in the morning, others are night owls. Look at the schedule but bare in mind it can change.

-Weather : Everyone has optimum conditions. There is a good chance people from hot countries handle heat better. Others may be less inconvenienced by wind or colder weather.

-Location : London might be better for a European whereas China might suit an Asian. Some people adapt easily, others not!

-Circumstances: Recent change in coach or other parts of the team. Family or personal situation!

-Number of sets: Mens grand slams are decided over 5 sets. Some players are stronger stayers than others. Hard matches tend to leave a mark


FOOTBALL (Pre game)


Football leagues vary greatly in quality, any algorithm should take that into consideration. What´s important.


-Missing players : Team news is very important, suspensions, injuries, players being sold or loaned out. But it´s more than that, look at team strength in past games. Assign players a rating.

-Returning players : Some managers won´t allow an half fit player to return, much will depend on the quality and position.

-League positions: The further into the season, the more serious the table. Watch out for the attitude change when teams are safe but can´t win anything. Different leagues, different levels.

-Current form : Look at recent form and consider teams they played. Consider reasons behind change in performance such as missing players.

-Head to head : Teams change year to year but stat tends to hold-up has clubs recruit to their budget.

-Home/Away : Some teams are happy on the road as they like to counter attack, others need their own fans.

-Crowd effect: Size of crowd could effect the bias. Take into consideration the day,time,weather and quality of the visitor. More spectators will turn up for the big matches.

-Traveling : How far did visitors travel. Local derbies can have less of an advantage, look at head to heads to get the balance of effect!

-Referee: Who's been given the whistle? Look at average bookings, bias towards certain teams, succumbing to fan pressure, prior history with certain players!

-Weather: This could effect the number of goals, take into account contingencies such as: if it´s very cold, a team full of Scandinavians might be well equipped to handle conditions. Vice versa with heat issues.

-Circumstances: Touchline bans for coach, new manager, financial issues such as players not getting paid, club takeover, players unhappy or preparing to leave.

-Pitch: Some teams play on synthetic/artificial pitches, others like Eibar play on a very small field. Direct play is needed.


HORSERACING (European)


Let's throw in horse racing, as I consider it to be the best example of human superiority over prediction software. It's important to watch earlier races if you are betting in play. Racing is all about memory!


-Handicap mark : You have heard the saying, "weight stops trains", it certainly stops horses!

-Distance: At a stiff track it´s worth looking for horses that stay a bit further and the opposite is true if the track is easy.

-Weight : Some horses are better off giving weight to inferior animals, whilst others are better when they receive weight from better types.

-Ground conditions : If a horse doesn´t like the ground it won´t win, unless the race is extremely biased, or the others don´t like the ground even less.

-Starting stall : A good draw can make the difference of many lengths (dependent on track), you also need to consider how it will effect the horses running style.If the animal is a hold up type, he might be happier with a bad draw, where he can be dropped out. The opposite would be true of a front runner.

-Size of field : You have heard the saying. The bigger the field, the bigger the certainty.The truth is, some horses like the hurly burly of a big field, others don't like crowding.

-Jockey :  A top jockey can increase the horses chances of winning but can also reduce the odds. Look for jockeys that suit certain types. Also, look for up and coming jockeys with an allowance.

-Know your track : It´s no good a big horse running round a sharp track and vice versa. Consider the symetrics and whether the track is flat, undulating, or has a stiff finish. Other factors could be the run-in from the last fence or the straight if its a flat race.

-Pace in the race: A front runner will be inconvenienced if their are others in the field (cut-throat). A hold-up horse would be inconvenienced by a slow pace, they need front runners to set up the race.

-Trainer form : A quick look at the stables recent form can be very enlightening. Don´t just look at wins, look at the odds and expectancy. If trainer has a third at 50-1 it could be a positive!

-Watch: Horse´s in the parade ring and going to post, it can be very revealing. Sweating or any sign of attitude could be a negative. 

-Gambles : You are not a sheep, if the boat has gone wave it good-bye!

-Jump racing: Type of fences to be jumped (some are easy whilst others are hard -depends on the track), how many per circuit and what type of horse they will suit. Cheltenham is a lot stiffer than Fakenham, whilst Uttoxeter is very good for building confidence.



Other notes:


For in-play and automated trading an algorithmic tool is a a distinct advantage especially if the person controlling the module is adept at tweaking. Bare in mind that teams and players don´t always perform to expectations. Algorithms remove emotion from the game and predictive modules can work faster than the human mind.


We believe in and operate an algorithmic sports betting module. At the same time, we believe the human eye and knowledge can be superior if the person has the right feeling.


The advantage of the naked eye shouldn´t be underestimated!!.