It’s no news to say sports betting is a gigantic industry producing an ever-growing set of eye-watering stats.
We are talking billions, if not hundreds of billions worldwide every year. The exact number is difficult to pin down as illegal sports betting is not reported, which some say is worth even more than legal sports betting.
To give an example, it is estimated that $6.8 billion was wagered on Super Bowl LIV – and that’s just one game, albeit one of the biggest on the planet.
The battle for finding an edge
With so much money sloshing around, it’s no wonder players, and sports bookmakers like https://raj.bet/ are always looking to find some sort of edge.
Bookies have an advantage to a degree since they are the ones setting the odds.
These odds aren’t just made up numbers, though, and involve crunching a lot of data to offer players enticing wagers while still retaining profits.
This is where AI steps in as a possible way of processing the endless ream of statistics.
How AI sports betting works
Artificial Intelligence and its partner machine learning may help predict results when the sport follows certain rules and has a predictive quality.
Football is a good example as it has well-defined rules, played within a certain amount of time, with repeatable actions that can become predictable.
The critical element in the AI/ML puzzle are algorithms, which are mathematical formulas that organise the data, and use it to solve complicated problems.
In sports betting, an algorithm feeds team information and stats to help predict the outcomes of the event.
In cricket, this includes things like runs, 4’s, 6’s, batting average, balls faced, and strike rate – among many others.
With powerful AI, stats may be analysed in ways not dreamed of in the past.
Current issues with AI sports betting algorithms.
While the technology looks promising, it’s not without its issues.
We are far from feeding a few numbers into a box and getting guaranteed results, and it’s unlikely the technology will ever be so predictable.
For now, here are some sticking points:
- Prediction problems – AI builds a picture up after amassing a huge amount of data. As such, sudden situational changes can throw major curveballs that the system cannot cope with. For example, late injuries to star players can confuse the algorithm leading to incorrect predictions. Changes in-game momentum are a stumbling block as well, since AI can struggle to keep up in these live scenarios.
- The human touch is still required – despite the ability of AI to provide insights, it misses something people contribute to. Human analysis is still required for interpretation; since sports are so random; peoples’ instincts still count when it comes to providing insights a machine cannot.
- Inside information – having information such as starting line-ups can be a major boost when it comes to sports betting. If AI lacks access to such data, the algorithm misses a potentially crucial piece of the puzzle and may not be able to make optimal predictions.
So AI might not be quite there in terms of being a totally reliable way of predicting sports results, but it is improving. Will it ever be 100% correct? Probably not, but it is likely sports booker makers will employ the technology in the future if it can produce better results and odds.