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SPORT PREDICTIONS (Human vs Maths)



Considerations!


Has you may be aware,bookmakers, sports-betting fund operators,syndicates and professional gamblers use predictive math modules (Algorithms) to calculate what they consider to be correct odds and betting advantage,the people responsible for performing the maths are quantitative analysts,can the maths model really beat Human?


Algorithmic betting systems (ABS) come in all shapes and sizes,whilst syndicates might have invested millions, others are a one man show and like with humans,everyone as a different level of ability,i think it´s fair to suggest that behind every good algorithm is a good person,afterall, without the human their would be no algorithm!


With regards to predictive sports-betting modules,we will need to take into consideration sport type,for example,tennis is a game between 2 individuals, if one has a bad day they will probably lose,football on the other hand is a team sport,if somebody is under performing he can be substituted,drawing the battle pal


Lets consider some of the variables and what we need to consider for sports, Tennis, Football and Horseracing (European) .


TENNIS(Pre game)


There´s a difference between the reliability of men (ATP) and women (WTA), whilst the variation might be only 2-3% it will need building into any calculation, other considerations include:


-Surface:Several variations to consider including clay, hard-court ,grass or carpet.

-Form: Recent performance is very important. 

-Head to head : Consider past performance against the same opponent.

-Ranking : Probably means less than current form and surface bit it´s still a consideration.

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

-Fitness : Look for injury issues such as pulling out of recent tournament,previous match,bandages,reports.

-Tiredness : Some players need games to be fit,others tire,consider recent tournaments.

-Time of day : Some people are born to get up in the morning, others are night owls.

-Weather : Everyone has optimum conditions,enforced breaks,having to wait to get on court effects people differently.

-Location : London might be better for a European whereas China might suit a local,some people adapt,others not so easily!

-Circumstances: Might have been a recent change in coach or family illness, find out everything!

-Number of sets: Mens grand slams are decided over 5 sets.


FOOTBALL (Pre game)



Football leagues vary greatly in quality and some are so bad you couldn´t build an effective calculation,, for the sake of this article, lets consider the league to be honest, such as the English premier league.


-Missing players : Team news is so very important,suspensions or injuries.

-Returning players : Not fully fit, how will it effect performance.

-League positions: The further into the season, the more serious the table,however….

-Current form : Look at recent form, home and away!

-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 anticipated,could be dependent on day,time,weather,opposition.

-Traveling : How far did visitors travel,local derbies less of advantage.

-Referee: who´s been given the whistle,look at average bookings, advantage for certain teams,favoring home side,prior history with certain players!

-Weather: This could effect the number of goals,furthermore,if it´s very cold a team full of Scandinavians might be well equipped to handle conditions.

-Circumstances: Touchline ban for coach, new incoming back room,club takeover etc


HORSERACING (European)



I always throw in horse-racing as i consider it to be the best example of  humans superiority over prediction software,it´s important to watch earlier races if you are playing on the exchanges, you will learn a lot about the following contingencies!


-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 a horse stays 1600 metres on an easy track 1400 might be enough if it´s a sitff finish.

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

-Going : 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.

-Starting stall : A good draw can make the difference of many lengths, you also need to consider how it will effect the horses style of racing, for example, if the animal is an hold-up type he might be happier with a bad draw, the opposite would be true of a front runner, he would have to use much energy!

-Size of field : You have heard the saying, the bigger the field, the bigger the certainty, that comes around has the pace is more likely honest so the race should be properly run, it clearly doesn´t suit every horse.

-Jockey : Top jockey could add to the horses chance but he will take away from the odds, look for jockeys that suit certain types

-Type of track : It´s no good a big horse running round a sharp track and vice versa, consider the symetrycs and whether the track is flat,undulating, has a stiff finish, the distance from the last bend, assign whether it suits front runners or horses that come from behind.

-Pace in the race: No point in betting a front runner if their are another 5 in the field, it would be like playing cut-throat, same as an hold-up horse wouldn´t be suited by lack of pace.

-Trainer form : A quick look at the stables recent form can be enlightening.

-Watch: the horse in the parade ring and going to start, it can be very revealing. 

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

-Jump racing: Type of fence, how many,how stiff,will my horse be suited!



CONCLUSION:


For in-play and automated trading an algorithmic tool is a a district advantage, especially, if the person controlling the module is adept at tweaking ,afterall, 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.


Percentually, the human eye should perform better than the predictive module, however, mass balances out, some sports suit data based algorithmic modules (Tennis) and others suit the naked eye (Horseracing), 


See it like a marriage, the advantage of the naked eye shouldn´t be undermined, like the wife, we shouldn´t undervalue the maths!