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As you may well be aware, many bookmakers, 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 quantitative analysts. In this article, we take into consideration maths modul vs human:

The level of Sports prediction modules can vary greatly, and by that we mean a professional betting company is going to spend more than a one man band. 

We can safely assume leading betting syndicates invest heavily in algorithmic betting systems, while individuals work on a shoestring budget. Nevertheless, they both have one thing in common, and that's they are just as good as the person who did the programing.

The data required to build a predictive sports betting module is clearly dependent on the sport type. Furthermore, their are clearly loads of contingencies to take into consideration. For individuals sports such has tennis, the fitness of a player can be the biggest unknown factor. Whereas, in team sports knowing who will start is the key. It's very clear, and sport Prediction modules need to adapt to changing circumstances 

Lets look into a fe considerations for Tennis, Football and Horse-racing (European) .

TENNIS - Sports prediction modules

The first thing noticeable is men (ATP) and women (WTA) can have different consistency levels. It will need taking into consideration along with:

  • Surface: self expanatory, since each surface is very different. Courts include clay, hard ,grass, carpet. And, then their is indoor and outdoor.

  • Form: Consider recent form and whether a change in surface will make a difference.

  • Head to head : Past performance against the same opponent, taking into account surface and form at the time.

  • Ranking : Current ranking, and whether it's preogressive/regressive for time of the season.

  • Time of year : Some players peak at a certain times of the year, although it´s usually surface related.

  • Past performance : Look for past performance on a similar surface, and at the current event.

  • Fitness : Look for recent injury issues, such as pulling out of recent tournaments. Watch matches to see how a player moves on court. Look for bandages and reports on illness.

  • Fatigue : Some players need plenty of games to maintain fitness. Others can´t take a hard schedule. End of the season can throw up indifferent results.

  • Preperation :  When a player was defeated in a recent tournament  could have an impact. Afterall, arriving early or late could depend how far a player got in that most recent tournament. Sometimes an early exit is beneficial for the next meeting.

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

  • Weather : Everyoneprefers different conditions. There is a good chance people from hot countries will handle heat better. While people from northern countries can handle bad conditions better.

  • 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 and suited by a marathon.

FOOTBALL - Sports prediction modules

Football leagues vary greatly in quality, so the algoritm varies greatly

  • Missing players : Team news is clearly important. Suspensions and injuries should in the main be easy to identify, and you can often get these by visiting a clubs website. Just for information, many Sports prediction modules work on player rates.

  • Returning players : A player just coming back into a team after injury will probably be a little weary. That means they won't be at their best.

  • League positions: The further into the season, the more serious we can actually take the league table. Also, watch out late in the season for the attitude change depending on the position of a team.

  • Current form : Look at recent form and consider teams 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, reason is clubs recruit to their budget. (watch for changes in finances)

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

  • Crowd effect: Look into crowd expectancy, it could have an impact.

  • Traveling : How far did visitors travel, and how difficult was it to arrive. Being banged up on a bus for 8 hours is different to playing in a local derby. 

  • Referee: Who's been given the whistle? Look at average bookings, bias towards certain teams. succumbing to fan pressure is one thing, and so is prior history with certain players!

  • Weather: This could effect goals: if it´s  cold, a team full of Scandinavians might bebetter equipped to handle conditions, that south Americans.

  • Circumstances: Touchline bans for coach, or arrival of a new manager are something to consider. Keep an eye of financial issues, such as players not getting paid. Talk of club takeovers and players being unhappy are other aspects.

  • Pitch: Some teams play on synthetic/artificial pitches, others like Eibar play on a very small field. 

HORSERACING -  Sports prediction modules

This is a sport when human knowledge should outperform any sport prediction modules, but others will argue different.

  • 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, 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 receiving weight from better types.

  • Ground conditions : If a horse doesn´t like the ground it won´t run to it's best form. However, we need to take into consideration opposition has it might be the same for them.

  • 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!

  • Jockey :  A top jockey can increase the horses chances of winning, but the odds could suffer has a consequence. Look for jockeys that suit certain types, because it does vary. Also, look for up and coming jockeys with an allowance to take off weight.

  • Know your track : It´s no good a big horse running around a track that won't suit, unless the trainer wants to get his handicap mark down. Consider symetrics and whether the track is flat or undulating. Other factors could be the distance of the run-in from the last fence. Or, the legnth of 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). While, hold-up horse would be inconvenienced by a slow pace.

  • 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 revealing. Sweating or any sign of attitude could be a negative. 

  • Gambles : You are not a sheep, if the boat has gone wave bye bye.

  • Jump racing: Type of fences to be jumped, because each track varies. Also, consider how many per circuit, and what type of horse they will suit. for example, Cheltenham is a lot stiffer than Fakenham, while Uttoxeter is very good for building confidence.

Other notes:

For in-play and automated trading  algorithmic tools are a major advantage, and especially when the human is tweaking the module. Bare in mind that teams and players don´t always perform to expectations. Algorithms remove emotion from the game, whilepredictive modules work faster than the human brain.