Should I Adapt these Changes to the Sports Betting Market

Better technological advances to support the sports betting markets is giving bettors access to many new betting options. How will changes affect bettors and give bookmakers an opportunity to grow revenue in an economically efficient way. Online platforms enable gamblers to bet whenever and wherever they want, reducing the need for the traditional bookmaking shop.

However, it has proven to be a double-edged sword, with the increasing number of available betting markets. They are growing beyond the capacity of human odds makers to efficiently manage them.

The changing landscape

Tom Daniel, Head of Risk and Player Analytics for sportsbook provider Kambi discusses the changing face of the industry. “The scale of available sports betting markets is so vast in comparison to 13 years ago when I joined the industry. Everything was priced manually, and a single trader working on one event might price up to ten markets.

Everything was being done manually and they spent more time changing their odds than actually watching the events. Now you have a single trader managing the output for scores of events. offering hundreds of markets.

Daniel is talking about the second technical revolution in sports betting which is starting to emerge worldwide. Will the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in odds making affect the betting markets. Designed to increase the accuracy of odds calculation and output, analytical sports trading represents the next digital frontier in sports betting.

The next wave of sports betting

The basic theory is that greater automation leads a drive towards greater efficiency and management. It will take some time and considerable skill to set up automated systems.  The most valuable people in a bookmaking operation will become programmers who set up this automation. Moving into unknown territory carries some inherent risk for the bookmaker using the technology and the consumer taking advantage of it.

More scientific analysis of sport is changing how coaches, trainers and clubs play their respective games. A greater analysis of sporting events is helping odds making database operators evaluate the potential betting edges of each sporting event.

The accuracy of the respective odds and scoring predictions make the betting odds more friendly for bettors to comprehend. In the next few years, bettors will see changes and use them for any possible edge.

The human touch

Human oddsmakers cannot use the large amount of sporting analysis data all of the time.To recall the data for use in odds determination in the same time as an analysis system could is difficult. The increased number of betting markets being offered by bookmakers is expanding. There is also a greater degree of accuracy to the odds calculations of analytics based sport algorithms.

A human sports operator will always be liable to human error regardless of their skill. An analytics odds maker can make  thousands of calculations per second, leaving their human counterparts far behind. Speed and accuracy are the two major factors for any betting market.

Artificial intelligence algorithmic based trading is necessary to run the quantity of markets required in a competitive environment. Human sports traders cannot manage that type of output.

What the future holds

Artificial intelligence in sports betting is still in a long term development stage. Programmers will develop the language that will ensure its security and accuracy. They can develop programming language and algorithms to replicate and exceed the knowledge of a human odds maker.

It still cannot currently replicate the experience of a human. However, there is a strong presence of effective system analytics data available now for handicappers to use to their benefits.

AI is becoming more and more of an accepted practice in the sports betting industry. However the Holy Grail of a fully autonomous general artificial intelligence sports betting system is still some years away.

While the gap between the operational effectiveness of AI and human sports traders is becoming smaller, the role of human odds makers will inevitably have to change to risk management. Ensuring that the system remains free of potential corruption are factors that AI systems cannot currently do without human intervention.

Can AI become mainstream

Artificial intelligence can make significant contributions to player analysis and risk management. Fully automated player management systems can actively manage the profile of every player on a network. It is a  means to manage thousands of players in a way that a human operator could not in terms of speed and coverage.

The sheer number of players currently participating in sports betting demands the need for controls. There are practical ways to assess every player on the network, which is only possible with a high degree of automation.

Is the role of the good old boys network dead

The work of oddsmakers has moved away from a blank sheet of paper and compiles price lines based on skill and experience. It has moved towards a role where the skill is anticipating the market and positioning your firm within the boundaries of that market.

Oddsmakers will have an active and valuable role in designing and programming the AI trading systems. Placing AI odds makers in total charge of an operator’s books potentially exposes its financial revenue to attack or manipulation by hackers. Corporate entities have fallen victim to hackers over the last five years. Betting operators may be reluctant to place the entirety of their odds making under AI control.

The newer sophisticated market for sports betting does affect bettors who have better handicapping skills than a data driven program. The primary advantage bettors have is the oddsmakers have to make the first move —- post the opening lines.

There are requirements for monitoring and management of what content is being produced. The accuracy and sanity checking against other operators and the ability to adapt quickly is paramount.

Watching all the hedging opportunities

Ensuring that you are in line and not creating hedging opportunities must be perfected or astute bettors will exploit the system. One area where bettors have an advantage over artificial intelligence is the ability to read subtle human behavioral traits. Viewing body language of an individual or bad team chemistry is part of a sporting event. A turn of events or bettors anticipating a shift in momentum smart bettors understand to gain an edge over machine data.

A modern oddsmaker requires more knowledge and different skills. He must speak a common language with developers, understand and help refine the mathematical models. Having a fundamental understanding of the mechanics of both sporting events and betting markets is essential.

Talent with the right experience is an integral part of any operation. Math calculations alone will only take you so far. You need experts who know when the numbers and team matchups are in correlation with the bettors expectations.

Better technology is always evolving

If the technology behind AI sports trading becomes more robust and the scope for its usage in betting grows, it may lead to a closer understanding between the human sports bettor and the AI system.

Betting operators could look to retain the services of human sports bettors for higher profile sporting events. It needs a checking mechanism on the work of their AI counterparts. But bettors can benefit with finding ways to use AI without tipping their hand.

It remains clear the sports betting industry has accepted artificial intelligence algorithmic sports trading into the fold. The nature of the relationship between human sports bettors and AI algorithms will be an ever evolving one. Hiring the best sports bettors to oversea a more technical odds-making system is a conflict of interest.

Protecting the shop

Operators have particular safe guards in place to protect against insider trading. It only takes one small leak from a systemic program flaw to help bettors from cashing in on that weak line.

Spotting betting  trends that remain hidden for a stretch of games is a road to riches. Any program or oddsmaker will use previous data that sometimes has no bearing on future games. It can become a winning trend for bettors until the source of the calculated odds are adjusted. It can be a losing trend for the book operators.

The odds makers today are fairly accurate around 70% of the time. They want to improve and upgrade their method of operation, especially if the new corporate operators think they can do a better job.

Improvements for bettors

How the growth of the sports betting industry prepares for bettors, who are looking to cash in, will be an exciting time. For an industry that was cast in dark shadows is now a recognized global market. NFL and NBA picks will follow betting trends that bettors can adjust to with greater results.