Exploring the Use of Big Data in Sports Betting

Once upon a time, odds makers would pore through volumes of data that was written on stacks of paper. They would then use the piles of information to manually calculate betting odds. On the other side, sports bettors would gather any information they had and try to make sense of it. In both cases, it was quite a long and labor-intensive undertaking. However, the introduction of computers and the internet made it a lot easier for oddsmakers and bettors alike.

In addition to the massive computing power available, there is now an incredible amount of data floating around the ether. Even though bookmakers offer loads of helpful sports betting information, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Big data companies gather and analyse all sorts of statistics. They then use the data to come up with some of the most stunning and accurate predictions you can imagine.

If you consider an NBA game, events like three pointers, rebounds, turnovers and assists have always been recorded. However, now online basketball betting sites offer us access to many more stats like zone time, body checks, and anything else that can be tracked. That even includes referees and strategies. Experienced sports bettors know that they must make use of any information they can get their hands on as it gives them a better chance of winning their bets. Of course, having the data and knowing how to analyze the data are two different things.

Big Data Isn’t Just About Numbers        

Do you want to hear something incredible? A few brainy folks fed over 1,500 video clips of professional footballers into a machine-learning platform. This resulted in more accurate predictions in real time. As you would expect, this revolutionary process can be applied to any sport. So, big data doesn’t strictly stick to numbers. They apparently use the might of modern computers for visual analysis too.

On top of bookmakers and bettors, machine learning has also helped many professional sports teams. A similar program to the one mentioned above was used by the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. Again, the program analyzed video replays to point out the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and the team as a whole.

Benefits of Big Data

Bookmakers were some of the first people to apply modern data science. This ensured that the lines and odds they came up with were accurate and couldn’t easily be exploited. Partnerships with big data companies give bookmakers a huge advantage. Did you know that online bookmakers even track data related to your betting performance and tendencies?

Still, big data is also immensely helpful to punters who can also analyze an abundance of relevant data to find the most profitable betting situations. It’s just that most sports bettors don’t have access to as much information as the bookies.

Does Machine Learning Really Work?

Machine learning is essentially a type of artificial intelligence. Computer programs are fed a plethora of information and then algorithms sort it all out and make their predictions. While machine learning has been around for quite a while, it has yet to come close to its potential. It does work, though. It might not work every time and it certainly won’t work well if the data is lacking or the program misinterprets it. Every added bit of information put into proper perspective makes the prediction more accurate.

Big Data: Conclusion

It doesn’t matter if you use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or some advanced algorithm to make your sports picks. What does matter is that you collect and analyze as much information as you can. A lot of people might be turned off by the research component of sports betting. This is understandable seeing just how much information is out there. Nevertheless, a lot of serious punters actually enjoy studying stats and tweaking their systems. Experimenting can be a lot of fun.

As more information becomes available and technology advances, big data will continue to play a major role in the sports and sports betting industries as well as many other areas. Let’s just hope that nobody develops a predictor that is 100% accurate. If that happens, it could be the end of sports betting as we know it.

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