Those days are almost gone when one placed a bet on their favourite team hiding from authorities — sports betting is legal now in many parts of the world. While betting, whether one loves their team or a player or places a bet purely hating the opposing team, one needs to have some knowledge aka in technical terms, some data. The sports betting industry is turning to Artificial Intelligence with this data.
Legal sports betting around the world involves working with a lot of information and data collection. Various sports leagues around the globe give bookmakers this data to come up with better products to enhance legal betting. And to improve the field of legal sports betting with massive data, no technology could work better than Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping in predicting the patterns in a sport, but, for AI to work significantly well, this sport has to be predictive, and should follow a particular set of rules. For instance, football, which has a specific set of rules with short duration and gets repeatable, can be used for the AI model, where over a lakh of videos of the games were put through the algorithm for one to see patterns that can be predicted by AI. The real effect of the technology is felt when it provides these insights in real-time, which might impact on the significant factors when it comes to betting.
What Kind Of Data Is Required?
Anybody working with AI and ML knows what an algorithm is — a mathematical formula that organises and evaluates data to solve a complex problem. In legal sports betting the AI makes use of the player statistics and team information in predicting the possible outcome. For example, in a sport like the NBA, stats like field goals; 3-pointers; free throws; the number of rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and turnovers; and game scores from past seasons are used as the data for these algorithms. With advanced analytical tools, AI can revolutionise the way one sees betting.
Study of sports betting algorithm and AI is still in the early stages, but companies like Stratagem, Winnerodds, StatsPerform are continuously carrying out research associated with AI and sports betting.
Problem With AI Algorithms In Sports Betting
Although AI has too much potential when it comes to sports betting. However, gambling and betting are something new for AI, and therefore it does encounter some problems.
Humans Are Needed
No matter what insights are given by AI and machine learning, human analysis is always required to analyse these insights provided by the system in an ongoing game. Also, because of the unpredictable nature of sports, human instinct plays a huge role in interpreting these data correctly.
Problem With Prediction
AI always provides insights based on the data fed on to the algorithm, but if an unfortunate and sudden scenario occurs where the star player gets injured but continues to play through it, might result in the team’s losing record. The AI’s algorithm will never take the impact of a star player into account and might mispredict the result for the gamblers. Also, no AI is capable of predicting the momentum shift of the game. Although AI can provide beneficial real-time insights of an ongoing game, it hugely misses the unfortunate shift of game where the losing team becomes the winner at the end.
The Starting Lineup
One of the crucial factors of betting has always been the starting lineup. If a gambler gets access to these starting lineup information before the game, it can prove to be immensely valuable for betting. And AI obviously doesn’t have these ‘inside connections’ to get the starting lineup, that’s one advantage the bookmakers will always hold over the AI when it comes to sports betting.
Artificial Intelligence has been impacting everything around us and has also gone through several criticisms. But, over the years, it has delivered on most of its promises in varied industries like healthcare, finances etc. With AI starting to impact the sports betting industry, it is promising a legal and more accessible way of betting through the Sportsbooks, which is a billion-dollar software industry allowing users to bet from their mobiles and laptops safely. And with such scenario in hand, soon AI will close the gap that exists between gambling and investing.