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Do you use computers for live betting on various sports? The same machine is also used to determine sports betting odds using a complex range of computer program algorithms. With the addition of machine learning via artificial intelligence and improved technological integration, computers play an integral role in the sports betting market.

In online platforms, gamblers bet whenever and wherever they want. This reduces the need for traditional book making shops and increases the number of betting markets.

One downside, however, is that human odds makers are outpaced, requiring the use of computers to present bookmakers with an opportunity to grow their revenue and to better calculate betting odds.

Because the reality is calculating odds is a science that requires the level of skills and knowledge that statisticians and analysts possess. A good understanding of odds calculations is essential to a bookmaker’s business. 

But you won't need human input if you have computers to help you determine betting odds. 

How do computers do this?

Data analysis

As previously mentioned, statistics play an integral part in sports betting and is often a revealing factor that grades players and teams of every sport. The same data used by most bettors remains a reliable source for analysis. This is why it's all used for computer data analysis.

This is also part of the reason that sportsbooks like SBG Global Sportsbook can provide almost accurate data as to where a gambler can wager in various sports. This increases their chances of winning.

In the case of baseball sports betting, some of the data gathered and analyzed are:

  • Batting averages
  • Runs batted in (RBl)
  • Strikeouts (Ks)
  • Walks 
  • Home-runs 
  • Hits 
  • Pitchers wins and losses
  • Earned run average (ERA)
  • Best velocity and change-up, curve ball, and slider

The data is then used to rank a player's contribution to the team and their estimated value to date. The combination of averages and exact mathematical figures as provided by the ERA, enables a computer to produce numerical estimates.

The same estimates are then used to create a newer evaluation method. WAR, for example, is an approximation used to rank a player. The estimated number requires a good amount of data for calculation. A player with a WAR ranking between 5.0 and 7.0, for example, is considered a possible MVP and with an all-star caliber. 

Integrating public sentiment

Although computer analysis is used to determine betting odds, public sentiment should not be underestimated, especially when establishing a betting line. Numerous sportsbooks lost money in the short run due to exclusion of public sentiment in their betting analysis. 

Even if a computer sets a betting line that is different from public sentiment, adjustment have to be made. This will help books to reduce their exposure to risk and potential losses. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)

To increase the accuracy of calculated odds, artificial intelligence and machine learning are now widely used. Many believe that greater efficiency is achieved with greater automation. 

This makes artificial intelligence sports betting the next digital frontier in the industry. 

Analysts and/or programmers will be responsible for setting up this type of automation. There's a question of whether these individuals must be sports bettors or just number coders. Considering the infancy of the technology in sports betting, the answer would become clear as AI becomes embedded into the betting platforms. 

Its advantages can't be denied. As scientific sports analysis is increasingly used, better analysis of sporting events should follow. 

The huge amount of sporting analysis data, however, isn't something that human traders can all digest or even remember. But computers can.

The demand for greater degree of accuracy with odds calculation is also difficult for humans, as they’re always liable to commit errors, regardless of their skills. Machine learning on the other hand can take in all those data and make accurate calculations.

But there is one advantage that gives human traders the upper hand—human intuition. Although programming languages ensure security and accuracy in sports betting, there is no way they can replicate the knowledge of human oddsmakers. 

Many believe, however, that there will come a time when human intuition and machine language can work hand in hand. As it is, computerized data trends used for analytics provide support to the human side of handicapping. The opposite can be true as well. 

Roles of odds makers

While computers and technology continue to evolve in sports betting and odds calculations, odds makers play an integral in the development process. 

They must:

  • Continue to monitor output calculations of data centers.
  • Be on the lookout for weakness or system failures in the market.
  • Perform accuracy and improvement checking against other operators.
  • Do their share in making sure soft line opportunities and highly leveraged hedge bets are not created.
  • Ensure the systems are working properly and to set up contingency plans to avoid critical downtime or when the system malfunctions.

Betting Odds: How Computers Determine Them
Digital Mag

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