If you’ve even remotely familiar with football betting, you would have heard of decimal and fraction odds. For example – Paris Saint Germain has a 60% probability of winning against Inter Milan. But what does this mean, and where do these numbers come from?
Most bookmakers and tipping services tend to use complex predictive algorithms to calculate their odds, but what is an algorithm, and is there a best predictive model for football match predictions?
While a person can predict the outcome of a football match, there is a more precise and accurate way. That way would be to develop a predictive algorithm that relies on machine learning. A good one would be more efficient in predicting the outcome of a football match.
This is because a predictive software is subject to least human error, and would be based on a precise set of rules and calculations. An algorithm would rely purely on statistics. And technically, once it’s all set up, you wouldn’t even have to watch football matches to make a bet.
What is a sports betting algorithm?
An algorithm is mostly just calculations. Essentially a set of rules, a pattern that a particular software follows to come to the desired conclusion. For soccer predictions, the desired goal would be to calculate the odds and probabilities of a certain outcome. These odds and probabilities reflect the likelihood of a particular event occurring, so that punters can stake their money on the most probable option, to win a bet. They can be incredibly simple or extremely complex, depending on how you go about creating it.
So what would go into developing such an algorithm? Well, it’s mostly what a statistician would call ‘big data.’ Big data usually consists of a plethora of information, which would include past statistics – things like the number of goals the team has scored, possession rate, clean sheets, etc. Individual player information is also taken into consideration -injuries, assists, and so on. A predictive betting software would crawl existing databases for such information, to compute each participating team’s probability of winning in comparison to the other.
How accurate are algorithms?
We aren’t going to lead you astray by telling you that algorithms are 100% accurate. While they are a good predictive method, it should be noted that they only consider existing data and statistics. But then again, anything can happen on the day of the match. Football is an intrinsically human activity.