AI has been in the news more than ever recently. Discussions about the ethics of using AI writing tools such as ChatBotGPT have become a common fixture of conversations in education, politics and business. There are also the constant fears about the destructive potential of AI if we allow it to become too advanced, or if we even have a choice in the matter at this point!
While there is some legitimacy to these fears, it’s not all doom and gloom. AI has many positive uses, including helping governments pinpoint areas lacking access to adequate resources, detecting diseases and even helping to protect the world’s bee populations. AI isn’t necessarily good or bad, it all comes down to how we make use of it.
Since AI basically functions by analyzing massive amounts of data, it can be put to great use in the world of sports. AI can be used to improve athlete performance, measure fan engagement and even reduce injuries through data-based training plans. Unsurprisingly, it can also be used to great effect in the world of sports betting.
Sports betting is all about data. The stats shape the odds bookmakers set to form the foundation of betting. The leading US sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, have a great deal to offer in terms of data and betting insights. In this article, we’ll examine how AI extracts valuable insights for sports betting.
The big subject when we talk about AI and sports betting is predictive analytics. Predictive analytics is how we refer to what AI does when it is used to examine sports. Essentially, statistical sports data is run through algorithms, and machine learning tools and techniques are used to determine answers to specific questions. The predictive aspect is that these questions typically have to do with trying to predict a team’s future performance. The role of the machine learning techniques is to consistently improve the predictions that AI is making.
There are many ways that AI-driven predictive analytics are impacting sports betting, such as:
Sports betting is all about making predictions. Solid predictions are based on team and player statistics combined with factors such as past meetings between the teams, travel schedules and weather. AI can analyze all this data faster, more accurately and with less bias than any one person can.
This is even more the case with futures bets. Since futures bets are placed on outcomes in the future, they can be hard to get right. AI can analyze factors you might not have even considered in order to more accurately predict which team will win the title or which player will be named MVP of the season.
Additionally, we trust bookmakers to give fair odds based on expected performance. However, we have to remember that sportsbooks are business and sometimes the odds are artificially set in order to protect the sportsbook’s financial interests. Instead of simply relying on the sportsbook’s odds and predictions, using AI allows bettors to double check the odds that are offered and pinpoint events where the odds might be better or worse than they look. It’s an important tool that puts a bit more power in the hands of the bettors.
There is always risk involved in gambling and sports betting is no exception. AI predictive analytics can be used by individuals to mitigate that risk. Since AI tools can constantly analyze the odds and betting patterns, they can identify when risks emerge or when tips come out and skew the odds.
Using an AI-powered risk management tool or strategy can also help limit the number of poor bets you place. Just because a bet sounds or looks good, it doesn’t mean it is but sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint if there’s an actual issue or if you’re just overthinking the bet. With AI predictive analysis, the weak point of the bet can be hunted down, and you can begin to maximize betting returns by avoiding excessively risky bets.
AI is also useful in helping sportsbooks manage risks and decrease the likelihood of fraudulent betting activity taking place. By tracking betting patterns of the entire bettor pool, AI is able to identify when unusual activity is taking place. Sportsbooks can then preemptively freeze accounts and investigate. It’s an important tool and helps to keep sports betting fair for all bettors.
Live betting is one of the hottest trends in sports betting right now. Also known as in-play betting, these are bets that are placed while a game is in progress. Obviously, in order for live betting to work in any practical sense, there has to be a way to constantly update the odds. It may be possible for a bookmaker to do this but it’s infinitely easier for an AI program to do it. This is one area where AI is clearly better suited to the job than a person is.
When live betting is combined with live streaming sports, we get as close as we can currently get to an AR sports betting experience, and it is really exciting to see how this might develop.
The belief that AI and data are everything that matters in sports betting has led to many tech-wise bettors developing their own betting bots. These bots use set algorithms to determine which bets to place to have the biggest chances of making money. The quality of these bots depends entirely on the quality of their programming.
Using a bot to automate a process isn’t new, these sports betting bots share a lot with the automated trading bots that have become so popular among crypto traders. The main difference is that human and emotional elements have such big impacts on sports results. No matter what the algorithm determines, upsets happen. Everyone can agree that if sports were entirely predictable, they wouldn’t be fun anymore and this just shows why the usefulness of these bots is fairly limited.