The possibilities of computers and artificial intelligence are growing bigger every day, with advancements in their development happening rapidly. This affects many areas of our lives, including various types of entertainment – one of which is sports betting. When you have the ability to use computers to make your predictions, you increase your chances of winning and improve your game against bookmakers. You also have the opportunity to better understand how bookmakers operate, what margins they place on the odds they offer, which can help you select your predictions to avoid bad ones. Overall, this will help you significantly increase your chances of winning in sports betting.
Constant monitoring of the odds
By utilizing the power of computers to our advantage, we can significantly improve our chances of winning, and monitoring changes in the odds is one way to do so. A computer program can easily make constant checks for the current odds offered by bookmakers. This is especially useful because betting on the right odds gives us the advantage that can make our game a winning one.
What is the margin used by bookmakers
In general, bookmakers make a profit from your bets by using the so-called margin. The easiest explanation for what the margin is can be illustrated with the well-known example of two friends who bet $10 each on a basketball game. Let’s say one of them bets $10 that the LA Lakers will beat the Golden State in the fourth playoff game and the bookmaker gives him odds of 1.91 for that. The other friend thinks the opposite, that Steph Curry and company will win over LeBron James’ team. Since the match is evenly matched, the bookmaker also gives him odds of 1.91 for the away team’s victory. This player also bets $10.
Let’s summarize. Each of the two has bet $10, which makes a total of $20. Since the chances of both teams winning are equal, the bookmaker has offered odds of 1.91 to both of them. Now, whoever wins between the two, the bookmaker will make a total profit of $19.10. The bookmaker will keep 90 cents, regardless of the outcome. This is his margin, and in reality, this is how bookmakers make a profit from the bets of all players, regardless of the match results.
Why do the odds change?
The shortest answer to this is because bookmakers constantly strive to balance the bets, as shown in the example above. They need to make a profit regardless of the outcome of each match. So, if in the example we provided, one of the friends bets $20 instead of $10 like the other friend, the bookmaker now has a chance of losing money. This can happen if the $20 bet turns out to be the winning one. This is so because the bookmaker has received a total of $30, but the potential winnings from a $20 bet are $38.2. To avoid this, the bookmaker needs to incentivize players to make opposing bets that balance the bets. Bookmakers do this by changing the odds.
When we have a similar situation, the bookmaker lowers the odds for the team that has received more bets, making bets for that team unattractive. Conversely, by increasing the odds for the other team, the bookmaker makes the chances of winning for that team more attractive to players and thus attracts more bets for them. When the sum of the bets is balanced, the odds are readjusted to their initial values.
Why is this important for us?
If we can constantly monitor the odds, we can see when the odds change for a given match and bet at a higher stake. This increases our chances of winning and gives us better opportunities in the game. Computer programs also come into play, making it much easier to do. Imagine sitting all day in front of the bookmaker’s website checking the odds to find those that have increased. It is very labor-intensive and not worth the effort. Now imagine a scenario where you’re doing something else, and a computer program is tracking all the matches and alerting you the moment there’s an increase in the odds. At that point, you can look at the relevant football or basketball match and decide whether the bet is worth it or not.
How can you create a computer program that tracks changes in odds at bookmakers?
There are two ways to do this. One is to directly contact one of the bookmakers and request access to their so-called feeds. This is usually a JSON file that describes all the odds. The second way is to write a program that monitors various odds comparison websites, such as betexplorer.com, and obtains the information you need. In the next post, we will delve into more details on how to do this.
And as a final note on computers and sports betting
Keep in mind that you need to be adaptive in everything, even in making football match predictions. This way, you will be able to utilize everything the world around you offers and be more successful. Nowadays, technology advancements make the possibilities bigger, and those of us who manage to adapt will be on the winning side by using bookmakers’ desire for evenly distributed bets and their only tool for that – raising the odds.