I am thinking about monetizing on my OR education and put all of these stochastic processes and optimization courses to work to pay for the food.

What are the interesting models that I can use to start a successful and scientific sports gambling career. I was thinking about using the prediction market as a prior for some kind of a Bayesian prediction framework. I successfully used an exponential autoregressive model and a naive Markov model for the analyticsX competition. Perhaps we can use similar models for soccer and make some money (so I won't need to serve as an slave for my advisor on the weekends)

Anyways, if you are interested in the science of sports gambling or even if you are not interested in the science but have some money to burn in gambling. Please let me know


Disclaimer: The mathematical model part is serious, everything else is supposed to be a joke! the author is not responsible for any loss due to materials in this post or in the follow up comments. Gambling is awesome but is illegal in most states (Except for those lottery cards that are for balancing the state budget and you can obtain from your nearest convenient store). You should be 18 or older to gamble. Please gamble responsibly.

asked 14 Jun '10, 06:17

Mark's gravatar image

Mark ♦
accept rate: 9%

edited 14 Jun '10, 08:11

To the original poster: Back in the days before the Port Security Act and the fall-out it caused in sending money offshore for gambling purposes, there existed Tradesports.com. It enabled in-game betting and operated as a binary market. For two years, this was my sole source of income and enabled me to pursue a full-time master's degree in OR. As my OR skills developed, a colleague of mine and I built an API interface to the market linking our models to the exchange, automating obvious bets and sounding alarms for judgements requiring human intervention. From my experiences, I think OR is a very powerful tool for live sports betting. Another fun yet short-lived opportunity involved finding arbitrage opportunities between Tradesports and Betfair.com. Both enabled in-game betting, yet one was a binary market and the other decimal. Often, after a score, there existed an arbitrage opportunity as the prices found a new equilibrium. This can probably still be done today if you can find two sites offering in-game betting. Af far as standard non-in-game betting, I found American Football to be the best in terms of modeling success. I have worked on a model for over 4 years and after the first few games of the season, my accuracy is well north of a coin-toss. Anyway, long story short, if you are looking for a partner knowledgable in the application of OR in the world of sports betting (assuming it is legal of course), I am all ears. After a two-year stint in the corporation climate as an OR consultant, I am ready to be indepedent again... Also, I recently discoverd Matchbook.com enables in-game betting.


answered 17 Jun '10, 15:40

Matt's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You've peeked my interest. Do you blog or write about your modeling methods?

(17 Jun '10, 18:08) larrydag 1 ♦

The best way to make money on sports betting is to act as the bookie. Most betting systems only have a useful positive expectancy over a large number of trials, which is prohibitive using your own money. As a bookie you can take as much risk as you are willing to manage, and can set your own prices.

Of course I wouldn't expect an OR person to go into business themselves as a bookie, but there are many bookies who have very primitive risk management and modelling capability who could benefit hugely and quickly from analytic expertise.


answered 14 Jun '10, 14:54

DC%20Woods's gravatar image

DC Woods ♦
accept rate: 5%

If you go to Google Scholar and search <"horse racing" interfaces> and <"horse racing" "management science">, you'll find some references to work related to wagering systems and whether the efficient market principle in finance applies.


answered 14 Jun '10, 15:21

Paul%20Rubin's gravatar image

Paul Rubin ♦♦
accept rate: 19%

I'm not even convinced that the efficient market principle applies in finance! :-)

(15 Jun '10, 05:53) DC Woods ♦

It doesn't. The best model for finance is an old episode of "Rawhide". Shoot a gun in the air and the market stampedes in the opposite direction.

(16 Jun '10, 15:30) Paul Rubin ♦♦

True! Of course the current method is to pretend your finger slipped and type 'b' instead of 'm', but same effect...

(16 Jun '10, 16:57) DC Woods ♦

Another point: when you want to make money with betting modelling, predicting the probabilities of the various outcomes is only half the picture - the other half is deciding whether to bet, and how much to bet given your estimates and confidence. Sometimes it actually makes sense to back the team you expect to lose, simply because the odds are higher than they should be.


answered 15 Jun '10, 05:56

DC%20Woods's gravatar image

DC Woods ♦
accept rate: 5%

Wayne Winston is posting World Cup predictions and rankings on his Mathletics blog.



answered 17 Jun '10, 01:45

larrydag%201's gravatar image

larrydag 1 ♦
accept rate: 9%

great thanks it is helpful

(17 Jun '10, 09:31) Mark ♦

interesting name mathelics.... But he getting his predictions wrong with the france and spain upsets.

(18 Jun '10, 00:05) Venky

Studying the stochastic processes of a soccer game is really fascinating. Think of number of different parameters the model would have to incorporate for predicting one game. I would definitely be interested in the science of it.


answered 14 Jun '10, 15:21

Venky's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I highly recommend the book Efficiency of Racetrack Betting Markets. Its a collection of papers on betting markets, and especially horse racing. It has lots of weak stuff, but there are some quite good ones in there. Has quite a few models, and also wagering systems. If you're doing betting modelling its pretty useful.

If you want to get inspired, google "bill benter", he is pretty successful at it (see, e.g., this article from Wired).


answered 15 Jun '10, 05:53

DC%20Woods's gravatar image

DC Woods ♦
accept rate: 5%

edited 15 Jun '10, 06:00

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