A sporting chance of beating the bookies

 作者:郇钜粼     |      日期:2019-03-15 04:20:00
By Michael Reilly It’s been a long Sunday down at the bar. My favourite American football team, the New York Giants, is playing the Chicago Bears. It’s November, week 10 of 17 in the National Football League, and contending teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack, spurring on argument – and betting – on who will make the play-offs. It all peaks with the Super Bowl, the most bet-on championship game in all of sport, on 4 February. If you want to make a fortune betting on sports, time was that your best hope would be a judicious combination of skill, intuition and luck. Not any more. These days your competitive edge could come from a more rigorous source. One man believes his computer models are now at the point where they might predict the outcomes of real matches accurately enough to tip the odds in your favour, using nothing more than statistics and a series of networked PCs. Why is it that so few sports gamblers make money on the games? As any fan will tell you, there are too many variables. On any given Sunday, a star player can break an ankle, or a gust of wind can blow the ball off-course. So when bets are laid, bookies make money and almost everyone else loses. Try telling that to Stephen Oh, the creator of a sports forecasting service called Accuscore. Oh’s speciality is computer simulation of American football, quantifying everything from first downs to touchdowns, fumbles to interceptions, taking full advantage of the rigid structure of the game. There have been other efforts to do this,