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Betwise daily oddsline for UK and Irish horseracing

By colin on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

We’ve been experimenting with automatically generated oddslines for a while at Betwise, in fact that was the premise of the book Automatic Exchange Betting, published in 2007!

What is an oddsline? Simple, it’s a set of prices, the same as a bookmaker offers you, but with a set of chances for all contenders that is as close to the actual chance (or probability) each horse has of winning a race. The difference is that a fair oddsline adds up to 100% probability, whereas a bookmaker will build in a margin of profit across all the odds on offer (or overround). Moreover, a bookmaker will adjust prices based on weight of money for each contender. Exchange prices are simply a function of weight of money with the market determining back and lay prices, with the Exchange taking a commission. The more participants in the market, and the greater the weight of money, the more chance that the probabilities will add up to the magic 100% (except of course that the Exchange margin on winning bets will damage that “fair” book).

The art of bookmaking involves creating such prices from scratch based on knowledge of the market, the contenders, what prices others are offering, whatever risk the bookmaker wants to take, and then adjusting the prices according to weight of money, with possibly more attention being paid to “smart” money!

However, in the age of Artificial Intelligence, both bookmaker and punter can do better. Or can they?

To automate an oddsline, there is usually a combination of a machine learning algorithm to make predictions based on past data, some element of factoring in the probabilities from the market (to represent the element of weight of money), and last but not least, an algorithm to ensure that the predictions from the oddsline are relatable to the odds on offer. In other words, that the odds from the oddsline are realistic and sum to 100%. Machine learning and artificial intelligence is all the rage now, but it isn’t that new. Whether expert opinion or machine learning is used to form your view, Smartform was created off the back of Automatic Exchange Betting for bettors who value the ability to use a programmatic database and programming tools for gaining a personal edge of this nature.

The end use is the same for either an automated or “expert” oddsline – if a certain horse’s odds are higher than what the “fair” odds should be then that’s worth a bet, if the horse’s odds are lower, conversely, then the horse may be worth laying.

At least that is the theory. In practice, there are a million things that can go wrong!

While lockdown was in progress, we were busy creating an automated public oddsline, a free version of the one that we’ve been developing for a while, that you can find here every day before Noon:

Feel free to download, review and even use at your own risk.

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