AI Helped Sportsbooks Rake in Euro 2024 Qualifying

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being wielded by both bettors and sportsbooks in the never-ending search for an edge and profit.

The books won big during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying matches, specifically those using Sportradar’s Alpha Odds odds suite.

According to a Sportradar release, its personalized odds technology “boosted profits for sportsbook operators by an average of 15%” during the men’s match slate that ran from March 2023 and March 2024.

Sportradar’s assessment was based on analyzing more than 11 million wagers placed across more than 60 Sportradar clients. The Swiss company’s US-facing operator clients include Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel.

Alpha Odds uses AI to more accurately predict the probabilities of real-time events, enabling oddsmakers to manage their risk more effectively. This helps operators create risk-reducing odds more quickly, specifically for teams that were heavily favored.

Alpha Odds’ success could be taken as a sales pitch to those gambling companies’ competitors and a hint that bettors may need to analyze what books use Sportradar’s product with UEFA Euro 2024 approaching this summer. That pre-World Cup showcase is expected to generate nearly $70 billion in global betting activity.

Experts expected $35 billion to be bet globally on the 2022 World Cup. The 2026 iteration will include numerous American venues.

AI soccer predictions
AP Photo; Brant James illustration

Examples Provided by Sportradar:

  • “In Qualifying Group J, bettors would have heavily backed Portugal to win every match against Slovakia, Iceland, Bosnia, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. With Alpha Odds, operators could effectively reduce their exposure on Portugal winning without limiting the number of bets accepted during a game. The predictive capabilities within Alpha Odds allowed operators to offer their customers sharper prices against these matches and return a profit.”
  • “In the playoffs, Alpha Odds protected operators against a run of customer-friendly results. Operators with a conventional odds product would have keenly felt the odds-on favorites winning at home by two or more goals across six matches. However, the predictive capabilities within Alpha Odds allowed operators to adjust their trading strategies in real-time and protect themselves against the excessive losses associated with these results.”

“The predictive capabilities that Sportradar has developed for Alpha Odds are proving to be a game changer ahead of this summer’s tournament, enabling operators to consistently improve profitability and deliver higher margins across soccer betting,” said Darren Small, Senior Vice President of Managed Trading Services at Sportradar.

Alpha Odds is currently only available for soccer and tennis, but the company plans to add basketball this year.

Sportsbooks, Bettors Battle With AI Power

AI enthralled bettors and bookmakers as its usefulness was understood. Savvy gamblers with some coding prowess can replace spreadsheets with lines of code. Gambling companies with budgets for computing power naturally have the advantage. But AI’s design as a pattern-finding tool can quickly get bettors in a position to exploit inefficiencies at sportsbooks that are not fighting back in real-time.

Subscription AI sports betting services have bloomed, selling picks to players.

Microsoft director of sports Jon Flynn told Gaming Today earlier this year that he believed AI would become a much more prevalent tool for casual Super Bowl bettors.

“We focus on AI in-house as well. We try and build AI models, algorithms, the industry’s already quite rich on it,” he said. “So taking basketball as an example, I had products pitched to me, which is like every single player for the last 10 years, where they hit a 3, where they missed a three, so on and so on,” Andre Zammit, Tipico’s US Sportsbook vice president told Gaming Today. “So all this data helps us big time in creating these micro markets because the data’s so rich and the models continue learning game after game. It’s incredible the state of it, but there’s still a long way to go as well of how to convert that data into betting markets.”

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Senior Writer
Brant James is a senior writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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