Study: Twitter Is Secret to Winning Live Wagering

live-wagering-soccerNew research shows that Twitter activity can help bettors successfully win profits with live wagering.

The study, which was conducted by the UK’s University of East Anglia (UEA), discovered that the positive tone of tweets can indicate which team is more likely to cover live soccer wagers.

According to UEA’s website, researchers poured over 13.8 million tweets during the English Premier League season. They then compared these tweets to live wagering prices at a leading online sportsbook.

The university discovered that if the combined tone on Twitter was positive for a specific team, then they’re more likely to produce a successful live bet.

Tweets are especially helpful after a red card has been issued or a goal has been scored. The tone from this content can help assess the implications moving forward in a match.

UEA Wanted to Measure Forecasting Ability of Social Media

uea-uk-study-sports-bettingVarious firms are already using social media as a way to forecast future results. And the university wanted to determine the accuracy of social media as a forecasting tool. They accomplished this by measuring the aggregate tone for all tweets surrounding each EPL team.

The research has been published in the journal Economic Inquiry, and it was carried out by Dr Alasdair Brown, UEA’s School of Economics, and colleagues from the Universities of Dundee and Reading, and Birkbeck, University of London.

Dr. Brown, who’s a senior economics lecturer, told UEA the following:

“The modern forecaster has a number of tools at their disposal. In particular, prediction markets and social media have proved extremely popular.

“We know that prediction markets, such as Betfair, generally lead to accurate forecasts, and outperform individual experts and polls in many settings. However, we wanted to find out if social media has anything to add. Can we combine probability forecasts from prediction markets with social media output to improve our predictions?

“We find that Twitter activity predicts match outcomes, after controlling for betting market prices. Much of the predictive power of social media presents itself just after significant market events, such as goals and red cards, where the tone of Tweets can help in the interpretation of information.

“In short, social media activity does not just represent sentiment or misinformation. If sensibly aggregated it can, when combined with a prediction market, help to improve forecast accuracy.”

More on the Live Betting Findings

epl-live-wageringThe UEA team used a number of betting strategies to determine the degree to which social media can predict live wagering outcomes. Using a strategy that factors in sportsbook commissions and uses the positive tone on specific teams, UEA earned an average profit of 2.28% on 903,821 bets.

This is a very impressive when considering that the average online better loses 5.41% on EPL live wagering (according to UEA research).

Dr. Brown said these are significant returns when considering the size of the EPL market and the volatile nature of live betting.

The only goal that the study didn’t accomplish is determining if tweets are helpful before a goal is scored. UEA was unable to find a correlation between a positive Twitter tone and making successful bets prior to a goal being scored.

Twitter Is a Very Helpful Live Wagering Predictor

“These results fit in with recent evidence that social media content can be useful as a forecasting tool,” Brown said. “For example, there is evidence that social media output, both on Twitter and on financial message boards, predicts future stock returns.

“At first glance this may be surprising, as we might think that an individual in possession of valuable information would bet or trade first, and post later. However, if we think that valuable information is dispersed among a number of individuals, then we might understand why social media content leads market prices, as it does in this study and elsewhere.”

Dr James Reade, an economics expert who co-authored the study, also spoke about the findings.

“This is a real ‘wisdom of crowds’ kind of outcome,” said Reade. “It says that if we listen to the right parts of the crowd, we can gain more information and make better predictions.

“It’s great for football fans, who always want to know what others think of their team. Betting prices, allied with the general mood on Twitter, can give a really accurate picture of where a match is going, in real time.”

Game of Thrones Betting Destroyed by Episode Leaks

game-of-thrones-betting-leaksOnline sportsbooks have done very well with prop bets on the HBO show Game of Thrones. However, Game of Thrones betting has essentially been destroyed by the recent episode leaks.

HBO has been victimized by cyber attacks recently. And this led to script leaks of Games of Thrones’ fourth episode, Spoils of War, and fifth episode, Eastwatch.

This obviously ruined prop bets such as “who will die next” or “who will kill Cersei [Lannister].” And this has led to many online betting sites canceling their odds on Game of Thrones Season 7.

One of the few wagers that hasn’t been ruined by the episode leaks is who’ll sit on the Iron Throne at the end of Season 7. The Iron Throne is for the ruler of the kingdom Westeros, which has driven many of the show’s plots thus far.

How Game of Thrones Odds are Made

Pat Morrow, a head oddsman at a leading internet sportsbook, spoke with Business Insider on the matter. Morrow and other oddsmakers have been tasked with creating unique bets for Game of Thrones. He personally came up with the idea to create prop bets on the show after watching its popularity soar on Twitter.

game-of-thronesMorrow spoke with Business Insider on other factors that go into making lines for the show. Here’s what he had to say:

“There are a lot of different things that drive it. Part of it, I’d say the last couple of seasons — before the TV show not just caught up with the book, but then passed it — I was able to work off of book knowledge. After the fact it was the combination of not just my own knowledge, but also scouring the internet for the best fan theories, and trying to separate the ones that sound fun, and the ones that seem to be a bit more credible.

“And then of course, the last part is profiling. I often use this example, especially when we’re talking about an entertainment setting like this, but someone betting — whether it’s Los Angeles, or someone’s betting from a part of the world were we know they’re filming this, we would take a wager like that much more seriously than we would of someone betting in Iowa City.

“And that’s not to bemoan the great people of Iowa City, but as far as I know, they’re not doing any filming there. So, there’s not the kind of hard math that we prefer to use when we deal with sporting events.”

Most of the lines that sportsbooks have offered on the show are serious bets. But there’s also the occasional long-shot bet that’s offered purely for fun.

“Last season, we put Hodor up on the Iron Throne at 5,000 to 1, and took a few bets for that because we thought we’d have a laugh,” said Morrow.

“And I guess it was worth it for the pay out as well. We tried to post more serious stuff this year. But unfortunately those leaks have hampered us a little bit.”

Other Sources have Crushed the Game of Thrones Betting Industry

frikidoctor-game-of-thronesWhile the episode leaks certainly hurt Game of Thrones betting, other sources have also revealed crucial plot details. This includes a YouTuber who gave away so many details about the first four episodes that sportsbooks chose to remove some/all of their odds.

“He’s not revealing his sources,” Morrow explained, “but as a result, based on his YouTube channel, the entire season has kind of been spoiled, so it’s forced us to pull everything down for the remainder of the season.”

Morrow didn’t offer up the YouTuber’s name. But Business Insider speculates that it could be Frikidoctor. In this case, the source of the leaks is unknown because Frikdoctor won’t divulge this information.

Is Game of Thrones Betting Finished Forever?

Game of Thrones is set for an eighth installment after Season 7 ends. But will all betting lines on the show cease to exist?

Not quite. Morrow said that his sportsbook plans to fix the issue. They’ll release odds on Season 8 immediately after the seventh season ends.

eddard-stark-oddsObviously this limits what sportsbooks can do with Game of Thrones in the future. But betting sites should still have plenty of props to offer based on the final events of Season 7.

Many of these props will likely deal with the deaths of specific characters. After all, Game of Thrones has become famous for killing off popular characters at any moment. Perhaps the best example is Eddard Stark, who was killed towards the end of Season 1.

Eddard was a noble person who seemed like he’d be a major character throughout the show. However, he was executed in Episode 9 of Season 1, much to the shock of Game of Thrones fans.

Cavs vs Celtics Odds – Does Boston’s Game 3 Win Mean Anything?

cavs-celtics-game-4-oddsGame 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals was going about how people expected. The Cleveland Cavaliers were leading 77-56 midway through the third quarter, dominating the Celtics again on the heels of a 44-point victory.

Then Marcus Smart started heating up…

Normally known for his defense and hustle, Smart scored 27 points on 7-of-10 three-point shooting while starting in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas.

Smart’s production was much needed on a night when most of Boston’s players didn’t shoot great. But the supporting cast did enough in other areas to help Boston book a 111-108 victory.

Now the question remains, does this win mean anything moving forward? Or is it just one win that delays the inevitable? Let’s answer these questions below while previewing Game 4 of the Celtics-Cavs matchup.

Game 4: Cavs vs Celtics Odds (from GTBets.eu)

  • Point Spread: Boston +14.5 (-110) at Cleveland -14.5 (-110)
  • Money Line: Boston +1200 at Cleveland -2000
  • Over/Under: 215 (-110)
  • Game Time: May 23 at 8:30pm EST (Cavs lead series 2-1)

Celtics are Still Big Underdogs

marcus-smart-cavs-celticsBoston put everything they had into Game 3, and it resulted in an unlikely victory. There were several heroes in this game, including Smart, Avery Bradley (20 points, game winner), Jae Crowder (14 points, 11 rebounds), and Jonas Jerebko (10 points in 12 minutes).

“Pride, freedom and desperation, that’s what happened,” Kyrie Irving said of his opponents’ performance. “They played with it all. [Smart] got comfortable, and we let him.”

Despite the big win, nobody is penciling Boston in as favorites for Game 4. In fact, they’re a big underdog here at GTBets.eu at +14.5.

While it’s impressive that Boston was able to steal one in Cleveland, the fact remains that they’ll play the rest of the series without their best player and were battered by 44 points in Game 2. Given everything going against the Celtics, they’ll need to continue pulling magic out of their leprechaun hats to stay in this series.

LeBron James Had His Worst Playoff Performance

Irving and Kevin Love certainly did their part in Game 3, scoring 29 points and 28 points respectively. Kyrie was 10-of-15 from the field, while Love shot a blistering 7-for-13 from beyond the arc.

But the biggest downfall for Cleveland is that LeBron James just couldn’t find the basket. He finished with 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Throw in 6 turnovers, and this was easily one of James’ worst playoff games ever.

Don’t expect this to happen again, though, given that LBJ has been amazing in every other postseason contest so far.

“LeBron has been consistent in his bounce-back attitude since Miami,” teammate James Jones said regarding LeBron. “He doesn’t change for us. I know he’s going to come into the facility [Monday] upbeat, like the loss helps us on this process.”

Can Smart Keep This Up?

As covered earlier, Marcus Smart had the playoff game of his life. He jolted this team to life with several three-pointers in the second half and also dished out 7 assists.

Nobody expects this kind of production out of Smart on a nightly basis. But with Thomas sidelined for the year with a hip injury, don’t be surprised to see his usage elevated.

We don’t expect any more 7-for-10 three-point performances again. However, Smart should continue scoring more for this shorthanded team.

Cavs Bench Needs to Play Better

A huge difference between the Cavs and Celtics was the play of their bench. Boston got 32 points from a combination of six players, while Cleveland got just 9 points from four bench players. What’s worse is that the Cavs reserves were a combined 3-of-14 shooting.

For the most part, Cleveland’s bench has been good. And they’ll certainly need more than what they delivered in Game 3.

What to Expect the Rest of the Way

Technically, the Celtics are back in this series. And coach Brad Stevens will continue using his best defensive lineups since they lack firepower without Thomas.

Smart and Bradley are an excellent defensive backcourt. Throw in Crowder’s defense at small forward, and it’s tougher for James and Irving to get shots any time they want.

Cleveland played a poor defensive game, as opposed to the excellent defense they’ve been playing since the Raptors series. Odds are that this is a fluke and we’ll see a much-more focused team in Game 4. James said as much himself during the post-game press conference.

“Let’s get back to playing desperate basketball,” he said. “and let all the narrative stop.”

With the Warriors trying for a sweep of the Spurs, don’t count on Cleveland giving Boston any more chances to extend this series.

Strong D is Key in GT’s Promo

Football season is nearly here and GTBets – the clean-up hitter of sportsbooks – is a go to site for pigskin because of their half-point promo for favorite teams. For those unfamiliar, bettors choose their go-to college and NFL teams, and every bet placed on those teams comes with a free half-point.

While most bettors would like to believe they objectively analyze lines each week and come to a sound decision about which squads to back, the bottom line is we all have biases. Some bettors subconsciously favor the teams they liked growing up; some favor the teams that have won them big money in the past. Whatever your bias, the reality is that a half-a-point makes more of a difference in tight, low-scoring games versus high-octane affairs. So, when it comes to GTBets’ favorite-team promo, you’ll be best served by choosing defensively stout squads who routinely find themselves in nail-biters. These are my favorites for the upcoming season.

 

NCAA

 

Wyoming

 

The Cowboys were outscored by 15 points per game last season thanks in large part to scoring fewer than 20 points a contest. Despite significant offensive issues, and an ugly 2-10 record that included a double-digit home loss to FCS member North Dakota, the Cowboys were 6-6 against the spread. Wyoming is one of four teams in the country returning 18 starters this season. The defense should continue to be stout, the offense will be improved, and getting an extra half-point in what are likely to be low-scoring, close games is a great way to take advantage of the promo.

 

Tennessee

 

If you’re keen to pick a team that you’ll actually get to see on a weekly basis, try the Vols on for size. Butch Jones can really coach; his third season at Central Michigan saw the Chippewas breakout by posting an 11-2 record. It only took one mediocre year at Cincinnati to turn the Bearcats into a ten-win program. He inherited a bad situation at Tennessee, but has improved the team each season, taking the Volunteers from 5-7 to 7-6 to 9-4 last year. And that 9-4 mark could easily have been better as all four losses came in the closing minutes.

 

The Vols were 8-5 against the spread last year and have 17 starters back in 2016. They have an excellent chance to win ten games for the first time since Phil Fulmer was shown the door.

 

NFL

 

Miami

 

I advocate for the Dolphins, not because they have a great D or tend to play tight games, but because I expect a much better ATS performance than last season, when they went 11-5. Why do I see the Fins being better against the number? Two main reasons: first, I think the general public will be writing them off early; second, new head coach Adam Gase should finally help QB Ryan Tannehill live up to his potential.

 

Miami is probably going to start the season 1-3. Three of their first four games are epic road battles at Seattle, New England (albeit sans Tom Brady), and Cincinnati. The other is a gimme at home against the Browns. If the Fins are indeed 1-3 following a 6-10 campaign last year, there isn’t going to be a lot of support for the team. However, new head coach Adam Gase is a bit of a quarterback whisperer. He revived Jay Cutler’s career, helped Peyton Manning to some of his best seasons, and even won a playoff game with Tim Tebow. If Tannehill takes a step forward this year, the perennial underachievers should finally start to improve. And if public expectations are as tepid as I expect them to be, Miami will be on the receiving end of some favorable lines in the last three quarters of the season.

 

Kansas City

 

The Chiefs defense was one of the best in the league last year. A half-point matters when your m.o. is playing the field-possession game, avoiding turnovers on offense, and generally relying on your D to win you games. Alex Smith is not a great quarterback, but he is capable and risk-averse. In sum, he’s ideal for betting tight games. Add in that the AFC West doesn’t feature any monsters this year, and KC looks poised to emerge on top of a lot of narrow contests.

 

Average bettors don’t like wagering on boring teams. But if you’re really trying to win a little money, you should love conservative offenses when you get the benefit of an extra half point.

 

Sports Betting Champ Billy Walters Is a Major Auto Dealer

billy-walters-sports-bettingNo sports bettor has reached the prominence of Billy Walters. The 69-year-old has accomplished some remarkable betting feats, including the time that he won $3.5 million through the 2010 Super Bowl. But despite his success in the sports betting world – which earned him a feature on 60 Minutes – Walters is focusing on another passion of his: dealing cars.

The Kentucky native began selling cars in his first year out of high school, netting $56,000 in 1966, which is approximately $400,000 today when adjusted for inflation.

“Whatever success I’ve had in life I owe to the automobile business,” said Walters. “It was my MBA. It was my college.”

Working as a car dealer helped Walters move out of the impoverished town of Munfordville, KY and into the Louisville area, where he eventually worked his way into management.

The fact that he moved up so quickly is little surprise, given that Walters has always been a hustler. At age 7, he’d already taken out a $40 bank loan and started mowing lawns to raise money. Two years later, he was granted a $90 loan to begin a newspaper route. And he attributes much of his work ethic to his grandmother.

“My grandmother was my entire life,” he said. “She not only gave me the confidence to be a businessman, she was my role model.”

According to Automotive News, Walters now owns 18 car dealerships through the Walters Group, which is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada. His dealerships sold 28,800 new and used cars last year, and he’ll look to grow this number by purchasing more auto dealerships in the future.

But despite his major successes with dealing cars, Walters has always had a gambling streak in him.

This began when his uncle took him to pool halls at age 5, where he learned to play the game well. After just two years, he was already betting against other players. By the time he hit his 30s, the gambling itch had gotten to Walters so badly that he headed to Las Vegas to test his skills.

billy-walters-sports-betting-1“The whole time I was in the automobile business, I had been working on a program to handicap sports,” Walters explained. “I wanted to gamble where it was legal and lawful and you could be a respected member of the community.”

Sports betting wasn’t the only thing that Walters dabbled in since he also bet heavily in other games like golf. As he told 60 Minutes, he’s won as much as $400,000 on a single hole, and $1 million on an entire golf round. Another thing that Walters revealed to 60 Minutes is that he used to have at least $2 million in play every week on sports games.

Considering all of the betting that Walters has done in his lifetime, one can’t blame him for being tired of it.

“That passion I had with gambling has faded,” he said. “I got burned out on it.”

It also doesn’t hurt that Walters is currently in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly giving insider trading secrets to pro golfer Phil Mickelson. The SEC charges that Walters got illegal tips from Dean Foods’ chairman, then passed them on to Mickelson to help him raise $1 million to repay a gambling debt. He’s since been forced to turn over $1 million in profits to the SEC while his case is decided.

In the meantime, Walters continues to build his auto business and remain involved in every aspect of it.

“There isn’t anything that goes on in our company, that I’m not aware of,” he said. “I interact with the stores’ general managers and with my partners multiple times on a daily basis.”

As for sports betting, it looks like this chapter of Walters’ life is mostly closed. But he at least made millions of dollars in profits over his betting career.

NBA Power Rankings: Feb 13, 2016

gregg-popovich-lebronWe’ve hit the All-Star break, and there are 30 games left in the season. Golden State has a pretty firm grasp on the league’s top record (48-4), so it won’t be a surprise if they eventually lock up home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. It’s also no surprise that they once again top our power rankings just over halfway through the season. See where everybody else ranks below, and here are last week’s power rankings.

1. Golden State Warriors (48-4); same spot – The only question now remains if the Warriors will beat the ’96 Chicago Bulls’ regular season mark of 73-9. Golden State is on pace to accomplish the feat.

2. San Antonio Spurs (45-8); same spot – LeBron James recently said that he wishes he could spend lots of time around Gregg Popovich. It’s little wonder why when you consider how Popovich just seems to win every year.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-14); same spot – OKC may not catch either San Antonio or Golden State before the year is over. But they definitely can’t be overlooked once the postseason starts.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (38-14); same spotCleveland Cavs trade rumors are a daily story right now. Ben McLemore, Trevor Ariza and Kyle Korver are all reported targets of the Cavaliers.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks5. Toronto Raptors (35-17); same spot – Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan get to stick around their home city for the All-Star game. Then it’s back to work trying to catch Cleveland in the East.

6. Boston Celtics (32-23); up 2 spots – Boston continues to surge up the standings, with big wins over the Clippers and Cavs. Now rumors have them thinking about Al Horford in the trade market.

7. LA Clippers (35-18); down 1 spot – L.A. still remains in the upper echelon of the league while Blake Griffin sits. Unfortunately, Griffin will sit four games longer after he’s healed due to a suspension.

8. Memphis Grizzlies (31-22); down 1 spot – Memphis has a tough game coming up in Toronto on the 21st of this month.

9. Atlanta Hawks (31-24); up 1 spot – The Hawks may be talking about taking their team apart, but that hasn’t stopped them from winning.

10. Miami Heat (29-24); down 1 spot – Miami goes into the break with a two-game losing streak, but they have a chance to make up for it by playing Atlanta after the break.

11. Dallas Mavericks (29-26); up 1 spot – The Mavericks can boost their record with games against the Magic and 76ers coming out of the break.

12. Indiana Pacers (28-25); up 1 spot – Now a healthy team, perhaps Indiana can climb back up the Eastern Conference standings.

michael-kidd-gilchrist13. Charlotte Hornets (27-26); up 4 spots – The Hornets are playing their best basketball of the season and once again resembling the playoff team they looked like in November and December.

14. Chicago Bulls (27-25); down 3 spots – Chicago is playing worse than any legitimate playoff team right now with four straight losses.

15. Utah Jazz (26-26); up 1 spot – Much like their location, the Utah Jazz aren’t a flashy team. However, they have good chemistry and continue holding down a playoff seed.

16. Portland Trailblazers (25-27); up 3 spots – The Trail Blazers have played a couple more games than most teams, which lightens their load in the second half of the season.

17. Detroit Pistons (27-28); down 3 spots – Detroit definitely has the talent to win, but they haven’t found a way to put together consistent play for long stretches.

18. Houston Rockets (27-28); down 3 spots – Houston is a team at a crossroads between deciding if they want to build around James Harden, or dismantle the team and get draft picks/young players in return.

john-wall-wizards19. Washington Wizards (23-28); down 1 spot – The Wizards have a pretty solid core, but injuries have kept them from putting things together.

20. Orlando Magic (23-29); same spot – Orlando has played solid against the West, but they’re just 13-19 against their own conference.

21. Denver Nuggets (22-32); up 2 spots – Emmanuel Mudiay has gradually gotten better now that he’s healthy.

22. New York Knicks (23-32); down 1 spot – The big rumor now is that Carmelo Anthony could be on his way to Cleveland. But we’ll believe it when we see it.

23. Sacramento Kings (22-31); down 1 spot – Once in the thick of the playoff hunt, Sacramento has gone just 2-8 in their last 10 games.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (22-32); same spot – Milwaukee has a nice young core, but they need veteran role players around this talent.

tyreke-evans-trade25. New Orleans Pelicans (20-33); same spot – The Pelicans got the bad news that Tyreke Evans will miss the rest of the season after knee surgery.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (17-37); same spot – Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine were undoubtedly the stars of the Rising Stars Challenge.

27. Brooklyn Nets (14-40); same spot – Joe Johnson reportedly isn’t interested in a contract buyout, so he’ll likely remain with Brooklyn until his deal ends.

28. Phoenix Suns (14-40); same spot – Phoenix currently owns the league’s longest losing streak at 9.

29. L.A. Lakers (11-44); same spot – Kobe Bryant gets one last chance to be in the All-Star game. Then it’s back to the dismal reality of playing his final season with one of the NBA’s worst team.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-45); same spot – The Sixers have a 6-16 record against the West, but they’re just 2-29 against their own conference.