Whenever the Harambee Stars step into the playfield facing an opposing team, the fans are hoping for them to win – but they often know from the start whether they have a chance to do so or not. And even if they don’t, a look at the odds posted by Betway will likely tell them pretty much exactly how good a chance their favourite team has to take home a trophy. The odds at Betway and pretty much every other bookmaker are a good reflection of the chances of an athlete or sports team to win a match – this is not a mistake. The odds are not posted at random – they are carefully calculated and measured.
Tipsters and analysts
In the world of sports, statistics are important. Looking at the history of an athlete can say a lot about their performance in their upcoming races. Eliud Kipchoge, for example, who was the first runner to finish a marathon under 2 hours, has a long history of great performances: he won many races as a junior, set a world record in 2003, beat the Olympic record for the 5000-meter event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and since 2004, he won eight Gold medals at the World Marathon Majors. Looking at his record, it is a pretty safe bet that he will perform well in his next major race, too.
The records of a team or individual athlete say much about their upcoming performances – and this influences a lot the odds posted by bookmakers. They employ professional analysts with access to long-running, detailed records so they can predict events with decent accuracy.
The small things
But records and the current composition of a team are not the only things that can influence the outcome of an event. There are many small things that the analysts employed by bookmakers have to keep in mind. For example, a soccer team that plays away from home has an automatic disadvantage – on one hand, they play in an unfamiliar environment, on the other, they are missing the cheer of their home crowd that can be very motivating. Besides, the predictors consider everything from the time at which the match takes place, the weather, the history and records of the referees, and many other factors known only to them to predict the outcome of a match with accuracy.
But they can’t be 100% accurate all the time…
No, they aren’t. There were times when bookmakers were surprised to see the events didn’t play out as they predicted – and some of them have even made early payouts based on their calculations only to see their money flow away.
In 2016, the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power made early payouts of around $1 million to those betting on Hillary Clinton winning the US presidential race. And this January, an American bookmaker called FanDual paid more than $400,000 in wins early to those betting on the Alabama Crimson in the NCAA tournament only to see the team lose to the Clemson Tigers.