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The Development of Mathematical and Statistical Models of Sports Betting, with a View to Detection of Irregular Activities

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing

About the Project

Corrupt activities in professional sport linked to illegal betting have received much attention in the press over recent months, tarnishing sports’ reputation, which could lead to great reductions in revenue. Authorities would welcome methods to enable the detection and prevention of such illegal activities. Reade & Akie (2013) attempted this for Soccer, using forecasting methods to estimate probabilities of matches ending in draws.

Comprehensive data on many major sports are now freely available via the internet and provide a rich source of information for statistical investigation of the above issues.

The successful candidate will, for sport(s) of their choice, develop and evaluate statistical models, based on real data, predicting probabilities for the possible outcomes of, and notable event within, sports matches from information available before the match, and compare these with bookmakers’ odds and the actual match results and event outcomes. In cases of corruption there should be major discrepancies between the odds and the computed result probabilities.

This will make progress towards developing methods to aid sporting and legal authorities detect result fixing and illegal gambling.

Funding Notes

There is no funding for this project: applications can only be considered from self-funded applicants


J.J. Reade & S. Akie “Using Forecasting to Detect Corruption in International Football”, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Mathematics in Sport, Leuven, Belgium, June 2013

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