Can You Use Machine Learning To Predict Football Matches

The Sports Betting industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and it’s certainly one of the hottest in 2024, with an estimated value of several hundreds of millions dollars. Thanks to the rise of modern technologies, and also as a consequence of the global pandemic, traditional betting activities have transformed into a modern online system, made of a huge variety of platforms that offer fantastic options, bonuses and jackpots, to attract new bettors and keep the old ones. In an extremely competitive market, sportsbooks have become more visually appealing, faster, easier to use and more convenient for all their users. 

Due to the ease of access anytime and anywhere, using only a smartphone, tablet or laptop, Sports Betting became an exciting hobby, and a great way to earn some extra money while sharing your passion with like-minded people.

However, every person who is experienced in Sports betting will tell you that having a strategy is one of the most important elements of success. Not only that, but indulging in the trial-and-error process has been shown as the best way to learn how things function, and finally — none of it would be possible if the bettor wasn’t informed enough — about the player he bets on, the team or the sports in general.

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Online sportsbooks have recognised this and have started offering a couple of free bets for newly registered players in order to help them cope with their financial losses, and encourage them to develop their own strategy, while trying out different ones.

The problem arises when sports bettors come to a point where it seems like none of the strategies actually work. Because there are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration when predicting an outcome of a football match or any other sports outcome, bettors can easily become discouraged or feel overwhelmed.

For example, if a bettor uses the number of goals that a certain football team has scored to predict the outcome of the next football match, chances are that this prediction will not be accurate, because the number of goals has a lot of random elements to it and unless the bettor includes certain in-game events, he will probably be wrong, and will lose his bet. After several similar situations, a sports bettor has two options — to quit or to continue losing. This is where machine learning could play an important role in the world of sports betting. 

The relationship between the three industries

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We’re all well aware of the fact that sports and betting are connected. People place bets on football matches every day, hoping that their favourite team will win the title and simultaneously win them some money. However, machine learning is another element that could potentially connect sports, the gambling industry, and artificial intelligence – as the currently most promising industry in the world.

How is this possible? Every game has an expected success metric. This usually includes goals, different ratings — individually based or team-based, and the calculation of odds. This info is extremely important for the football teams themselves, because it is a part of the ability to evaluate a teams’ performance, rank it accordingly, and predict what will happen in the future. On the other hand, it’s also important for sports bettors, because they invest their money in betting and the outcomes of these teams or games. 

Because Sports Betting is now legal in the majority of countries of the world, it is now possible for everyone who is a sports enthusiast to indulge in betting games and place a bet or two. However, it’s not always possible to be aware of all the important factors, unless you’re a professional sports bettor who is spending 20 hours a day analysing the data. 

Artificial intelligence or machine learning can help with this problem, and not only do they analyse, compare and develop certain patterns and strategies, but they also help to predict the outcomes in the future. All of this is happening in alignment with the rules of the game.

An algorithm to success

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Simply put, machine learning is a mathematical formula, or an algorithm that has certain parameters and is working accordingly — collecting, analysing, evaluating and organising data. It uses the historical performance of a team or an individual player to predict the possible outcomes of the matches in the future. The more information you put in, the better result you can expect. In other words — less probability means more certainty. 

Machine learning allows you to test everything by inputting the necessary features, and get as accurate predictions as possible. However, it’s not done by you manually but by the ML program which classifies and collects features and data to give the odds of winning or losing to stakeholders and bettors.

However, predicting is not the only thing that needs to be done in order to make money. The main goal of Sports Betting is to outsmart the bookies. Since football is very unpredictable, using some help from a machine learning algorithm is crucial for predicting football matches’ results, and it’s been proven that the implementation of machine learning has increased the prediction accuracy.

This way, there are highly accurate guesses to the likely outcomes as a result of the old data analysis, and the development of models that can be used in the future.

Practical Use

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One of the most important questions is — can you earn a significant amount of money by using machine learning in Sports betting?

According to other people’s experiences and reviews, the answer is yes. Still, getting a good probability of outcomes is not enough, since there are already some great guesses on the market, available to everyone, so you might not end with the result you expected — your model doesn’t necessarily have to work, if there are thousands of other models that are equally accurate.

However, if you want to bet on sports, you don’t necessarily have to build your own machine learning tool. Some amazing apps and platforms are artificial intelligence or machine learning-based, and they are proven to predict matches with a high percentage of accuracy.

On top of that, on websites such as, you can get a comparison of Sports Betting websites and bookmakers — which can help you sort the ones that are really worth it. As a fantastic analysis tool, it can help you choose the right bookmaker to start with, using machine learning algorithms. The machine learning approach can also help to assess injury risks in football players, as well as many other factors that include probability, data and prediction.