Final Four Game Shocks with Live Odds Predictions
A new advance in AI in this year’s college basketball’s Final Four and NCAA championship game blew my mind. Commercials ran before the game, during half-time and during a few timeouts, giving odds in the second half of the game. These included the percentage of three-point shots to expect and the percentage of confidence the algorithm had in its predictions.
Something in my brain screamed, “WOW, how cool!” And also, “Wow, that could be used for gambling stuff.” My reaction was sort of like the John Cougar Mellencamp song, “Hurt So Good.”
Not being a sports gambler, and never having looked into the subject, I guess I just assumed some things were sacred. I imagined that people in a smoke-filled backroom in Las Vegas, who knew their particular sport inside and out, figured the odds by tracking that sport starting when the first casino opened in 1941. That they had the mountain of stats and all the scouting reports, then made their odds known and what line would be paid, win or lose.
These Las Vegas and New York City humans, being smarter than other humans, made the house the winner on most interactions of a sports gambling franchise. But the commercials during the basketball game about the odds and likelihood of being right from an AI algorithm seems like a slippery slope to me. Cloud Bookie is what I call it.
It won’t exactly be a “fair” form of gambling, if there is ever were one. It’s very unfair, at least to people who don’t understand the power of the current state of AI and the unimaginable power it will have when quantum computers come into their own. The odds that the quantum computer will be able to figure by digesting and understanding an ungodly amount of stats⎯from every player, from every game, on every level, in every country in history will be cool, sure.
In a flash, Quantum Bookie will give the odds of the next pitch, or any pitch, being a strike. Or the odds of a basket being made in the NBA, or how many yards so and so a running back will gain or lose on every carry. And this information has an almost ZERO chance of being wrong. Yes, there are a jumble of variables, such as other player’s performances, conditions in the field of play, etc., that will go into the equations. It won’t matter. Quantum Bookie will have incredibly high odds of being right about every prediction.
That would be extremely interesting⎯if you are betting with the guy that owns the best Quantum Bookie Algorithm.
It’s similar to the concept of counting the stats, all the stats, and finding success in Major league baseball, as explained in the movie, “Money Ball.” It’s all about the numbers, Baby. When you own the numbers, and can get them at such a rapid speed, you’re going be a big winner. The slippery part is that almost anytime you choose to win, you can.
I don’t feel bad for the average sports gambler who will be going up against such a powerful bookmaker. The average serious gambler is probably already using computers to figure out the odds. It’s just a matter of keeping up with the computers and algorithms used by the other guys. But the information that Quantum Bookie uses to make the odds or the betting line will be information that can most accurately predict outcomes. That’s not really gambling anymore.
We should all think about the shape of things to come. Ghe power of AI and quantum computing will challenge our morals. The power of extending life may come to equal the power to end all life. The power to gain knowledge will prove the old adage that knowledge is power.
It’s vital that we understand as much as possible about the leap our civilization is about to make. And if I were laying odds, I’d wager that the technical leap we face has a high percentage of success⎯much like the seemingly impossible odds of scoring 31 points off the bench by Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo. He led the 2018 Wildcat team to its second national championship in three years.
During the March Madness of the NCAA tournament, gambling is a nightmare of odds. No one has ever picked every winner, in every game in the entire 64-team bracket with 100% accuracy, not even former President Obama. Probably never will in my lifetime. However, there is an algorithm being written, somewhere, that will someday. Don’t think so? Too many variables?
Read more about the Cloud Bookie at cnet.com.