Can Artificial Intelligence Be The Best Way To Predict Cricket Matches?

Published on: Oct 19, 2022

With sports betting being so popular, almost everyone placing bets out there is looking for some sort of edge. Bettors in all sorts of sports are turning to different means of gaining this edge - including people betting on their favourite cricket team.

One of the ways cricket fans are trying to gain an edge is through AI or artificial intelligence. There are various ways people use AI when making a cricket match prediction and in this article we’ll look at how exactly it works with betting on cricket - and if it could be the best way to beat the bookies as opposed to more traditional methods.

What Actually Is AI?

In simple terms, Artificial intelligence is a broad term for a computer algorithm that can mimic human behaviour (Up to a certain point!). There are various techniques and methods programmers can use to achieve this such as Natural language processing and management of different databases.

The first iterations of AI were incredibly simple. In the modern day, though AI can achieve some incredibly complex feats - speech recognition and analysis, translation, image recognition - heck, you can even get self-driving cars!

Most importantly for us though, AI can actually be used to help people with betting on cricket by picking winning cricket matches. How exactly does it do this?

The Different ways AI can predict cricket matches

AI mainly uses two different methods to predict the outcome of any sort of game.

Parsing millions or more bits of past data

AI doesn’t use some sort of weird, technological crystal ball to make predictions. No, the main benefit that AI has over humans is the amount of information it can hold and recall at any one time and the speed it can process this data.

The AI can instantly recall an almost infinite amount of past data. This includes a team's previous games, how they played against certain teams, weather information, team stats - you name it.

Whilst an expert bettor may be able to look at and comprehend all of the stats for maybe the last few games, AI can hold years and even decades' worth of data. This gives the AI more data to draw from, which in turn gives it more reference points when making the prediction.

Correlating those data points to make a prediction

Now that the AI has a database of years or decades of game results, The AI can use all of these points of data and look for trends or correlations between points. Things like how a certain team loses a majority of the time against another team when a certain person bats first.

The AI can then make a prediction on what will happen based on the previous data specific to that game. You can even put in-game events into the AI, which will change the prediction even more and sway the results.

This sounds all well and good, but raises the ultimate case of ‘man vs machine’ - can we use AI to predict games more accurately than the average cricket tipster?

AI vs Human Betting Strategies

There is a wide range of factors to take into consideration before we conclude AI to be the ultimate remedy to sports betting success., Here we’ll take a closer look at the overarching factors:

The storage and processing of data

As we stated above, to be able to predict the outcome of any result, you need to have previous historical data - such as recent results. This is valid for predicting the outcome of any sport - including cricket. In this department, traditional punters are overwhelmingly limited compared to AI. The AI can store and comprehend a lot of information and do it faster than the human brain. This is why experts are using it as the solution to cricket betting woes.

But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are some potential disadvantages to AI technology when being used to make betting predictions. The computer is unable to recreate emotional reasoning. The traditional tipster will be able to read the room and physically see any players losing control of their emotions or notice when the crowd gets behind a player. Albeit this may seem like a small disadvantage, it could be clinical for some betting predictions.

This emotional reasoning plays into our next point:

Humans can have biases

Whilst we mentioned emotional reasoning as a plus in the last point, it can be a double-edged sword. As a normal tipster it can be hard to be completely objective in every bet made - they may favour certain teams or players. This can throw off their judgement and ultimately their bets. Humans can even sometimes bring superstition to the table in making their bets!

The AI is completely unbiased. It favours no one and bases every prediction purely on data. No superstitious bets or predictions there.

Human error can apply in both cases

Any AI prediction will be made using previous data and mathematical formulas. The same way any decent tipster would. But thanks to us being human, we are much more prone to make errors in the mathematical process of calculating predictions. If the AI has been programmed right, it should barely make any mistakes.

But AI is susceptible to the golden rule of GIGO: Garbage in, Garbage Out. This means if the algorithm has been programmed wrong from the get-go, or the data that was entered was wrong, then the whole thing fails. This is again a case of human error but on the other side.

So, is AI The Best Solution For Sports Betting Experts?

We honestly cannot really say - there are pros and cons for both. We can say that neither the AI nor any average tipster will be able to predict the outcome with 100% certainty - there are just too many variables at play, and nothing is ever certain when it comes to cricket (Just look at India vs West Indies back at the World cup in 83!).

In all honesty, the best strategy would be to combine the strengths of both of these methods to make the strongest predictions possible. This is what most cricket experts will do, they will use AI for pre-match markets and then emotional judgement for the in-play markets. The cold and calculating nature of AI and the emotional perspective of human nature can combine to make not just accurate, but sensible bets.