I watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers this evening in SuperBowl XLV, and regretfully, my favorite team lost with a final score of 31-25. Given that sports was on my mind earlier today, I posted a quick primer about how to setup a football pool at an office or for a game party. As expected, I immediately received a number of emails regarding sports gambling in general, and so this post is a follow-up to my last post intended to addres some of the questions posed by the readers who contacted me.
As for sports gambling, I have to say that it's not my thing. Although I am a risk analyst by profession, I have never taken a deep interest in creating odds in sports. However, for those who want to learn more about how one might apply mathematics to gamble in sports, I would recommend Prof Wayne L Winston's book, Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football (2009).
I have a copy of Prof Winston's book here in my study (along with several of his other books on the subject of risk analysis), and yes, the book does provide interesting insights into the nature of sports, and especially how probability theory can be applied to better understand the potential of teams, players, and tournaments. Prof Winston's approach to creating odds is disciplined and applies state-of-the-art methods and techniques to forecast sports performance, as well as describe the risks contained in sports data. I am not sure that I am ready to enter the "mathletics" industry, however those so inclined will find Prof Winston's book quite interesting and useful, indeed...
Source: Winston, W L (2009), Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.