The wisdom of crowds has been applied to many avenues of prediction. Stock markets, Oscar night, Elections and of course sports betting predictions. The general idea is that if you combine a collection of peoples predictions which may individually be average in quality, you can find that aggregating their predictions in some way can produce a set of final predictions that are better than the individual predictions. This was first observed in a fair ground where the public were asked to guess the weight of an Oxe. One participant found that the average of everyone’s guesses won him the prize. Not sure if he took home an Oxe but you get the idea.
A similar approach appears in the literature of Machine Learning, it go’s by the title of Ensemble modelling. The idea is the same in that the predictions of several models are somehow combined to produce a single set of predictions
As with human predictions, diversity is the key. It works best when the people or models are coming at the problem from very different viewpoints. For example in a horse racing context perhaps one model has race times as the core of its modelling whilst another is more class based. There is certainly evidence within the Machine Learning world that ensemble modelling can outperform single models and of course the ensemble can extend to different algorithms rather than just different model inputs. You could create an ensemble based on a Tree based algorithm like Gradient Boosting along with a regression algorithm and a Neural network. They may all have the same inputs but different approaches to creating the model.
We are running an experiment at MySportsAI at the moment. Some members are putting forward their model ratings each day and using a simple ranking aggregation and tracking the top 3 ranked we are checking how the wisdom of models performs.
So far in handicaps for 3yo and 3yo+ the collaboration has produced to BFSP after commission
206 Bets PL + 19.1 pts ROI +9.27
Early days but an interesting start.
The other interesting facets of this approach is that first of all no ones proprietary models are compromised, the inner workings of ones model is kept undisclosed. The second benefit to this collaboration is mutual support. We all know that betting can be a lonely business. Crowd betting offers buddy support something we all need when results are going poorly.
You can join MySportsAi at http://www.smartersig.com/mysportsai.php