The bread and butter of Sports4Cast – the company behind Smart Stakes – is making predictions on the outcome of sports matches. We do this using a vast range of data predominantly quantifying the historical performance of teams.

After making predictions we do a number of things with them; firstly we publish all data and predictions openly on our website as well as on our social media feeds, and secondly we run comparisons with other prediction engines, such as bookmakers or popular platforms such as 538, to see how we fared. This has developed into Smart Stakes, which takes these comparisons one step further to identify (a) which bookmakers offer the best odds for a match, and (b) which matches could be identified as offering particular ‘value’.

What is value?

When a bookie offers odds on a match they are also offering a prediction of the likelihood of each team winning (plus a bit of an “overground” so that they always make a profit: remember the phrase the house always wins?). Value can be identified when there is some disparity between the implied percentage chance of a win from the odds and our own prediction – for whatever reason we think the bookies might be missing something and either giving a team too much or too little chance of winning.