Issue date: 12 March 2004

ISSUE DATE: 12/03/04

A project by a student from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at the University of the West of England on fixed odds betting in football has won a national prize from the Association of Statistics Lecturers in Universities (ASLU).

Sebastian Hall, who graduated last year, won First Prize in the ASLU Project Prize Competition (2003). Sebastian also achieved a First Class honours degree from UWE in Business Decision Analysis and now works for the MOD in Bath.

Sebastian’s project on Inefficiencies in the Football Fixed Odds Betting Market developed potential profitable betting strategies by identifying football matches where bookmakers have (or seem to have) incorrectly set the odds for the outcomes of football games. Sebastian took a novel approach, which involved data sub-setting and generalised linear modelling, to gain a better understanding of the complex and highly variable nature of match outcomes.

Sebastian says, “I chose this subject because although some work had previously been done on this area, I felt there were new avenues of investigation which hadn’t been tried. I wanted to work on a project where I had an interest in the subject and I enjoy playing and watching football. For the project I created a mathematical model which would be able to predict the outcomes of games and using this model worked out which were the most profitable games to bet on. The theoretical model worked very well and I enjoyed the academic challenge. “

Dr Paul White who supervised Sebastian’s project said, “Sebastian used a combination of central themes on the award (applied statistical techniques, probability theory and decision making behaviour) in developing good betting rules for football games. The standard of entries for the ASLU competition is very high and the award of first prize shows the excellent quality of the project work in quantitative methods carried out by students in the School of Mathematical Sciences at UWE."

The Association of Statistics Lecturers in Universities (ASLU) host a best final year project prize open to all UK universities.


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