Recent Sports Betting Trends

With the further immersion of the internet, everything that was once out-of-home is now in-home. Before the readily available cell phone, you would have to rewatch taped recordings of sporting events to track stats while now you can simply click a few buttons on ESPN and find the stat. Where am I going with this? Well, the sports betting world is constantly evolving with new technologies too. 

Whether you are an amateur sports bettor looking for NBA picks today, or other picks and parlays, you often place your bets with your cell phone, computer, or tablet. With the increase in available technology, sports bettors are coming up with new ways to utilize this technology to increase the profitability of their bets. 

There are two major trends I wish to speak about today. One is relating to MLB betting and new unique bets that are arising in that category. But the second, and more important in my opinion, is the use of algorithms and machine learning to successfully predict sporting outcomes. 

NRFI: What is It? How Can I Place It? 

The No Run First Inning, more commonly referred to as NRFI, is a rapidly growing bet nowadays. The bet is fairly self-explanatory, the bettor is betting for there to be 0 runs scored in the entire first inning of the match. But why has the NRFI gained so much more traction than the No Goal First 10 Minutes in Hockey or No Touchdown in First Quarter in the NFL? That is the million-dollar question. The NRFI has become an internet sensation but no one can explain why. 

You may be thinking to yourself… is this a reliable bet? how does the bet even work? Well, you are practically betting on starting pitcher performance. Furthermore, there are teams that are statistically just more likely to score runs early on in the game. For example, the Cubs have averaged .74 runs in the first inning while the Orioles average .23. 

The NRFI bet is often considered very degenerate because a random homer can happen at any time. However, bettors are now using more sophisticated data forms to accumulate betting statistics to place these NRFI bets. It is very interesting to see this trend and also to see how long it lasts. 

Machine Learning to Sports Bet: The Future

Machine learning has become a very popular type of artificial intelligence in the 21st century where we utilize computer software to predict outcomes. And this software can be applied to sports betting.

Python, a coding language, is a commonly used tool to develop sports betting algorithms and models. Linear regression is often used throughout Python to develop correlations between some variables and some outcomes. These variables are usually individual statistics that have a high correlation with the outcome of the sporting event. For example, team win percentage could be a major variable in predicting whether a team will win through linear regression. 

Of course, the field goes much deeper than this. Python is simply just the language that works on top of actual machine learning. Many sports bettors can use the Keras of TensorFlow. This is the future of sports betting. No longer will bettors be simply betting using the ‘eye test’ but will be using heavily backed machine learning and algorithms. Maybe even already some of the most popular handicappers are using machine learning to find their own NBA picks. 


The NRFI is a viral betting trend that cannot go unnoticed. It is such an exhilarating pick that is over in roughly 15 minutes. It is a trend that will most likely die down soon due to its variance. But it is a bet that is heavily statistically backed. And then we have machine learning. Machine learning is becoming more and more infused with sports betting to find picks and plays. It will be interesting to see the future of sports betting.

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