A Wisconsin startup called FixdPicks is looking to bring artificial intelligence to sports betting.
Founder Zach Nichols came across the idea for the new company when he was working on some code and saw that the algorithm was predicting the outcomes of NBA games with a high level of accuracy. Using this code, he and the team created FixdPicks.
FixdPicks offers a subscription service allowing subscribers access to the picks the algorithm believes will win. The AI can comb through many more data points than the traditional expert and can therefore predict the winning teams better than any individual person can, according to Nichols.
Part of what allows the AI to be so effective, he said, is that it takes out the error of human emotion.
While many people want to go with their “gut feeling” or favorite team, FixdPicks is offering the opportunity for people to be a little smarter with their money and play the stats, he said.
There are already many sites available for consumers, with big names such as SportsLine and Action Network in the mix
However, co-founder Caleb Dykema points out a key difference between FixdPicks and its competitors is that “you cannot find [the competitors] numbers anywhere. What we really wanted to do is be transparent. We want people to know our numbers.”
The numbers Dykema mentioned include the accuracy of the results, and how much money you can expect to make from using the site. By offering the return on investment statistic, a potential client can see the benefits of utilizing the service before even paying for the subscription or using one of the picks.
The founders of FixdPicks also want to open the field of sports betting for everyone to get in on the action where it’s legal. Since FixdPicks only offers the numbers and does not place any bets, it is legal to use in any state.
The subscription service will not only offer the picks the algorithm develops, but will offer training and tips on how to best use that information to maximize return as well as covering the basics of sports betting.
As a finalist in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, the company is seeking $17,000 primarily to help fund its marketing campaigns when the next season starts. While the algorithm is currently being used for basketball, Dykema also mentioned that some of that money will be used for research and development to expand to other major U.S. sports leagues.
While COVID-19 has shut down sporting events in the United States for now, with an indefinite re-launch, Dykema said the company will take this time to get better prepared and to be ready to roll out as soon as the seasons restart. Because company employees were working remotely before the pandemic, it hasn’t slowed progress.
After having done a small trial run at the beginning of the year, Nichols and Dykema said they hope the October start date for the NBA will allow them to make a “fast break” in the new season with FixdPicks.
— By Diego Vega Rivera
Diego Vega Rivera recently graduated after studying Life Sciences Communication at UW-Madison.