Monday, December 10, 2007

This Is How I Think

A good friend called me up during the Steelers-Patriots game on Sunday afternoon to ask for odds on a two parlay prop bet he wanted to create. I guess I'm the guy you call when you need to know that kind of information.

What was his two team prop bet?

New England going undefeated at 16-0 and Miami going winless at 0-16.

He wanted a price on BOTH events happening.

I hung up the phone and quickly searched online for some odds. I googled myself into a parlay calculator and was able to determine that a two team parlay for the perfect and imperfect seasons prior to this past Sunday's games should pay 1.9 to 1.

However the Dolphins had already lost to the Bills that afternoon so clearly the payout would now be less than 1.9 to 1. If the Patriots were to go on and defeat the Steelers, I determined that the Monday morning post week 14 odds for this parlay would pay somewhere in the 1.5 to 1 neighborhood.

So I called my friends back to tell them that 1.5 to 1 was fair value. That's approximately where I would set the odds if I was sitting there live with them.

Turns out that they had no one to bet with. You see, my buddy was actually sort of hoping that maybe I could place this bet for him in Vegas.

Right now. In the middle of the Patriots game.

"Right now? How am I going to that?" I ask.

It's not like I can just walk into any sportsbook and immediately start haggling for parlay odds that includes the outcome of a live game.

I suggest that his best option for grabbing this bet immediately is on the internet. Multiple sites offer prop bets on both the Patriots and Dolphins win totals. And reasonably priced I might add.

"How do I fund one of those accounts?" he asks. Oh yeah. That's right. We're still living in 2007 when our government was confused about internet funding for a couple of years.

But my friend wants his action. His next move is to ask me if I'll bet them.

No. I don't want this bet.

I don't want to bet that the Patriots are gonna lose and I have no idea if the Dolphins can win a game. They looked terrible today.

If I were going to take the other side, I'd only do it with an edge. For example I'd take the other side here at 1 to 1 odds, but that's because 1 to 1 odds aren't fair to them. Since the true value is 1.5 to 1, why should my friend accept a lower 1 payout for something that should be valued at 1.5?


So there it is. My friends are now the proud owners of a 1-1 bet saying that both the Patriots go undefeated and the Dolphins go winless.

If either event doesn't happen I win. If both happen they win.

This morning I ran the latest updated odds through the parlay calculator and we're at 1.4883516483516485 to 1.

As a math guy, I can't turn down getting 1.48 for something that is only worth 1.

This wager is also an example of why I think of poker as investing rather than gambling. Yes I am gambling on the outcome. And yes anything can happen. But if you are going to give me 50/50 odds on something that occurs 60/40 in my favor, I will take that bet. Every time. That's what I call investing.

This edge may not seem like alot but it's why they build casinos.

The Miami Dolphins remaining schedule is of no concern to me. I have no idea if they can beat Baltimore this Sunday. I have no idea if they can beat the Bengals in week 17. I am not a football prognosticator. All I know is I just bought something expensive this weekend for 1x that was really worth 1.48x.

Let the hedging begin.


Check Raise Chin said...

Great Rob, now you're a bookie and taking football prop bets.

Jeez, what ever happened to that sweet Schecky dude we all knew and loved???

FreeFormCoder said...

As the proud owner of the other side of this bet, perhaps I can explain my need for action...

I'm no addict. I love football, but I have no team. I love sports gambling, but don't have the time or knowledge to succeed at it.

Every year at this point in the season I feel a need to get involved in the sport emotionally (probably seasonal weather change thing), but because I have no team or deep knowledge, and my fantasy team (The Mississippi Racists) is done for the year, I needed something...

The problem is, as the blogger pointed out, is that THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WANT ME TO RISK MY MONEY ON MY OWN ENTERTAINMENT.

What's a brother to do?

Call his Vegas buddy. I know, it was absurd to ask him to make a bet, and even more absurd to make a bet with him (It's well known that this blogger rarely loses sports bets...and I'm pretty sure he just made some money on the Mitchell Report), but there were 2 reasons I wanted that bet more than anything..

1. It was perfect. If I win it, I get the perfect losing team and the perfect winning team parlay prediction. Too sexy to pass up.

2. Because I knew the blogger loves value bets, and there's nothing I want to show him more than proving that when betting, it isn't about the value. It's about the scoreboard. And I don't see the pats losing or the fins winning, no matter the odds.

Of course, I could very well be wrong. Who knows? But now, for a small investment, I get to enjoy the last few games of the season.

And my stupid government won't get their vig.

FreeFormCoder said...

oh my god...

that hurts.

i take back everything I said. turns out the odds win.


I'll pay you monday night at teddy's.

FreeFormCoder said...

who doesn't go for it on 4th down and a foot?

FreeFormCoder said...

to win the game?

Joe said...

CWM = The Cooler