Tuesday 27 April 2010

The punters' opinion (part 2)

Paddy Power is not the only bookie offering odds on the Westminster election results. William Hill also does so, and shows some different odds to Paddy Power.

William Hill, for example:
  • Offers 25/1 on the TUV winning North Belfast – which is a bit odd since the TUV aren't even standing there,
  • Puts Gerry Adams at only 1/500 in West Belfast (as against Paddy Power's 1/750),
  • Has Sinn Féin and Rodney Connor level-pegging in FST (at 5/6 apiece) – and offers 50/1 against the TUV taking the seat – again, though, the TUV aren't actually standing!
  • This is getting repetitive – TUV at 100/1 in Foyle, but, you guessed it … they aren't actually standing there! (Maybe William Hill sees every independent candidate as a TUV candidate?
  • Newry and Armagh – yes, that's right, Willie Frazer is probably the mystery 'TUV' candidate on 50/1 (still better odds than the Alliance candidate, though)
  • Ciaran McClean is probably the 'TUV' candidate in West Tyrone (on 100/1), but who is the mystery 16/1 'TUV' outsider in Upper Bann (whose odds are better than the SDLP's, even though he or she doesn't actually exist. How embarrassing for Dolores Kelly.)
Apart from the single serious difference – FST – William Hill has the odds much the same, certainly in terms of the favourites, as Paddy Power. William Hill would have the DUP retaining 8 out of its 9 seats, the SDLP all three of theirs, SF 4 out of 5, and Hermon keeping North Down. Only in South Antrim and FST does William Hill see uuncertainty, and in both of these it has the two main contenders on the same odds.


New times, New approach said...

It's an academic point as only an idiot would bet at these odds but 1/500 is actually a much better price than 1/750 '(Gerry Adams at only 1/500 in West Belfast (as against Paddy Power's 1/750)'. With the former you only have to stake £500 in order to win £1 if Gerry is elected while with the latter a stake of £750 is needed to win £1. Of course if the unthinkable happens and Gerry's brother's activities manage to unseat him then you would have lost £500 and £750 respectively.
Whether a larger price is better all depends on whether the betting is 'on' or 'against'. If 'on' then the larger the price, the worse the odds.
So 'Offers 25/1 on the TUV winning North Belfast' should read 'offers 25/1 against'. Something priced at 25/1 on is considered pretty much a certainty.

Horseman said...

New times, New approach,

Thanks. I'm struggling against my complete ignorance of betting. I suppose any bet with a greater LH number than the RH one (e.g. 25/1) should be a bet 'against' the outcome, whereas the opposite (1/750) is a bet 'on' something? Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Think of it as a fraction that tells you how much you'll win as a proportion of your stake.

If you stake £10 at 1/500, you make
1/500 x 10 = £0.05 profit.

If you stake £10 at 25/1, you make
25/1 x 10 = £250 profit.

So they're both a bet "on" a certain outcome happening, just with a huge difference in returns.

Incidentally, there are some bookies that *do* let you bet against an outcome as well, but that's for another day.

New times, New approach said...


Yes, that's right, provided the specific term 'on' isn't used as it has a particular meaning in betting, viz that the price should be reversed. If there is felt to be one chance in seven of a bet's success then that can be expressed as 6/1 (against). The 'against' is implicit, so if it is omitted it still means a price of 6/1. However if the term 'on' is used (say 6/1 on) then the price on offer is actually 1/6.
Hope that makes sense!

Anonymous said...

1/750 is you giving the bookies 750/1 that nobody would beat Adams. In this case you are acting as the bookmaker and Paddy Power is the punter.