Monday, September 10, 2007

20/1 against

The twenty-bloody-20 starts tomorrow. We in Ayalac try not to care. We are, however, obsessed with cricket. It is a difficult battle.

So, in a possibly meaningless warm-up game, South Africa defeated Australia. Mainly by bowling “swing" but also with an impressive batting performance by Graeme Smith. What does mean for the tournament? Nothing much really.

You see, it is all a part of the randomness that constitutes the format. Skill and knowledge aren’t really applicable, so there is no point in getting too excited about it. Those who are gamblers may fancy a few “out-side” bets, as bookers are sure to offer over-generous odds for unfancied side.

A quick scan on revealed the Aussies to be firm favourites at 2/1. Which is frankly ludicrous. Whereas South Africa (4/1) and Sri Lanka (7/1) may offer reasonable rewards – even England (8/1) offer a good value bet. (Hence, a little £10 stake on his home country by The Atheist.)

However, where I think you may clean up is in the one-to-one bets. For instance, you can pick up Kenya beating Australia at 9/1, which is much more likely an occurrence than you would think.

Similar odds are offered in this tournament than in the World Cup, but this is an error by the bookies. Remember, the key rule to betting on twenty20 is bare in mind that odd-generation does not take into account the inherent stochastic nature of the format. That is to say, the outcome is as good as evens before the match begins. With this in mind, better value odds are evident and enables the keen punter to make a tidy profit.

(Ayalac does not encourage reckless gambling. Spending money costs lives.)


Sumit Chakraberty said...

yes, the format means more upsets, just like one-days mean more upsets (like ireland beating pakistan) than in tests. i don't find anything wrong with that. i don't find it mindless cricket either although it's less fun for the bowlers. i think interesting new improvisations will come into the batting and bowling and i'm looking forward to it. in fact i'm pissed off with the indian cricket board which has given the t20 short shrift by sending a second string team... T20 is not just for 20-somethings

Paul Hardy said...

You are I think overly churlish my friend.
The point has been made on The Corridor that if Twenty20 is entirely random, how is it that better players end up higher in the stats tables?
Put it another way, if you are convinced that no skill is involved, are you going to state unequivocally that Kenya have exactly the same chance of winning the trophy as Australia?

The Atheist said...

I think Tim from the Third Umpire made the same point here sometime ago in response to another rant.

My reply was simple: Chris Schofield. I thnk it stunned him in to silence, as it would most right-thinking people.

Of course, skill is a component, it would be foolish to argue that flipping the coin could predict a result. My argument was, however, that the element of chance is that much higher in the twenty20 format, and thus the bookies were overgenerous in a number of bets.

Kenya won't win the thing (especially after today's drubbing) but it is not hard to imagine a possible set of circumstances that would allow this to occur. At 1000/1, however, is far too generous odds for a not impossible outcome.