Saturday 10 November 2012

Silver Medal

When I saw the headline “The Man Who Predicted Obama’s Win” on the BBC site, I clicked on it, fully expecting to see an article about myself and Nate Silver, or perhaps just Nate Silver, but while the latter got an honourable mention, and has seen his star rise as I predicted (his book The Signal And The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't, which I purchased a few days ago, is now second on the Amazon Best Seller list), the star of the show was Drew Linzer who runs the Votamatic web site.

There is some very interesting reading on both sites, and whoever told me that the Rasmussen polls are the most reliable would do well to read the book. Back in September, one commenter (not Al surprisingly) suggested that:

The polling numbers you cited in your most recent post are sheer nonsense - beware!

Rasmussen have a solid record of being the most reliable political polling organisation in the US, and they give Obama only a slight lead at best, all of course well within the margin of error.
Fortunately Signor Cassini is not easily swayed, and Rasmussen's reputation, as well as the Republican party's future, is now in tatters. One can hope. Here's the latest on 'reliable Rasmussen':
On Tuesday, polls conducted by the firm Rasmussen Reports — which released more than 100 surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign, including some commissioned under a subsidiary on behalf of Fox News — badly missed the margin in many states, and also exhibited a considerable bias toward Republican candidates.
It's somewhat unfortunate that these elections come along so infrequently, because opportunities are certainly there. Unfortunately (from a betting perspective), it's hard to see anything other than a Democratic Party win in 2016, but another so-called "toss-up election" would be nice. 

Onto football now, and I have taken another look at The Championship this weekend. I selected three teams who appeared to be good value, with the first (Middlesbrough @ 1.87) winning 3-1 last night. The other picks are Cardiff City (2.1) v Hull City and Blackburn Rovers (2.12) v Birmingham City. The Boro win came at a price though - Crystal Palace were knocked off their perch. Eagles don't like that. Even my little bird (Winston) doesn't like that:

Winston Cassini
The opening pick of the weekend for XX Draws (Classic) was a poor one, with Nancy losing 1-3 to Rennes, and nothing to write home about.  

In the EPL, my Elo ratings, which are based not only on results, but factor in other data, occasionally get out of step with the general consensus. Last season I mentioned that Liverpool’s rating stayed higher than results alone warranted, although in this case perhaps more emphasis should have been placed on the results. Opposing Liverpool has been profitable this season, as the tipping-point has yet to be reached when people realize they are not close to being a top four team, and more in the 7th to 10th place range. I have Liverpool currently in 7th place, with Fulham alone in 8th place, before 9th thru 15th are all fairly close (West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United for anyone who is interested). Aston Villa who started the season at 19th currently occupy last place. With a quarter of the season gone, the ratings have worked out any kinks with the ratings assigned to the promoted teams. Reading and Southampton currently occupy the other two relegation spots. 

In the NBA, my tip to lay the Lakers has been read by their owner it appears, and the coach Mike Brown has been sacked after five games. One win in the last 15 (including pre-season) was clearly unacceptable, and while it takes time for a new star line-up to gel, think Miami when their big three came together, it seems that the players were not behind the coach in this case. I have concerns about the ability of Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant to play as many minutes as the Lakers need them to, given their ages, and already Nash is missing one week. Dwight Howard’s back surgery is a concern too. The Lakers played the Golden State Warriors last night, and the line of -6.5 moved out to -7.5 on the news of Brown’s departure. Well, not on Betfair. Lakers won by 24.

Some picks from the FTL entrants this weekend:

Premier Edge have Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers Both teams to score: Yes (1.99 at Betdaq) and Wigan Athletic v West Bromwich Albion 2 or 3 goals (2.12 at Betdaq)

Tony's Lays are Manchester United 1.52, Borussia Dortmund 1.56, Juventus 1.37, Real Madrid 1.38, Barcelona 1.26

Talkbet goes for Hamburg (3.6+) at Freiburg, Reading v Norwich City Draw (3.4+), Doncaster Rovers (2.8+) v AFC Bournemouth, Burton Albion (3.75+) at Cheltenham Town, Barnet (3.6+) at Morecambe, and Rayo Vallecano (2.38+) v Celta de Vigo.

Al's draw selections are: Aston Villa v Manchester United (4.8), Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (4.5), Arsenal v Fulham (4.4) and Everton v Sunderland (4.5)

Neil goes for Wigan v West Brom - Draw @ 3.48, Newcastle v West Ham - Newcastle @ 2.06 and Chelsea v Liverpool - Chelsea @ 2.01

CKL Football Tips goes for: Under 2.5 goals (4/5, Stanjames) in the Stoke/QPR game; Back Coventry (21/20, William Hill) to beat Scunthorpe; Lay MK Dons (2.32, Betfair) to beat Sheffield United

Interesting that one has both teams to score in the Stoke City v QPR game, and another has Under 2.5 goals. 1-1 perhaps?


Matthew Trenhaile said...

Dear Signore Cassini,

I have a question for you. While I appreciate that the Republican party in its current guise is not all that appealing surely the best thing for the United States would be two equally strong political parties of sound mind and judgement but with differing political view points? I personally hope that recent events will spark a reformation of the Republican Party and its policies and make it more competitive in the forthcoming elections. One party alone has always made for a poor governing model. You might argue that when the two parties are moderate right wing (Democrats) and further right wing (Republican) there is little to be lost by losing the extremists. Ultimately democratic electorates get the politicians they deserve so if the United States wishes to simply cover the right wing spectrum they should be allowed to do so (wouldn't want to stamp on the American Dream would we?). What we never want to lose is the debate. All proposed legislation should be opposed and debated. Sometimes sadly the result is a diluted and muddied once decent proposition but at other times it perfectly polishes a rough diamond, which should never be undervalued. In outright numbers there are obviously plenty of americans who agree with the Republican line so in dismissing the party we are dismissing the aspirations of an awful lot of people. Democracy means we cant question the aptitude of those people to make an informed political decision but we must suffer rough and smooth for political freedom. I for one would like to see a Republican party with moderated social and foreign policy (yet still conservative) while maintaing the economic and small government standpoints. While we may still disagree with such a party it would certainly better serve at keeping the Democrat party honest. As for the suitable presidential candidate for the Republicans well I personally think too much was made of Mitt's eccentricities, not because they were not alarming but because we should always look behind the throne not who is sat on it. This is even more exaggerated in the UK where the PM is merely the salesman for the kingmakers' product. This has been the case even with the most prominent PMs like Thatcher who had no policies of her own just those fed to her and which she was made to believe were hers. Churchill was probably the last Prime Minister to actually have any autonomy and even that was granted him by War but I digress. The Republicans should probably aim for an early 40s half white half second generation hispanic male former business man (something blue collar, maybe car dealerships owner or some sort of industrial manufacturing) who is completely bland in background and a competent orator with no trace of an accent. No further brains but that which are required to read autocues/remember instructions and speeches are required. The hispanic angle would enable the Republicans to tap into the largely conservative mexican population if only they could make a softening of immigration palatable to the hardline white ageing population (no easy task). Who knows maybe the long groomed Hilary may face off against Rice (I appreciate a black woman would be a hard sell to the Republicans) in a mega bitch battle royale and that would really provide some betting swings.


The Golf Bettor

gundulf said...

Your comments about 'lazy journalism' on the part of the Beeb and others came to mind this morning. I was watching whatever they now call 'Points of View' on the BBC and a viewer pointed out that the bookies had Obama heavy odds on favourites for months and wondering if the 'too close to call' thing was exaggerated so the Beeb could justify 'vastly overpaid presenters' enjoying an all expenses paid Stateside holiday!

I too, like Golf Bettor, think the GOP are far from a spent force and that a degree of balance is needed in all political systems. Reformers are OK to a point, but, inevitably, start meddling in things far better either left well alone or left to market forces.

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