Wednesday 19 November 2008

Handicap Markets v Match Odds

I'm not a big fan of handicap betting. For my reasons why, I don't think I can say it better than respected commenter JPG and his post on the Betfair Forum this morning: "The false ending to many matches being the prime reason (and thats false in terms of teams going through the motions as the result is already decided, not because of any fix.)"

Another esteemed poster on the Forum (Knight Rider) added that "Teams are playing to win, not to cover. Unless you can specifically work this fact into your hcap bet to give you an edge, you might as well bet on the Match Odds as the two markets are directly linked in price anyway."

My thoughts exactly. If a game is tied, then I know they are going to be trying their hardest to win it. With an imaginary 'winning' margin of say, 12.5 points, where is the incentive to stretch a comfortable lead into a load of 13?

Often the opposite is the case and teams cruise home while resting their star players for the next game. Or the spread is seemingly covered when the losers bring on a young prospect who promptly hits shot after shot in his need to impress the coach. The crux of the matter is, as JPG says, that the spread is a false number and thus the 'result' relating to it will often appear to be false also.

I can see the appeal of a spread if you want a bet with a friend for a couple of beers - hardly fair to have a bet where you get Wasps and your friend gets Aldwinians with no spread!

Of course when the spread isn't covered, it's because of a fix. But only if you lost! Otherwise, it was a play of the purest skill.

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