Sunday, March 10, 2013

Correlation between Match Odds and Fixing

Here is a recent example of how the odds on offer during matches indicate that odds-makers/book-makers know before-hand what was going to happen. That would mean pre-scripting of matches, and connivance of most of those involved/concerned,.Could be foolish ignorance/helplessness of a few as well.

Two test matches took place one after another. Ind-Aus 2nd test 2-5 Mar,13, and NZ-Eng 1st test 6-10 Mar,13. In both matches, a similar situation in course of match was arrived. Australia started their 2nd innings trailing by 266 (India had batted only once) with over 2 days still left. England started their 2nd innings trailing by 293 (NZ had batted only once) with a little less than 2 days but more than 180 overs still left. England had lasted only 55 overs for their 167 in the1st innings. 

Now look what the odds on offer were (say betfair odds) for similar situations and what happened in the matches thereafter. Odds in Ind-Aus match at that stage were less than 1.25 in f/o India and in NZ-Eng match same were less than 2 in f/o draw. India went on to win comfortably from thereon, odds rising only to 1.33 for a very brief period till fall of first Australian wicket at 56, remaining much below 1.25 for remaining match. And the NZ-Eng match ended in a comfortable draw, England losing only 6 wickets in 170 overs in their 2nd essay, on a pitch spruced up by rain on last 2 days of a test match. The odds in f/o draw just went on decreasing all the time, England losing their first wicket at a score of 200 plus. It may also be noted that with 1st wicket partnership of NZ reaching 50 plus, NZ were the first favourites, the odds in their favour being about 1.85. And with NZ doing better and better, scoring fast establishing lead of 293, weather not deteriorating much, the odds in f/o NZ remained higher thereafter. 

But probably I am a moron. Still some intellectuals, especially those in position of authority, will say that there is nothing wrong about this and bookies could foresee correctly knowing the pitch condition and teams composition. I, the moron, would salute such intellectuals rather than argue further with them.

The above is not an isolated example, though a recent one. I must have come across thousands (many times over in a single match) of such and worse incongruities over last few years.

Let us see what happens in the next SL-Bangladesh 1st test match being played now. SL are favourite at the start of the match by odds of about 1.5 and they declare their first innings at 570/4. After Bangladesh lose their first wicket, odds are 1.2 in f/o SL at score of about 35-40 for 1. Soon Bangladesh lose their 2nd wicket at 65 and soon after that the odds start galloping. Please note here that with 50 plus opening partnership of Aus in their 2nd innings, the odds had increased only to 1.33 from 1.25, as mentioned above. At the end of 2nd day, with score at 135/2, the odds were about 1.5. About 40 minutes into 3rd day and score just 170/2, the odds had changed drastically to 1.8 in f/o draw. There was a reason to this madness. With two quick wickets to fall, keeping in with the odds being offered on 2nd day, the odds on offer at this stage should have been in the range of 1.2 to 1.25. But due to the drastic change having been affected earlier, the odds on offer after fall of 4th quick wicket  at 177 were 1.6 in f/o SL. Now question will be why all this jugglery, why would bookies purposefully keep odds higher in f/o SL after loss of 4th Bangladeshi wicket. The answer lies in what happened thereafter. An unbroken 261 run fifth wicket partnership by the end of 3rd day's play and penning of these lines. Regarding pitch, I am told by the commentators that no past match here had gone to 5th day.

Probably above will make one understand better how Dhiren Shah of 'Inside the Boundary Line' could read into pre-scripting of matches, through changing odds also. Many other factors confirming the same to him further.


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