I’ve been interested in what the Olympics couldn’t bring on the trading front for Bet Angel users. Athletics markets are pretty quiet in general, but are often full of surprises. Nothing is guaranteed in sport, especially where markets are tricky to price.
I watched the Men’s Cycling race today with half a eye on whether Mark Cavendish was to get his just reward, alas it was not to be. As the competitors re-entered the streets of London I started collecting data and scanning the markets to judge what would have been a useful trading position. Curiously I couldn’t find one of the two leaders and wondered if I had just completely failed to interpret the action correctly, or mis-heard the commentator. I made a few notes and returned to the horse racing markets. When I returned to the Cycling there was the leader in the market but traded only at very short odds, hardly any competitors had been. I thought I was going mad!
As it turns out there were 144 competitiors at the start of the race but Betfair had only formed a market around 143. Incredibly the only one they left off won the race! To profit you just needed to lay anything in the market. When Betfair added the runner late on, you would have mysteriously created a profit at every backers expense. An interesting start to the Olympics!
Betfair later issued a clarifying statement: -
“We created the Men’s Olympics Cycling Road Race market on 20th July from the official London 2012 website, which at that point did not show Alexandre Vinokourov as a listed competitor. The market remained ‘incomplete’ allowing us to add any further runners on request. We did not receive any requests for Vinokourov to be added, but when it became apparent that he was in a two-man breakaway group towards the latter stages of the race, we added him into the market (approximately 5km from the finish).”