Im­prove your odds for cup

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - AN­THONY KEANE

BET­TING against the odds paid off hand­somely in last year’s Mel­bourne Cup, but his­tory sug­gests it’s un­likely to be re­peated on Tues­day.

While out­sider Prince of Pen­zance’s stun­ning vic­tory in 2015 showed that any horse can win, a News Corp Aus­tralia anal­y­sis of 20 years of the Cup’s first three horses sug­gests that pun­ters should fol­low the odds.

Since 1995, more than half of the top three fin­ish­ers had odds of 13 to one or bet­ter. In a typ­i­cal Mel­bourne Cup, that nar­rows the picks down to four or five run­ners.

In two decades there have been just two Mel­bourne Cups – 2008 and 2012 – where all of the first three horses went into the race with longer odds, and 13 out of the last 20 win­ners had odds of 10 to one or bet­ter. Prince of Pen­zance’s $101 odds in 2015 de­liv­ered some huge gains to a hand­ful of lucky pun­ters. One TAB punter put $2000 on the horse and won $252,000. An­other punter turned $10 into $126,000 by pre­dict­ing the first four horses.

Statis­ti­cians say bet­ting agency and book­mak­ers’ odds are not just based on the chance of a horse win­ning – they are mod­i­fied to en­cour­age peo­ple to bet on cer­tain horses that im­prove the like­li­hood of book­ies mak­ing a profit.

As­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Scott Sis­son, from the Univer­sity of New South Wales School of Math­e­mat­ics and Sta­tis­tics, said it was fur­ther com­pli­cated by pub­lished odds chang­ing with pun­ters’ bet­ting pat­terns.

“The book­ies odds are not the same as the prob­a­bil­ity that any given horse will win,” said Prof Sis­son, who also is pres­i­dent of the Sta­tis­ti­cal So- ci­ety of Aus­tralia. “Be­cause you can’t trust th­ese odds, you have to make your own judg­ments. A great way to do this is to un­der­stand the data and re­sults of pre­vi­ous sim­i­lar races, and the past his­tory of the run­ning horses us­ing sta­tis­tics.”

Prof Sis­son said if you be­lieved the 101-1 odds, the chance of it hap­pen­ing again was once in ev­ery 101 races.

“What is the chance of two 101-1 win­ners in con­sec­u­tive years? Well if th­ese are the cor­rect odds, and the races are in­de­pen­dent from each other, then the odds are 10,201-1. Just mul­ti­ply the odds. But again, th­ese aren’t the ac­tual odds, but rather the book­ies odds..”

Fi­nan­cial strate­gist Theo Mari­nis said 2016 had de­liv­ered plenty of long­shot win­ners so far – the Western Bull­dogs in the AFL, Ade­laide United and Le­ices­ter City in soc­cer, and pos­si­bly the Chicago Cubs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.