Coming from a long line of TAB tragics, Ross Jones takes a look at the odds on offer for the two-horse race coming up on September 14.
OKAY PUNTERS, here we go.
As the Autumn racing carnival drops its last leaf, punters are staring into the dog days of winter. Footy betting is dreary, trots and dogs are for those with limited social skills, and UK darts comps — of limited interest.
So, most years get pretty dull about now. But not 2013, we’ve got the September election coming, an event with enough punting possibilities to make your head swim.
Take a look at the online bookies and you’ll see what I mean. No surprises if Tom Waterhouse is sharing the spotlight with Antony Green on the big night.
Check out Sportsbet.com.au for example. I’m not suggesting you become a client, it’s just an interesting read. I had a browse on 22 April.
Sportsbet’s odds need to be treated with a bit of care because we have no idea of the depth of the market; for example, Wyatt Roy’s odds of $5,001 to be LNP leader at election time indicate maybe one lonely, delusional punter hunched over his last fag and one-bar radiator and hoping for the big one — but I’m assuming the main markets have 30 or more punters and therefore have some statistical significance.
As they say, follow the money….
And the money has the LNP at $1.20 for more than 91 seats.
Punters are so confident of an LNP landslide that the odds of the Coalition winning fewer than 91 seats actually increases — just scraping home with just 76-80 seats is $13, with 81-85 seats at $12; and 86-90 seats at $6.
A few losers have punted on Labor and set the odds of it winning the election with 76-80 seats at $7. From there it blows out to Labor winning 81-85 seats — $41; 86-90 seats — $67; and more than 91 seats — $81.
MSM followers give Labour worse odds than a corgi at Dapto. Out there in Puntsville, it’s all over.
But as the descendant of a long line of TAB tragics, I’m only too aware of how many crumpled tickets bearing the favourite’s name can lie discarded on the floor after Gina stops singing.
Once beacons of hope, paper Ferraris, these worthless scraps are simply broomed into oblivion.
Why do favourites lose? Let me count the ways. The track, the weather, the hoop, the drugs wore off, the fix was in; I could go on for pages but ultimately it means the flutterers were wrong.
They might not know, for example, that the stables were in turmoil because the head trainer was about to be convicted for conspiracy, or that the jockey had been caught on CCTV sending hand-signals in the direction of a well-known turf identity.
If you ask me, $1.20 in a two-horse race has got to be a mug’s game. These are the kind of odds reserved for contests like Real Madrid v Western Districts or, heaven forbid, anyone against GWS.
And further reading shows Mug’s Away is the name of the game. Sportsbet offers its mu… clients the option to bet on ‘What is Next For Julia’.
No question mark. No similar option for any of her opponents.
If you reckon Ms Gillard will settle down and write her biography, you’ll be offered $1.60. If you reckon she’ll settle even further down and marry Tim you’ll be offered $2.50. If you reckon she’ll dump the ALP and start her own party, you’ll be offered $9. Other offerings include 'Host her Own Political Affairs Programme' — $10; 'Join The Board of Slater and Gordon' — $13; 'Emigrate To Another Country' — $21; 'Suit Jacket Model For Versace' — $34 and so on, right up to 'Become a Hairdresser' at $501.
It’s hard to read that list without the black dog curling itself in your lap. My mental picture is Butthead and Beavis with a case of Bundy and an iPad.
So, dear readers, this is what we are up against if we want to make a killing come September. I’m very attracted to the $41 for 81-85 seats; less so for the $7 on the nose, because only last year it was dead easy to rev up Tories at dinner parties and get $12.50. If you only got tens you weren’t trying, so I got a few bob away then.
The trick is inside information. I’m heading for the TAB as soon as the Ashbygate Trust reaches $50,000.
(Find out more about the Ashbygate Trust by clicking here.)
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