Tuesday, December 06, 2005

World Championship Betting Lines

Well, while I will chastise the IHF for officially sponsoring gambling that certainly doesn’t prohibit me from analyzing the more interesting betting lines that have been posted for the World Championship. In fact, other than playing the actual matches there is probably no better way to assess and compare how good the different National teams are.

From www.Nordicbet.com here are the odds that were posted to win the Championship prior to the tournament

Russia 2.80 to 1
Korea 4.80
Norway 5.80
Denmark 6.50
Romania 12.00
Hungary 14.00
Ukraine 25.00
Germany 35.00
France 60.00
Croatia 80.00
Slovenia 80.00
China 80.00
Austria 80.00
Fyro Macedonia 80.00
Poland 150.00
Netherlands 250.00
Japan 500.00
Angola 999.00
Brazil 999.00
Uruguay 999.00
Ivory Coast 999.00
Cameroon 999.00
Australia 999.00
Argentina 999.00

I think they put 999-1 up just because their system doesn’t go any higher. I would have thought Brazil would have been shown a little respect. A more realistic perspective of which teams are perceived to be improving can be seen with the odds posted for the final placement for each team. In particular, here are the odds for the lower seeded teams to simply advance out of group play and into the main round.

Australia 300-1
Cameroun 100-1
Ivory Coast 100-1
Uruguay 100-1
Argentina 50-1
Angola 50-1
Brazil 12-1
Austria 5-1
Japan 3.6-1
China 2.5-1
Slovenia 2.5-1
France 2.4-1

Strictly looking at the odds, these 12 teams were not predicted to advance out of group play. To advance out of group play a team needs to finish in 3rd place, or in all likelihood beat the weakest European Team (+ Korea) in their group. The best chances for this are for China or Japan to finish ahead of the Netherlands in Group A and for Brazil to beat Poland (which they’ve already done) and Austria in Group C.

There were also a few interesting proposition bets which focused directly on the gap between the Handball powers and the Handball minnows. These even money bets were:

32.5 goals: Over/Under for biggest margin of defeat in one match
45.5 goals: Over/Under for most goals scored by one team in one match
13.5 goals: Over/Under for fewest goals scored by one team in one match

It took approximately 2 hours for all of those bets to be resolved as Hungary pummelled Australia 57-9. 48 Goals better? 48 Goals! I guess the 25.5 point spread wasn’t very accurate. No word yet if there was some unusual betting activity in Sydney or Melbourne on Expekt.com. But kudos to the Aussies for bouncing back today and covering the 33.5 spread against Slovenia. I’m sure someone in Ljubljana is not happy.


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