August 9, 2007

Suspicious, to say the least

Nikolay Davydenko, the 4th ranked tennis player in the world, retired from a match last week in the Prokom Open in Poland. That in itself is not newsworthy. Interestingly, though, on at least one betting site, Davydenko was not favored to win the match due to late bets on his opponent (a no-name).

I've always heard the old NFL betting advice that you bet with any late moves in the line, because that means that someone knows something. I never really put too much stock in that advice, thinking that no one could really know anything that would make a difference in the outcome of the game. But when a Russian tennis player retires from a match in which someone bet lots of money against him, it makes you wonder.

blahblabhbljhblah He at least APPEARS to care too much to tank

One thing I don't understand: the bets were placed on, which is a trading market gambling site. In trading markets, you bid on a bet (say $1 to win $.50 if Davydenko wins). Another gambler could then accept that bid, putting up their $.50 against your $1 if the other guy wins. This sort of betting scenario does not seem to lend itself to betting on games where the fix is in, because the lines can move too quickly. As soon as big money starts coming in on one side of the match, it would change the calculus of how much a bet for the other side is worth.

I would think that a traditional gambling site, where the lines don't move much, and even then, not that quickly, would be a safer move. Maybe the fixers thought that a traditional gambling site would notice this behavior and would invalidate the bets. That reasoning backfired, though, because invalidated their bets anyway.

So now the question is, will future Davydenko matches in second-rate tournaments see him undervalued or overvalued? Will people bet against him, believing that he'll throw another match? Or will they bet for him, hoping to make money off the cynics who believe the matches are fixed? Is there a way to make money off this?

UPDATE: Sports Yenta reports that mens tennis players have been receiving anonymous telephone calls asking them to fix particular matches.

[J-Red's addendum: The player that is claiming that other players on the tour are receiving calls asking them to throw matches is Bob Bryan (the better looking one). He's on the ATP Player Council, which is big shit in circles that follow ATP Player Councils.]

2 Responses:

Dewey said...

I'm not sure what surprises me more: the fact that I've never heard of the fourth-best tennis player in the world, or that people wager money on tennis matches.

J-Red said...

Clearly you don't have enough money to burn. I've been wagering on tennis and cricket matches in England for years. It's just enough to tide me over until the local horsetrack opens back up at 7am. Can't they stay open for those eight hours? DO THE HORSES REALLY KNOW WHAT F-ING TIME IT IS? RUN THE PONIES! RUN PONY RUN! C'mon 4-7-2, one time baby one time. ONE TIME BABY ONE TIME!

Where am I?

Summer is here and there's never been a better time to try your hand at online sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite horse with horse racing or even try your luck with your favorite football team. Enjoying sport is just a click away!