Skip to main content

Tomlin, Pacer of the Year & Bad Math

A couple of notes from HRU this weekend:

Mike Tomlin's fine was looked at from a racing perspective (pdf)
  • The NFL does not even rely on gambling for their number one source of revenue, yet they are responsive to it. Racing relies on gambling for survival and it amazes me that in many instances its customers are treated like nothing more than a nuisance. Racing, whether they want to realize it or not, has been saying to the customers who pay the bills, “If you don’t like it, go play poker. “ Bettors have taken their advice. 
Also, Garnet took Foiled Again's side on the Pacer of the Year argument (momentum seems to be building for him to be named Pacer of the Year) over an argument for Captaintreacherous. You can read that here.


Math & Fooled By Randomness

Mike Dorr often talks about how the media, and general public is "math challenged". One example, I thought, that showed this yesterday was in the 49ers-Seattle game. The stats showed (not by a small margin) that letting the 49ers score quickly near the end of the game was the proper play. In the general media, this is not even questioned.

"Memes" seem to rule the day when it comes to the media. It's ridiculous in the first place to talk about one man on one 60 member team to be solely responsible for wins and losses, but the media takes it to the nth degree. Did you know Tony Romo sucks in December? How could you not. You'll hear it on ESPN tonight I am sure or on NFL radio shows, or whereever else the math and randomness challenged reside. Casual bettors might bet against "Romo" tonight just because of that meme. Doesn't anyone check the real stats? He has a 106.3 passer rating in December, with 27 TD's and only 5 interceptions. His team might not have a super record in December, but it ain't because of him.

Manning sucks in under 32 degree weather, I am sure you've heard, oh 8 gazillion times. Well, he has played a couple of playoff games away from home, as a dog, with a top rated defense keying on stopping him and only him, so he had a couple of subpar games (subpar for him). One of the games the media counts as a loss was a last week mean-nothing game against the Bills when he left in the first quarter (tied 7 to 7; the Colts then lost by a pile, so the media memes give him the "L"). He's also had a couple of good games too. But because of the weather? How did he go off for 400 yesterday with 4TD's (and two other drops)? In his presser he said he didn't pay much attention to the meme because it was stupid (my words not his). He's right.

Rarely if ever does bad math happen with bettors though. For example, while television commentators are scratching their head on a call like Belichick taking the wind on that MNF game a couple of weeks ago, Betfair immediately shows you what's a good or a bad call. After that coin toss, the chances for New England having a better chance to win resulted in a line move of 12 or 15 basis points. 

You'll see it on a 4th down call, or when a team goes for two. Bettors anticipate the coach making the proper math call. When he does not, the odds change. It's fascinating.

This is seen in horse racing, but even more so (there is much less dumb money in horse racing nowadays). Watch a driver or jockey change of a huge variety. The on track crowd, which represents a lot more cavalier money, might have the change horse at even money, while its fair odds may be 5-2. The horse will always go up as the math money comes in. Ditto at Betfair. A horse might be at 4-5 until one minute to post on the tote, while he or she doesnt budge off 5-2 at Betfair for the entire trading session.

More Notes:

Handle was reported down for this past weekend's Claiming Crown at Gulfstream. That's what racing a meet that goes on and on tends to do.

Races that went away in 2013 - a lot of them due to the loss of slot revenue in Ontario.


 Have a great day everyone.

Comments

Sal Carcia said…
It was difficult to figure whether the GP winter/spring meet actually started. It's OK though. It gives the bettor the option to decide. I thought the turf course looked beat up. The jocks were riding cautiously on it. Maybe, it's just my imagination.