Before the president’s address on border security Tuesday night, Bookmaker.eu put the over/under on the number of lies he’d spew at 3.5. For bettors, it was a no-brainer, as hundreds of thousands of dollars loaded up on the over.
In fact, Bookmaker odds consultant John Lester told MarketWatch that the site has never seen such a lopsided response from its customers.
“Never in our 30-year history have we been this one-sided (9 to 1) on a wager,” he said. “You would have to go back to the early Mike Tyson fights (pre-Buster Douglas) to find a wager with comparable one-sided demand.”
Lester explained that no matter how much he adjusted the odds, hardly anybody seemed interested in taking the under. Smart move, considering the Washington Post found that there were at least six false statements during the address.
“We knew the President would be prone to exaggeration to support his need for Democratic support to fund his wall,” Lester said. “However, we hoped the 8-minute time constraint coupled with the unlikelihood of the President going off-script would keep the total number of false statements low.”
I explained in my post ahead of the speech that bookies seldom lose because they do not care which way people bet. That's true, assuming the bet attracts an equal dollar amount of bets on each side.
In this case, BookMaker made an error. It did not place the over-under line at a spot that generated equal bets. Six or 7 might have done that.
This was a bookie error and betters realized it. Congrats to those betting on lies.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock