Archives for betting



The Thinking Person’s Guide to Betting the Belmont Stakes

It has been 36 years since a horse won the Triple Crown. California Chrome has a chance to make history today if he wins the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown.

So how should you bet the race? California Chrome will be a prohibitive favorite, partly because he deserves to be based on past performances, and partly because it is fun and exciting to be able to say that you bet on the horse who won the Triple Crown. I can remember the specifics of very few horse races, but I still remember exactly where I was watching on TV when Secretariat won the Triple Crown because I had decided after the Preakness that he was my favorite horse. I was six years old. It’s fun to feel a connection to a champion.

Most likely, way too much money will be bet to win on California Chrome, for the reasons above. The more money that is bet on him, the worse the odds. I doubt that it will be a smart bet to play California Chrome to win. Read More »



My Annual Kentucky Derby Picks

I make public predictions about anything exactly three times a year: who will win each of the three Triple Crown thoroughbred horse races.  Other than that, I predict nothing.

The nice thing about making so few predictions is that by the time next year’s predictions roll around, no one can remember how last year’s predictions turned out.  My very worst year, I named with confidence the horse that I believed would finish dead last, when in fact that horse won the race!  Nonetheless, people still asked me for my picks the next year.

This year, I even got invited to do a live Q&A on the Kentucky Derby, which you can check out at Deadspin.

So who do I like this year in the Kentucky Derby? Read More »



This Year’s Kentucky Derby Picks (And a Brand New Way to Bet on Them)

Every year I post my picks for the Kentucky Derby.  Last year I actually did well, for a change.  In a twenty-horse field, I picked three horses to do well, and two of them ended finishing first and second. The winner was 15-1.  I also made a correct prediction as to which horse would finish last.  I got that one right as well.

So here we go again…

Let me start by saying that the crystal ball (actually the computer algorithm) is a little fuzzy this year.  There are four horses that all look equally good to me: Falling Sky, Java’s War, Itsmyluckyday, and Revolutionary.  All will be longshots, I suspect, with odds between 15-1 and 25-1.

The model also kind of likes Verrazano, who might be the favorite in the race.  If I were betting, I might include him in my exotic bets. Read More »



Predicting the Nobel Prize

Next Monday, the Nobel Prize Committee will announce the recipient(s) of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. If you think you know who’s going to score this year’s prize, head on over to Harvard’s Nobel Pool, “the world’s most accurate prediction market.”

Each entry will cost you $1; all entries and bets must be received by 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 9th. If you’re looking for inspiration, past predictions can be found here. And if you haven’t already, listen to our Freakonomics Radio podcast, “The Folly of Predictions,” to find out where we stand on the whole notion of predictions.

So Freakonomics readers, who are you betting on?



Was Steve Jobs’ Retirement Already Priced into Apple Stock?

When news broke last evening that Steve Jobs was stepping down as Apple CEO, shares of the company fell by more than 5% in after hours trading. By the opening bell this morning, they’d recovered half of those losses. And during the first hour of trading, shares of Apple were only down between 1.1% and 1.6%.

Compare that to when Jobs announced that he was taking a leave of absence back in January of this year (his third leave since 2004), when shares fell by more than 8%. Within ten days, the stock had regained the lost ground, off news that Apple’s revenue grew 70% in the fourth quarter. Back in January 2009, when Jobs left for health reasons, and ultimately a liver transplant, Apple shares dumped more than 10% in the immediate aftermath. Way back in the summer of 2004, when Jobs first announced that he’d had a cancerous tumor removed from his pancreas, the market’s reaction was a slow sell-off, but nothing too drastic. Back then shares were trading at only around $16, so there wasn’t nearly as much to chew off.

So, the market’s now had seven years to get used to the idea of life without Jobs at Apple. And there still seems to be plenty of optimism about the future share price. Check out the odds from Irish bookmaker Paddy Power on where Apple’s stock price will end 2011.



Gambling on the Go

Intrade’s new app. Read More »



You Willing to Put Money on That?

Over at FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver challenged bloggers to stand behind their beliefs on climate change by wagering money and risk shaming by Silver if they back out. No takers. Read More »



March Madness, Hedge-Fund Style

| When entering your office pool this season, check out the collective wisdom on winners and losers, then bet against it. Slate‘s Chris Wilson explains. [%comments] Read More »