Friday, January 16, 2004

Betting on Iowa 

If I want to know about who's going to win a game, I watch bettors who are paying much more attention than I am. Likewise, if I'm watching the Iowa primaries on Monday, as Hewitt suggests we in the NA do, I'm going to watch the bettors. Tradesports shows the Dean-Wins-Iowa contract trading down to a little under even money from being a 2-1 favorite as late Tuesday morning. Kerry, the current flavor-of-the-week is still trading around 3-1 against. If I was a betting man -- and I am -- I'd think hard about taking Gephardt, where a you can pay $2.20 for a contract to win $10 if he wins the caucus. At this site it's Dean -120, Gephardt +110, a much worse price than at Tradesports. Poliblogger thinks it's between Gephardt and Dean because of organization, Zogby is pushing Kerry (though see Mickey Kaus on Zogby) but the bettors are all still on Dean. Punters will perhaps look at Edwards, running around 15-1 right now.

My bet: Ride with the sharps. Take Dean over Gephardt and lay the 2%. Edwards' surprise third place will be all the talk on Tuesday.

While I'm busy being wrong, take the Patriots and the Eagles this weekend. Just like this talk of Kerry's surge, everyone is jumping on the underdog bandwagon (all four underdogs last weekend covered against the spread.) Dogs 6-2 ATS on championship weekend is helping drive this. Both the Patriots and Eagles were favored by more on Monday than they are today, though if anything the news over the week has made them look better (weather in NE, Stephen Davis unlikely for Carolina.) We'll go contrarian and grab the favorites.