Olympic Odds Challenge

After much discussion of odds and predictions, Jason and I decided to put our money where are mouths are.  Fictitious money.  Betting actually money would have led to huge losses especially for two guys who spend time doing a running podcast that makes no money.

Instead, Jason came up with idea to see who could generate the most winnings (or fewest losses) from 1,000 hypothetical dollars.  The rules are simple.  Each person had to make between 5-10 bets and each bet must be between $50-$400.  Aside from that, you could allocate your $1,000 however you wish.  All odds were based on the best odds listed on the outright winners section of Odds Checker.

 Kevin’s Picks

1) Women’s 4 x 400: United States

Odds: Even

Amount bet: $300

Per my understanding, even odds mean you win what you put down.  Seems like an easy $300 to make as a first bet.

2) Women’s 400 Hurdles: Lashinda Demus

Odds: 4/1

Amount bet: $300

At 4/1, Demus is the favorite.  This event has been very difficult to predict this year, but I think under-raced Demus will peak at the right time and win gold.

3) Men’s Shot Put: Reese Hoffa

Odds: 3/1

Amount bet: $100

Since he has appeared on the podcast and is the most interesting man in the track and field, I guess this qualifies as my only sentimental selection.  There are probably seven men that can win this event, but I am expecting the Americans to have a big meet after their debacle in Daegu.

4) Women’s Steeplechase: Milcah Chemos

Odds: 4/1

Amount bet: $75

Do I think Chemos will win? No, I think it is much more likely that she will meltdown in the final like she did at the world championships last year.  But since we aren’t betting on meltdowns, I will put down the 75 pretend dollars on a woman that is undefeated and has the fastest time in the world this year.

5) Men’s 5,000: Bernard Lagat

Odds: 10/1

Amount bet: $75

Somehow, Lagat became undervalued.  He was a close second to Farah in Daegu, and beat him in the 3000 at this year’s indoor world championships.  At 10/1, I’ll take a shot that he gets his first gold.

6) Men’s 110 Hurdles: Dayron Robles

Odds: 12/1

Amount bet: $50

I would feel better about this if I actually knew that Robles was going to show up in London.  There are no results to his name since May 27th (at least that I could find) and he has trouble getting a Visa to compete outside the country in the past.  Still, he should have won gold last year and will have the “mystery-factor” on his side.

7) Men’s 400 Hurdles: Kerron Clement

Odds: 28/1

Amount bet: $50

Clement has only run one major race in 2012; a 48.89 in Eugene that placed him 3rd.  If he can get into race shape that quickly, I am betting he still has some room to improve.  Experience + fresh legs + 28/1= I’ll take it.

8 ) Women’s 1500: Morgan Uceny

Odds: 40/1

Amount bet: $50

The American trio looks to be just a bit too far behind the world this year.  However, I had $50 left and I remembered that times don’t mean a whole lot in the 1500.  40/1 seems like awfully good odds for someone that was one bad break away from gold last year.

Possible winnings: $6,850

Jason’s Picks

1) Men’s 10,000: Mo Farah

Odds: 3/2

Amount bet: $400

Mo Farah is a big favorite in this event but I think he should be even bigger.  I could see him winning this 3 out of 4 times so to get 3/2 odds is ridiculous value.  I’ll bet the max $400 we are allowed and make myself $600.

2) Women’s 4×400: United States

Odds: Even

Amount bet: $200

Even money seems like a bargain for a team who should be pretty large favorites and the chances of dropping the baton are minimal….hopefully.

3) Women’s Marathon: Mary Keitany

Odds: 11/8

Amount bet: $100

The marathon is always a tricky event but I think Keitany is at least an even money bet.  In this case the odds are good enough to lay my $100 hypothetical dollars out there.

4) Women’s 100: Carmelita Jeter

Odds: 11/4

Amount bet: $100

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce should be, and is, the favorite in this event but Jeter has been the second best in the world this year and won the World Championships last year.  I think almost 3/1 is good value.

5) Men’s 110 Hurdles: Dayron Robles

Odds: 12/1

Amount bet: $50

Aries Merritt has been on fire lately and is the favorite for gold, Liu Xiang is a close 2nd and Dayron Robles has barely run. But you are giving me the world record holder at 12/1 in an event as crazy as the 110m hurdles? I’ll take it.

6) Women’s 400: Amantle Montsho

Odds: 6/1

Amount bet: $50

Sanya Richards-Ross is definitely the favorite in this event, but Montsho might be the most consistent in the field running under 50 seconds four times this year.

7) Women’s 800: Alysia Montano

Odds: 40/1

Amount bet: $50

I would be surprised to see Montano actually win this event especially the way she runs from the front, but she is the 2nd fastest in the world this year and at 40/1 that seems like a bargain.

8 ) Women’s 1500: Jenny Simpson

Odds: 33/1

Amount bet: $50

When we were coming up with this game Kevin had mentioned he liked Morgan Uceny at 40/1 for this event. I haven’t seen his picks but I’m guessing he choose that so instead of stealing his pick I’ll go with Jenny Simpson under probably the same logic that this race will probably be tactical and she does have a world championship gold to her name.

Possible Winnings: $5,762.50

One response to “Olympic Odds Challenge

  1. You’re both leaving easy money on the table by not picking triple jumper Catherine Ibarguen at 2/1. She’s got a two-meet win streak going into the Games and beat all the favorites in doing so. Even easier money is hammer thrower Aksana Miankova at 7/2. The more obscure, the easier it is to win.