Betting the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather Fight

August 26 is set as the date where one of the all-time greatest boxers in Floyd Mayweather will box the all-time greatest self-promoter in Mixed Martial Arts, Conor McGregor.  On it’s face, this seems like an incredible mismatch.  Mayweather has been at the top of the boxing world for well over a decade and trained exclusively in that discipline for near three.  Conversely, McGregor, an MMA fighter of supreme confidence and flair, is a former unheralded scrub-boxer that moved to his new sport almost certainly because it was better suited to his talents.

The opening betting line when this fight was confirmed saw Floyd as a -2000 favorite, meaning you would have to bet $2000 on Floyd to win to come out with only $100 in profit.  Hype and the dream of a big return saw “public” money move in on Conor to push that line to around -700 which, although better, still shows him to be the massive underdog.

I have followed combat sports for over twenty years, from attending UFC 7 in Buffalo to once owning part of the management contract of a boxer that twice fought for a world title.  Seeing it closely and sometimes from behind the scenes, I learned that in the fight game anything can happen (both good and improper).  It is with that jaded and experienced eye that I will be betting the fight.

The opening line of -2000 is, in my opinion, a more accurate reflection of how the fight will go.  I will watch line movements closely to see if Conor’s ability to inspire drives it lower than it’s current -700.  If and when it does, I will be betting on Floyd to win.

Caveat:  Because I know that boxing and the judging associated with it is corrupt, the most utilitarian (yet likely crooked) result that would see everyone make money on their bets, their careers going forward, and in a rematch is the contest ending in a Draw.  For that reason alone, I will also be betting draw/technical draw in the hopes of a huge leveraged return at +3300 and offsetting that will some money on Money if the odds justify it.  Govern yourselves accordingly.

Update:  The line has now moved down to -450 on Floyd to win and -4000 on a draw.  And with that I bet both Floyd big and doubled my small bet on the Draw.

Update 2:  We won.  While Conor won the first 5 rounds, Floyd won the rest and ended it with a TKO in the 10th.  We lose our small Draw bet, but end up money after betting far more on Floyd at -450 to win and a bit more the day of fight at -400.  Apparently, over 80% of all money bet in Vegas was on Conor which means the casinos had one of their most profitable days ever (Contrary to popular belief, casinos usually do not balance bets but make money from their vig coupled with the public usually being wrong).

 

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Betting the UK Election

The upcoming June General Election in the UK has been framed as a vote of confidence on the current Prime Minister and an affirmation of the previous BREXIT vote. Unless an unforeseen event arises in the next few weeks, this framing presents a great opportunity to bet on the Election as a “sure thing”; namely, that the current PM and her Conservatives will form the next government at -700.

The previous BREXIT vote saw the country split 52/48 on that option. The current Conservative government and the UKIP party are the only two standing on that side of the ledger with all other parties seen as advocating for a REMAIN position. Within that split, a great many UKIP supporters are moving over to the governing Conservatives in the belief that the best way to ensure BREXIT is to ensure a pro-BREXIT party obtains a majority and control of the Government.

Further buttressing Conservative standing is the secondary element of the Election: Which party is best suited to negotiate a favourable BREXIT deal with the EU?  This again draws further support to the Conservatives as even some on the REMAIN side are deciding to favour the Conservatives in the belief that if BREXIT is a reality it is best to negotiate the most pro-UK deal possible — a result that can only be done with a pro-BREXIT party at the negotiating table.  In short, the Conservatives will be getting support from the majority that supported BREXIT and from those on the REMAIN side that want the UK to get the best deal possible with the EU on leaving.

Current odds see the Conservatives at -1200 to win a majority, but the odds of PM May forming the next Government are only at -700. I am taking advantage of that discrepancy and what I noted above to bet on the May-led Conservatives to earn a majority and form the next government at -700.  The bet won’t be as lucrative as my bet on TRUMP to win the US Presidency, but it is certainly more of a “sure thing” as a consequence of how the Election has been framed and voters segregated on the two main issues.

Update: The London terrorist attacks in the week before the Election and May’s confused response to it may have been that unforeseen event that changed the course of history.  The bet was good value when made (which is all you can ask for in gambling as value-betting will prevail over the long-run), but is now more uncertain.

Update 2:  We still won!

The Super Bowl betting Edge: The “public’s” affect on Lines

The Super Bowl has more non-fan, non-expert money bet on it than any other regularly scheduled sporting event.  This results in betting lines pushed passed “where they should be” to reflect the affects of one-time, ill-informed public money flooding onto one side or another (Usually, Sport Books try to balance the dollar amounts bets on both sides of a bet so that they can make their commission/juice/vig risk-free).

The Line for this year’s game between the Patriots and Falcons, as of writing, is -3.  While the Patriots are, because of their success during the “Tom Brady” era, the public’s team, this Line is not ridiculous in over-valuing them.  Analytical sites like FootballOutsiders and FiveThirtyEight see this Line either at or within a half-point of where it should be.  If late flowing public-money comes in on the Patriots to push it to over -4 or beyond, the Falcons would become a more attractive bet (Nothing is, of course, guaranteed; but a skewed betting line can create a value bet where none existed before).

For my money, the best bet this Super Bowl can be found in a betting line pushed higher by public money and breathless media reports of the excellence of the offenses of both teams — the Over/Under.  As of writing, the Over/Under is 59.5, which means if you bet the Over you are betting that the combined scores of both teams will be 60 points or higher (And Under at 59 or lower).

59.5 points is a great deal of points. It is a total that has very rarely been exceeded in a Super Bowl.  By way of comparison, the Falcons have only gone over that in eight of their 18 games this season and the Patriots have gone over only once.  Sure,  the Falcons are averaging 34.4 points this season and the Patriots are averaging 28.4 for a combined total over 59.5, but that does not take in account defenses and the fact that for one team to score that many points in a game they are usually dominating the time of possession and not simply trading scores back and forth.

If you are going to bet on this Super  Bowl with an “edge,” I see it in betting on the edge created by the Main Stream Media reports of the historic greatness of both offense.  I see it in betting on the Under 59.5.

The “inside information” that allowed me to predict a TRUMP win months ago

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I first started taking a TRUMP candidacy seriously in September of 2015 when I heard one of his speeches in full and understood the connection his words would have with disenfranchised Americans and others left behind.  The one benefit of a criminal record is that I know what it feels like to be rejected by the majority of Society or told you are “less than” now and into the future because of a decision you made in the past or  circumstances in which you now find yourself.

When others laughed at TRUMP for his choice of language, I argued that it was done intentionally to both reach and persuade the most people.  Where Mitt Romney would call someone a “dissembler” because he wanted everyone to know how intelligent he was, TRUMP would call that same person a liar because he wanted his opinion to be clear and did not care what the “elites” thought of his intelligence (I know a lawyer that did a deal with TRUMP over a decade ago and described him as “off-the-charts brilliant”).  TRUMP was speaking directly to Americans and was not shy about his belief that the Main Stream Media was a propaganda tool of the Establishment.  He viewed them only as a tool to be used when necessary and ignored and called out as frauds when not.  People found that candor — especially in the oppressive age of political-correctness and Social Justice Warrior bullying that we find ourselves in — refreshing and worthy of support.  If someone identified as a TRUMP voter you could be certain that regardless of the whether or social scorn they faced on the day of the Election, they would show up to vote.

So what was the inside information that I had that allowed me to predict a TRUMP win for near a year and pinned the above tweet months ago?  Simple, I ignored the Media and Polls and evaluated what I saw and heard directly and without their lens. When I was investing, I always viewed the word of politicians or executives as a “currency” that they could print to buy the response they wanted from the Market.  The MSMedia and professional pundit’s words this Election were no different.  If TRUMP’s win helps more of the public think for themselves going forward, democracy and Society will benefit beyond anything else that he does or policy decisions he makes.  Trust your judgment.

Subsidizing the destruction of Can/AM manufacturing – the role of the Post Office

A bold statement, but it’s true.  The thought came to me after ordering a product from Ebay that was to be delivered from China with “FREE SHIPPING.”  How is it possible, I wondered, for a company to produce a product and absorb the cost of shipping it all the way fro China to Canada and still make a profit.  The answer is that they really weren’t absorbing the cost of shipping — they had an “edge” that our manufacturers did not.

The way international mail delivery works is that the domestic post office charges what it charges to mail goods and the receiving jurisdiction simply delivers them without payment as the cost/hassle of an accounting would be prohibitive and stifle international communication and trade.  What that means is that the cost for a Canadian or American to mail a package to China can be hundred times more than the cost of mailing that same package back along the same route, but this time from China to Canada and the U.S.  In short, our Post Offices and the international understandings on mail delivery are undermining our manufacturing base by subsidizing foreign competitors who can ship products from China for less than it would cost a Canadian or American manufacturer to ship the same product within their own country.

You would think this would be an Election issue, but I’m still waiting for delivery on that.

The Peak in Bonds: Sell Your Government Debt

If there was any doubt that we are in a bubble in Government debt, that was removed last week when Italy was able to sell a 50-year Bond on the assumption that the European Central Bank would soon add long bonds to its misguided buying spree.

Buyers of these bonds have no more faith than anyone else in the Italian or EU economy; but, are instead betting that they can sell these bonds back to the ECB for a profit. To make bets of that size on something that, on its face, looks to be a farcical investment would only done if someone in the ECB advised them of the ECB’s future bond repurchase schemes — “inside information” if you will at the expense of EU taxpayers.

All financial bubbles pop and this one in Government debt will be no different. While you can wait for the last dollar at its top (Ireland’s 100-year bond sale scheduled for March might be it), prudence would dictate that you get out while you can and move those funds to the only vehicle that can absorb the outflow of capital when it does pop — the US Stock Market.

An NFL bet where one piece of non-public information — a response to weather — could be a license to print money

On Sunday afternoon the Miami Dolphins are scheduled to play the Tennessee Titans in Miami. As I write, the betting lines show the Dolphins as a  -3.5 home favorite. What is not yet reflected in the betting lines, however, is that the City of Miami and surrounding area is a likely landing spot for a Category 4 hurricane.  Depending on the strength of the hurricane, the game will either go ahead in Miami as planned on Sunday, be moved from Sunday to Monday in Miami, or remain on Sunday; but, be moved to Tennessee.

NFL betting lines, generally, award 3 points to a home team; regardless, of how good the team is or who their opponents.  A line that shows Miami as a -.3.5 favorite at home would likely see them become  a +3 underdog on the road in Tennessee which is a near 6 point swing.  To professional sports bettors, such a move would allow them an incredible opportunity to profit with zero risk.  A bettor that knew with certainty that the game would involve a switch of home venues would bet Tennessee today at +3.5 based on the assumption that the game will be in Miami and then, once the game is move to Tennessee, bet Miami at near +3 giving him a “middle” of at least 6 points.  Middle bets allow a bettor — if the margin of victory by either teams falls into that gap — to GUARANTEE a win of both bets while making losing both bets IMPOSSIBLE.

In short, the final decision on where and when the Dolphins and Titans’ game will be played in response to the impact of Hurricane Mathew is incredibly valuable in the right hands (tens of millions of dollars valuable). Look for swings in the betting lines on this game just before the NFL’s decision is publicly announced on where and when the game is to be played.  Such line moves will demonstrate to those that know how to interpret them that the decision leaked beforehand and that huge financial bets were made with that “inside information” in hand.

Still no decisions have been made about Titans-Dolphins game

[October 7 Note: Fortunately, Hurricane Mathew did not have the impact predicted and the game will remain in Miami for Sunday afternoon. The line in the Carolina/Tampa game did have such a move as discussed above when it was announced that Carolina’s QB who had been under the NFL concussion protocol would not be playing on Monday.  With that news, the line went from -7 Friday morning to -4, a 3-point opportunity to middle for all those that bet Tampa earlier in the week with such a possibility in mind.]

“So What’s Wrong with Insider Trading Anyway?”

Where once it was far easier to obtain a conviction for insider trading in the US than in Canada (unfortunately, about the same time that I was charged in both countries), recent Court decisions have left the American jurisdiction in a state of flux and in need of guidance.  The US Supreme Court is expected to do just that as it hears arguments this week and later rules in the case of Salman v. United States.

Here’s an easy to read overview on the current state of “lawlessness” and the implications for the capital markets  http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/whats-so-wrong-with-insider-trading-anyway/

Betting the US Election

I have been a proponent of betting on TRUMP since late last year, largely because of how “undervalued” such a bet appeared to be in betting Markets.  When one juxtaposed those odds against his obvious marketing and persuasion skills and the passion of his supporters (even in the face of initial social scorn and, recently, the violence directed at them from supporters of his opponent) they just seemed “wrong” and out-of-line from where they should be in, realistically, a two-person race.

My participation as a bettor on the Election only became serious on September 11th after seeing video of his Democrat Party opponent, Hillary Clinton, collapse at the site of 9/11 before being dragged cold, toes-down, into a van, leaving a shoe behind.  Upon seeing those visuals and concluding that in the age of the internet they would be replayed millions of times, I rushed to bet TRUMP to win the Election at odds of +200 (bet $100 to return $300) and to win the State of Ohio at odds of +260 (bet $100 to return $360).  Candidly, better value was found on such “State bets” as they would almost certainly be necessary preconditions to a General Election win.  Had I to do it over, I would have focused my capital in that area over a bet on the General Election.

What is my inside information, you ask? No, not video of Hillary’s collapse; though, I did act very quickly after its release and before betting odds were lowered to reflect the impact of such a visual.  What I am relying on, instead, is something called the “enthusiasm gap” and its absence from traditional polling.  If, for example, polls show Clinton at 52% and TRUMP at 48% (yes, I am discounting third-party candidates for the sake of argument) one would conclude that Hillary is likely to win the General Election when those percentages are translated into actual votes (Chicago-style voter fraud aside) and Electoral College wins.  But what of the “enthusiasm gap?”

If, again for the same sake of argument, TRUMP is able to turn out 100% of his supporters and Hillary only 90% then in the above example TRUMP would win the votes of 48% to 46.8% of possible voters.  Obviously, I have simplified the argument for the sake of math, but the enthusiasm gap — the percentage of people that want to vote for you that actually vote for you — is something that I expect to have a real impact on the Election.  And,  as it can’t  be reflected in the Polls (and, because of that, the odds) it may skew the betting lines sufficiently to allow you to profit from the undervalued nature of a “surprise” TRUMP win much like occurred with the BREXIT vote where polls the day of the vote showed it losing by a substantial margin.

For more on the enthusiasm gap, read http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gallup-democrats-who-will-definitely-vote-at-16-year-low/article/2602965#.V-wgrerMJFg.twitter