For anyone betting this year’s Big Brother series, betting amounts of $100 or greater, you will be well aware of the problem with liquidity in the market. You not only have to find a good bet, you have to find someone to take your bet.
Understandably, bookmakers are reluctant to take the bigger bets in such markets as they have been burnt on numerous occasions in the past. Although the novelty/special bets are growing in popularity throughout the world, bookmakers use these markets as a form of ‘loss leader’. Many offer such markets with the view to attact new punters to their betting agency.
It is interesting to note how popular the UK Big Brother betting event is. At the time of writing, there has been over 6 million dollars traded and they are only half way through their series.
Unfortunately for Australian punters, the Australia version of Big Brother doesn’t enjoy the same liquidity with only a touch over $32,000 being traded at the same time.
There are bookmakers taking bets, however as they see Big Brother as a risky market, they set their ‘books’ very high. Two Australian bookmakers betting on the event are Sportingbet and Centrebet. They are offering markets of 133%. This is quite high but of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no good bets to be found.
For example, just today I thought that housemate ‘Rita’ was a good value bet at odds of 21.0. For those not watching this series, Rita is one of the two remaining ‘intruders’. As such, I bet the phone maximum bet twice on Rita before the price moved from 21.0 to 13.0 with Sportingbet. Total outlay was $360.
I made this bet as more of a trade. I must point out that a direct comparison between Rita’s price with the bookmaker’s against Betfair isn’t 100% fair. Rita is listed in the ‘any other runner’ market which also includes Melanie. I believe the inclusion of Melanie only reduces the price by a small percentage as it is expected that she will not last too long in the house.
In saying the above, betting in the Big Brother market can brings risks specific to this market. Unforseen occurrences such as snap evictions and housemates mood swings can prove costly.
If Rita’s is not up for eviction for the next two weeks, we can expect her price to shorten. Even if she is nominated for eviction, I believe that there are other housemates the Big Brother voting public would like to see go before Rita.
With this trade, I will ‘drip feed’ the lay bets into the Betfair market to a predetermined point. Attempting to lay $360 in that type of market at odds of 10.0 or higher will scare punters and may result in the price drifting as there is more pressure on the price to drift.
As such, over the coming weeks, I will be laying back into the market hoping for an average price around the 12.0 point.
I mentioned above, these markets can prove to be very profitable however, there is always the problem with getting set.
If I wanted to make a guaranteed profit on this trade and was looking for an average lay price of 12.0 for example, I would have to lay the ‘any other runner’ option for $630 to guarantee a profit of $270 (less commission). I know right now that I will be hard pressed to lay all of the money off on Betfair unless she shortens to a great extent on Betfair. This is a possibility if she stays in the house for long enough.
There are inherent risks with this trade but all the same, I am still of the opinion that it is a good bet. As I will be laying the ‘any other runner’, a Melanie result will prove a disaster however, I am confident in my assessment of her chances. Time will tell.
Coming into the final couple of weeks of this contest, I would like to be out of the market with my $270 in tow. If you see lay amounts for around $25 on the outright Betfair market, you know who that will be :o)