17 November 2009

Vegas odds and Dennis Wideman

I read an interesting article today on the Star, wherein the author pointed out that the current Vegas odds of the Leafs making it to the Playoffs were 1/125 (1.7%). I find a lot lot lot wrong with those odds, because I do a lot of sports betting (WITH FAKE MONEY PEOPLE, I AM UNEMPLOYED) and know a bit about setting the odds and lines, an particularly chaos math. But I had to go take a look and see what the odds are on the Bruins making it.

Now here's one thing I want everyone to keep in mind about Vegas odds at this point. We're ~20 games into the season, or 1/4 of the way through. While commentators and the media love prognosticating this early in the game and saying "if the season ended today...." Except we  need to take into heavy consideration the fact that the season will not, in fact, end today. Here are other things that need to be taken into account, which are not:

  • Injuries
  • Trades
  • Firings
  • Olympic fatique
  • Streakiness
  • Media pressure
  • Locker-room cancers
  • Coaches who can't find their ass with a map and a flashlight
These things are generally NOT taken into account in Vegas odd setting, and introduce chaos theory into the betting predictions. It's almost strictly stat-based, both current and historical, factoring in the stats of all current players, including their stats on previous teams. Odds and lines change daily, and the Bruins losing to the Pens and Isles shifted all the lines in Vegas by 6%, so it goes to show that odds or lines on any given day are subject to change at a moment's notice, and just because Vegas thinks you suck doesn't necessarily mean jack shit.

I've spent about an hour trying to find accurate lines with over/under and parlay on playoff-entry odds, and I'm failing spectacularly, so if anyone knows a good site with all this information (without me having to enter a credit card), please let me know. We'll revisit this later.

Moving on to my favourite B' defenceman, Dennis Wideman.
Dennis, Dennis, Dennis. What are we going to do with you? Is something wrong? Are you hurt? Did you have a personal crisis? I hate saying that you're the B's biggest liability right now, but having watched the past 3 games, I have no choice BUT to say that. Do you miss playing with Ference? Are you relying too much on Hunwick to save your bacon? I just don't understand what the problem here is. Last season you were uh-may-zing. You were a d-man that young kids aspire to be like. We never heard your name mentioned, and that's the sign of a great d-man - they just do their job, they never get credited for it on TV. But the past 3 games, I've heard your name more than if you'd hit up a whorehouse and done the full tour. Get the foot looked out. Get into some yoga. Work on your reflexes, and STOP THINKING ABOUT THE GAME. Just play. That's all. Just play. Be where the puck is going, not where it is. Be where the play is going, not where it is. And for the love of the lord, please don't turn into Garnet Exelby, who has a magnet in his pants and is permanently stuck to the goalpost. You're better than this. A lot better. Let's make this happen. I will cheerlead from the sides, completely with sparkly black and gold pom-pons if necessary. YOU CAN DOOOOO IIIIIIIIIT!

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