It is fashionable to speak of “dynasties,” i.e. multiple repeat title-winners, in many sports these days, but perhaps no championship is so susceptible to dominance by a single force as the Tour de France. The latest mighty ruler over the sport is this year’s winner Alberto Contador of Spain, who overcame Andy Schleck to take his third Tour in four years – and his third in three tries.
Though Contador managed to sport the yellow jersey from Stage 15, it was hardly easy going for the back-to-back champion. In Stage 3, Contador went down among the peloton in crash that would remove Frank Schleck from the competition altogether and set back the Spanaird’s chances for some time.
But Contador had been there before and he slowly chipped away at Andy Schleck’s lead, which the youth rider had regained in Stage 9. Stage 15 was key in the 2010 Tour de France and in fact Contador invited controversy when he forewent certain unwritten rules of sportsmanship to blow past Schleck as the chain on Schleck’s bike fell out. Though Contador apologized after the race, some former cyclists including Miguel Indurain came to his defense.
Schleck would fight back and take Stage 17, but since Contador finished mere seconds behind in the stage, it made little difference. At the end of Stage 19, Contador had built up a lead of 39 seconds and held that difference through Stage 20 for his second consecutive Tour de France win.
Contador now joins recent superstars such as Greg LeMond (Tour de France winner in 1986, ’89 and ’90), Indurain (’91 through ’95) and Lance Armstrong (’99 through 2005). The next dynasty may be Schleck’s, as the 25-year-old Luxembourger has now won three straight youth rider titles on the Tour de France.
In terms of odds, the bookmakers were again prescient, as the 4/7 odds on Contador held against Paddy Power’s proposition bet offering a 5/4 line on “the field.” In 19th place, John Gadret ended up the top Frenchman, a surprise to bookmakers who had him at 15/2 odds to be the tops from France in the race.
While the final result and the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup wasn’t highly unexpected, the relative lack of clear-cut favorite throughout the tournament made for some big payouts for punters who bet correctly.
To start the tournament, Spain was a favorite at every sportsbook: The only variable were the odds, which ran at 4/1, 9/2 or 5/1. That’s at least $500 on a $100 bet just for picking the no.1 ranked team in the world going into the tournament. Even with eight teams remaining, Spain was still getting 11/4 odds at PaddyPower – a potential $375 more on a $100 wager.
Ladbrokes Sportsbook had finalists Spain and Holland at 2/1 and 13/2 to make the final match when the World Cup began. A $50 bet on each there earned clever bettors a total of $525.
As for individual matches, the biggest money was predictably made betting against the powerhouses. Those foolhardy enough to have wagered on Switzerland to beat Spain in their first game got odds of 11/1 at Brobury Sports for a huge $1,200 on $100 invested. And despite the terrible morale on Team France going into their third game, a South Africa win was still getting 11/5 odds at PaddyPower, for another $320 on $100 when the host nation defeated the champions of 1998.
Probably the biggest loss in the tournament was suffered by a bookmaker. Paddy Power had installed a money-back special for the World Cup, in which certain wagers would be returned on a 0-0 draw. England-Algeria in group play ended at 0-0 with millions bet by British punters and a sizable fraction returned on what normally would have been profit for the bookmaker.
But on our wagers, we just turned $500 into $2,920. See? Betting on the World Cup is easy. Good luck in 2014!
The question “How do you read NFL football odds?” can be answered in two different ways. One response would answer to the nuts and bolts of the question, explaining those actual slates of numbers. The other would be to attempt to explain, as we do in the United States, the deeper meaning in those numbers the online bookmakers provide.
Considering a few relevant examples will help us consider both questions.
All lines except for those on pointspread (or handicap) bets may be presented in any of three ways: fractional, decimal and American. Fractional is the classic 3/1 format; decimal format shows you the payout based on 1 unit out to two decimal points, so 3.00 for the previous example; American style shows the payout on 100 units, so the current example would be +300 in this format.
The very basic proposition bet in all of NFL betting is of course wagering on the Super Bowl winner. Currently last year’s finalists, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, are the favorites to win Super Bowl XLV at 8/1 (8.00, +800) and 9/1 (9.00, +900), respectively, by PaddyPower bookmakers.
How do you read these particular odds? These numbers mean simply, “It’s too far in advance of the season, which begins in September, to make a realistic call so we’re going with the default choices.” You can also wager on each division winner and the conference winners at most sports betting websites, but such bets in June are strictly for loyalists.
The most popular NFL bets week to week are the pointspread and over/under lines. These are represented by a plus or minus followed with a number of points. The favorite always receives a negative number, the underdog is positive. This bet works the same way as a handicap in golf, so taking the underdog means adds points to the result of the game; in a close game, the underdog often “wins” at the bookmaker.
Over/under lines represent what the oddsmaker believes will be the total number of points scored by both teams in the game. Pick the over if you think the final score will add up to more than the bookmaker’s line, under for less.
At BetUS, odds are actually already posted for week one in the NFL. In the Oakland Raiders-Tennessee Titans game, the Oakland Raiders are the underdog with a +7 pointspread and there’s an over/under of 41 points.
How do you read these NFL football odds? Well, Oakland at +7 means the bookies figure the Raiders to be just as awful as they have been for seven seasons now, while the 41 over/under indicates that this game will be about as exciting as most fans would expect. You can bet on it.
The 2010 World Cup looks to be the single most wagered upon event in sports history, with over £1 billion in bets expected at online gambling sites and bricks-and-mortar bookmakers’ shops alone.
While the great majority of this will be placed by punters on the eventual tournament outcome and on individual matches, oddsmakers naturally offer a number of bizarre propositions on which riskier (or crazier) types may gamble.
If you’re one of those bored with the more traditional 2010 FIFA World Cup odds, check out some of these fresh alternatives.
• Total number of red cards given during the World Cup: over/under 19.5. Nobody really likes to see red cards on the football pitch: They do everything from slow down the game to ignobly end careers. Of course, one way to enjoy the referee’s moment of glory in this World Cup would be to bet on the outcome. How can you spot the fan who made this bet? He’s the only one cheering for the zebra!
• England is eliminated from the tournament on a penalty shootout: 4/1. Perhaps the most bet-upon side in the whole 2010 World Cup is England, which has even UK-based bookmakers worried that the country might get to relive the glories of 1966. On the other hand, there’s this prop bet, which will surely appeal to many cynical Brits.
• Any goalie scores in the tournament: 11/2. It’s never happened in World Cup history, but someday surely will.
• Diego Forlan of Uruguay scores the final goal of the 2010 World Cup: 500/1. This proposition is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Not only would Uruguay presumably need to at least make the World Cup final, striker Forlan needs to put in the game-winner. Either that or the punter is cheering for a lot of nil-nil shootout wins for the country that hasn’t won the tourney since 1950.
• Pick all 64 games correctly: €1,000,000. Titan Bet is offering this chance at riches, immortality and a genius label. And if someone picks “only” 49 games correct, that’s worth €250,000, too.
• North Korea to win: 2000/1 (or more). This line is Paddy Power’s and actually represents odds a bit shorter on North Korea than on many Internet gambling sites offering World Cup betting. All right, so this isn’t a bizarre proposition bet, but it would take a certain kind of punter to put any amount down on this all-time darkest of all dark horses.
Whether you’re betting soberly or crazily, enjoy the 2010 FIFA World Cup! And Gambling Results reminds all its readers to please bet responsibly.
As the BP oil disaster unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, Irish internet sportsbook Paddy Power is offering odds on which species the oil will drive to extinction first. Some have called the offerings irresponsible, saying that the attempt to profit from the disaster is in bad taste. Paddy Power responded by saying that they offer the odds in hopes of bringing attention to the issue.
The Wall Street Journal: Paddy Power Seeks To Cash In On Marine Life Extinction
Paddy Power may have crossed the line. In a recent press release entitled “Ridley Turtle Tipped For Oily Exit” Ireland’s biggest online sportsbook announced odds on which marine species will be the first to become extinct due to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Paddy Power insists that they are only trying to bring attention to the responsibilities of oil companies.
“The oil spill seems to be going from bad to worse with no end in sight,” says a spokesman for Paddy Power said, who denied that the extinction odds were in bad taste. “Hopefully our odds will bring home the imminent danger to such a varied mix of species dependent on the ocean.”
Unfortunately these words clash with the the tone of Paddy Power’s press release, which inserts humor in all the wrong places. For example, the statement quips about the Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, saying the fact that the species migrates through the Gulf of Mexico this time of year is “spectacularly bad luck”.
This is obviously a publicity stunt, and Paddy Power’s bottom line is to make money. Unfortunately, the fact remains that BP’s pipeline has yet to be fixed, and everyone involved is side-stepping the issue, refusing to accept responsibility.
New York Times: Website Offers Betting on Spill-Related Extinctions of Gulf Species
The online sports betting site Paddy Power is offering odds today on which marine species would be first to go extinct due to BP’s ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Kemp’s ridley turtle, already an endangered species, is favored to go first. A $5 bet on the turtle would win $9 if it becomes extinct because of the spill. Other species like the gulf sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish and elkhorn coral have less probable odds, paying out at rates of 20-to-1.
Paddy Power hopes the offer will bring attention to the fact that the spill is an environmental catastrophe that will likely lead to the extinction of one or more species in the Gulf.
“We kind of have a very simple philosophy at Paddy Power — within reason if there is a very newsworthy event that are people are talking about, people should be allowed to back up their opinion with some cash,” said spokesman Ken Robertson.
The Chronicle Herald: Ruptured oil well threatens bluefin tuna
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening the Atlantic bluefin tuna, raising concerns about the future of the species in Atlantic Canada. The fish breed in the Gulf, but then follow the Gulf Stream north, along the Nova Scotia coast.
“There is an important rod-and-reel fishery and a significant tourism industry associated with the great fish during the fall season in the Maritimes,” said Reg Hartlen at H&H Fisheries in Eastern Passage.
Many people associated with Canada’s fishing industry first heard about the threat to the bluefin when Paddy Power online sportsbook gave odds on which species would become extinct first because of the disaster. The bluefin is listed as second most likely to face extinction, right after the Kemp’s ridley turtle.
“Anybody who knows anything at all about the importance of the gulf region to our fishery is watching this situation very closely,” said Stephen Kiley, a former Shad Bay charter boat captain.
“One of the worst environmental nightmares of our time is unfolding right now in the gulf. We’ll be living with it for years.”
While the 2010 edition of the contest has a prospective winner pretty much wire to wire – last year, Alexander Rybak of Norway had shorter than 1/1 odds before the final – a heavy favorite has emerged only after the second-favorites,
A brief look at the leading contenders, with odds provided by Paddy Power, follows.
• Sufara, “Drip Drop,” Azerbaijan. Country that only first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 has a near-certain winner this year with this easy, sappy ballad.
Representative (translated) lyrics: “I don’t know how to stop / How to stop / These tear drops / That drip drop, drip drop / Drip drop, drip drop.”
• Eva Rivas, “Apricot Stone,” Armenia. Sentimental song of homeland and childhood stands a chance against Sufara, if only because it’s in English, a definite boost to any contender in this competition.
Representative lyrics: “Now I see the Northern stars / Shining brightly in the storm / And I’ve got an avatar / Of my love to keep me warm.”
• Harel Skaat, “Milim,” Israel. The strongest entry from the pretty-boy category, Skaat has charisma to spare.
Representative (translated) lyrics: “The sadness is here again, the fear is here again / And the end is at my window. / Broken glass and silence again / Exhausted and forsaken in my mind.”
• Manga, “We Could be the Same,” Turkey. Sensitive boy band implies a sort of cross-cultural “Romeo & Juliet” love story.
Representative lyrics: “But I know the world could be great / I can love you more than they hate / Doesn’t matter who they’ll blame / We can beat them at their own game.”
• Niamh Kavanagh, “It’s for You,” Ireland. The once-dominant country returns to the Eurovision Song Contest final with perhaps its strongest entry in years.
Representative lyrics: “Look into these eyes / Hold onto these hands / Believe in this heartbeat.”
Other countries represented in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest final include Cyprus, Denmark, Georgia, Romania and Ukraine. The final round starts at 7pm CET on Saturday night.
These extinction odds are listed in the Current Affairs section under “BP Specials”, and are offered alongside odds on who will be the company’s next CEO.
Scientists reported today that a second Icelandic volcano may erupt soon. Fortunately, bettors can cash in if they get their timing right! Over at Paddy Power Sportsbook, they are offering odds on what dates London’s Heathrow airport will be shut down due to ash clouds. Since experts are saying that another eruption could cause more closures, punters would do well to put some money down.
This Saturday, May 22, the Irish Pole Dancing championships will see the most flexible women from the north and south of the Emerald Isle battle for supremacy in a very unique (and very artistic) national competition. The event is heralded as a “celebration of fitness,” bringing together professional dancers from Ireland’s best pole schools to compete against one another and to show the world what they’ve got.
The dancers in this event are athletes. According to the event’s Facebook page, these ladies are working to get rid of the “sleazy stripper stigma” that is often attached to pole dancing, instead emphasizing the fitness side of things. This year’s Championships even offer a charitable twist: all money raised from during the competition will go to Crumlin Children Hospital in Dublin.
Paddy Power, Ireland’s top online sportsbook, is offering wagers on all three levels of competition: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. All wagers are outright win only, and odds are offered on all the dancers competing in each league. Only singles are offered outright, but according to the sportsbook’s website, other bets are available on request.
Paddy Power Sports is professional-quality internet betting that has been around for almost 20 years. Their event coverage is outstanding, offering bets on everything from football and cricket to darts and snooker. They are even running a special promotion on Volcano Betting, where players can wager on what dates Heathrow will be closed because of volcanic ash!
Visit Paddy Power today to put money down on your favorite girl for this year’s Irish Pole Dancing Championships. May the best pole dancer win!
Paddy Power has been pulling all of the stops and stunts when it comes to advertising lately and the stunts seem to be garnering more and more attention. The latest opportunity has presented itself and Paddy Power took it – the company has sponsored the “Sin Bin” a confessional booth in a Catholic Church.
The Telegraph: Paddy Power betting firm sponsors church confession box
Paddy Power has paid £10,000 and sponsored a new confessional booth in Our Lady & St Etheldreda church in the racing town of Newmarket, Suffolk. Jockey Frankie Dettori, who was married in the church, performed the official opening ceremony yesterday.
The Dublin-based bookmaker has 200 offices in Ireland, 100 in Britain and a turnover of £2 billion. The betting company hopes that confessing your sins in a Paddy Power confession box will become a tradition for race-goers.
Sicilian-born Dettori, who is riding the Guineas meeting in Newmarket this weekend, said: “I was married in this church 13 years ago and all five of my children were baptised here.
Fr Michael Griffin, the priest, said: “It was suggested by a parishoner that we should ask Paddy Power for help because of its horse-racing connections. We were very pleased when they generously agreed.”
The Guardian: Church bets on power of sponsorship
St Etheldreda Church in Newmarket decided to turn the sin of gambling at this weekend’s Guineas Festival to its favour. The Catholic Church has taken £10,000 from bookie Paddy Power in return for sponsorship rights to the confession box.
“Our church has felt for a long time that we should have closer ties with the horse racing industry in Newmarket,” said Fr. Griffin. “Through the generosity of Paddy Power this is now starting to happen.”
Generosity indeed, but how difficult will it be for some penitent punters to drop a coin in the “sin box” if they happen to have already lost their shirt on a bet placed with Paddy Power? God only knows.
BBC News: Bookmaker Paddy Power sponsors confessional box
An Irish bookmaker has paid £10,000 for a new confessional box at a Catholic church in Newmarket after he was approached for a donation.
Father Griffin said everyone “liked a flutter” and gambling was only a sin if it left a wife and family without food. The priest said that the person who made the call knew Paddy Power was the name of a betting shop chain but was surprised when Paddy Power himself answered the phone.
Father Griffin said that the church had been trying to raise a total of £65,000 for renovations, which also included a new altar and font. The rest of the money raised has come from legacies.
Golfer Tiger Woods, who has been in the limelight in recent months because of a scandal surrounding his personal life, has turned down a lucrative sponsorship offer from Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest bookmaker. Woods has lost many of his biggest sponsors in recent months. Paddy Power intends to turn around with an even better offer.
New York Times: Woods Turns Down Paddy Power Sponsorship Offer
Golfer Tiger Woods turned down a five year, $75 million sponsorship offer from the Irish online sportsbook Paddy Power. Upon being rejected, Paddy Power announced intentions to an improved offer.
Woods has been losing sponsors lately. The 14-times major champion winner lost his deal with sports drink brand Gatorade last week. Gatorade was the third major corporate sponsor to dump Woods since details of his inappropriate conduct hit the newsstands last year.
The golf star was earning $100 million in endorsement deals annually before taking a break from golf in December. Woods has not said when he intends to return to the sport when he spoke to media last month. He has remained very quiet since the scandal over his private life erupted in December.
During last year’s U.S. PGA Championship, Paddy Power lost 1.5 million euros to bettors who had gambled on Woods after just 36 holes, even though Woods lost to South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun at the end of the event.
Market Watch: Woods turns down $75 million sponsorship offer
Paddy Power, a publicly traded internet sports betting company in Ireland, offered Tiger Woods’ representatives a $75 million sponsorship deal over the next five years.
Woods turned down the offer. The company said it “remains keen” to strike a deal, and intends make an “enhanced” offer to secure the deal.
Woods has lost many of his endorsements in the last few months, including Accenture and Gatorade, ever since he admitted to having multiple affairs.
Procter & Gamble’s Gillette has kept Woods’ contract alive, might not use Woods in any more ads. Nike and Electronic Arts also continue to honor their contracts.
Woods has publically apologized for his recent actions, but has not said when he will begin golfing again.
Paddy Power has a history of spending on its message: Marketing expenses were nearly 29 million euros in 2009, while recorded profits were around 58 million euros.
Business Week: Paddy Power to Raise Woods Offer After Bid Rejected
Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest sportsbook, intends will increase its sponsorship offer to Tiger Woods after their previous bid of $75 million over five years was rejected by the golfer.
“Paddy Power remains keen to work with Tiger Woods, and will re-engage” said the Dublin-based group. “An enhanced offer will be made.”
“Tiger as a brand is up there with Coca-Cola and Pepsi. It’s something we are quite serious about.” The new offer will be “somewhat more generous,” he said.
Woods, who is a 14-time major-tournament winner, recently lost his sponsorship deals with Accenture Plc and AT&T Inc. These contracts were broken after Woods admitted to being unfaithful to his wife, and announcing that he intended to take indefinite break from playing golf.