The difference between 90% and 93.2%

Nate Silver & 538 are confident that the Warriors will beat the Cavaliers. Their official prediction has the Warriors at 90% to win the series. As such, they are risking 64% of their bankroll on the Warriors.

Team Risked To Win Result
Pacers 20155 143300 -20155
Bulls 8800 33000 -8800
Wizards 34900 16619 16619
Trailblazers 2867 86000 -2867
Thunder 8462 27500 -8462
Jazz 13845 28520 28520
Raptors R2 41958 160280 -41958
Rockets R2 9247 20990 -9247
Jazz R2 3313 53000 -3313
Spurs R3 2765 23500 -2765
Celtics R3 43351 240600 -43351
Warriors R4 64000 24615 0
-95777

No, a win won’t get them back to parity, but it would trim the damage of constantly shorting the Cavs. Still, as confident as 538 is, that’s nothing compared to ESPN’s BPI:

Team Risked To Win Result
Pacers 8720 62000 -8720
Raptors 15340 3854 3854
Bulls 11333 42500 -11333
X Warriors 4-0 4450 4045 -4450
Rockets 5000 1333 1333
Jazz 12359 25460 25460
Raptors R2 33126 126540 -33126
Celtics R2 5480 3079 3079
Jazz R2 1188 19000 -1188
Spurs R3 9471 80500 -9471
Celtics R3 35090 194750 -35090
Warriors R4 75200 28923 0
Current Tab -69651

 

They are risking 75.2% of their bankroll on the Warriors. They have the Warriors at 93.2% to win the series. That’s roughly 13.7-1. At the time when I recorded their wagers, they only had to lay 2.6-1. The current vig-free price is a hair under 2.6-1, so we can get a reasonably estimation of how far off market ESPN is.

Let’s run a thought experiment. I want you to imagine a world where you could bet into ESPN’s BPI. Yes, I know Ben “10,000” Alamar is risk averse, but that’s not relevant to the experiment. Let’s give ESPN a vig of 4%. In that case, you’d have to lay 19.8-1 on Golden State, and you’d get 10.4-1 on Cleveland. In that case, Pinnacle would make this bet:

Team Risked To Win Result
Cleveland 69243 717614 0

Yes, that “To Win” column is accurate. That is the kind of thing we’d be seeing if Pinnacle and ESPN’s BPI were to play “The Green Knight” test against each other. In the long run, it would not be pretty for ESPN’s BPI.

Of course, there are those who believe in Cleveland:

 

Have fun and enjoy the games. This is a bit what it was like when the Lakers and Celtics battled (although the East was always reasonably tough).

 

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