The Olympic Overload

Well, the greatest sporting event on the planet is underway and on paper this should be a punters paradise but, in reality, you need to tread more carefully.


There is no doubt that there will be some huge opportunities developing in some of these events but it really is a question of being in the right place at the right time. Currently, there is a huge overload of events all taking place simultaneously that it is important to accept that you can not be everywhere at once. If you are going to sit and trade one of the football or tennis matches then treat it as if it was the only event happening at that time rather then flicking back and forth between other sports.

You will always do much better with your full concentration on one events then having your concentration diluted across several at once.

If you have looked at the markets over the opening weekend of the Olympics you will have noticed that liquidity is not great on some sports and non existent in other sports. This is due to the sheer volume of events taking place and it will improve as the competition begins to thin out.

The fact that so many events are happening at the same time can be part of the opportunity. You are less likely to be competing against market pros on some of the more exotic events and this is where, if you are watching the event, you can spot the opportunities.

For example, I have never even watched a Women’s Beach Volleyball match before however I did watch the match between Russia and China. With China 1.05 favourites to win the match, I was confused as I sat and watched Russia give them a very hard match yet the markets still had China priced low and they went as low as 1.03 before they were eventually beaten. Watching the markets, they were very slow to react to what was unfolding and there was a huge missed opportunity there for me if I had known what that sport was all about.  I will definitely be keeping a closer eye on the beach volleyball in future!

Taking on favourites at the Olympics is also something to look out for since there is not much in historical data for the market makers to go by and with so many events to price up in such a short space of time there is the increased likelihood that the prices wont be accurate. A little bit of research on your end could go a long way along with actually watching the event to see how it develops. For example, Great Britain traded as low as 1.14 before conceding an equaliser to Senegal in the football. If you were watching the match it was pretty obvious that Team GB were going way too low in-running and were actually lucky to be winning the match at all.

 Betfair Epic Fail

In fact there are clear signs that even Betfair themselves are feeling the pressure of this huge event.

On Saturday, Betfair only had 143 of 144 runners in the men’s cycling market listed. This might have gone unnoticed but the man they left out was Alexandre Vinokourov who went on to be the winner. Betfair added him apparently 5 minutes from the end in what was quite a faux pas for the exchange giant.

They put out the following statement in light of the fiasco, oops.

We created the Men’s Olympics Cycling Road Race market on 20th July from the official London 2012 website, which at that point did not show Alexandre Vinokourov as a listed competitor. The market remained ‘incomplete’ allowing us to add any further runners on request. We did not receive any requests for Vinokourov to be added, but when it became apparent that he was in a two-man breakaway group towards the latter stages of the race, we added him into the market (approximately 5km from the finish).”

In this situation laying any player would have made you a guaranteed winner. There are opportunities around in this event you just have to keep your eye out for them and hope to be in the right place at the right time!


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