Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pakistan vs England: Pricing the Odds

Pakistan started the series as the number 3 ranked test team in the world, ahead of England who were ranked 4. Yet at the start of the series the bookmakers chose England as the favorites despite the fact that Pakistan had won the last 5 out of 6 tests between the two sides.

Sure I can fathom the fact that Pakistan's vulnerability to English conditions played on the bookmakers' minds resulting in the odds significantly in favor of England.

It got even more interesting when throughout the Lord's test, which Pakistan clearly dominated in every session, England remained favorites to win.

This remained the case till England lost their 6th wicket on day 4. Only then, did the odds tilt in favor of Pakistan and that too slightly. I had no idea what the bookmakers were thinking considering that a target north of 280 had hardly ever been chased at Lord's.

Pakistan won the first test of the series quite convincingly, stamped their authority over England, provided punters with some handsome wins, yet the bookmakers continued to favor England.

England were favorites again for the Old Trafford test and for the series despite the result at Lord's.

Pakistan's hammering at Old Trafford proved that the bookmakers were correct, however with the series at 1-1, the bookmakers yet again favored England for Birmingham and the series.

It is interesting to note that despite what happens during sessions, the odds remain in favor of who the bookmakers chose as favorites before the start of the test for most of the match.

The third test started with odds on a Pakistan win at 4.00 and odds on an England win at 1.33.

Misbah's decision at the toss tilted these odds further in favor of England - 4.25 to 1.10.

The end of the day, which belonged to Pakistan having bowled England out for 297, saw the odds move to 3.60 to 1.5.

Changed ever so slightly yet still favoring England.

I don't get how bookmakers can give such attractive odds on a Pakistan win, especially after their win at Lord's. It is quite interesting how these bookmakers price the odds.

Keep a note of how these odds will move as the third test progresses. I reckon that even if Pakistan take a first innings lead, the odds will still remain in favor of England.

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