World Cup: Rain on Spain, Revisited

As I’ve likely mentioned a thousand times, I currently come at sports from a betting angle. Before the tournament started, I posted that I took in a lot of bets on Spain to win the World Cup at +400 to +450. I thought this price was ridiculously low. The rationale was here:

Well, Spain’s in the finals. Am I laughing or crying?

Diligent about following my strategy, I pushed the money out at every opportunity. Here’s what I got:

Spain to qualify from group: 1/20 (parlay factor: 1.05)
Spain to advance past Portugal: -190 (parlay factor: 1.52)
Spain to advance past Paraguay: -400 (parlay factor: 1.25)
Spain to advance past Germany: -111 (parlay factor 1.90)
Spain to lift the trophy over Holland: -172 (parlay factor 1.58)

Whack those factors together:
1.05|STAR|1.52|STAR|1.25|STAR|1.9|STAR|1.58 = 5.988
Subtract the unit staked, and we get a price of +498.

Taking in bets at +400 to +450 and laying them off at +498 isn’t fantastic, but it’s a living.

I thought I’d be doing much better, actually. I estimated +670, and would have been satisfied with +600. Where did my calculations go off the rails?

The first stop is Portugal. I thought Spain would be -150, not -190. I thought Portugal would be stronger—and just maybe strong enough to win the group and set Spain up vs. Brazil in the round of 16.

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I’m not really upset that Spain played Paraguay. There are always going to be surprises. And quite honestly the price I got vs. Germany was more than I deserved.

But this Holland price is low. I really think Spain should only be -140 or so here. I made a few calls, and there is a LOT of Spain money on the books so that price has started -170 or worse.

I could wait, and hope it gets better should bettors come in for Holland. Except, well, I can’t. I already loaded to boat on Holland in my own account at 12/1 before the tournament started. If I hold these Spain futures, I’m tripling my risk, and I can’t afford to do that now. I don’t have a full-time job (offers welcome!), so I don’t have the gonads to take even more risk on Holland. I’m pushing out all the Spain tickets, and a little bit more to guarantee some sort of profit.

If you want my advice, take Holland +0.5 or plus “quarter-ball” in the final on 90 minutes’ play. Spain should be favoured, but not by this much. That said, personal circumstances dictate that I won’t be joining you, as I already have too much risk on the match, and need to bail water.