Re-visiting the McCain “Firewall” betting

Re-visiting the McCain “Firewall” betting

    Peter the Punters offers his “money-making” guide

Two weeks ago we ran a piece on Ladbrokes’ innovative market, the McCain Firewall Finder, which challenged punters to find the highest State in the list below that John McCain would win in next Tuesday’s election.

This generated some lively discussion and apparently quite a few bets, according to PB regular Matthew Shaddick [Shadsy] who devised and is running the market on behalf of the Magic Sign. In view of this interest and the proximity of The Big Day, I thought it might be worth giving the market a second look.

You can see instantly how dramatically the market has changed.

The main impact has come from West Virginia. Whilst other States around it – both in terms of this market and geographically – have come under intense pressure from Team Obama, McCain’s voters have remained steadfast in The Mountain State. McCain’s position has if anything strengthened since the 17th and few now expect the State to flip; it stands at a best priced 1/5 to remain with the GOP and I wouldn’t quarrel with those odds.

This rather spoils the ‘shape’ of the market. You can see it was a much more open contest previously and my strategy of backing a group of five or so States made sense because you could get pretty decent odds about the whole batch. You are much more restricted now that we have a clear favorite but you can at least eliminate every option below it with some confidence.

    Is there however anything above West Virginia that is likely to vote for McCain?

Indiana has definite possibilities and is currently rated 60/40 to McCain by Intrade. Missouri is rated about the same odds in Obama’s favour, so that ought to be included too. Many will feel that North Carolina is in the same parish, oddswise, although personally I find the early voting patterns indicative of an Obama win, so I would take a chance and leave it out.

If you do group West Virginia with those three and back them to level stakes, you will make a small loss if the favorite comes in but a nice profit on any of the other three. Of course, you lose the house if the winner comes from higher up the list. What are the chances?

Florida is the obvious danger but again the early voting patterns suggest you can risk giving it a swerve. I see little danger elsewhere. McCain has tried hard in Pennsylvania but for all the impression he has made, he may as well have gone to Transylvania. I saw somebody post this afternoon that they thought the working class vote in Minnesota might carry the GOP home, but I suspect this was just a deranged inmate from Conhome out on parole for a few days, and this selection should be ignored, along with all the others not-so-generously priced by Our Shads at 16/1 and greater.

The lad tells me that the worst losers in his book are Indiana and Florida, and a host of no-hopers including None Of The Above. Nobody backed South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas. I wonder why? As you would expect from one of the smarter cookies in PB’s biscuit tin, he managed to keep West Virginia on side, along with Missouri and North Carolina. There is therefore every chance that next time he visits the dentist, he can afford to go private. 😉

Oh, and what did I do? Well, I cheated a bit, as is my wont. Obama was on a bit of a high around the 17th and I reckoned I had to dig as deep as Arkansas to find a solid certainty for McCain, but I also wanted to include Indiana, which was looking a bit wobbly; so, instead of five I had six bets – £40 on Arkansas at 20/1, and £50 each on Georgia [20/1], North Dakota [16/1], Montana [14/1], West Virginia [10/1] and Indiana [10/1].

I reckon West Virginia will take the pot but whether it does or not, I reckon I got decent value. Hope you did too, if you played, and that you are looking forward to the 4th as much as I am.

Toodle Pip

Peter the Punter

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