Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

Sports

Bookmakers bet against French victory

Text by Marc DAOU

Latest update : 2010-06-04

Chances of France triumphing at the World Cup in South Africa are slim, according to professional bookmakers. But that won’t stopping French sport betting sites from making juicy profits.

French online sport betting sites are rubbing their hands with anticipation just days ahead of the World Cup kick-off. On June 9, a new law legalizing online gambling in France comes into effect, opening up a market worth an estimated 3.5 billion euros. Operators are expecting the World Cup effect to boost bets and make the online gambling business even juicier.
 
Spain hot favourites
 
Would you be ready to bet part of your savings on a French victory in the finals? According to most online betting sites, you might want to think twice. Indeed, the odds of "les Bleus" lifting the Cup in South Africa average at 15 to 1.
 
The frontrunners in betting books this year are Spain, with an average rating of 5 to 1. The 2010 European champions are closely tailed by Brazil, England and Diego Maradonna’s Argentina.
 
But according to some bookmakers, France’s odds aren’t as unfavourable as they seem.
 
“A rating of 15 to 1 isn’t that bad. It just means France are viewed as outsiders, which is hardly surprising considering the team’s less than impressive performances in the qualifiers,” the head of  football at online gambling site Betlic told FRANCE 24.
 
France’s latest outings, against Costa Rica and Tunisia, failed to convince those sceptical of the side's chances. “The team would never have had such low odds after the 1998 World Cup and the Euro in 2000 – not during Zinedine Zidane’s days;” says Cyril Journo, a sport manager at the FDJ, France’s national lottery operator. “Based on recent performance, bookmakers are guessing that France has a 7% chance of winning the World Cup”, he added.
 
How many penalties will be taken?
 
Bets are also open on a range of other questions. Some are quite specific, including which African team will go furthest, how many penalties will be taken, the opening game’s half-time score, and which team will score first in the game opposing Chile and Honduras – to name just a few.
 
Bookmakers base their predicted odds on several criteria, some of which have little or nothing to do with the sport. Part of their estimation depends on a team’s recent results and the physical condition of its players. The resulting percentage is then modified to take into account gamblers’ sometimes irrational behaviour. Finally, in order to stay in the game, bookmakers have to “make sure their odds are relatively similar to those of other operators offering the same bet, but without consulting each other”, explains Cyril Journo.
 
In the end, the higher the odds, the lower are the team's chances of winning. By near-unanimous consensus, North Korea is the team least likely to win the Cup, with odds estimated at 1,000 to 1.

 

Date created : 2010-06-04

  • FOOTBALL

    Gallas spares France blushes in World Cup warm-up

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    France squeeze past Costa Rica in World Cup warm-up

    Read more

COMMENT(S)