Posting a Fixed Odds Bet

The 2018 PGA Tour Championship is being held next week and I’m pretty excited to watch who wins the tournament, but also who wins the FedEx Cup \$10 million bonus check! In this post I’ll describe how I created my own odds for this tournament and posted them on CoinRoster just like a bookie.

Since the winner of the Tour Championship is a widely followed bet, its a bit easier for me to determine fair odds. I can use an odds website such as Odds Checker to find out what the odds might be and I can also use my favorite sportsbook and base my own odds on theirs.

After reviewing the odds posted elsewhere, I create a quick spreadsheet to do some math. I make a list of 18 players with their associated decimal odds, and then in another column I convert their decimal odds into percentage odds. Now I can sum the percentage odds to see the total implied odds in percentage terms. It turns out, the 18 players I listed have a combined 94%  implied chance. CoinRoster only allows me to post a maximum of 20 outcomes, so since there are 30 players competing in the tournament, I must also post odds for “Any Other Player” which will payoff if any other player not on my list of players wins the tournament.

To calculate what odds I should apply to the Any Other Player option, I can simply take the difference between 100% and the sum of the percentage odds for all the players I’m posting odds for. This comes out to 6% (100 – 94).  The decimal version of 6% odds is 16.66 (1/0.06). But if I post odds of 16.66 for the Any Other Player option, it will leave no potential profit for me, so I decide to offer odds of 10 for Any Other Player. These odds imply a 10% chance that Any Other Player wins the tournament.

I add Any Other Player at 10 on my spreadsheet of odds. Now I will sum all my odds (all players plus Any Other Player option) to see a total of 104%. This means that with the odds I’m posting, I’m building in a theoretical 4% spread for myself.

Posting the odds as described above will not guarantee a 4% profit for me though. 4% guaranteed will only happen if the money bet on each outcome I’m listing is made in exact proportion to the odds being offered. For example, to guarantee the 4% implied spread, I would need bettors to place 10% of their money on the 10 to 1 odds, and 5% of their money bet on the 20 to 1 odds. Any other configuration of money bet will result in me taking the risk that the outcome with the most money bet becomes the winning outcome, in which case I will may loose money overall. This is the principal risk to the market maker. So the goal of a good odds maker should be to post odds that get action on both sides (or all sides) of a bet, so the risk is distributed in a way related to the underlying chances, thereby spreading the risk and getting close to the theoretical 4% edge.

Now that I have a list of my odds in excel, I’m now going to post those odds on CoinRoster and decide how much risk I’d like to take.

The first thing I do on CoinRoster is log into my account and click on the Create Contest link from the main menu. This brings me to the create contest page where I first need to choose a contest type. I’m choosing “MISC” as my contest type since this is the free form contest where anything can be posted. I type in the title and description of my bet, and then choose a registration deadline of 7am on the Thursday the tournament begins and a settlement deadline of Monday night following the tournament close. The registration deadline is the time after which no more bets are allowed, and the settlement deadline is the time when this bet will be settled and winning bets will be paid off. I choose Monday night for a settlement deadline in order to compensate for weather delays that would result in a Monday finish.

After filling out the details of the create contest form, I’m going check the “fixed odds” box and then paste each player name and their associated odds from my spreadsheet into the create contest form. Then I choose the maximum amount I’d like to risk, which is 0.1 bitcoins, and the minimum wager amount which is 1 satoshi. From the “settlement type” option, I’m going to choose crowd settled and I’m going to make this a public contest.

Once I click the Create Contest button, the contest will be created and the amount I’m risking (0.1 bitcoins) will be taken from my account. If it turns out that I don’t get enough action to require my full 0.1 bitcoins, the difference will be returned to me at the settlement deadline, but in the meantime the entire risk is being held by CoinRoster.

The bet is also not yet live, once I click the create contest button, a message is displayed telling me that the contest needs to be approved by an admin. Once this is done, my contest is live and can be viewed by any user and bets can be placed. Click here to view this contest.

A few things to note about the odds I have posted. At the time of writing, it seems sports books are offering 15 to 1 odds that Tiger Woods will win this tournament. However, I would love to see Tiger win again, so I’m offering 25 to 1 odds on Tiger, better than any other sports book, to encourage users to bet on him. Kind of a little hedge bet for myself. Feel free to take advantage of these great Tiger Odds.

Also, CoinRoster offers free bitcoins to new users, check their homepage before signing up to take advantage of their latest offer. Using their freeplay is a great way to play for free and hopefully win some bitcoins!

Comparing CoinRoster Prices to Market Odds

This post is about trying to beat the odds on CoinRoster daily fantasy golf, a game where the fantasy points are determined based on score to par. The worst score to par becomes zero and each fantasy point is awarded based on the difference from the worst score. For example, if the last placed player has a real world score to par of +4 and the first placed player has a score to par of -10, then the first placed player will have 14 fantasy points. All other players are assigned a relative point value.  Six players are drafted to each roster, so the total score of each roster is the sum of the individual scores of all players on each roster.

My goal is to find some drafting strategies that take advantage of the difference between the price of golfers available to draft on CoinRoster versus the odds of betting on golfers to win the tournament.

The price of each player in the CoinRoster draft is relative to their world golf ranking. But I wondered how to determine whether this is a good price or a bad one? And which factors should I consider while attempting to make this determination?

I have compared the prices of the players available to draft with their odds of winning the tournament. I know from previous research that the odds of each player is related to their expected relative score to par.

I made a list of all players available to draft using excel with their associated price on CoinRoster, then I calculated the percentage chance implied by the prices of each players in the draft by taking their drafting price divided by the sum of all player prices. So if a player costs \$3000 to draft and the sum of all players prices is \$80,000, then this implies 3.75% (\$3,000 / \$80,000).

By finding this drafting price ratio, it gives me an “implied” percentage chance of each player having the most fantasy points based on CoinRoster’s drafting price. Then for curiosity’s sake, I converted those implied percentage numbers into decimal odds. The next thing I did was add a column of each player’s odds of winning the tournament and then I converted that into a percentage number also. Now I can compare apples to apples using their percentage chances.

With this information, I can eyeball and compare the odds numbers and the percentage numbers (which are the same value, but just displayed in different formats). I can also rank and sort the data in various ways using excel, so I subtracted the implied market percentage chance from the implied price percentage chance to uncover the difference between the two numbers.

By subtracting the two prices (the percentage chance implied by drafting price with the percentage chance implied in the player’s betting odds) I can notice if the price for a player available to draft is relatively lower on CoinRoster than is implied by their market odds. If the player is cheap and represents good value to draft their price on CoinRoster will be lower than implied by their betting odds. This means the player is cheap to draft, but if a player’s market odds are lower than their relative drafting price on CoinRoster, the player is expensive.

The table below shows the numbers for the BMW Championship. The table is ranked best to worst value.  Dustin Johnson has the best value for this tournament according to this formula. His odds were 9.36 (which implies a more than 10% chance he will win the tournament, and thereby have the best score to par) but his CoinRoster price was relatively cheap (even though he is the second highest priced player). Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, and Hideki Matsuyama are also some of the most relatively best priced players.

Tiger Woods also has the third highest relative value to draft. This makes sense since Tiger’s world golf ranking (which the CoinRoster drafting price is based on) is relatively low compared to his chances of winning the tournament. So intuitively, this affirms my belief that I’m on the right track.

Some of the most expensive players on CoinRoster are Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner, and Peter Uihlein.

 CoinRoster Price Implied % Implied Odds Market Odds Market % Diff % Cost Dustin Johnson USA \$2,839 0.0364 27 9.36 0.1068 -0.0705 \$9,410 Justin Rose ENG \$2,366 0.0303 33 15.70 0.0637 -0.0334 \$8,368 Tiger Woods USA \$979 0.0125 80 24.00 0.0417 -0.0291 \$8,060 Rory McIlroy NIR \$1,854 0.0238 42 19.00 0.0526 -0.0289 \$9,769 Hideki Matsuyama JPN \$1,372 0.0176 57 22.00 0.0455 -0.0279 \$10,915 Bryson DeChambeau USA \$1,797 0.0230 43 20.00 0.0500 -0.0270 \$10,995 Jordan Spieth USA \$2,058 0.0264 38 19.00 0.0526 -0.0263 \$10,794 Brooks Koepka USA \$2,688 0.0344 29 18.10 0.0552 -0.0208 \$9,548 Justin Thomas USA \$3,000 0.0384 26 17.60 0.0568 -0.0184 \$7,905 Tony Finau USA \$1,452 0.0186 54 32.00 0.0313 -0.0126 \$5,840 Jason Day AUS \$1,596 0.0204 49 32.00 0.0313 -0.0108 \$5,068 Adam Scott AUS \$812 0.0104 96 48.00 0.0208 -0.0104 \$5,377 Patrick Cantlay USA \$1,045 0.0134 75 48.00 0.0208 -0.0074 \$5,254 Cameron Smith AUS \$935 0.0120 83 57.00 0.0175 -0.0056 \$5,010 Brandt Snedeker USA \$680 0.0087 115 76.00 0.0132 -0.0044 \$6,305 Rickie Fowler USA \$1,905 0.0244 41 36.00 0.0278 -0.0034 \$7,128 Emiliano Grillo ARG \$689 0.0088 113 86.00 0.0116 -0.0028 \$6,426 C.T. Pan TPE \$801 0.0103 97 86.00 0.0116 -0.0014 \$6,418 Jon Rahm ESP \$2,230 0.0286 35 34.00 0.0294 -0.0008 \$6,776 Bubba Watson USA \$1,503 0.0193 52 52.00 0.0192 0.0000 \$5,441 Phil Mickelson USA \$1,203 0.0154 65 67.00 0.0149 0.0005 \$5,889 Billy Horschel USA \$681 0.0087 115 124.00 0.0081 0.0007 \$5,417 Henrik Stenson SWE \$1,159 0.0148 67 71.00 0.0141 0.0008 \$4,963 Gary Woodland USA \$895 0.0115 87 95.00 0.0105 0.0009 \$4,210 Tommy Fleetwood ENG \$1,951 0.0250 40 42.00 0.0238 0.0012 \$3,880 Aaron Wise USA \$731 0.0094 107 124.00 0.0081 0.0013 \$2,691 Scott Piercy USA \$227 0.0029 344 722.00 0.0014 0.0015 \$2,810 Chris Kirk USA \$406 0.0052 192 276.00 0.0036 0.0016 \$3,978 Beau Hossler USA \$565 0.0072 138 181.00 0.0055 0.0017 \$4,269 Zach Johnson USA \$762 0.0098 102 133.00 0.0075 0.0022 \$5,207 Louis Oosthuizen RSA \$850 0.0109 92 124.00 0.0081 0.0028 \$4,835 Marc Leishman AUS \$1,395 0.0179 56 67.00 0.0149 0.0029 \$4,387 Abraham Ancer MEX \$697 0.0089 112 171.00 0.0058 0.0031 \$3,448 Webb Simpson USA \$1,503 0.0193 52 62.00 0.0161 0.0031 \$3,436 Ryan Palmer USA \$390 0.0050 200 637.00 0.0016 0.0034 \$2,399 J.J. Spaun USA \$402 0.0051 194 589.00 0.0017 0.0035 \$2,496 Jason Kokrak USA \$456 0.0058 171 428.00 0.0023 0.0035 \$3,531 Keegan Bradley USA \$685 0.0088 114 200.00 0.0050 0.0038 \$3,544 Brian Gay USA \$466 0.0060 168 532.00 0.0019 0.0041 \$4,034 Austin Cook USA \$487 0.0062 160 475.00 0.0021 0.0041 \$4,078 Paul Casey ENG \$1,437 0.0184 54 71.00 0.0141 0.0043 \$4,322 Ryan Armour USA \$469 0.0060 166 646.00 0.0015 0.0045 \$3,725 Rafa Cabrera Bello ESP \$1,175 0.0151 66 95.00 0.0105 0.0045 \$3,863 Andrew Putnam USA \$510 0.0065 153 504.00 0.0020 0.0045 \$3,466 Adam Hadwin CAN \$731 0.0094 107 209.00 0.0048 0.0046 \$3,715 Byeong Hun An KOR \$840 0.0108 93 162.00 0.0062 0.0046 \$5,258 Charles Howell III USA \$607 0.0078 129 323.00 0.0031 0.0047 \$4,986 Luke List USA \$778 0.0100 100 190.00 0.0053 0.0047 \$4,898 Si Woo Kim KOR \$759 0.0097 103 209.00 0.0048 0.0049 \$4,671 Francesco Molinari ITA \$2,274 0.0291 34 42.00 0.0238 0.0053 \$4,537 Andrew Landry USA \$568 0.0073 137 551.00 0.0018 0.0055 \$2,823 Jr. Potter USA \$519 0.0066 150 893.00 0.0011 0.0055 \$3,463 Brendan Steele USA \$551 0.0071 142 675.00 0.0015 0.0056 \$3,593 Keith Mitchell USA \$625 0.0080 125 428.00 0.0023 0.0057 \$3,691 Patton Kizzire USA \$560 0.0072 139 808.00 0.0012 0.0059 \$4,175 Kyle Stanley USA \$1,208 0.0155 65 105.00 0.0095 0.0060 \$4,514 Chesson Hadley USA \$649 0.0083 120 428.00 0.0023 0.0060 \$4,047 Brice Garnett USA \$649 0.0083 120 561.00 0.0018 0.0065 \$5,113 Ian Poulter ENG \$1,109 0.0142 70 133.00 0.0075 0.0067 \$5,284 Kevin Na USA \$899 0.0115 87 228.00 0.0044 0.0071 \$5,017 Chez Reavie USA \$741 0.0095 105 475.00 0.0021 0.0074 \$5,532 Patrick Reed USA \$1,715 0.0220 46 71.00 0.0141 0.0079 \$5,928 Pat Perez USA \$820 0.0105 95 428.00 0.0023 0.0082 \$5,436 Daniel Berger USA \$842 0.0108 93 428.00 0.0023 0.0084 \$5,661 Xander Schauffele USA \$1,414 0.0181 55 114.00 0.0088 0.0093 \$6,399 Peter Uihlein USA \$1,137 0.0146 69 219.00 0.0046 0.0100 \$7,100 Kevin Kisner USA \$1,223 0.0157 64 181.00 0.0055 0.0101 \$5,963 Brian Harman USA \$1,045 0.0134 75 361.00 0.0028 0.0106 \$82,801 Alex Noren SWE \$1,580 0.0202 49 114.00 0.0088 0.0115 \$81,756 Tyrrell Hatton ENG \$2,115 0.0271 37 67.00 0.0149 0.0122 \$80,176 \$78,061 1.0000

Opening a FanDuel Account

Today I’m going to open a FanDuel account. My plan is to make a deposit and play PGA and NHL fantasy.

The first step to to enter your e-mail address, username, and password. Once I enter these credentials, FanDuel takes me to a page where I’m asked to choose my favorite sport. In my case, this is golf (and it seems like FanDuel assumes I only have 1 favorite sport).

The first thing I’m noticing right away is its been a few minutes after opening my account and FanDuel seems intent on prompting me to enter a free contest (which I’m not interested in, I’d rather just play PGA for stakes). So I quickly choose a seemingly random lineup of players and enter the free signup contest.

After hastily entering a free contest, I’m now ready to make a deposit. I choose the \$100 amount and enter my credit card credentials. FanDuel users can also deposit using PayPal. But after trying a few different times, I was unable to make a deposit using either of these methods. I assume my credit card (visa) that could not be processed (as I tried paying with visa by way of my PayPal account also), I guess my card issuer might not process payment for FanDuel, I’m just guessing. But after I disabled the popup blocker from my browser and tried making a PayPal deposit debiting my bank account directly instead of my credit card, I was able to make a \$100 deposit and receive a \$20 deposit bonus.