Wednesday, June 17, 2009

10,000 to 1 Odds

"If anyone gives you 10,000 to 1 odds on anything, you take that bet. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I will be one rich dude." - Kevin Malone, The Office

Lucky for Kevin, the bookies have Betfirms.com have listed our own Michigan State football team as 10,000 to 1 odds to win the BCS National Championship game. Folks, those are insane numbers. To put it in context, they're the same odds a British bookmaker gave last fall to a bettor who guessed that Barack Obama would forgo the presidency to coach the English soccer club West Ham United.

Not that the 10,000-1 odds are wrong, mind you, but if you were to put down $100 bucks and State pulls it off, you're a millionaire.

So just how unlikely is it that State wins it all? Well, let's compare some other long-shot odds:

38-1 - Hitting a single number in roulette on a regulation wheel (it pays at 36-1).
50-1 - Mine That Bird's odds before winning this year's Kentucky Derby.
70-1 - The biggest longshot winner in Belmont Stakes history, Sarava, went off at 70-1 in 2007.
100-1 - The Detroit Lions win next year's Super Bowl.
309-1 - You'll die when someone deliberately shoots you.
3,216-1 - Hitting a straight flush in any given hand of Texas Hold-em poker.

Just to make sure you saw that one in the middle - apparently the Lions are 100 times more likely to win the Super Bowl coming off an 0-16 season than the Spartans are to win the national championship the year after going to the Capitol One Bowl.

If the Spartans can pull this off, Kevin Malone will be a very rich man.

Editor's note: Gambling is illegal in most parts of the U.S., and we here at TOSSS do not condone betting on MSU or any college athletics. If you do choose to gamble, be smart, and seek help if you get in over your head.

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