Would you Hedge?

Would you Hedge?

One of the biggest stories in sports this year is that Leicester City are leading the English Premier league aka “the best league in the world” with 9 games remaining.

I used to watch football, it’s used to be pretty much the only sport I would watch many years ago. Today I rarely watch it, I can’t remember the last full game I watched. Where once I could name West Ham’s reserve left back, nowadays I couldn’t even name more than 4 starters for my own team. One of the (many) reasons that I’ve packed in watching football was the fact that it was the same 2-4 teams competing for honours every season. So that fact that Leicester City are actually 5 points clear at this time of year has piqued that little interest I have left in football.

Anyway… You may have heard this past week about a Leicester fan cashing out his pre-season bet on Leicester winning the league.  Check it out:



First off, yes that is a grown man wearing GK gloves without a goal in sight. Secondly, he actually placed a bet on Leicester winning the Premier league. No matter what crazy, flukey sporting event happens, there always some mug somewhere that had money on it. Even when Germany beat Brazil 7-1 there was someone who had money on that result.

And he wasn’t the only person to place this wager. The other Leicester City fan backed them at 5000/1 pre-season who has also decided to cash out:


So, would you hedge?

Personally, with my bets I very rarely hedge. I’m not going to hedge a winning position so I’m not going to hedge a losing one either. The main issue is I’ll identify a +EV bet in-play, so to hedge I would want to take the opposite side at +EV too, or at worst fair value, which may not actually happen.  When you cash out at a highstreet bookies, the odds that you’re effectively laying at are always worse than the odds they’d be offering to back at. You can see this whenever you place a bet at such establishments then immediately check at how much you’re offered to cash out at, it’s always lower than the stake you’ve just put on.

Let have a look at the odds these guys cashed out at:


They both cashed out after Spurs & Arsenal drew on Thursday, but before the games on Saturday. According to oddschecker.com, Ladbrokes were offering 2.75 on Leicester to win the league on the Thursday. So they’ve given up a hell of a lot of value to cash out.

Another example of why retail bookies love the cash out option .

cash out mugs
Another mug

As I’ve said, I don’t know anything about football anymore, so I don’t know what the fair price of Leicester winning the league is. But I sure as hell wouldn’t be cashing out at odds of 3.45 when it’s 2.75 in the same shop.

To lay their bets off elsewhere these chaps would have to get their hands on tens of thousands to place bets elsewhere. More money than the average bloke could reasonably get their hands on.

Obviously a prime motivation for cashing out are the emotional issues. They’d be gutted if their team didn’t go on to finish top, as it’s extremely disappointing when your chosen group of young blokes you’ve never met don’t win a sports event, which would be compounding by not cashing out and thus “losing” a large sum of money.

On the other hand..I’m sure if Leicester hold on they’re both going to be thinking: “what if I hadn’t had bigger balls lost my bottle”…