Drawing the short straw

There’s a school of thought out there, never proven to my knowledge by anything as crass as empirical evidence, that there’s a fortune to be made in betting on draws in the Championships. It may be true that with odds of around 8/1 that betting on every game to be a draw makes sense. That doesn’t mean it makes sense to bet on an individual game to be a draw though, so it is strange for the Aertel preview to go for a draw between Waterford and Clare. He/she says there is little enough between the sides, but there was quite a lot between the teams when they last met in the League, the only difference that day in terms of setup being that it was an even more high pressure game (lose then – stay in Division Four; lose now – go into the qualifiers). The prediction reflects an infuriating belief that Waterford will find some way, any way, to screw it up. And the worst part is (s)he might be right. I’d say this would be a good time to demonstrate that Waterford teams are not phased by the prospect of being favourites. Except that extra pressure might phase them even more . . .

Update: okay, it was close. Much closer than it was in the League. And for a couple of awful minutes as I followed it online with the score at 1-9 to 0-9 it looked like a late Clare goal would indeed result in a draw. But the insurance score was secured and Waterford can look forward to getting revenge for the defeat in the Division Four final against Limerick. With Waterford winning the League match by a point and losing the final by two, what odds a draw?

Update II: match report from RTÉ here.

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