Statistical Analysis

Nobel Prize in Literature - Follow the money: change in odds 

Wed, 5 October 2016, 20:02

We have looked at the betting data on the Nobel Prize in Literature since wagering on the contest began to see if any clear trends have emerged.

Many literature fans follow bookmakers long lists for months in the absence of any official shortlist, but can following the money give you a better idea of who might land the prize?

This year long term favourite Haruki Murakami is proving popular along with Adonis, Javier Maras and John Banville.

Only one week to go to find out if those literary speculators are right!

Latest trends and change in odds

Winner decreases in odds by 32% during last week. Ignoring those that didn't change (early years of betting when market less liquid) and one increase, average odds decrease is 60%.

Only one winner has ever increased in odds in final week. This also came in the early life of betting on the award when markets were far less liquid, so it takes fewer bets for prices to move

Only 2 winners have been favourites when the market opened and closed. The rest have assumed favouritism or a prominent position in the market at the crucial latter stage. 

On 4 occasions, the winner's odds have fallen dramatically from their opening quote: 

  • 2008 - 14/1 opened - closed 2/1
  • 2009 - 50/1 - 16/1 - 7/1 - 3/1
  • 2011 - 4/1 - 8/1 - 12/1 - 10/1 - 4/1 - evens - 4/6
  • 2015 - 5/1 - 3/1

Of course there are other authors who will shorten in price, and those who will lengthen, however on only one occasion has there been a significant shortening in odds about an author who hasn't won - Svetlana Alexievich, who was supported from 50/1 down to 4/5 in 2013. She then went on to win in 2015. 

Follow the money: change in odds 

Winner    Odds 1 week before close Close odds % reduction 
2005   20/1 20/1 0
2006   5/2 7/1 +129
2007   50/1 50/1 0
2008   14/1 2/1 80
2009   16/1 3/1 82
2010   45/1 25/1 77
2011   4/1 4/6 67
2012   12/1 9/1 23
2013   12/1 8/1 38
2014   33/1 10/1 67
2015   5/1 2/1 50

 

Headlines

 

  1. Favourite at suspension has won 36% of the time (on average for context at suspension of betting or the start of a race, the favourite wins 30% of horse races)
  2. 91% of time winner has had odds of 10/1 or less at suspension
  3. 63% of time, winner in front 3 in betting at suspension
  4. However, only 2 of 11 winners (18%) favourite when betting opens (many months in advance)

 

Nobel Prize in Literature winner:

 

  • Bold = winning favourite when betting suspended
  • Underlined = in top 3 when betting suspended
  • Italics = favourite when betting opened

 

2015 Svetlana Alexeivich 2/1 f

2014 Patrick Modiano  10/1 

2013 Alice Munro  - 8/1 

2012 Mo Yan - 9/1 

2011 Tomas Transtromer 4/6 f

2010 Mario Vargas Llosa 25/1 

2009 Horta Muller 3/1 f

2008 Jean Marie Gustav Le Clezio 2/1 f 

2007 Doris Lessing 50/1 

2006 Orthan Pamuk 7/1

2005 Harold Pinter 20/1 

 

Data supplied by Ladbrokes.

Statistical Analysis discovers hidden trends and values in major gambling events by deciphering both contemporary stats and historical data. We derive our probabilities from history, not just betting odds, so you don't have to.

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