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Friday, February 16, 2007
Lay-ing Bets

By Sam Eifling
ESPNOutdoors.com Features Editor — Feb. 16, 2007

Classic odds

At least one online sports book is taking bets on the 2007 Bassmaster Classic, and if their odds are any indication, your early favorites to win the whole shebang are Mike Iaconelli and Edwin Evers.
Mike Iaconelli, along with Edwin Evers, are the top two anglers with 15-1 odds to win the Classic.
Bodog.com has those two anglers going off at 15-to-1.

Other favorites include native Alabamans Steve Kennedy, Russ Lane (both 16-to-1) and Aaron Martens (17-1).

At 18-to-1 shots, Kevin VanDam and Dean Rojas are the only other anglers who would pay less than 20-to-1 with a victory on Lay Lake.

When told a bet on him would pay 24-to-1, angler Kelly Jordon mused, "I would put some money on myself, that would be a pretty good lick."

Jordan wondered if that would constitute a conflict of interests, but decided that, since he's trying his darndest to win the Classic and its $500,000 top prize anyway, he'd probably be in the clear.

It's rare for odds even to be offered on something as fickle and relatively low-profile as the Classic. Despite the best efforts of the dedicated, elite team of journalists who bring you this report and other great stories like it, media coverage of pro fishing remains slim in comparison to, say, March Madness or the NFL playoffs.

Every bettor with any sort of inside tip, then, can feel like he might trump the odds.

"The bass fishing fans definitely know their sport inside out," Bodog's oddsmakers said in a statement to ESPNOutdoors.com through their press liaison. "We have to try to stay one step ahead of them at all times. Bass fishing is one of the few sports where the fans know as much as the oddsmakers, so we usually have a number of lucky fans make some great picks."

"Lucky" is the operative word. An attentive gambler will notice that the sum of all the fractions below comes to about 1.63. As the odds of all possible outcomes in any happenstance in the universe always add up to 1, that likely works out to a healthy margin for the house. Picking a Classic winner is always a crapshoot, but in this case the odds in an actual crapshoot would be more in your favor.

Classic odds