By Paul Mallon | Wedding Fund
When I was a kid an uncle caught me a pet hedgehog. We called him Harry. Interesting creature but not much for cuddles.
There was a family conversation which went along the lines of: “I bet Harry won’t stick around.” He didn’t. But it all served as a loose introduction to probability, betting and the folly of wasting time on pimped-up rodents.
Can you trust a hedgehog? The mega-brained Nate Silver asks that question in his new book, The Signal and The Noise, in which he tells us there are two types of forecasters: hedgehogs and foxes.
- Foxes are self-critical, cautious and rely more on observation than theory.
- Hedgehogs are stubborn, confident and may view the opinions of outsiders sceptically.
For those just joining, this column is trying to bet its way to a better wedding in November. Or at least pay for the wedding band (Prison Love, if you’re asking).
So far, I’ve taken the advice of brash and bold hedgehog-type tipsters in online media and newspapers. But three weeks in and the wedding fund stands at a paltry €102.22. Thankfully, my week two punt on Kildare to beat Offaly by between 4-6 points came in, and in week one Carl Froch boxed the head off Mikkel Kessler so at least there’s something to play with.
Horses have been the Achilles’ heel so far with both Dawn Approach and Sole Power showing the kind of form normally reserved for the artwork of Findus Crispy Pancakes boxes. Last week herself did a better time to the charity shop and back with two big bags of stuff while Dawn Approach was still puffing about in the Derby. That sparked an ill-advised conversation about her giving it a go in a panto-horse outfit for Ascot.
It might still come to that. But for now I’m going down the ‘fox-forecasting’ route…
June 7 #weddingfund bets | week three
- SOCCER: Ireland to beat the Faroe Islands 6-0 at 17/1 (1-point). When Jonathan Walters is an odds-on shot to be an anytime goalscorer you’re in for a troubling weekend. Still, Ireland knocked four past the Faroes in October 2012 and after banging in four against Georgia, the country is on a relative hot streak. Look, a flying pig.
- F1: Canadian GP. The experts will tell you that Red Bull’s record in Canada ain’t great despite being the dominant team. Yes. they’re due a win. However, the value lies elsewhere. So a top six finish for Sergio Perez at 7/2 (2 points). McLaren aren’t amazing this season, but they have a great record in Montreal. Perez was on the podium last year too. Hope he stays out of trouble.
- Britain’s Got Talent. @jgpowell13 tells me that betting without Attraction is the way to go. This is a man who spends too much time watching reality TV and not enough time in the real world. On Jack Carroll at 8/15 (3 points).
- 1-point bet. Finger of fudge (having a nibble)
- 2-point bet. Milky Way (snack)
- 3-point bet. Purple Snack (fancy it)
- 4-point bet. Biscuit Yorkie (all over this)
- 5-point bet. Pack of Hob-Nobs (lumping on)