Online betting sites are typically thought of as spaces reserved for betting on sporting events, horse racing, and the like — but entertainment betting is now seeing a rise in popularity.
Online gamblers — depending on what state they live in — now have a bunch of entertainment bets they can make: Everything from who will win the Emmy for best comedy series, to who will end up on the Iron Throne on “Game of Thrones.”
Yes, you can even bet on “Game of Thrones.” Or at least you could, until episodes started to leak.
Since the occurrence of “Game of Thrones” script and episode leaks this season, “Game of Thrones” betting lines have been pulled down.
Business Insider spoke to Pat Morrow, Head Oddsman at the online gambling site Bovada, about the effects that these leaks have had on his “Game of Thrones” lines.
Morrow has helped create, and curate, the “Game of Thrones” betting lines over the past two years at Bovada. The lines Morrow created included predictions for who would be killed off in each episode, and who would take the Iron Throne at the end of season seven and eight.
Morrow came up with the idea to offer “Game of Thrones” betting after watching “Game of Thrones” blow up his Twitter feed every Sunday night. Morrow started to look at what fans were talking about most, and questioned what kinds of betting odds he could put together for the show.
Morrow himself is a “Game of Thrones” fan, and has read the “Game of Thrones” books several times. He also regularly peruses fan theories on Reddit and other fan forums. Morrow proved to be the perfect person to create the “Game of Thrones” odds and betting lines, and took it upon himself to do so.
Betting lines, or proposition bets, are bets based on whether or not something will happen. Typically when oddsmen create these for sports, player stats (among other things) are factored in. But how gambling odds are created for a television show are a whole other ball field (pun fully intended).
Morrow explained what is taken into consideration when creating the odds and betting lines for “Game of Thrones”:
“There are a lot of different things that drive it. Part of it, I’d say the last couple of seasons — before the TV show not just caught up with the book, but then passed it — I was able to work off of book knowledge. After the fact it was the combination of not just my own knowledge, but also scouring the internet for the best fan theories, and trying to separate the ones that sound fun, and the ones that seem to be a bit more credible. And then of course, the last part is profiling. I often use this example, especially when we’re talking about an entertainment setting like this, but someone betting — whether it’s Los Angeles, or someone’s betting from a part of the world were we know they’re filming this, we would take a wager like that much more seriously than we would of someone betting in Iowa City. And that’s not to bemoan the great people of Iowa City, but as far as I know, they’re not doing any filming there. So, there’s not the kind of hard maths that we prefer to use when we deal with sporting events.”
But sometimes a betting line is thrown into the mix just for fun.
“Last season, we put Hodor up on the Iron Throne at 5,000 to one, and took a few bets for that because we thought we’d have a laugh. And I guess it was worth it for the pay out as well. We tried to post more serious stuff this year. But unfortunately those leaks have hampered us a little bit,” said Morrow.
The leaks Morrow is referring to aren’t just those from the recent HBO hack, but from other online sources that have given away spot-on details for unaired “Game of Thrones” episodes this season. Morrow cited one man’s YouTube channel in particular, which gave away so many details about the first four episodes of “Game of Thrones” that Bovada ultimately had to take their betting lines down.
“He’s not revealing his sources, but as a result, based on his YouTube channel, the entire season has kind of been spoiled, so it’s forced us to pull everything down for the remainder of the season,” Morrow said.
Morrow didn’t say what the name of the “Game of Thrones” YouTube channel was that revealed these major plot points, but based on the popular “Game of Thrones” subreddit Freefolk (known for posting leaked “Game of Thrones” scripts and episodes), the YouTube channel Morrow is most likely referring to is Frikidoctor’s. It is unclear where Frikidoctor is getting its information.
At this point, there have been multiple leaks, and where spoilers are coming from has become confusing, but one thing that is certain is that “Game of Thrones” betting lines will be down for the remainder of the season.
Since the spoilers reveal what happens in the future, it’s impossible to fairly bet on any kind of “Game of Thrones” odds, and if Bovada were to adjust their betting lines according to leaked spoilers, they could give away the season’s outcome.
But not to worry, Morrow said that betting lines for season eight of “Game of Thrones” will go up right after the end of season seven, to get ahead of any spoilers that may leak.
And as for the oddsmaker’s prediction for who will sit on the Iron Throne when all is said and done: Jaime Lannister. Do with this information what you will.
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