Booking sites have had to call off ‘Game of Thrones’ bets – but here’s who some oddsmakers think will survive the season.
All bets are off for the rest of “Games of Thrones” this season.
No, really – the leaks that have dogged the hit HBO series have spoiled the game for gambling sites.
“It’s hard to take bets on something when you already know the outcome,” Jim Murphy, oddsmaker at sportsbettingexperts.com, told Moneyish. His site has run week-to-week wagers on what death and destruction would rock “Thrones” in the past, with most viewers putting up $50 to $100 per bet, but had to remove the proposition bets this summer after repeated episodes and scripts have been hacked and released to the public.
“I had a whole bunch of bets typed up, like whether an ice dragon would appear on the next episode [when Jon Snow and his men face off against the army of undead in the icy wastelands north of the Wall], and that’s all work down the drain,” said Murphy, who’s managed to avoid the most recent leaked episode himself so far. “There’s always some leaks or hints from ‘sources,’ but they’ve never been this easy to find.”
Or entire episodes posted ahead of schedule.
Pat Morrow, the head oddsman at the online gambling site Bovada, has drawn up the weekly “GOT” death pool for the last three seasons that bet on who would live or die. The avid “Thrones” fan has also had to scrap all of them this season after eyeing the spoilers and watching them pan out.
“It’s really frustrating, because we were excited to post new things week-to-week, and it’s been one of our more fun bets, like who would die in the next episode, or who will turn out to be the ‘prince who was promised,’” he told Moneyish. “Like last season, when Cersei blew up the Sept of Baelor and killed everyone, it blew everything out of the water, which was really fun. The weekly bets allowed us to make some money and get some more traffic to the site.”
And with this being the penultimate season, the stakes have never been higher as “Thrones” approaches its end game. Morrow estimates that they’re losing money “in the five figures” from having to kill the weekly bets.
But prior to the leakers ruining the “Game,” there were some long-running gambles on who will be ruling on the Iron Throne after the season finale airs Aug. 27.
Bovada had Queen Cersei holding onto her seat with a slight edge at 2-3 odds, with dragon queen Daenerys the 2-1 underdog, and King of the North Jon Snow behind her at 4-1.
But Morrow doesn’t think Cersei will be holding onto that seat for long. Another popular wager they had running earlier this season was who the “little brother” prophesied to kill her would be: Her youngest brother Tyrion, who’s currently serving as Dany’s right-hand man, or her twin brother/incestuous lover Jaime, who’s technically younger than her by a few seconds.
“Jamie is the favorite, at about a 66% chance,” said Morrow, “with Tyrion as the third-favorite at 6-to-1 odds — and ‘someone or something else’ [perhaps uber assassin Arya Stark, who can literally wear other people’s faces?] as the second-favorite at 2-to-1 odds.”
At sportsbettingexperts.com, Murphy said Daenerys was expected to be most likely to survive this season, but he’s heard a really interesting prediction for the series finale.
“One bet that’s come up in the past couple of weeks – at 9-to-1 odds – is that no one will be on the Iron Throne at the end of the series,” he said. “That would be a really interesting scenario, and the way HBO finishes series – like what they did with leaving ‘The Sopranos’ open – I could really kind of see that happening.”
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