But sceptics abound. Galileo, a sports hedge fund launched in 2010, folded in 2012 after losing $2.5m. Critics contend that sports trading markets are far less liquid than financial ones. Adam Kucharski, a London-based mathematician, says that in only a few markets are gamblers safe from the risk of placing big bets that will move the odds against themselves.
A more fundamental problem is that bookmakers are also spending lavishly to develop predictive models; many have dedicated units of quantitative traders. The hedge funds’ confidence that they can consistently beat the house seems misplaced.（读者试译）
The funds argue, however, that bookmakers can be wrong: many lost money on English football when Leicester won the Premier League in 2016, against initial odds of 5000-to-1. They also point out that the large number of casual betters punting on big events can skew the odds. In those cases, the bookmaker’s interest may not be to forecast the result, but to minimise its risk by attracting bets on a low-probability outcome.And bookmakers sometimes disagree, which they do more since the rise of “in-play” betting (on, say, single tennis points or a range of match statistics). This option also enables a fund manager to adjust his initial exposure over time. “You can get it wrong without blowing up the house,” says Mr Poots.