Monday, January 08, 2007

The Christianity bit...

...never mind the econometrics bit, has been a bit lacking of late in this blog, with the success of Oldham Athletic.

Naturally, however, I thank God for the success of Oldham, in particularly for providing a manager who appears in so many respects perfect for the job right now; it's great that Oldham fans can enjoy just how effective a manager John Sheridan is proving to be on so many levels by comparing him to other managers in the club's recent history.

I'm also very thankful that this blog's name at least has provided a link with a vicar in Chadderton, known to Latics fans on the internet as TheChaplain, who is an evangelical Christian and a Latics fan, and that there's a group of Oldham fans in his church in Chadderton, which I've attended once on my very infrequent visits home.

Something that perhaps requires a little bit of explanation is why am I investigating the efficiency of the betting market at the moment? Isn't betting a bad thing, and shouldn't I be steering well clear of it?

Well, I fully subscribe to the view that betting is generally an unwise use of money, of the resources God has generously blessed us with. Gambling can lead to terrible social problems, and plays on our desire for something more, our insatiable desire to accumulate, and get a bit more than what our neighbours have. It certainly does not accord to that state of mind Paul described in Philippians 4:12: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

I'm investigating the betting market more out of my general fascination for football, this immense game that God has provided us through man's imagination to begin kicking a spherical leather object around over a century ago. Furthermore, I'm not intending on betting myself on the back of any results I establish, unless I can establish clear inefficiencies in betting odds. Even then I might take some convincing, but clear inefficiencies based on a well grounded statistical model providing probabilities of goal arrival would provide clear ways to make money.

It would not be an unwise use of money if one could put some money on a particular bet, knowing you will become better off after the bet, any more than it is unwise to put money in a bank that offers a rate of interest on money held there.

That last statement obviously shows that there is a line to be drawn somewhere with regard betting, as there is on holding shares in the stock market and so on. I think one has to decide prayerfully and after reflection whether or not use of the money on a bet or share is a wise use of the gifts God has blessed him or her with.


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