Expect Match Fixing in This Weekend’s Serie A

There is rarely smoke without fire. Suspicious odds and bookmakers suspending bets indicate something is off in this weekends Serie A. The match between Chievo and Sampdoria meets most criterias for a fixed match.

Bookies Suspend Betting

It is no secret that bookmakers are profitable because of randomness in outcomes. When they detect suspicious trading patterns they will close down a market to avoid loses. When bookmakers suddenly don’t offer betting on a certain match, something might be wrong.

Only seven bookmakers have accepted bets on the Chievo-Sampdoria match at this point. In comparison, 40 bookmakers have offered bets for the Napoli vs Lazio match in the same round which is about the typical number of bookmakers offering odds on Serie A games.

Serie A

The Odds Are Off

The average odds on the draw are at the moment are 1.49 according to Betbrain. Odds on a draw usually range from 3 to 3.5 for Serie A games. Chievo currently rank as number 11 in the Italian league and Sampdoria is number 16. Hence, the team’s position in the league does not suggest a draw would benefit either team.

Betting Industry is Concerned

Sources from professional betting syndicates in the UK contacted me and pointed out that Chievo vs. Sampdoria has all the ingredients for a fixed match. I’ve contacted a colleague who is a major player in the industry in Asia. He said, he has little doubt the match is dirty.

The matter does not seem to be orchestrated by professional match fixers. When criminal syndicates try to fix matches you will often see suspiciously large bets on the day of the match since the criminals have an interest in a pot as big as possible. In this case, odds have decreased in an irrational way for a longer time suggesting that rumors of match fixing got out early.

AC Milan sv. Inter
Source: Betfair.com

The graph above shows price development chart on draw in Chievo vs. Sampdoria. To compare, the other chart shows the normal progress in a draw market. In this case it is the AC Milan – Inter match played in the same round. The total sum traded in the draw market on the Chievo – Sampdoria match is around 560,000€ compared to only around 28,000€ played on a draw in AC Milan – Inter.

Chievo vs. Sampdoria
Source: Betfair.com

The chart shows all the money placed on draw on Betfair in this week's Serie A matches. It shows how much the Chievo – Sampdoria make up of all bets on draw in Serie A this week. Note also that Genova vs. Cagliari stands out suspiciously as another match to look out for.

Serie A

MatchOdds on drawMarket (EUR)
AC Milan vs Inter 3,35 5.286
Brescia vs Bologna 4,2 9.938
Catania vs Palermo 3 12.160
Cesena vs Fiorentina 3,2 2.048
Chievo vs Sampdoria 1,65 558.834
Genoa vs Cagliari 2,54 360.719
Lecce vs Udinese 3,75 1.275
Napoli vs Lazio 3,55 2.089
Parma vs Bari 3,95 1.049
Roma vs Juventus 3,55 918
Average 3,27 95.432