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Luis Suarez to Arsenal transfer unlikely, no matter what Sky Bet says

Changing odds on a transfer mean things, but probably not what you think.

Clive Mason

This tweet popped up late Wednesday, and caused a brief storm of talk.

I am not an expert on how betting markets work. I don't gamble at all, because I prefer to use my money rather than setting it alight. I don't study gambling, and I don't watch the markets until they pop up to slap me in the face, like this. So I'm relatively uneducated on how the whole thing works, but I can logically work some things out.

I suppose there's a chance Arsenal could buy Luis Suarez, though I massively doubt it. But if it does happen (which, again, it's probably not), this isn't why. The fluctuations of the betting markets aren't necessarily informed by any actual information - for example, bettors can place bets in small markets to manipulate the odds to change betting patterns on other options. I don't know if this is what's happening now, but it or a host of other options are more likely than the idea of gamblers having inside information that Arsenal are buying Luis Suarez, and acting on it.

So if you're the kind, like me, who really doesn't want a player like Luis Suarez on your team, I wouldn't get too worried. This is more likely to be a bunch of gamblers trying to play tricks on the market than it is any real transfer news.