Online gambling company BetUS.com (pronounced Bet U.S.) announced on Friday that it had begun accepting bets on the total accumulated snowfall in Buffalo, New York between Friday and 11:59pm EST on Sunday night. Buffalo and western New York are under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until 1pm EST on Sunday and various predictions have called for Buffalo to see anywhere from 2 to 6 FEET of snow this weeknd.
Barry Barger, senior betting analyst for BetUS Sportsbook, said that the company was “trying to provide a fun entertainment option for people stuck at home because of the storm and make the best of an unfortunate situation.”
BetUS has set the “over / under” for the number of inches of snow at 48 ½ inches, or a little over 4 feet. The ‘under’ option is currently priced at +120, meaning a $100 bet that there will be less than 48 ½ inches would payout $220 (a net profit of $120 plus the return of the bettor’s $100 stake). Meanwhile, the “over” 48 ½ inches is currently a heavy favorite (meaning oddsmakers see it as more likely), is priced at -160 – meaning a bettor would have to risk $160 just to win $100. “That’s because the ‘over’ is seen as the more likely outcome right now, both by oddsmakers and bettors.”
“Amazingly, we began receiving action [bets] almost immediately after posting these odds,” Barger says.
BetUS also has odds on the highest rate of snowfall per hour: over or under 2 ½ inches per hour, with the ‘over’ 2 ½ inches per hour being a heavy favorite at -175.
“As with sports betting, the odds could change depending on how the betting public places their bets, or as conditions change,” says Barger, noting that oddsmakers may adjust odds accordingly. “However, when you place a bet, your individual wager ticket is locked in at the odds as they were when you placed the bet.”
Earlier this week, BetUS made headlines when Forbes reported that the company had begun accepting bets on which airlines would cancel the most flights during the busy Thanksgiving travel week.