Nobel Peace Prize 2020: Make bets, not war!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 11:31 EST

Nobel Peace Prize awardBetting on sports at My Bookie has been reduced to wagering on Belarusian football, e-sports and even simulations of NBA games on EA Sports’ 2K20. Well, we here at NFLbets say screw all that; we’d rather check the “Specials” markets because the truth is most NFL bettors likely know more about current events than about the top button-mashers in Asia and any soccer league east of Germany combined. And least NFLbets’d like to think so…

The proposition bet that’s got NFLbets thinking in our current nearly sports-free universe is on entitled Nobel Peace Prize 2020 – To Win.

We’re also tempted by the prospect of covering NO in the “Will Mike Pence Test Positive for Coroonavirus?” prop at -600, seemingly an easy payout once the veep has heard the Will of God, but we figure that’s probably bad juju. Nevertheless, My Bookie is doubtlessly seeing sufficient action on the Pence prop from all those unfettered by thoughts of karma. Come to think of it, taking a flier on YES at +350 might not be a bad idea…

The table in the Peace Prize prop starts with some solid offerings:

• climate change activist Greta Thunberg: -130
• New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern: +170
Reporters Without Borders (RWB): +700
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR): +700
• Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange: +900

However, the table then turns to a lot of straight-up laughable suggestions that make NFLbets wonder if My Bookie isn’t trolling bettors a bit with offerings like:

The European Union: 12/1
Donald Trump: 14/1
• South Korea president Moon Jae-In: 18/1
• U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren: 33/1
• Russia president Vladimir Putin: 33/1
Bill Gates: 33/1
• European Central Bank president Christine LaGarde: 33/1
• International Monetary Fund chair Kristlalina Georgieva: 35/1
• UK prime minister Boris Johnson: 35/1
• France president Emmanuel Macron: 35/1
• Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky: 35/1
• China president Xi Jinping: 50/1
Michelle Obama: 55/1
• North Korea “supreme leader” Kim Jong-Un: 60/1

Seriously, with a lack of faith in traditional institutions so prevalent worldwide, what would make anyone believe that *any* world leader, politician or money-dispensing type will win a Nobel in 2020? So don’t even think about backing any president, prime minister or the absolutely insipid choice of the European Union. (For what? Cutting Britain loose?)

At the top of the table, too, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern makes for a shaky bet. Ardern received worldwide coverage and admiration for her response to a mass shooting in a Christchurch mosque that left an unthinkable 50 dead; her hands-on empathy for the victims as well as fast-racking new laws banning semiautomatics in the country were applauded in all corners of the globe.

In fact, Ardern is still an OK-to-decent hedge bet in this prop, although March 2019 probably seems like forever ago even to the Nobel voters. Likewise, going with the UNHCR or Reporters Without Borders might also make solid calls: The former checks the box marked “crisis issue”, while the latter has been a frequent nominee for the big prize and could also be seen as a way to support other long-list nominees like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

But this is 2020 and humanity’s priorities have at least temporarily shifted. What might have been a race of Greta Thunberg vs The Field is now leaving prospective bettors looking for the option of covering The Field.

A quick explanation of how any Nobel Prize is voted upon. All nominees must be submitted to the committee by January 31 – which explains why Elizabeth Warren makes the list, as her nominator clearly believed ol’ Lizzie would win the US presidency in the days before the Iowa primary vote. The first massive list of nominees (this year’s longlist included 318 names, about one-third of which were organizations and two-thirds individuals) is whittled down to a shortlist of 20-30 nominees.

Committee members then get to voting and may submit their ballots between March 1 and August 31. Prizes are officially awarded in October, and the presentation of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner will be held on October 9.

So here’s the thing: You can certainly figure that many, many of the Nobel voters have yet to vote at all. And since nominations were in before COVID-19 hit, the intellectual electorate may be searching for medical types among the shortlist. Sadly, the shortlist is not released to the public by the Nobel committee – thus My Bookie’s more bizarre inclusions – and so we’d have to make a logical guess at who made the cut in the pre-coronavirus world.

NFLbets would certainly like odds, for example, on the 1999 winner Doctors Without Borders. Only once has any nominee twice won a Nobel Peace Prize: The UNHCR. On its part, DWB has been stretching its resources to the limit in assisting the heavily-hit and heavily-sanctioned Iran. If this group is on the committee’s shortlist, you can bet (so to speak) that they’re garnering some support right now.

On the other hand, the alternative is that no individual or organization relevant to the fight against the pandemic is on the shortlist at all, in which case, the betting is simple: You’re covering Greta heavily this year and for the 2021 award, you’ll be thinking about DWB; the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, a team of medical professionals from Cuba who have assisted with ebola outbreaks in Africa and who have now been deployed in Italy; and, quite probably, Xi Jinping, who will be looking to take credit for dealing with China’s outbreak of coronavirus quickly and efficiently plus dispatching medical assistance to Italy, the UK, France, Iran and Iraq.

So go ahead and take Greta Thundberg at -130 and consider Jacinda Ardern at +170 and Xi Jinping at a nice 50/1 as possible hedges.