This post from earlier today shows the final odds on the papacy.
Before the papal conclave started, it was beginning to look like Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan, had emerged as a clear favorite, with talk of a Brazilian or Canadian Cardinal becoming the "anti-Scola."
However, as the conclave prepares for the fourth round of voting today, something funny is happening to the odds on Paddy Power:
Yes, Peter Turkson, a Cardinal from Ghana, is now getting almost as good odds as Scola. In fact, at one point both Turkson and Scola were at 3-1.
A few weeks ago Paddy Power was calling Turkson the favorite, and a lot of people like the idea of a black, African pope. As we wrote before, however, his potential to be Pope always seemed like a long shot. The Catholic Church in Africa is a very different beast from that in Europe or Latin America, and Cardinals Scherer and Ouellet are very good candidates.
In recent days, Turkson had been placing much further down the pack. With these new odds he appears to have surged.
While we shouldn't rely too much on Paddy Power's odds, these numbers can't be flat-out ignored.
Matthew Zeitlin explained over at The Daily Beast that Paddy Power allows large bets, and as such it is always possible that those with inside information could be placing them.
The longer the papal conclave goes on, the more obvious it is that the cardinals cannot agree on a pope.
Given that Scola is the favorite, this means that each time we see black smoke, the more likely we are to see an unorthodox candidate such as Turkson.
But there may be a less scientific reason for Turkson's surge. Dennis Rodman is in the Vatican today, making a very public display of support for the Ghanian cardinal. Rodman's trip is, of course, being sponsored by Paddy Power.
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