As the hours ticked down to the series finale of “Succession,” fans tried to predict how the show would end and who would wind up owning Waystar Royco.
Would it be Shiv, Kendall and Roman — the offspring of deceased founder Logan Roy? Or Lucas Matsson, the wild-man tech entrepreneur from Sweden? Or maybe some dark-horse who had yet to be considered?
At least one person was willing to put his money where his mouth is and not only go public with his prediction but also to post odds for the outcome. (Warning: reading further contains spoilers.)
Avello correctly predicted that Waystar Royco would be sold. He did it four weeks before the final episode aired and reiterated his belief on May 24, and to Variety in May 25. And he also correctly predicted that none of the Roy siblings would take their father’s place.
“I had the odds of it being sold at 2-1,” Johnny Avello, director of race and sports operations for DraftKings, told The Post, adding that, since the show is prerecorded and a lot of people know the ending, DraftKings did not take bets on it.
Avello studied episodes of the show, considered the behaviors of various characters, accounted for what the writers might do and came up with the likelihoods of various outcomes.
He then applied odds to them, just as he did for Monday night’s NBA Eastern Conference final. “When we handicap a game, we know the power-ratings for each team, so it becomes a matter of math. For something like this, it’s a matter of putting up the most logical choices and factoring in that something bizarre could happen.”
Something bizarre? “Think about Cousin Greg becoming CEO of the company. I had him at 50-1. Tom on the other hand was 20-1.”
Tom, of course, he got it, albeit after it was sold (the odds were in light of the company remaining in the family).
“I thought one of siblings would become CEO. Shiv was the most logical choice for that, she seemed the most grounded. I had her at 5-2 while Kendall was 3-1.”
Having analyzed the show from top to bottom, Avello has a take on which sibling came out best from Waystar Royco’s sale to Matsson: “Shiv comes out on top. She gets the money and her husband is the CEO.
“Judging by their ride home together in the car [where Shiv puts her hand on top of Tom’s], it looks like they are taking each other back, at least for the time being. On the other hand, she screwed her siblings.”
Avello is no stranger to selecting the outcomes of TV shows. He’s been doing reality-show odds since 1999 and predicted Donny Osmond as the winner of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009.
He takes notes when he watches “Dancing” and even viewed it in person a few times. He agreed that it’s a “little bit like” being outside of the paddock before a horse race.
More recently, the oddsmaker predicted James Holzhauer as the winner of “Jeopardy! Masters” before the first answer was made with a question (since it is taped ahead of time, no bets were taken). But, Avello, who used to run the sports book for Wynn Las Vegas, had a bit of a read on Holzhauer.
“James was one of my sports betting customers at the Wynn,” Avello said of the self-proclaimed game-show villain who also happens to be a professional gambler. “He is a sharp sports bettor. But I can’t figure out where he gets all of his [“Jeopardy!”] information.”
Avello’s next handicapping job on the non-sports front: Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest, scheduled for July 4 and available for real-money gambling in some of DraftKing’s jurisdictions. “Joey Chestnut is always the front runner,” said Avello.
“We also put up bets on how many hot dogs the winner will eat. I always say he will eat one more than he did the year before. So, we’re looking at 65 or 66 for this July.”
One set of odds not up for “Succession” was whether Logan Roy would go to heaven or hell. Of course, Avello can formulate an opinion.
“How many people did he screw in his life?” Avello mused. “Having grown up Catholic, I figure he went to purgatory. And I think he will work hard to reach heaven.”