For the sixth year, Johnny Avello, Executive Director of Race and Sports at the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, has published the odds on the Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show winner. Now no one disputes Mr Avello’s expertise in gaming and sports. He’s been in the business for 24 years. However, he has in the past few years ventured into non sports related events such as calling the winner of Dancing With The Stars and American Idol.

I reviewed Mr Avello’s odds sheet and I have a couple of areas where I see things differently. First, his odds sheet only specifies odds of the breed/variety to win. We often have multiple dogs in the same breed that are contenders. This year we have at least two Standard Poodles that are legitimate contenders for BIS.

Secondly, He doesn’t seem to factor in our elimination system. His top seven dogs include two Terriers and his highest ranked Non-Sporting pick is the Standard Poodle. Given the previously mentioned tough Poodle race and the fact that there were three Non-Sporting dogs in the 2011 Top Dogs All Breeds, we suspect that there should have been a Non-Sporting dog among his top picks.

Lastly, Mr Avello has obviously assumed that all the top ranked dogs are entered. You might recall that 2010’s Number One Dog, the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH CH J’Cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, opted to skip last year’s Westminster, and 2008’s Number Two Dog, the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, wasn’t able to enter because her owner was on the show committee. I have already been told that two of the Top Twenty Dogs did not enter and I suspect that one or more of the last year’s top Ten may be absent.

Nonetheless, I love that the show is getting mentioned in the land of Celine Dion and Cirque du Soleil. Just for fun, I took Mr Avello’s odds sheet and put in my own picks…with names.  Neither the Wynn nor I are taking bets on this one.  The odds are just for entertainment purposes.  I hope you find it so and that’s today’s Back Story.