Are the odds against R. Kelly? You bet. We asked 10 pros — that is, jockeys, horse owners, professional handicappers and gamblers at Arlington Park — to give us their assessment of how likely it is that the R&B singer will be convicted in his child-pornography trial. Here's how they broke it down, in horseracing terms:
Brandon Meier, 19-year-old male jockey: 3:5 (meaning 62.5 percent) "He's the favorite."
Steve "The Stat Man" Miller, professional handicapper for the "Green Sheet": 1:3 (75 percent)
"Kelly might be singing 'I Believe I Can Walk,' but he should try a different tune. I think he did it, despite him saying he didn't."
Dan "Moon" Schulz, professional handicapper for "Barn to Wire": 1:5 (83 percent)
"R. Kelly's done. He's already been convicted in the press, and I hate the press. Even if he's innocent, he's going down. Time in jail is another question."
Inez Karlsson, 25-year-old female jockey: 8:5 (38.46 percent)
"Because he's guilty. I've been following the trial on TV, and it looks like there's some pretty good proof, and there's usually some truth to that. But it wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't go to jail, because America is a country where everything is about money and celebrity."
Frank Calabrese, horse owner: 1:100 (99.9 percent)
"The woman who said she had a threesome with him, she recognized his genitals on the tape. And she sounded credible to me. I just don't think he was set up. I think he's guilty."
Jim "Little Elvis" Luikaart, professional gambler: 1:5 (83 percent)
"Because he's such an upstanding young citizen. And because the ex-boyfriend [Damon Pryor] didn't come in and say [Lisa Van Allen] was lying."
Sig Bogdziewicz, professional gambler: 2:5 (71.42 percent)
"Because he said he didn't do it, and who can you believe? Three people said it wasn't her."
Creighton Schoenfeldt, professional gambler: 2:1 (33.33 percent)
"I give the same odds for R. Kelly actually going to prison."
Ted McClelland, author of "Horseplayers: Life at the Track": 1:4 (80 percent)
"It's less a question of guilty or not guilty, and more of a question of Stateville [Correctional Center] or Menard [Correctional Center]."
Scott "The Professor" McMannis, former economics professor at Northern Illinois University, instructor at the Handicapping and Business Center and author of "Chicago Trainer Patterns": 2:1 (33.33 percent)
"It's even money. More and more has been coming out, so that even if you're unsure on your bet, you still score."
Since calculating these odds and their meanings is a task better left to the professionals, McMannis did a composite for us — he said the combined assessment is 1:5 (83 percent). Not too good for Kelly, but he should take comfort in the fact that his odds are better than the ones these Chicagoans gave Barack Obama to snag the presidency — Calabrese put that one at 1000 to 1. Ouch.