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Point Shaving In College Basketball: A Cautionary Tale For Forensic Economics

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  • DAN BERNHARDT
  • STEVEN HESTON

Abstract

"Point shaving is the practice by favored teams of attempting to win by less than the point spread to yield profits for gamblers who bet on the underdog. Consistent with point shaving, strong favorites are anomalously likely to win by less than the spread. To distinguish between innocent and criminal explanations, we (1) exploit information in line movements and (2) isolate games without betting lines to identify games where point shaving is implausible and document similar patterns. The data are better explained by strategic efforts to maximize the probability of winning. These findings highlight the importance of methodology design." ("JEL" L83, K42) Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 14-25

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:14-25

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Cited by:
  1. Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang & Stephan Werner, 2008. "Corruption in Professional Sumo: An Update on Duggan and Levitt's Study," Working Papers 0019, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised Jun 2009.
  2. Eric Zitzewitz, 2012. "Forensic Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 731-69, September.

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