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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Bernhardt & Steven Heston, 2010. "Point Shaving In College Basketball: A Cautionary Tale For Forensic Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 14-25, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:14-25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan Rodenberg, 2013. "Employee Discipline And Basketball Referees: A Prediction Market Approach," Journal of Prediction Markets, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 7(2), pages 43-54.
    2. Alasdair Brown & Fuyu Yang, 2014. "Have Betting Exchanges Corrupted Horse Racing?," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 066, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Ryan M. Rodenberg, 2013. "The goals and impacts of age restrictions in sports," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Women in Sports, chapter 8, pages 156-172 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Christian Deutscher & Eugen Dimant & Brad R. Humphreys, 2017. "Match Fixing and Sports Betting in Football: Empirical Evidence from the German Bundesliga," Working Papers 17-01, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    5. Eric Zitzewitz, 2012. "Forensic Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 731-769, September.
    6. Rodenberg Ryan, 2011. "Perception ? Reality: Analyzing Specific Allegations of NBA Referee Bias," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-13, May.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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