IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Information and Idiosyncratic Risk in the NCAA Men's Basketball Betting Market


  • Ira Horowitz

    (University of Florida)


Betting lines and scores from the 2009/10 college basketball season for 169 mid-major and major colleges are used to verify the efficiency hypothesis for the betting-market analogy to the CAPM-based market model. As in that model, the portion of the variance in the spreads that is unexplained by the betting lines is the idiosyncratic risk associated with a team’s games. The paper shows that this risk is due to team-specific and conference-specific informational and consistency-of-play factors that impact bettors’ decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ira Horowitz, 2011. "Information and Idiosyncratic Risk in the NCAA Men's Basketball Betting Market," Journal of Gambling Business and Economics, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 5(3), pages 27-42, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:buc:jgbeco:v:5:y:2011:i:3:p:27-42

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2008. "Risk Aversion in Cumulative Prospect Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 208-216, January.
    2. repec:feb:framed:0074 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    4. William Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "Risk Attitudes of Children and Adults: Choices Over Small and Large Probability Gains and Losses," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 53-84, June.
    5. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    6. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
    7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    8. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
    9. Fox, Craig R & Rogers, Brett A & Tversky, Amos, 1996. "Options Traders Exhibit Subadditive Decision Weights," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 5-17, July.
    10. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151-151.
    11. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: New Data without Order Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 902-912, June.
    12. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279-279.
    13. Henry Stott, 2006. "Cumulative prospect theory's functional menagerie," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 101-130, March.
    14. Glenn W Harrison & John A List & Charles Towe, 2007. "Naturally Occurring Preferences and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 433-458, March.
    15. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    16. Michael Kilka & Martin Weber, 2001. "What Determines the Shape of the Probability Weighting Function Under Uncertainty?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(12), pages 1712-1726, December.
    17. Humphrey, Steven J. & Verschoor, Arjan, 2004. "The probability weighting function: experimental evidence from Uganda, India and Ethiopia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 419-425, September.
    18. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
    19. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    20. Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2004. "Is Probability Weighting Sensitive to the Magnitude of Consequences? An Experimental Investigation on Losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 217-235, May.
    21. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    information; idiosyncratic risk; NCAA basketball; betting markets; market efficiency; synchronicity; CAPM market model; competitive balance; power ratings; team-specific information; conference-specific information;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:buc:jgbeco:v:5:y:2011:i:3:p:27-42. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson, College of the Holy Cross). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.