Sportsbook Behavior in the NCAA Football Betting Market: Tests of the Traditional and Levitt Models of Sportsbook Behavior
The predictions of the traditional balanced-book sportsbook model and the alternative Levitt model of sportsbook behavior are tested using actual betting percentages on the favorite/underdog and over/under for NCAA Football. Sportsbooks are found to not balance betting dollars, which is in contradiction to the assumptions of the traditional models of sportsbook behavior. In the pointspread market, more bets are placed on the favorite in contests with road favorites and in games with higher pointspreads. In the totals market, more bets are placed on the over as the total increases and in games on television. Some support is found for the Levitt model of sportsbook behavior, as sportsbooks appear to price to maximize profits when the behavioral biases of bettors are clear, such as games with road favorites and games with the highest pointspreads and totals. In all other contests, however, the sportsbook appears to price as a forecast, as each proposition wins half of the time, even in the presence of betting imbalances.
Volume (Year): 3 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
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