IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Price Setting in the NBA Gambling Market: Tests of the Levitt Model of Sportsbook Behavior

  • Rodney J. Paul


    (St. Bonaventure University)

  • Andrew P. Weinbach

    (Coastal Carolina University)

Levitt (2004) suggested that sportsbooks do not set prices in the NFL to clear markets, as was commonly assumed, but set prices to maximize profits. This paper uses actual betting data from four sportsbooks to test the Levitt (2004) hypothesis in the NBA. For a sample of the 2004-05 to 2006-07 seasons, it is shown that favorites receive a disproportionate share of NBA pointspread bets. In addition, the percentage of bets the favorite receives increases with each additional point of the pointspread. In the totals market, it is shown that overs receive a much higher percentage of bets compared to unders and the percentage bet on the over increases with each point of the total. Unlike the NFL, however, taking a contrarian position and betting against public sentiment is not found to win more often than implied by efficiency.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full-text download requires subscription from FIT.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Fitness Information Technology in its journal International Journal of Sport Finance.

Volume (Year): 3 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 137-145

in new window

Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:3:y:2008:i:3:p:137-145
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:3:y:2008:i:3:p:137-145. 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)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.