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The Role of Fatigue in NBA Wagering Markets: The Surprising ‘‘Home Disadvantage Situation’’


  • Thomas Ashman

    (Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL, USA)

  • R. Alan Bowman

    (School of Management, Union Graduate College, Schenectady, NY, USA)

  • James Lambrinos

    (School of Management, Union Graduate College, Schenectady, NY, USA,


Factors related to the margin of victory in the National Basketball Association (NBA), in terms of both the actual margin of victory and the projected margin of victory as reflected in point spreads, have been analyzed in many studies. This study investigates whether the NBA wagering market appropriately accounts for the differences in team fatigue when setting point spreads. Prior studies have found that a key component of the well-documented home court advantage is rest. We find that, over a 19-year period, the home team performed poorly against the spread when playing the second of back-to-back games, while the visiting team had 1 or 2 days rest. This poor performance was magnified when the home team had traveled one or two time zones in an easterly direction between the back-to-back games.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Ashman & R. Alan Bowman & James Lambrinos, 2010. "The Role of Fatigue in NBA Wagering Markets: The Surprising ‘‘Home Disadvantage Situation’’," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(6), pages 602-613, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:11:y:2010:i:6:p:602-613

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    Cited by:

    1. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2016. "Mitigation of Perverse Incentives in Professional Sports Leagues with Reverse-Order Drafts," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(1), pages 25-41, August.
    2. Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2013. "Fatigue and Team Performance in Soccer: Evidence from the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship," IZA Discussion Papers 7519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    NBA; sports wagering markets; inefficiency; fatigue;


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