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Testing Contrarian Strategies in the National Football League


  • Bill M. Woodland

    (Eastern Michigan University)

  • Linda M. Woodland

    (Eastern Michigan University)


There is evidence that stock market investors overreact to stocks that have been identified as winners and losers. This article examines whether contrarian strategies of selling (betting against) winners and buying (betting on) losers are successful in the gambling market for professional football. Contrary to the stock market, National Football League betting is found to be highly efficient. Because risk is constant for all football wagers, results support the argument that abnormal returns paid to contrarian stock market investors may be attributed to the higher risk incurred.

Suggested Citation

  • Bill M. Woodland & Linda M. Woodland, 2000. "Testing Contrarian Strategies in the National Football League," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(2), pages 187-193, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:1:y:2000:i:2:p:187-193

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    Cited by:

    1. Rodney Paul & Andrew Weinbach, 2005. "Introduction to sports symposium," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 29(3), pages 382-384, September.
    2. Justin Davis & Andy Fodor & Luke McElfresh & Kevin Kreiger, 2015. "Exploiting Week 2 Bias in the NFL Betting Markets," Journal of Prediction Markets, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 9(1), pages 53-67.
    3. Andy Fodor & Michael DiFilippo & Kevin Krieger & Justin Davis, 2013. "Inefficient pricing from holdover bias in NFL point spread markets," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(17), pages 1407-1418, September.
    4. Mark Burkey, 2005. "On "Arbitage" and Market Efficiency: An Examination of NFL Wagering," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), pages 13-28.

    More about this item


    Betting; Football; Gambling;

    JEL classification:

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


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