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Efficient Markets? Don’t Bet on It

Author

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  • Evan Osborne

    (Wright State University)

Abstract

This article tests the efficient-markets hypothesis by looking at profits in National Football League (NFL) betting markets. The author tests whether successful betting strategies exist when points scored and allowed earlier in a season can outperform the betting line in predicting the margin of victory in NFL games and finds that profitable strategies exist. In addition, the author finds that over the course of a season, bettors do imperfectly incorporate information about team strength and that NFL victory margins are a highly variable process.

Suggested Citation

  • Evan Osborne, 2001. "Efficient Markets? Don’t Bet on It," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(1), pages 50-61, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:2:y:2001:i:1:p:50-61
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Sauer, Raymond D, et al, 1988. "Hold Your Bets: Another Look at the Efficiency of the Gambling Market for National Football League Games: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 206-213, February.
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    7. Gray, Philip K & Gray, Stephen F, 1997. " Testing Market Efficiency: Evidence from the NFL Sports Betting Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1725-1737, September.
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    10. Losey, Robert L & Talbott, John C, Jr, 1980. " Back on the Track with the Efficient Markets Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1039-1043, September.
    11. Ederington, Louis H. & Huang, Chao-Hsi, 1995. "Parameter uncertainty and the rational expectations model of the term structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 207-223, May.
    12. Woodland, Bill M & Woodland, Linda M, 1991. "The Effects of Risk Aversion on Wagering: Point Spread versus Odds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 638-653, June.
    13. Zuber, Richard A & Gandar, John M & Bowers, Benny D, 1985. "Beating the Spread: Testing the Efficiency of the Gambling Market for National Football League Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 800-806, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Waggoner & Daniel Wines & Brian P. Soebbing & Chad S. Seifried & Jean Michael Martinez, 2014. "“Hot Hand” in the National Basketball Association Point Spread Betting Market: A 34-Year Analysis," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-12, November.
    2. Kenneth Linna & Evan Moore & Rodney Paul & Andrew Weinbach, 2014. "The Effects of the Clock and Kickoff Rule Changes on Actual and Market-Based Expected Scoring in NCAA Football," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(2), pages 1-14, April.

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