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Market Efficiency and Profitable Wagering in the National Hockey League: Can Bettors Score on Longshots?


  • Linda M. Woodland

    () (Department of Accounting, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University)

  • Bill M. Woodland

    () (Eastern Michigan University)


Sports betting and racetrack markets continue to provide researchers with opportunities to test the efficient market hypothesis. This paper investigates the efficiency of a relatively new sports betting market, the National Hockey League, for 1990–1996. The market is found to be somewhat inefficient and simple wagering strategies are identified that result in profitable returns. Consistent with previous research for football and baseball, bettors in hockey are inclined to overbet favorites relative to their observed chance of winning. Interestingly, the market does not appear to be converging to efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda M. Woodland & Bill M. Woodland, 2001. "Market Efficiency and Profitable Wagering in the National Hockey League: Can Bettors Score on Longshots?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 983-995, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:67:4:y:2001:p:983-995

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    Cited by:

    1. Buttrey Samuel E., 2016. "Beating the market betting on NHL hockey games," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 87-98, June.
    2. Dominic Cortis, 2015. "Expected Values And Variances In Bookmaker Payouts: A Theoretical Approach Towards Setting Limits On Odds," Journal of Prediction Markets, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-14.
    3. Ladd Kochman & Randy Goodwin, 2006. "An Under Bias in the Football Betting Market: Fact or Fiction?: A Note," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), pages 32-36.
    4. Rodney Paul & Andrew Weinbach, 2005. "Market efficiency and NCAA college basketball gambling," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 29(3), pages 403-408, September.
    5. Rodney Paul & Andrew Weinbach, 2012. "Sportsbook pricing and the behavioral biases of bettors in the NHL," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 36(1), pages 123-135, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Jinook Jeong & Jee Young Kim & Yoon Jae Ro, 2017. "On the Efficiency of Racetrack Betting Market: A New Test for the Favorite-Longshot Bias," Working papers 2017rwp-106, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    8. Forrest, David & Goddard, John & Simmons, Robert, 2005. "Odds-setters as forecasters: The case of English football," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 551-564.
    9. Hwang, Joon Ho & Kim, Min-Su, 2015. "Misunderstanding of the binomial distribution, market inefficiency, and learning behavior: Evidence from an exotic sports betting market," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 243(1), pages 333-344.
    10. Paul, Rodney J. & Weinbach, Andrew P. & Wilson, Mark, 2004. "Efficient markets, fair bets, and profitability in NBA totals 1995-96 to 2001-02," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 624-632, September.
    11. Frank Daumann & Markus Breuer, 2011. "The Role of Information in Professional Football and the German Football Betting Market," Chapters,in: Contemporary Issues in Sports Economics, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Arne Feddersen & Brad Humphreys & Brian Soebbing, 2013. "Sentiment Bias in National Basketball Association Betting," Working Papers 13-03, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    13. Rodney Paul & Andrew Weinbach & J. Weinbach, 2003. "Fair bets and profitability in college football gambling," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 27(2), pages 236-242, June.
    14. Berkowitz, Jason P. & Depken, Craig A. & Gandar, John M., 2017. "A favorite-longshot bias in fixed-odds betting markets: Evidence from college basketball and college football," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 233-239.
    15. Michael Cain & David Peel, 2004. "The utility of gambling and the favourite-longshot bias," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(5), pages 379-390.

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