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The NFL pointspread market revisited: anomaly or statistical aberration?


  • Roger Vergin


An earlier paper by Lacey (1990) examined the National Football League betting market, using data from the 1984-1986 seasons. He tested 13 technical rules for betting and found several that had winning proportions significantly greater than 0.5 and were also profitable after transaction costs. That represented a violation of the weak form of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis. This paper provides an independent test of those same rules over the 1987-1995 NFL seasons. None of the strategies were profitable or had winning proportions significantly different than 0.5. Lacey's results were apparently just a statistical aberration rather than an exploitable anomaly. The results herein suggest the Efficient Markets Hypothesis was not violated.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Vergin, 1998. "The NFL pointspread market revisited: anomaly or statistical aberration?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 175-179.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:5:y:1998:i:3:p:175-179
    DOI: 10.1080/758521377

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    Cited by:

    1. Vergin, Roger C. & Sosik, John J., 1999. "No place like home: an examination of the home field advantage in gambling strategies in NFL football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 21-31, January.
    2. 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.

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