Do Gamblers Think That Teams Tank? Evidence from the NBA
A growing body of literature indicates that sports teams face incentives to lose games at the end of the season. This incentive arises from league entry draft policy. We use data from betting markets to confirm the existence of tanking, or the perception of tanking, in the NBA. Results from a SUR model of point spreads and point differences in NBA games indicate that betting markets believe that tanking takes place in the NBA, even though the evidence that tanking actually exists is mixed. NBA policy changes also affect betting market outcomes.
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