Title

Pricing Inefficiencies in the Football-Betting Market

Department

Economics, Finance, & Quantitative Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1992

Abstract

Since Pankoff (Journal of Business, 1968), investment writers have recognized that bets on the outcome of football games provide an unusually direct test of pricing efficiency by market consensus. In a football context, prices are proxied by pointspreads (values ranging from 1 to 50+, which represent the bettors' expectations regarding the stronger team's victory margin). Efficiency refers to the impossibility of using betting rules based on past performance or information not discounted by the spread to win consistently.