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Testing the efficiency of the National Football League betting market

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This study presents three tests of efficiency of the NFL betting market for the years 1994–2000. First, it tests for weak-form informational efficiency of the betting market. Then it examines whether the market incorporates objective information such as power scores and stadium characteristics that might be useful for predicting game outcomes. Finally, it determines whether alternative betting strategies would have yielded a profit. Although there is some indication that differences in the playing surfaces of home and visiting teams were not fully reflected in the betting lines, it is found that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the market was inefficient over the period examined.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840500368904

Affiliations: Department of Economics, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA

Publication date: February 20, 2006

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