Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Forecasting Soccer Matches With Betting Odds: A Tale of Two Markets
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2023-02) ;
    We compare the properties of betting market odds set in two distinct markets for a large sample of European soccer matches. We confirm inefficiencies in the traditional market for bets on a home win, an away win or a draw as found in previous studies such as Angelini and De Angelis (2019), in particular that there is a strong pattern of favourite-longshot bias. Conversely, we document how a betting market that has emerged in recent years, the Asian handicap market, can generate efficient forecasts for the same set of matches using a new methodology for mapping its odds into probabilities.
      93
  • Publication
    The Wisdom of No Crowds: The Reaction of Betting Markets to Lockdown Soccer Games
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2022-04) ;
    The support of home spectators is one of the contributing factors to the home advantage effect in sports matches. The Covid-19 pandemic led to European soccer matches being played without spectators. We show that betting markets adjusted swiftly to account for a reduced home advantage in both goal difference and the probability of a win. These adjustments proved accurate over a large sample of soccer matches subsequently played without spectators even though the earliest games appeared to suggest a much bigger change in home advantage.
      96
  • Publication
    Do Gamblers Understand Complex Bets? Evidence From Asian Handicap Betting on Soccer
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2023-05) ;
    The Asian Handicap is a way to bet on soccer matches where payouts depend on an adjustment to the score that favors the weaker team. These bets are more complex than traditional betting on soccer because they require assessing the likely goal difference in the match rather than just the probabilities of a home win, away win or draw and because they can feature the possibility of all or half the bet being refunded. We show that bettors systematically lose more money on the type of Asian Handicap bets where refunds are not possible than they do when it is possible to obtain a half refund and that bets with the possibility of a full refund have the lowest loss rates. Bookmakers do not appear to adjust odds to equate the expected return on these bets. We show that the pattern of differences in loss rates across bets is predictable based on the odds quoted.
      40
  • Publication
    Calculating The Bookmaker’s Margin: Why Bets Lose More On Average Than You Are Warned
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2023-02) ;
    If betting markets are efficient, then the expected loss rate on all bets on a game can be calculated from the quoted odds. Guides to sports betting tell bettors how to do this calculation of the predicted average loss rate. We show that if bookmakers set higher profit margins for bets with lower probabilities of winning (as implied by the evidence on favorite-longshot bias) then average loss rates across all bets will be higher than predicted by this widely-recommended calculation. We provide evidence from betting on soccer and tennis to illustrate that average realized loss rates on bets are consistently higher than predicted by the conventional calculation.
      248
  • Publication
    Disagreement and Market Structure in Betting Markets: Theory and Evidence from European Soccer
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2023-05) ;
    Online sports betting is growing rapidly around the world. We describe how the competitive structure of the bookmaking market affects odds when bettors disagree about the probabilities of the outcomes of sporting events but are on average correct. We show that the demand for bets on longshots is less sensitive to the odds than bets on favorites. This means monopolistic bookmakers will set odds exhibiting favorite-longshot bias while competitive bookmaking markets will not have this feature. We develop a version of the model for soccer matches and use these results to explain empirical findings on odds for over 80,000 European soccer games from two different bookmaking markets.
      56
  • Publication
    Comparing Two Methods for Testing the Efficiency of Sports Betting Markets
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2024-02) ;
    Sports betting markets can be considered strongly efficient if expected returns on all possible bets on an event are equal. If this form of efficiency holds, then there is a direct mapping from betting odds into probabilities of outcomes of sporting events. We compare two regression-based methods for testing this form of efficiency that have been used in previous research: One that uses normalized probabilities as the explanatory variable for event outcomes and one that uses the inverse of the decimal odds. We show that the normalized probability method produces good tests of the null hypothesis of strong market efficiency but that the inverse odds method does not, with results biased against finding favorite-longshot bias. We illustrate this finding using large datasets of bets and outcomes for tennis and soccer and also with realistic simulations.
      22