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Profiting from overreaction in soccer betting odds

Wheatcroft, Edward ORCID: 0000-0002-7301-0889 (2020) Profiting from overreaction in soccer betting odds. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 16 (3). 193 - 209. ISSN 1559-0410

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Identification Number: 10.1515/jqas-2019-0009


Betting odds are generally considered to represent accurate reflections of the underlying probabilities for the outcomes of sporting events. There are, however, known to be a number of inherent biases such as the favorite-longshot bias in which outsiders are generally priced with poorer value odds than favorites. Using data from European soccer matches, this paper demonstrates the existence of another bias in which the match odds overreact to favorable and unfavorable runs of results. A statistic is defined, called the Combined Odds Distribution (COD) statistic, which measures the performance of a team relative to expectations given their odds over previous matches. Teams that overperform expectations tend to have a high COD statistic and those that underperform tend to have a low COD statistic. Using data from twenty different leagues over twelve seasons, it is shown that teams with a low COD statistic tend to be assigned more generous odds by bookmakers. This can be exploited and a sustained and robust profit can be made. It is suggested that the bias in the odds can be explained in the context of the “hot hand fallacy”, in which gamblers overestimate variation in the ability of each team over time.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 De Gruyter
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Time Series
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2022 08:57
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 20:45

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