Replacement Referees and NFL Betting Markets

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Bryan C. McCannon


Are betting markets efficient? The 2012 labor dispute between the NFL and the referees is used as a quasi-experiment to assess whether the betting markets are able to achieve accurate “prices” in an uncertain environment. More points were scored and underdogs performed relatively better resulting in upsets and closer-than-expected games. Betting markets, though, were unable to anticipate or adjust to this systematic effect even though irregularities in gambling markets were reported before the beginning of the season. Not only were they inefficient, but profitable betting strategies can be identified.

Article Details

Author Biography

Bryan C. McCannon, Saint Bonaventure University

Associate Professor of EconomicsChair, Department of Finance 


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