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Never Tell Me the Odds: The Stingy Odds for Leicester City to Win the English Premier League

Matthew Hood, William Chittenden, R. Todd Jewell

Abstract


The crowning of Leicester City FC as English Premier League champions in 2016 is arguably the biggest upset in the history of professional sports. The pre-season odds posted for LCFC to win the EPL were 5,000:1, worse than finding Elvis alive. In our model, they win just once per 70,000 simulations; thus, bettors could expect a return of just 0.071 of the stake when betting on Leicester City. This is similar to the expected return of betting on all of the long-shots in our simulations; however, the expected value of bets on favorites averages 0.864. We find that the betting market is segmented for favorites and long-shots; while the market for favorites resembles a normal betting market, the market for long-shots is like a lottery.


Keywords


English Premier League football; season championship betting; sentimentality in betting markets; lotteries; long-shots

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/jpm.v12i1.1447

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