The “Hot Hand” hypothesis in gambling markets—belief that teams on winning streaks will continue winning—appears to exist in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but not the National Football League (NFL). Past research assumed that bookmakers set point spreads to balance betting volume on games. Recent research shows persistent imbalanced betting in most betting markets, suggesting point spreads may not fully reflect bettor preferences. We find significant increases in bets on teams on winning streaks against the spread in the NFL, suggesting that perceived “hot hand” effects exist in betting on NFL games. Betting with or against streaks does not earn profits for bettors.
- behavioral bias
- hot hand
- sports betting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)