Bettor Belief in the “Hot Hand”: Evidence From Detailed Betting Data on the NFL

Rodney J. Paul, Andrew P. Weinbach, Brad Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-649
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sports Economics
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 27 2014

Keywords

  • behavioral bias
  • hot hand
  • sports betting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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