Detailed gambling market data are used to investigate allegations of pointshaving in college basketball by Wolfers. Data on actual sportsbook betting percentages on favorites and underdogs and changes in pointspreads are used to test for evidence of corruption by players and/or coaches of NCAA basketball teams. After establishing a rejection of the balanced book hypothesis, the authors test for corruption in a variety of ways by investigating the games that Wolfers describes as likely situations for pointshaving, specifically games involving big underdogs. In a variety of tests, which include differences in betting percentages on big underdogs who cover and do not cover the pointspread, betting simulations based on thresholds of percentage bet on underdogs, analysis of pointspread movements toward big underdogs, and an analysis of coaches and programs that meet the conditions of Wolfers, little evidence is found to suggest rampant pointshaving in this market.
- efficient markets
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing
- Infectious Diseases