Investigating Allegations of Pointshaving in NCAA Basketball Using Actual Sportsbook Betting Percentages

Rodney J. Paul, Andrew P. Weinbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-447
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sports Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • betting
  • efficient markets
  • gambling
  • sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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