IJSF Issue 14:1

Abstract:International Journal of Sport Finance, Volume 14, No.1, February 2019.

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NFL Betting Biases, Profitable Strategies, and the Wisdom of the Crowd
Authors: Corey A. Shank
Abstract:I find that betting biases in the NFL market extend beyond preferring the favorite and the over. The results show that the percentage of wagers on the favorite team increases as more bettors place wagers, bettors have a preference for betting against the line movement, and they prefer to bet on the favorite when the away team has lost recent games. Furthermore, bettors have a nonlinear preference in the point spread betting, as they are less likely to wager on the favorite when the spread is small or large. In the totals market, bettors wager the over when the home team has covered the over in recent games. Finally, using a contrarian strategy when 50% to 60% of bettors place the same wager is shown to make economic profits. These results have important implications, as the sportsbook can use them to create betting lines to maximize profit.

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Factors that Shape the Demand for International Football Games Across Different Age Groups
Authors: Andreas Bergmann, Dominik Schreyer
Abstract:The benefits of crowd wisdom/swarm intelligence in the form of superior decision-making and problem-solving skills have recently been analyzed and discussed by researchers from various fields. The goal of this paper is to identify the relevance of crowd wisdom for professional team sports leagues by analyzing, first, the emergence of crowd wisdom on a particular online platform (www.transfermarkt.de (link is external)) and, second, by documenting the precision of the collectively gathered information. The authors evaluate the emergence and diffusion of information on that platform over ten consecutive years and find a pattern similar to the one proposed by Bass (1969) in a now seminal study. Moreover, using player values as well as player salaries from Major League Soccer for the seasons 2006 through 2015, it appears that values are excellent proxies for salaries that are not disclosed, but remain private and confidential in most leagues. These findings encourage researchers to use information from sources like transfermarkt.de in their empirical studies.

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A Market Test for Ethnic Discrimination in Major League Soccer
Authors: Craig Kerr
Abstract:Within-family career following is common in many occupations, including law, politics, business, agriculture, medicine, entertainment, and professional sports. For children who enter the same career as their parents there are several potential benefits: physical-capital transfer, human-capital transfer, brand-name-loyalty transfer, or nepotism. In Formula One (F1) auto racing, career following is also common; many drivers follow their father or brother into racing. Using a panel describing F1 drivers from 1950–2017, we find that brothers of drivers appear to benefit from human capital transfer and nepotism, and that sons gain little from human capital transfer and do not enjoy nepotism. We do find that only the best drivers have sons who follow them into racing, suggesting that sons can extend the brand name-loyalty perhaps long after their fathers have retired.

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Jumping in the Pool: What Determines Which Players the NBA Considers in the Draft?
Authors: Tiffany Greer, Joshua A. Price, and David J. Berri
Abstract:Each year the National Basketball Association (NBA) drafts a small number of college players from a very large pool of potential college talents. This purpose of this study is to explore how NBA decision-makers decide which players are in the group of selected players. The reported results confirm—as prior studies have indicated—that points scored dominates the evaluation of playing talent. In addition, evidence also suggests that decision makers have trouble separating the player from the college team that employs the player.

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Insolvencies in Professional Football: A German Sonderweg?
Authors: Stefan Szymanski and Daniel Weimar
Abstract:There is a common perception that the German football system is financially more stable than other European football league systems. However, we show that the German football pyramid is no more immune to the problem of insolvency than other European football league pyramids. We provide evidence to show that insolvency occurs in German football at a frequency comparable to the English and French leagues. We also show that the pattern of insolvency is consistent with the experience of English and French football identified in Szymanski (2017) and Scelles et al. (2018). Using season-level data from 1994-1995 to 2016-2017 for the first four German divisions (N = 2,626), we show that random shocks, attributable to deviations of actual team performance from expected performance, are the crucial driver of insolvency risk. These shocks frequently result in relegation to a lower tier of competition, which generates lower match attendance and revenues.

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