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Efficiency of online football betting markets

Giovanni Angelini () and Luca De Angelis ()

International Journal of Forecasting, 2019, vol. 35, issue 2, 712-721

Abstract: This paper evaluates the efficiency of online betting markets for European (association) football leagues. The existing literature shows mixed empirical evidence regarding the degree to which betting markets are efficient. We propose a forecast-based approach for formally testing the efficiency of online betting markets. By considering the odds proposed by 41 bookmakers on 11 European major leagues over the last 11 years, we find evidence of differing degrees of efficiency among markets. We show that, if the best odds are selected across bookmakers, eight markets are efficient while three show inefficiencies that imply profit opportunities for bettors. In particular, our approach allows the estimation of the odds thresholds that could be used to set profitable betting strategies both ex post and ex ante.

Keywords: Market efficiency; Sports forecasting; Probability forecasting; Favourite–longshot bias; Betting markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2018.07.008

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