Betting Markets Efficiency: Evidence from European Football

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Bruno Deschamps


This paper uses data from up to 79 bookmakers in any one match to analyze the efficiency of European football betting markets during the 2005/2006 season. We first examine the empirical derivatives of the longshot bias, and find that the bias is much more pronounced for high-grade matches. This arguably supports the information-based explanation of the longshot bias. We also show that internet betting, by giving access to a large number of bookmakers, improves significantly bettors' potential return. Finally, we find that average odds do not provide the best estimate of the likelihood of a result. Indeed, the best available odds are informative as well, even after controlling for the average odds.

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