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An Analysis of Investing in a Football Betting Market
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This research provides insight from the 2014 National Football League (NFL) season, into the key predictors of wins and losses in NFL football games that may be used in betting situations. The study uses regression analysis to determine which of 30 different counting statistics have the greatest predictive value on wins and losses. Once the statistics were determined, the goal was to assess their usefulness in betting situations as useful tools to both enhance and hedge betting positions. This idea borrows from the theories and ideas of portfolio management and is an attempt to establish an alternative investment option to the stock market. This study finds that singular statistics such as rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, and passing yards and passing touchdowns, are useful in predicting game outcomes. Additionally, statistical differentials such as the difference between rushing yardages of the two teams within a given game are significant in game outcome prediction. These statistics effectively predict the outcome of a game at a greater rate than random chance, and thus have applications within the football betting market, as well as in a portfolio betting strategy. These findings are useful for potential bettors and betting market makers.