Whadda the odds on this?
20 years, I lived with the certainty that I was the
only U of C person whose professional interest was sports betting.
The article on Judith Chevalier and her interest in sports betting
("Investigations," October/99) was a reminder that you can never
assume you are alone.
are a few observations for Professor Chevalier. Point spreads
do not move during the week simply because football teams are
on a "hot streak." Numerous factors move point spreads, among
them injuries, so-called inside information, and followers of
can assure you there is no self-evident or universally agreed-upon
definition of a "hot streak." If there were and if the definition
were sound, there would be no Las Vegas sports books. The players
would have most of the winners and put sports books out of business.
the article does not distinguish between college and pro football.
They are different, and line moves for each have their own rationale.
are right about over-reactions, because this is a market of a
few big-line movers and many followers--but movers or followers
have to do a little bit better than picking the winning side 53
percent of the time to make the effort financially successful.
wait for the day when I can write you again and tell you that
the U of C football team "made the board" in Las Vegas.
P. Czuchra, AM'67, PhD'73