A Method for Determining Widespread Point Shaving Applied to College Basketball
33 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2016 Last revised: 22 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 21, 2017
This paper extends and corrects previous methodology used to investigate the potential for point shaving in NCAA men’s college basketball. We incorporate information from additional betting markets, including second-half betting markets, which allows us to dramatically reduce the unexpected number of heavy favorites that win but do not cover the points spread by the end of the game. After considering the various incentives facing heavy favorites and the status of the game at half time, a dramatically smaller proportion of games are actually conducive to point shaving. This, in turn, suggests that the practice is unlikely to be widespread in men’s college basketball. Our methodology can be applied to other sports in which heavy favorites are common.
Keywords: corruption, sports, cheating, college sports
JEL Classification: L83, Z22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation