Henry Steinfeldt
Sören Dallmeyer
and Christoph Breuer

This study investigates the impact of restricted crowds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the margin of victory of games in the NBA. Using 12,500 game-level observations from 11 NBA seasons from 2010/11 to 2020/21, the study first shows that during the COVID-19 season of 2020/21, games had a greater average margin of victory than any of the prior seasons. Regression results reveal that games played in front of restricted crowds were more likely to be won by a margin of 15, 20, or 25 points than games played in front of non-restricted crowds. The results indicate similar effects for games...Read more

Andrés Ramírez Hassan and Mateo Graciano Londoño

We present a complete betting strategy for football (soccer), and develop a free graphical user interface to apply it. We use betting odds to elicit the hyperparameters of our prior distributions that are mixed with historical records to estimate the probability of each outcome. Forecast probabilities are used to define the optimal bet size based on the Kelly Criterion and we establish a stopping rule for betting, based on atypical positive returns (referred to as “black swans”). We apply our method to the English Premier League, obtaining profits equal to 33.54%, 22.12%, and 49.01% for...Read more