One for the tragics

In case you thought cricket betting markets were merely a bit of fun, a pair of Australian researchers from the University of Newcastle are here to tell you that they’re also highly efficient.

An Examination of In-play Sports Betting Using One-Day Cricket Matches 
Stephen Andrew Easton and Katherine Uylangco
There is a wide literature on sports betting markets, a literature that examines the informational efficiency of these markets and uses them as laboratories to test for possible impacts of psychological factors on financial markets. The innovation of this study is the examination of price behaviour in an in-play betting market – namely that for one-day cricket. Cricket provides an ideal construct in which to examine in-play market behaviour, as it is a sport where outcomes can be calibrated as good news or bad news on a play-by-play basis. The results from an examination of over 8000 balls corresponding to over 8000 “news events” shows that the in-play betting market is one in which news is impounded rapidly into betting odds. There is also evidence that odds have a level of predictive ability with respect to outcomes from balls before they are bowled. Further, there is evidence of a drift in odds subsequent to the outcome of balls being known. 

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