Momentum and betting market perceptions of momentum in college football

Steven Salaga, Katie M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Past research has demonstrated that bettors believe positive momentum carries over from contest to contest. This article examines whether there is any empirical support for this belief by testing for the presence of across-contest momentum effects in college football. We characterize momentum in multiple fashions and after controlling for between-team heterogeneity find no evidence that systematic relationships exist between the degree of momentum a team enters a contest with and the outcome of that contest. From a wagering market perspective, this indicates that there is no statistically significant advantage to betting on teams perceived to possess positive momentum. Our results also suggest that the combination of the opening betting line set by odds makers and the subsequent market movement of that line does not systematically overreact to teams on streaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1388
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 11 2018


  • Momentum
  • NCAA
  • betting markets
  • college football


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