Oddsmakers capitalize on fans’ emotions to turn a profit no matter which way the game goes, new research shows.
At the start of each term in Brian Soebbing’s class on financial management in sports, he asks students how many would always bet on the hometown Edmonton Oilers, whether they’re favoured to win or not.
“Most raise their hand,” said the University of Alberta sports management expert. “Then I ask the Oilers fans how many would almost always bet on the other team. There are a few, because we also see there's a lot of other people who would hedge their bets and always bet against the Oilers. Because at the end of the day, they're going to walk away happy—either their team won the game, or they're going to win their bet.
“Bookmakers know this, are really good at their jobs and they take advantage of it,” he explained.
And recent research he conducted looking at how bookmakers capitalize on this sentiment bias backs it up.