Gambling data as a proxy for excitement in sports

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

After he noticed gambling odds fluctuate wildly at the end of a football game, Todd Schneider realized a correlation between betting odds and game excitement. The Gambletron 2000 is a fun look into the proxy.

It occurred to me then that variance in gambling market odds is a good way to quantify how exciting a game is. Modern betting exchanges allow gamblers to bet throughout the course of a game. The odds, which can also be expressed as win probabilities, continually readjust as the game progresses. My claim is that the more the odds fluctuate during a game, the more exciting that game is.

Games and odds update automatically up to the minute, with a highlight on the “hotness” of games, or the amount of variation over time. A blowout game shows a line that heads towards 100 percent probability that a team will win, whereas a comeback game shows a dip towards 100 percent for one team and then a trend back towards 100 percent for the opposition.

I had the odds for the Golden State-Portland game open for part of the time tonight, and it was kind of a fun accompaniment.

Mobile alert app for sports, anyone? Current offerings are abysmal.

Favorites

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.