People’s Preference to Bet on Home Teams Even When Losing is Likely

(1) Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut, (2) Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

One intriguing phenomenon is when people make bets that seem to go against their better judgement. This can be seen in sports betting. In this paper, we report a survey-driven study that investigates if people bet more on their home teams, both in scenarios where the team is leading and scenarios where the team is likely to lose. We asked participants to imagine betting with $10,000 on different scenarios. We compared how much they bet on their home teams versus how much they bet on neutral teams in the same circumstance. On average, participants bet slightly more on their home teams than a neutral team when their home team was leading. Participants, however, bet significantly more on their home teams than the neutral teams when their team was facing a large deficit. This study can help explain some more impulsive betting behaviors that might be due to information avoidance.

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bets judgement home teams survey social sciences mathematics
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