The Wisdom of Bookies? Sentiment Analysis Versus. the NFL Point Spread


  • Yancheng Hong Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
  • Steven Skiena Stony Brook University


Sentiment analysis, Social Media and Mainstream Media, Weblogs


The American Football betting market provides a particularly attractive domain to study the nexus between public sentiment and the wisdom of crowds. In this paper, we present the first substantial study of the relationship between the NFL betting line and public opinion expressed in blogs and microblogs (Twitter). We perform a large-scale study of four distinct text streams: LiveJournal blogs, RSS blog feeds captured by Spinn3r, Twitter, and traditional news media. Our results show interesting disparities between the first and second halves of each season. We present evidence showing usefulness of sentiment on NFL betting. We demonstrate that a strategy betting roughly 30 games per year identified winner roughly 60% of the time from 2006 to 2009, well beyond what is needed to overcome the bookie's typical commission(53%).




How to Cite

Hong, Y., & Skiena, S. (2010). The Wisdom of Bookies? Sentiment Analysis Versus. the NFL Point Spread. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 4(1), 251-254. Retrieved from