When the heavy favorites can’t win a single playoff game
How did the betting markets miss so badly on the Lakers and Nets?
BY JEFF FOGLE
Betting markets harness the wisdom of informed crowds and can often seem to possess near-magical predictive power. They are proven effective. But they are not perfect.
Perhaps the greatest example of this in any sport occurred this past NBA season. Thanks to high-profile superstar talent, the Nets and Lakers were clear favorites to square off in the NBA Finals. Neither won a single playoff game.
Favorites are often referred to as “chalk” in betting slang. (Before electronic screens became common, odds were written on big chalkboards). With more than half of NBA teams making the playoffs, how could TWO different SUPER-TEAMS choke so hard on their chalk?