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Gambler's Fallacy & Data Literacy Series Next Step

On Monday I posted the series on the statistical phenomenon called the "Gambler's Fallacy". If you haven't seen the post on Instagram yet, I recommend going and checking it out to learn more about it.

In essence, the Gambler's Fallacy is an erroneous belief that events that have happened frequently in the past are less likely/more likely to happen in the future. Typically, this is demonstrated by flipping a coin or rolling a die, but it also has strong application in sports betting too. Considering odds at -110 have implied probability of 50%, these type of bets make sports betting a coin toss in some way.

Basically, there is never a reason to look at a teams performance on spread betting/over under score and believing those to be truthful, reliable, or even legitimate statistics. No matter what has already happened in the past has absolutely no bearing on a 50/50 outcome that will happen next.

I saw a few comments that people were saying "yeah but with sports its different" and things of that nature and, while there is some logic to that, the concept of the gambler's fallacy has more to do with betting itself. For example, yes sometimes teams go on hot streaks or they are down and really want to win. These emotions do have an impact on the game. However, spreads and totals are designed to induce a 50/50 split among bettors perception of the outcome to happen. When the split is 50/50 in this nature, the odds of something happening follows the coin flip example.

Additionally, I published the most recent video in the Data Literacy Series - Installing Pandas and Reading in Data. Grab your laptop and check it out below!

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