Sports Investing Index: December 2011 Performance

Commentary on Performance – December 2011

The Sports Investing Index had some interesting divergences during December, earning +8.1%.  After several months of mediocre performance, the Sports Investing Index had a nice uptick, led by broad-based gains in every current major sport (NFL, NBA, College Basketball and College Football) except for the NHL.  The Index ended 2011 down -12.6% but has shown a steady trend upwards since inception more than eight years ago.  The S&P 500 and bonds ended 2011 slightly positive.  As with any any investment, there are good times as well as down times.  The information on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited.

Sports Investing Index performance notes:

  • During December, the Sports Investing Index earned +8.1% and was comprised of the NBA (which finally started its season), College Basketball, NHL, College Football and NFL sports investing action.
  • The Index was led upwards by the NBA, which earned about +5%, even in a partial month.  
  • College Basketball was also solidly positive, earning about +4%. 
  • After several months of gains, the NHL was down about -4% in December.
  • Both College Football and the NFL were slightly positive in December.
  • Sports Insights recently presented contrarian sports investing approaches and the Sports Investing Index to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

Sports Insights publishes a Sports Investing Index to reflect the performance of applying contrarian value approaches to the major US sports marketplaces.  The origins of the Sports Investing Index were published in our book, “Sports Investing: Profiting from Point Spreads.”

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Sports Investing Index Details

  • The Sports Investing Index is based on Sports Insights Square Plays. (Square Plays are the day’s most lopsided games in terms of the public betting trends)
  • Additional indexes and benchmarks may be developed over time.
  • Inception: 2003
  • Index performance will be published monthly.
  • Sports Covered:  NFL, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, MLB, NHL

Figure 1: Sports Investing Index (August 2003 – December 2011)









Recent Performance

Below is recent performance for the Sports Investing Index — along with other financial index benchmarks, including the S&P 500 and intermediate-term US government bonds.

Table 1: Index Performance (2011)

Index December November October Year-To-Date
Sports Investing Index 8.1 -0.3 -1.0 -12.6
S&P 500 1.0 -0.2 10.9 2.1
Govt Bonds -3.2 0.2 -0.6 4.7

Other Index Features

  • Investable – Sports Insights Members are able to invest in the index by following Sports Insights Square Plays.  Sports Insights generally publishes its Square Plays at least one hour before sporting events.
  • Each Square Play will represent a play made while risking 1% (each unit represents 1% at risk, per play). 
  • Represents a strategy of investing in the US sports marketplace using a contrarian value approach.
  • Inherent return — based on research, there appears to be an inherent return in the sports marketplace based on a systematic, contrarian approach to the sports marketplace.
  • The Index can be reconstructed by reviewing Sports Insights Square Plays.  Media can receive historical monthly performance by contacting us at Contact Us 

For Media Only: additional information, statistics, high-resolution screen shots, and interviews available –  please Contact Us.

We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself. We do not guarantee our data is error-free. However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.