BERKELEY, Calif., March 23 (UPI) -- Violence against intimate partners increases where the local National Football League team loses a game it was expected to win, U.S. researchers suggest.
David Card of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gordon Dahl of the University of California, San Diego, compared the pre-game betting odds to the game results of 900 regular-season games for six NFL teams from 1995 to 2006.
The researchers then matched the game results with police data involving calls to the police reporting men's assaults on their wives or intimate partners in 763 jurisdictions using the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
The study, published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, found calls to the police reporting men's assaults on intimate partners rose 10 percent where the NFL team lost a game it was favored to win.
"Our results suggest that the overall rise in violence between the intimate partners we studied is driven entirely by losses in games that matter most to fans," Card said in a statement.
Violence also spiked when the local team was still in playoff contention, had a frustrating performance, or the loss was to a rival team when the local team was still in playoff contention, the study found.
However, violence did not rise when the local team was no longer in playoff contention, the loss was not to a rival or the game did not suffer penalties and sacks, the researchers said.