Thursday trends are trying to cover

May 7, 2009 in Sports,Trends

I recently stumbled on a strange cyclical pattern for the word "spread", as you can see here:

Spread Trend

Why would there be such a pattern?  I believe the reason has to do with the football season, which begins in September and ends in early February.  Football is the most bet on sport, and the most common bet in football is against the spread. Therefore, the football season and spread bets are the fundamental drivers of this cyclical pattern. what do you think?

(By the way, that atypical spike at the far right of the "spread" graph is due to people searching for information on the spread of swine flu.)

Because the search volume for "football" is so much larger than that for "spread", it is difficult to graph them both using Google Trends (even when limiting results to the United States). Instead, I have exported and rescaled the data to create my own version of the graph:

Spread vs FootballFinally, using the newfound Google Insights tool, I can compare the relative growth of US-based searches for "football" and "spread", only within pages Google classifies as gaming-related. The blue is spread and the red is football:

Relative Growth of "Football" and "Spread"

Convinced yet?

-R & J

Click here for a live view of this trend; and here for a live view on Insights.

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