Does a “comeback” create momentum in overtime? Analysis of NBA tied games

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18 Scopus citations


Despite the prevalence of the momentum concept, the literature is still divided on whether psychological momentum actually exists. We aimed to detect psychological momentum in the specific setting of overtime in basketball games. We collected data from 11 NBA seasons and identified all games that were tied after the end of regulation time. Comeback during basketball games is perceived to be a catalyst for momentum. In contradiction to such common beliefs, we found that teams that came from behind to tie the game did not have higher chances to win in overtime. Interestingly, however, home advantage and the number of season wins of the teams did affect the chances to win in the 5-minute overtime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102126
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


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  • Basketball
  • Momentum
  • Performance
  • Sports
  • Success breeds success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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