Betting Against the Public

Gambler Saloon
October 9, 2018
betting against the public

Betting against the public is one of the most popular sports betting system: whichever team the public is loading up on, simply bet the other team. True “sharp” bettors aim to take advantage of what the consensus likes by wagering on the opposite side

Betting against public opinion, also known as “fading the public” in wagering parlance, is a simple betting strategy that provides positive returns. Placing your bet in opposition of the public perception is very interesting for several reasons, and becoming more aware of these opportunities will give you a lot of advantages in the long run!

How does Betting Against The Public works?

The idea behind this betting system is that the public can be easily brainwashed by the media and tends to be wrong more often than not. The most obvious reason this betting system works consistently revolves around the fact that if the general public was right more often than not, sportsbooks would go out of business!
In fact, sports bettors get into gambling in the first place because they are fans at heart who already have a rooting interest in the game and want to make money from their passion. 

How do Public Bettors Usually Bet?

The betting public loves favorites. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. For starters, it is human nature to want to root for the superior team. 
For example, if you pick a weak team with the points and they get crushed, you may feel silly for putting your faith in and money on the inferior team. On the other hand, if you bet on the favorite and lose, there are excuses like “they should have won, they blew it” to help you feel that it isn’t your fault.

When it comes to totals betting, bets on the OVER are far more popular than bets on the UNDER amongst the betting public. The reason for this is simple; OVER bets are way more fun to root for. The casual bettor who is relaxing on his couch or heading to the bar to watch the game with his friends doesn’t want to root for a boring, low-scoring game. He wants an exciting game with lots of scoring. A bet on the OVER allows him to root for that.

One of the main reasons that Las Vegas and online sportsbooks are extremely profitable is because the betting public very rarely has a clue what they are doing. Square bettors are the ones who keep the sportsbooks running, and it’s their lost money that helps the sportsbooks pay out sharp bettors who manage to beat the book. 

How do Sportsbooks and Sharp Bettors React to Odds Movements?

Square bettors make up the majority of the betting public, leaning heavily towards favorites and OVER bets. Sharp bettors are made up of professional bettors and others that like to go against the public.

In general, sportsbooks hope to get balanced betting action on each game for which they put a line up. If an equal amount of money is bet on both sides of a game, the sportsbook will be guaranteed a profit on the game.

Anyway, sharp bettors are experienced, high limit bettors who eagerly look for soft lines and are happy to pounce on bad numbers. If the sportsbooks post lines from the start that are intended to produce a perfect balance, they will likely feel the wrath of the sharps. A wrong line can create a scenario where sharp bettors have gotten a lot of money down on the line before it moves. 

How do sharp bettors study movements when betting against the public?

If you observe line movements for long enough, you should pick up on a common trend. While not all lines move in this way, many do. After a line is released, it first moves steadily against the favorite early in the day or week. It then eventually moves back in the other direction. 

Once the line levels out, sharps know that this is their time to start betting against the public. The betting public forced the sportsbook to move the line away from its real value.

The way a line moves is a great indication of where the public bet is, and catching a line at the right time is crucial for fading the public.

Bettors can use a tool like the NFL public betting chart from, you can see which side the public is wagering on and look for opportunities to take the other side. 
There is a lot of parity in the NFL and bookmakers do a really, really good job at setting point spreads. When the public is hammering the heavy favorite and most popular team, it can pay to go against the grain and fire a bet on the opposite side. Again, there’s a reason Las Vegas is standing.

Is Fading The Public A Profitable Strategy?

As a sports bettor (and as a human being), you should always be suspicious about anything that sounds too good to be true. If winning consistently were really this simple, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? 

In the NFL over the past eight seasons, games in which 75 percent of the public is on one side lost roughly 53-54 percent of the time, obviously meaning that fading them has resulted in more wins than losses.

Furthermore, over the past four seasons, underdog teams went on to cover the spread 63.8% of the time when receiving less than 40% of the public bet. Taking that one step further, underdogs of more than seven points covered the spread almost 55 percent of the time when the favorite was receiving 70-75 percent of the action. 

Even with the above-mentioned trends, it is worth noting that no betting trends ever stay constant. Sportsbooks understand the “Betting Against The Public” logic and shade their lines accordingly. They aren’t just moving lines based on volume of bets.  So it is often the sportsbook that comes out winning!

Plus, sportsbook are built to recognize patterns of opposite side wagering. Any customer who wagers like a sharp will soon get treated like a sharp, and his action will be limited by decreasing the max stake limit.

Author Gambler Saloon