1. #1
    Filmoz
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    Be careful fading the public

    Fading the public is one of the oldest and most used methods for picking games, and it can sometimes be profitable, but don't let it be an excuse to avoid actually handicapping the games and making an informed play. The logic is this: sportsbooks make money, right? And sportsbooks arguably have the best resources at their disposal to handicap games, i.e. data, models, etc. right? So if the books are setting a line that draws a disproportionate amount of public money on one side, then it stands to reason that they know something the public doesn't, and are going to bury the public for a nice pay day, right? Sometimes yes, but often no.

    Think of it this way. Whenever the books set a line that draws a lopsided amount of money, the books are making a bet on that game. Just like you or me. But unlike you or me, the books don't have to hit 53+ percent to be profitable. Depending on the breakdown, they only need to hit a significantly lower percentage of the time.

    For example, let's say the books set a line that draws 75% of public money on Team A, and 25% on Team B, at the standard price of -110. So:

    Team A -7.5 -110 75%
    Team B +7.5 -110 25%

    And for simplicity's sake, lets say there is $100 total "to-win" dollars wagered, $75 on Team A and $25 on Team B.

    If the public side wins, then the book pays out $75 to the winners, but collects $27.50 from the losers, who laid $27.50 to win $25 at the -110 price. So if the public side wins, the book loses $47.50.

    If the non-public side wins, then the books pay out $25 to the winners, and collect $82.50 from the losers, who laid $82.50 to win $75 at the -110 price. So if the non-public side wins, the book profits $57.50.

    So, the book stands to either make $57.50, or lose $47.50. In such a case, the book only needs the non-public play to hit more than 45.2% of the time to make a profit.

    Moral of the story is that, although we can all recall times when public side gets buried and it seems clear in hindsight that the books knew something, a lot of this is confirmation bias. In reality all the books are doing is making a bet, and it's a bet that can hit less than 50% and still make money. You, on the other hand, cannot make money hitting less than 50%, and so "tailing" the book by fading the public can be a dangerous proposition.

  2. #2
    Domestic
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    Well written, agree with everything you said.

  3. #3
    Filmoz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domestic View Post
    Well written, agree with everything you said.
    Thanks, and this is not to say that public percentages can't be an important part of your analysis, especially where the percentage is particularly lopsided or where it is coupled with strange line movement. But there are always a lot of games that fall around 66/33 or 75/25 split, and I think people often get frustrated, especially if they have been losing recently, and decide "phuck it I'm just going to fade the public" as a lazy shortcut to picking games. Don't do that. If you handicap the game first and come out with a clear side, and then you see that the public is heavily on the other side as well, then that is a different story. But if you simply auto-fade the public then you are just throwing darts.

  4. #4
    lakerboy
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    Wrong. Its not the percent but amount of money wagered. Books want pubkic sides in lots of cases cause there is more or equal money on the non public side.
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  5. #5
    jjgold
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    Everything is profitable at one time or another
    Nothing is profitable on a consistent basis to make you a winner

  6. #6
    Filmoz
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakerboy View Post
    Wrong. Its not the percent but amount of money wagered. Books want pubkic sides in lots of cases cause there is more or equal money on the non public side.
    I do agree with this, and I will concede that my example uses the assumption that the public percentages are roughly equal to the amount of money. Sometimes that's the case, and sometimes it isn't, and it's hard to know.

  7. #7
    Lift2beFit
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakerboy View Post
    Wrong. Its not the percent but amount of money wagered. Books want pubkic sides in lots of cases cause there is more or equal money on the non public side.
    He stated this with 75% being 75 bones out of 100...

  8. #8
    jcygts6
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    Nice writeup makes me doublethink about being on the sharp side every time. Sometimes u just need to be square

  9. #9
    trapezoid
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    great thread op, something to chew on

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