Does Fading The Public Really Work When Placing Your NFL Bets?

Doug Upstone

Thursday, July 21, 2016 8:40 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 21, 2016 8:40 PM UTC

This topic has come up a great deal over the years, does betting against the public really work? The short answer is -Yes - when it comes to betting NFL football, but it is not a broad-based solution.

There are any number of websites and sportsbooks that show you the percentage of number of bets placed on a particular game for side, total and money lines. This can show you the number of wagers based on percents and how if at all how influential the money actually is.

For example, if the Dallas Cowboys have 83 percent of the best placed on them against say Minnesota playing at home and the opening line of Dallas -4 is still the same, oddsmakers realize this is all public money as smaller wagers and are not compelled to adjust the line despite what would appear to be one-sided action.

Here are the best ways to Fade The Public when making NFL picks:


Bet Against Larger Favorites in Division or Conference Matchups
It is common knowledge most bettors prefer favorites, they are comfortable to wager on and for most it is easy to make a case for them. Of course, sportsbooks like GTBets are well-schooled into the minds of the normal sports bettor and set numbers based on those factors. What to look for here are underdogs of a touchdown or more playing a division/conference foe and having 20 or less percent public betting support.

It starts with no respect for the underdog, who in this case either has a great deal of knowledge about opponent (division) or working knowledge (conference) and they have more motivation in contests like this, covering over 70 percent of the time the last decade. 


Bet Against Public Favorites with Clear Weaknesses
Coming into this season, the usual suspects for public to support are New England, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Green Bay and Seattle, with Denver on the radar.

The first four teams should have exceptional offenses and the latter two just as strong on defense. When this Super 6 faces inferior squads in the first quarter of the season (and later pending results), little doubt the betting masses will be all over this group versus the NFL odds.

However, consider the Patriots without Brady, the Steelers and Packers defenses, the Panthers with Super Bowl loser hangover (yes it is real) and Seahawks and Broncos offenses to cover spreads of six points or more. Watch closely and be selective and pounce on best opportunities when these teams are at 80+ percent of bets made on them.


Fade High/Low Totals the Public Loves
With increased scoring because of rules favoring offense, the wagering public's appetite is for points. Today's oddsmakers post totals almost exclusively in the 40's, with exceptions into the 50's and rarely anymore in the 30's.

The average bettors mentality on the extremes goes like this. If a total is say 51, they will look at quarterbacks and teams and think, "It will be at least that high!" and OVER bets follow. The same is true when the listed total is in the 30's and typical comment would be "The defenses are strong, but this game to finish with this low of score, no way!"

This is where the sharper football bettor can exploit the public by playing UNDER's if they find either scenario backed by 80 percent or more of wagers placed.

Betting against the public can work, you just have know the right times to go against them.

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