Perhaps one of the purest concepts in sports betting is betting against the public. The reasoning behind this is simple:
But they’re not broke. In fact, they make a lot of money. And it likely isn’t from just scraping up vigs.
The public represents the majority of the bettors, and the majority of the bettors usually bet their favorite or the more popular teams. They generally don’t factor in many of the subtleties that can be huge in professional matches.
This is why you will sometimes see a game where the best team in the league is playing a mediocre team, and the line is lower than it seems it should be. The public will usually bet the better team impulsively, even sometimes knowing that it is a weird line. The fact however is that the line is most likely very accurate, and low for a reason.
The public does win however, just enough to keep them coming back for more. Vegas is a pool of sharks, and even sharks know that the fish have to eat sometimes too.
Tips On How & When To Fade The Public
The 65% rule:
In general you want to fade the public when they are 65% or more on one side. So bet the 35% team.
Fade the away teams:
In sports such as the NFL, fade the public by betting home teams that are playing a more talented or popular away team. In certain sports home field plays a much larger role than in others, and the NFL is certainly one of them.
Taking advantage of public line moves:
When the public jumps all over a line, it can often move the line to your advantage. When you see a big public favorite, wait for the line to move and then bet against them.
A prime example of this happens frequently in the NFL: A top team is favored by less than 7 points and playing away, and the public bets heavy on the better team (away team) moving the line up from 6 points to 7 or even higher. This is a prime spot to fade the public and now take your team with an even better point spread at 7.
The Patriots play away at the Jets.
The line opens at the Patriots -6.
The public thinking that the patriots will likely win by a touchdown at least hop on the Patriots bandwagon.
This moves the line to the Jets +7.5.
You now bet the Jets, because it was the right play to begin with, and you now have a huge 1.5 point extra edge for your bet.
Long run strategy:
Remember that this is a long run strategy, just like everything in betting. Your wins and losses will be streaky.