Betting Against The Public

Date | AuthorAaron Ryan

Last Updated: 2018-09-05

Betting against the public is the epitome of intensity in the gambling world. What are the odds and who is picking who? Everyone believes they have all the answers but then they start second-guessing and choose the safe pick a.k.a the popular pick. Those who stick to their conviction believe they have the advantage because they bet against the public who most of the time are uninformed and misguided.

Real Facts vs Fake News

From the outside, it seems sensible to use this strategy fairly often because if the popular pick won every time then there would be no sportsbooks in business. Any sort of house or dealer tries their best to get some of the pie especially when odds are 50/50 and they do their job well. They can’t let the free-thinkers make them look foolish either. So usually they will survey the area and play a little bit on both sides

When the common choice is made clear, the bookies usually end up on top. If they’re the ones making all the money, why would you not align with them? Like they say: “the house always wins” and the worst thing that can happen is you end up like the rest of those who didn’t pick the correct side.

You can see this strategy firsthand in everyday life. Ask someone how they feel about two opponents, one of which is the obvious choice to win. They look at you in confusion as if the person/team they pick has never been beaten before. At the end of the day, most bettors enter the life because they were fans initially and have a stake in it already. It is everyone’s dream to watch their team win while getting rich and it’s seemingly easy money if you just choose the best team… or so they think.

With this in mind, the bookies can adjust accordingly and shift their lines to put themselves in a position to cash out as much as they can and the security of the common man not doing any research to realize this. The really obvious picks will adjust even more and raise the stakes higher for those enough to bet the opposite.

People Lie – Numbers Don’t

In all sports, home court advantage is seen as a decent metric for telling which team will win. This proves false especially in the NBA which is good news for contrarian bettors. Road teams have won 51% of the time since 2005. What’s even better is that when this is ignored by the public, the record improves. Teams in the middle of a long road trip do the best. During that time period so long as they receive less than 1/3 of the spread, win almost 60% of the time.

In the college world, March Madness upsets have made people literal millionaires overnight. In the regular season on the more heavily-bet games, going opposite of the public has proven a good choice as 56% of the time it’s the better choice. It’s impossible to adopt a system that is invincible due to the inevitable fact that a market correction will be made. However, going opposite of the public bet is a strategy that’s proven lucrative and has fared well so far.

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