Fading the Public in the NFL

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One of the more popular betting strategies out there is to bet against the public or some call it the contrarian method.

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This is more of a common sense strategy that works more often than it doesn't, since the general public is usually on the favorite.

When setting the lines, Vegas sportsbooks want to exploit the weaknesses of logic in the public and come out ahead. The public wants to see a lot of points so that's why they bet overs and favorites. The theory is to usually take the underdog and the under, because you’re betting with the books and against the public.

The public does affect lines and totals in games. Most casual gamblers get their information from TV and sports radio, who are in the business of putting over the big media markets (Boston, New York, Dallas, etc). Information coming from media outlets is never perfect and if it was, the public would always be right.

When a team gets really popular and draws national attention, there could be thousands of people who are investing in that team with their hearts and not their heads. These are known as “public” teams and they are usually overavlued. Those overvalued teams are the squads you should bet against.

Why should you fade the public? In most NFL seasons, the public will end up losing money, so if you’re on the opposite side of the public you can often make money.

Fading the public doesn't always work. It's just another way of being smarter than the general public.

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