Betting Against Public Continues to be Winning NFL Play

FootballSportsBettingNFL Week 11 is nearing completion and it is apparent that the public continues to pick the wrong sides.  While the win/loss record of the betting public improved this week, the money lines made the difference, according to stats provided by’s Sportsbook Spy.

The three point spread wagers that saw 70 percent or more of the tickets written on Sunday were Seattle -13 (73%), Detroit -3 (72%) and San Diego -1 (72%).  Seattle was the only one of these three teams that covered the spread.

There were six totals that saw 70 percent or more tickets written.  All major public action on totals was on the over.  These games involved Minnesota/Seattle (85%), San Francisco/New Orleans (81%), Detroit/Pittsburgh (81%), Green Bay/New York (80%), Washington/Philadelphia (80%) and Oakland/Houston (74%).  These bets posted a 3-3 record, only losing the vig.

The difference this week lies in the money line wagers.  This is where bettors exchange point spreads for an outright winner by laying money on favorites or taking plus money on underdogs. 

Seattle saw the most action at -720 (88%).  Other money lines with substantial action included Houston -475 (82%), Cincinnati -170 (77%), New York Jets -140 (76%), Arizona -390 (75%), New Orleans -180 (71%) and Detroit -170 (70%).  While these picks went 4-3, the Oakland upset over Houston made betting money lines against the public a 2.45 unit win if equal money was wagered against public tickets, which happened to be on every favorite this week.

Fading Public Continues to be +EV Play

It does not matter what the NFL wager is, fading the public continues to be the best NFL bet.  The percentage of tickets reported by’s Sportsbook Spy only accounts for the number of tickets written on a side.  It does not account for the total amount of money wagered.  Large bets placed by sharp bettors may move the odds closer to the public’s side.

One way to fade the public is to watch line movements.  If the action is unbalanced, while the line fails to move or even becomes more favorable to the public’s side, that may mean the sharps are betting large amounts against the public.  It may also mean that the handicappers feel square bettors are wrong and are not concerned about taking lopsided action.  This often gives sharp bettors an edge. 

The public bets are not always losers, but during the 2013 NFL season, it seems clear that fading the public is a great play.

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