Betting against the public is one of the most simple and popular methods used by Sports Insights’ members. The logic is simple: always bet against the public. Whichever team the public is loading up on, simply bet the other side.
We have gone to tremendous lengths to conclusively prove that the NBA Betting Against the Public strategy will produce a positive return on investment (ROI). Every new season we update the betting percentage data and tally our earnings. We also reveal the optimal betting percentage threshold for betting against the public.
Using our Bet Labs software, we analyzed over 13,000 NBA games played since the start of 2005 season to pinpoint the optimal level for betting against the public.
We have continually explained how home field advantage is vastly overrated in every sport with the exception of baseball. Although NBA home teams have gone 8,247-5,502 (60.0%) straight up, those same teams have a losing record against the spread.
Knowing that home teams and favorites have been historically overvalued, our first step in creating a new contrarian betting system was to focus on road underdogs. These teams have produced a 4,813-4,662 ATS record (50.8%) including an 893-821 ATS record (52.1%) over the past two seasons. Although this isn’t profitable enough to overcome the standard -110 juice charged by sportsbooks, it did show an edge which could be expanded upon.
Once we had narrowed our search to spotlight road underdogs, we decided to determine the ideal range for public betting at our seven contributing sportsbooks.
|Spread Percentage||Record (ATS)||Winning Percentage||Units Won||ROI|
Our research showed a direct correlation between lower levels of public support and a higher winning percentage/return on investment. It also revealed that the sweet spot for contrarian road dogs receiving no more than 30% of spread bets. Over the past decade, teams fitting these criteria have gone 445-375 ATS (54.3%) with 49.07 units won and a 6.0% ROI.
This alone would make for a profitable betting system; however, we have noticed a number of additional historic trends which can be used to improve our betting system.
One trend that we have found across all major sports is that underdogs have performed exceptionally well in conference and divisional games. The familiarity between teams levels the playing field, and that disproportionately benefits the teams getting points. When we add this simple filter, our units won barely increased but the return on investment nearly doubles.
This one little filter increased our winning percentage from 54.3% to 56.8% while reducing our sample size by nearly 40%. Despite this reduction, we still have a very representative sample size with over 500 past system picks.
While this system would fit all the criteria that we look for in a winning betting system, there was one more filter we wanted to examine. Contrarian strategy means constantly zigging when others zag, and perhaps the most overused and clichéd theory involves the supposed struggles of teams in the midst of a prolonged road trip.
If visiting teams have been proven to be undervalued, it stands to reason that their value would continue to increase if they have been on the road for their past several games. This hypothesis was immediately validated when we found that teams who have played at least two consecutive road games have won 64.2% of their games against the spread.
By focusing on teams in the midst of a road trip, we were able to once again double our return on investment although our overall sample size shrunk dramatically. Based on the number of past results, bettors can expect roughly 20 system matches this season.
Other historical trends for bettors to consider this season include:
- Teams coming off a loss have gone 6,701-6,582 ATS (50.4%). If they lost as a favorite, that record improves to 2,112-2,000 ATS (51.4%).
- Underdogs have performed exceptionally well in low-scoring games. Overall ‘dogs have gone 6,767-6,739 ATS (50.1%) but that record improves to 179-141 ATS (55.9%) when the total closes at 178 or less.
- Road teams have gone 2,127-2,062 ATS (50.8%) on the second night of back-to-backs. That record improves to 1,108-1,039 ATS (51.6%) when they lost the first end of their back-to-back.
- Double-digit underdogs have gone 1,053-970 ATS (52.1%), and that record improves to 851-761 ATS (52.8%) if their opponent made the playoffs in the previous season.
- Reverse line movement continues to be an excellent sharp money indicator. Teams receiving less than 40% of spread bets that see the line get at least 1.5-point worse (i.e. from +4 to +2) have gone 307-265 ATS (53.7%).
We offer a 6-day Bet Labs trial for anybody interested in creating their own winning NBA betting systems, Current Bet Labs customers can also copy this system from the Think Tank to receive all current game matches via e-mail or text message.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.
4/20/16 Update: This system has gone 14-8 ATS (+5.48 units won) during the 2015-16 NBA season.
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