Optimal Levels for Betting Against the Public

  • The public loves to root for the best teams and high scoring and, as a result, consistently bets on favorites. With the media and popularity of fantasy sports providing consistent hype for winning teams and explosive offensive performances, sportsbooks react by shading their lines, forcing public bettors to lay extra points or bigger odds when betting on favorites.

For value-minded sports bettors, using betting trends data and line-movement to identify games that are shaded solely due to public money, or the expectation of public money, will help you get the “best of the number” and increase your overall winning percentage.

Our analysis shows that continually getting an extra .5 point to 1 point will increase your winning percentage by 1%-3%.

Before each season, Sports Insights publishes a Betting Against the Public article that breaks down the most profitable levels (in terms of betting trends levels, home/visitor, etc.) for each of the major sports.

The table below shows the optimum levels for Betting Against the Public for College Football, NFL, NBA, College Basketball, MLB and NHL.

Sport Seasons Betting % Level Home/Visitor Win %/Units Won
College Football 2003-10 < 20% Home 54.5%
NFL 2003-10 < 20% Home 54.5%
NBA 2003-10 < 25% Visitor 53.0%
College Basketball 2003-10 < 25% Both (> 6 pt. dogs) 53.9%
MLB 2003-10 < 30% Home +69.0 units
NHL 2005-10 < 35% Both +118.8 units

* All betting percentages represent Sports Insights’ closing Betting Trends data.
** Pinnacle’s closing lines were used to determine units won/lost and winning percentages.