Public Bettors on the Tebow Bandwagon

  • In the 13th Week He Rose Again: Public Bettors Back on Tebow

After losing four of their first five games with Kyle Orton under center, John Fox and John Elway caved to the mounting pressure of Denver-area billboards and handed the reigns over to Tim Tebow.

Since the change was made, the Broncos have gone 6-1 and are tied with the Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West standings.

More importantly for bettors, Denver posted a 6-1 record against the spread (ATS) over that span.

Week Opponent Broncos Spread % Closing Broncos Line ATS Result
7 Dolphins 76% -1 Win
8 Lions 22% +3 Loss
9 Raiders 31% +7 Win
10 Chiefs 37% +3 Win
11 Jets 27% +6 Win
12 Chargers 39% +4.5 Win
13 Vikings 69% +1 Win

* Spread Betting Percentages represent Sports Insights’ NFL Betting Trends Data.
** Pinnacles’ Lines were used to determine Closing Lines and ATS Results.

In October, I highlighted how Tebow-Mania had driven public bettors to take the Broncos in their Week 7 game against the Dolphins.

Ironically, even though Denver won that game and covered the spread, bettors immediately bailed and faded the Broncos.

While most teams the public loves to bet (New England, Green Bay and New Orleans) have traditional, pocket-passing quarterbacks who light up fantasy football scoreboards, Tebow’s scrambling style and lack of throwing accuracy didn’t pass the eye test for the majority of bettors.

It wasn’t until last week’s game against Minnesota that the public decided Tebow was worthy of their action, when almost seven in 10 spread wagers fell on Denver.

The idea behind my initial Tim Tebow article was that the betting public would jump all over the Broncos, creating contrarian value for those taking the other side.

However, after the win against Miami in Week 7, the public money did the exact opposite.

In Week 13, the public jumped back aboard the Tebow Train and, after yet another victory, has returned to the well as 75% of spread bets are taking Denver for their Week 14 matchup with Chicago.

It took five weeks longer than I originally expected, but Tebow-Mania is officially in effect and, whenever public money consistently bets one way, we’ll be looking to “sell their high” and find contrarian value on the other side.