Sports Betting Strategy

Why It Makes Sense To Bet Against The Public

One of the most popular sports betting strategies is centered on the idea of betting against the most popular options on the board. The system is based on what is referred to as the “contrarian view”, which is essentially focusing on where the majority of the public betting is and going against the grain. The concept is based on the fact that the majority of casual sports betting fans seem to get caught up in the hype that the media spins and that results in them buying in to overhyped teams that get more support than they probably deserve. Here is a look at why it makes sense to bet against the public.

Perception vs. Reality

It is very easy to understand how the public can be so easily swayed in to jumping on any given side in a sports betting wager. For example, if somebody watching a respectable NFL preview show on Sunday morning heads a full panel of experts agree that they think a favorite in a marquee event will win, then there is a good chance a strong majority of the pubic that is watching will trust their opinion and make the same wager. If the Dallas Cowboys are listed at -1.5 and that side of the wager gets a ton of attention, the number could easily jump to Dallas -3. Suddenly the point spread looks a lot different than it did when the experts said they would take the Cowboys, but the public might not even realize how big of a difference it is between taking Dallas at -1.5 and Dallas at -3. The fact that the majority of the public is on one side doesn’t mean that you should be on that side as well. In fact, the numbers prove that you would be better off going against the public in these situations.

Breaking Down The Numbers

In a blind study of the NFL over eight seasons, the numbers showed that games in which 75% of the public or more is on one side lost roughly 54% of the time. This is truly an incredible number when you consider how many people though the team would win. The fact that the favorites lost as much as they did in situations where 15 of every 20 people picked that side is truly remarkable and is the strongest evidence in support of why it makes sense to fade the public. The numbers also showed that in college football, road teams receiving the highest percentage of the public’s betting action also made excellent fades. According to the numbers, if you bet against road teams that received 77-80% of wagers over that same time period, you would have won about 56% of the time.


Whether it’s the NFL, college football or any other sport it is very clear that it makes sense to consistently fade the public and bet against the grain. The numbers don’t lie and that is very clear when it comes to the statistics recorded over the years when it comes to the NFL and college football in particular. A smart sports betting handicapper will take these numbers in to account and do the necessary research to figure out how to best exploit these opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take a contrarian approach when it comes to betting on sports, because the numbers indicate that could be an excellent way to put yourself on the winning side of the equation on a consistent basis.

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