Why it Makes Sense to Go Against the Public
One of the most effective ways to beat the NFL point spread, particularly after the first 2 weeks of the regular season, is to go against the public. This is because the NFL is the sport that is not only the most heavily bet on but also the sport that the public does the worst at. In fact, the public wins less than 50% of the time, and hence they'd do better if they flipped a coin. Therefore, I naturally incorporate going against the public into my system. Specifically, I use my inside contacts to find out where the public is on games, and then usually go the other way (especially if the public is lopsided on a game, i.e. 70/30 or more). Since I am a contrarian by nature, going against the public comes naturally to me. I by no means do this blindly, as it accounts for about 30% of my system. But very rarely do I go with the public on a game that the public is lopsided on, and when I do, its almost always a small play. On the other hand, it is likely, but by no means certain, that I will go against the public in games, especially games that the public is lopsided on.
And contrary to popular belief, one can't look at line moves to determine where the public is on a game. This is true for several reasons. First, where the public is (i.e. the number of people betting on each side in a game) and where the money is is not always one and the same. Often times the public will be on one side in a game and the money will be even or on the other side. Second, line moves are often determined by which side the wise guys play, not which side the general public plays. Third, often times the linesmakers adjust the line to take into account injuries that they did not know about earlier in the week. And fourth, the linesmakers often move the lines without concomitant action as a means of fooling the public, i.e. to get them to bet on the wrong side and/or to get more action on a game.
One may ask, why is it that the public does so poorly wagering on the NFL? Well the fact that the NFL is the sport that is the most heavily bet on is precisely one of the main reasons why the public does worse on it than it does on all other sports. Serious betters, including wiseguys, have a tendency to bet most or all sports, as they are doing it to make money (they view their sports betting as a business). This serves in contrast with more casual betters, who wager primarily because they have an interest in the sport that they are betting on and/or are seeking a "rush". Since the NFL is not only the most followed sport but also the sport that people are most likely to get a "rush" off of betting, it naturally attracts a lot of casual betters. This, in turn, causes the skill level of the median better to be lower in the NFL than it is in other sports.
Additionally, since the NFL is the sport that is the most heavily bet on, that gives the bookmakers an incentive to concentrate a disproportionate amount of their attention and time on setting sharp NFL lines. Such lines are designed to maximize their profit margins for the NFL, and hence their overall profitability.
This brings me to my next point. The lines are set in such a way as to either get even action on a game or to get the majority of people on the wrong side. How do bookmakers do this, you ask? Well first off they decide what the true line, or what I like to call the "value line" is. Say, for example, that the Packers are playing the Bears at home, and the bookmakers determine that the true value line is Green Bay -6.5. This means that the bookmakers believe that if the Packers played the Bears 1,000 times in Green Bay (hypothetically, of course, with each team having the same players injured in each game as they do now), Green Bay would win by 7 points or more 500 times, with either the Packers winning by 6 points or less or the Bears winning straight-up the other 500 times.
However, contrary to popular belief, bookmakers don't stop there. They then gauge what the range is of what I like to call the "public perception line" (which reflects the opinion of the median better), i.e. the line that will evenly divide the public 50/50. Say, for example, that in the Packers/Bears scenario bookmakers determine that the public perception line is somewhere between Green Bay -8 and Green Bay -10. They'll naturally set the actual pointspread at Green Bay -8, because Green Bay -8 is the number within the public perception line range that is closest to the "value line". Thus, if it turns out that the public perception line really is Green Bay -8, the bookmakers will get even action on the game and they will be guaranteed to make the vigorish as a profit. To take things to the other extreme, if the public perception line is really Green Bay -10, then bookmakers will get a disproportionate amount of action on the Packers. Since the actual pointspread (Green Bay -8) is greater than the value line (Green Bay -6.5), the Bears would be the "right" side (or the smart side) to bet. Hence, the majority of the public is on the wrong side in the game. And this example illustrates the main reason why when the public is lopsided on a game, they are usually on the wrong side. Go to (www.PickNFLWinners.com) TODAY TO START CASHING IN!
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