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  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
  • Last Update:
    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

Sports Betting: Can You Win Betting Against the Public?

Whether it is in the forums, sportsbooks or at the corner bar you always here the infamous "the public is all over this team, take the opposite!". I have lost count of all the "anti-public" systems that have been claimed to be "bookie killers" and were simple as fading the public. You can actually see the public data here at Pregame using the Sportsbook Spy feature. Here is something that I think might come to a shock to everyone, but the public is not that bad people! Blanket fading what the public likes will do nothing but eventually make you go broke unless you are the one booking the action. Here is why in one simple math equation:


There you go. All the systems for the most part go up in flames. You see, the sportsbook hopes to hold 4.5% of every single dollar wagered by their players based of the -110 in vig/juice they charge on losers. Let me paint the picture another way:

Bears -7 (75% public)
Lions +7

Lions lose by 3 and the public loses, but (and a big but) the sportsbook collects at +110 profit while you are only getting +100.  By taking the side of the sportsbook you do so giving up the almighty vig that is what in the end allows the book to have an edge over the player. Say the opposite happens and the Bears destroy the Lions. The sportsbook is only paying out at even money while you are paying your loss with an extra 10% tacked on.

Obviously, the above scenario just points to blanket betting, which moves on to the next system that is very popular among the forums the past few years. This system involves seeing the public all over a game but the line staying the same of moving the other way. The automatic assumption is it must be the "wiseguys" on the other side holding that line steady. Okay, first off, NO ONE knows what wiseguy action is officially but the wiseguys themselves. Did the line move because of weather or a possible injury? Are the professionals looking to move the line a certain way and buy it back in bulk, this making the flip side the real play? Is there a tout on a hot run that just released? Also, do not forget, not all professionals are going to agree on the same side or total. Does in some fashion this theory make sense; sure. The main dilemma when using this system is getting the best number. A few years back there were a group of guys posting picks on the forum using this system and KILLING IT. I mean at one point, I think they were up like 70 units. Where are they now? Bueller? Bueller? What I argued with the ringleader back than eventually happened, the true math of if all played out and they ended up being buried. Why? Well here is why:

Bears -7, line goes to -6.0 by Sunday (75% public)
Lions +7, line goes to +6.0 by Sunday

The game ends up with the Bears winning by 7, thus a push for the wiseguys, but a loser for the steam chasers. A few years back I took 3 months of every game with a huge public side and than took the theory of the line movement going the opposite way. I broke it down into two columns, one with the right number and one with the number after the move. At the very end of all the adding and subtracting, the bottom number had the wiseguys + and the steamchasers -. Same games, same bets, but with DIFFERENT NUMBERS. The simple fact someone trying to figure what is sharp but not getting the number they professional played will not work long term. The most important thing in sports betting is getting the best number possible. If a play is a play at +7 and it is now +6, the real professional is going to pass on the game and maybe start planning for a possible middle. Playing bad numbers will do nothing but make you go broke.

I am not saying their are not systems that can use public data as a tool, because personally I use it as part of what I do on a daily basis. But to think a hold % that a sportsbook has with people laying -110 is enough to warrant you "fading" the public is a bad move and eventually will not be profitable.

If there are any good public systems, I would love to hear them and maybe together we can do some back data and try and find that diamond in the rough.

In the meantime, thanks for listening to me ramble and best of luck to everyone today!


Johnny Detroit has built an impressive winning record: He has been booted or had limits lowered at 9 offshore sports books, has numerous documented Top 5 finishes in both NFL and College Football and his... Read more

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