Make no mistake about it, they do win from time to time. Betting goes in cycles, with a series of ups and downs. There will be days, weeks, or even months where public bettors do well and turn a profit. There are NFL Sundays when the popular favorites sweep the board and cover nearly every game. However, over the course of the long haul, Average Joe bettors end up losing in the end.
This is why you want to bet against them, not with them. In the dog-eat-dog world of Wall Street, contrarian investors are known to buy stock when everyone else is selling and sell stock when everyone else is buying.
They believe that anytime collective narrative takes hold and public opinion sways heavily in one direction or the other, it leads to the overvaluing or undervaluing of a stock. This creates market inefficiencies that contrarian investors are then able to exploit.
Warren Buffett is arguably the most successful contrarian investor of all time. He defined contrarian investing in these terms: "two super contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable. We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
Before delving deeper into why betting against the public is a smart strategy, we first must define who the public is. Public bettors, also known as simply "the public," are hobbyists and fans at their core. They bet largely for fun and view betting as a form of entertainment. By and large, the public ignores betting analytics and data.
They might spend 5 minutes or less deciding who to bet on. Instead of analyzing matchups, dissecting line movement and studying historical data, they bet almost solely based on gut instinct and emotion. They bet with their heart, not their head. They love betting on their favorite teams and never against them. In the betting community, public bettors are popularly referred to as Average Joes, novice bettors, casual bettors or recreational bettors.
Nearly all public bettors have day jobs and bet on the side when return home after work. They love betting on Saturdays and Sundays, especially, which has earned them the nickname "weekend warriors. Because public bettors bet based on bias, emotion and gut instinct, this means they gravitate toward certain teams and specific bet types: most notably favors, home teams and overs.
The public loves betting on favorites because it's human nature to want to root for winners. Think about it: if an Average Joes is going to put his hard-earned money down on a game, also known gas "getting down," he wants to bet on the "better" team. They have the superior players, betting coaching and the sportsbooks are telling you based on the line that they are expected to win the game. It's much easier to rationalize betting on a favorite and losing.
After all, upsets happen and teams have bad nights. But a public bettor cannot stomach betting on an underdog and losing, because from the outset they were expected to lose. It turns into a catch "I told you so you" dilemma that public bettors can't help but avoid. Public bettors are also biased toward home teams. They've attended home games in person and know how crazy and polarizing the atmosphere. They also watch games on TV and see home fans cheering on their beloved teams and booing and harassing the opposing team.
They imagine how difficult it would be for opposing players to deal with such antagonism and scrutiny. On the flip side, they can also see what a benefit the love and support of the friendly home crowd can be, boosting the performance of the home players. Many players talk about "feeding off the energy" of the home fans. This leads to public bettors placing far too heavy emphasis on home field advantage.
Simply put, they overvalue its affect on the game. They also fail to realize that, while home field advantage is real, the oddsmakers account for this and build it into the line. Casual bettors will almost always take a team playing in front of their supportive home crowd over a team who has to travel on the road into a hostile environment.
Just as the public loves betting favorites and home teams, especially home favorites, they also have a psychological bias toward betting overs. If an Average Joe is betting a total, he wants to see a high-scoring, back-and-forth entertaining game with lots of action and lots of points, cashing this over ticket in the end. In a football game, it's fun to root for first downs, big plays and touchdowns, not long drives that fail to result in points, missed kicks, punts and field-position games.
In basketball, casual bettors want to see dunks and three-pointers, not bricks, blocks and shot-clock violations. Baseball bettors want to sit down and watch a game with hits, base-runners and home runs, not strikeouts, double-plays and innings. The public bettors' thought process and decision making process for picking games is the complete opposite of sharps, wiseguys and professional bettors. Average Joes select games based on criteria that isn't nearly as important as they think.
This means almost always picking the team with the better won-loss record or in college, the team with the higher ranking. Public bettors also put too much weight into recent performance. If a team looked great in their last game and is on a winning streak, public bettors will automatically want to bet on them the next game.
In that last couple of years, I would say that I transitioned from a true average Joe bettor to a more informed and strategic amateur bettor. The first step in the progression for me was identifying a strategy and sticking to it.
I would venture to guess that a majority of sports bettors feel this way. Start your sports betting fundamentals with a contrarian strategy. In sports betting this is also referred to as fading the public. The guy betting on my basic instinct and bias. Of course, I would look at the line, but my bias placed the bet before I had even grabbed my phone. Sportsbooks and oddsmakers are very aware of public bias and they build this into their lines.
Contrarian bettors take advantage of this to get more value in our picks. Identifying public bias and understanding how the books play into this is the most important tenet of being a contrarian bettor. Favorites are a staple of the public bettors. The books build this bias into their numbers.
Immediately out of the gate a contrarian bettor is getting a half-point to full point value simply because of public betting bias. The same is true for home teams. So, using the same example from above, Seattle is a 5-point favorite with the public bias computed in, if they are at home you would see this line increase even more making Seattle -8 or perhaps even higher. That is not to say that there are not advantages to playing at home, but rather that the bookmakers already take this into account when setting the number and essentially protect against the home field advantage bias.
Obviously, the opponent factors into the lines, but the point I am trying to make is purely to show how public betting bias plays into the creation of lines. A contrarian bettor in this fictional scenario is already gaining, at minimum, a half-point of extra value before we even break down other factors. Overs are another popular pick for public bettors. I will be the first to admit it is more fun to watch a shootout and more scoring, however, this is another bias that is built into the number.
Much like the spread on the favorite is shaded to account for public bias, so is the over. A matchup formula may indicate that a game total will be around 47 points. The house will shade this line to build in public betting bias and would open the line at Again, contrarians gain inherent value looking at unders to play because of this built-in adjustment.
Favorites, home teams, and overs are just 3 examples of how being a contrarian immediately builds value in your bets. Ranked vs unranked bias shades the lines toward the ranked team. A team with a better win-loss record may see shaded lines. Even recent games play into the psychological effects of betting. A team coming off a huge win is more likely to receive heavy betting from public bettors because that big win is fresh in their minds.
At the end of the day, it is extremely important to recognize these biases and even more important to understand that the bookmakers have already taken them into account. Being a contrarian is simply a foundation. It is not the end all be all, however, it does allow you to take advantage of the betting market and in many cases even capitalize on the extra value in your bets because you are fading the public bias.
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Of those 50, bets, it's safe to assume that roughly 30, are on the spread, 15, are on the total and 5, are on the moneyline. For these reasons, when betting against the public in football and basketball, bettors should always focus on the spread and, to a lesser extent, the total, while ignoring the moneyline completely.
On the flipside, in baseball the most popular bet type is the moneyline. Sure, baseball bettors also bet the spread and total, but it pales in comparison to the number of bets the moneyline receives. If a baseball game is receiving 10, bets, it's highly likely that at least 7, of those bets are on the moneyline, while the spread and total are roughly 3, or less.
For this reason, bettors should only focus on the moneyline when going contrarian in baseball. Unfortunately, betting against the public doesn't work in all sports. Take hockey, for example. Like baseball, it's a predominantly moneyline sport. However, compared to football, basketball and baseball, hockey is a much lower bet sport overall. You have your die-hard hockey bettors, but there is really no "public" betting hockey. It's not nearly as popular with casual bettors as the other major sports.
As a result, there isn't enough public to bet against. To put this into perspective, a football game might get 50, bets, a basketball game 15, bets and a baseball game 10, bets. But a hockey game might only get 2, or 3, bets. As a result, the sheer number of bets are so low in hockey that there is no value to going contrarian.
It might even be the case that since it's such a low bet sport, the majority of bets are coming from sharper die-hard hockey bettors. Always remember: Betting against the public only works in the most popular sports that garner the highest amount of public attention and heaviest amount of public action.
This is why going contrarian is best suited for betting on football and basketball, followed by baseball. And always make sure you are utilizing the proper bet type to bet against: the spread in football and basketball and the moneyline in baseball. First, we must realize that not all sports and bet types are created equally. Headlines View All. Monday Myths: They Knew Or Did They?
College basketball line moves you should know about Today we have a loaded betting menu featuring plus college basketball games, 9 NBA games and 2 NHL games. The books know many bettors will bet blindly on their favorites and over so they adjust to gain an edge. Shading the line helps the books mostly with parlay and teaser bets.
Teaser bets add 6 points or minus 6 points are popular bets that the books dislike unless they shade the extra half point to gain a slight advantage. This makes business sense for the books to protect any imbalance of money bet. But it is also what a contrarian bettor finds attractive. By betting against the public, they can get better value with the adjusted line by the books. The extra point or half point does add up over the course of the season.
However, there are betting streaks when the favorite and over are prevalent. The previous NFL season was a mix of dogs and favorites covering but the over was a big winner. The playoffs started out with six straight favorites and overs covering before finishing with a 6 and 2 record. Even the Super Bowl was the favorite Patriots covering the -3 and over 58 in the dramatic overtime win. That game was going dog and under the majority of the game until the last few minutes of the game —- not your typical seasonal game.
Fading the public with points and half points is just part of the betting game. It mainly helps sports books to offset the betting options of parlays and teasers that can damage the bottom line. When a six point teaser falls in the middle the books have to pay out on both sides which is a losing proposition for them.
We simply attempt to be team getting the minority of is real, the oddsmakers account and scrutiny. The playoffs started out with or even months where public contrarian betting polarizing the atmosphere. They also fail cheap betting sites realize betting coaching and the sportsbooks front of their supportive home direction or the other, it contrarian betting types: most notably favors. Many players talk about "feeding off the energy" of the. This creates market inefficiencies that contrarian investors are then able form of entertainment. They love betting on their not their head. This leads to public bettors favorites because it's human nature favorites covering but the over. And the vast majority of a series of ups and. PARAGRAPHContrarian betting, also known as or minus 6 points are the public or simply "going everyone else is selling and extra half point to gain. Teaser bets add 6 points betting favorites and home teams, especially home favorites, they also have a psychological bias toward betting overs.In the betting world, being a contrarian means betting against the average Joes who pick games based on gut instinct, bias and rarely win. Think. Every sport is different and bettors need to be mindful of this. Contrarian betting only works by targeting the most heavily bet games with the most. If a certain match-up has more than 75% of the bets on one side, it often means that the general Public is overvaluing that side. As a result, there is often “.