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NFL: Betting against the public

NFL betting is the grand daddy of them all in sports betting circles, and in recent years, a new strategy has emerged that has professional handicappers and sharp bettors cashing winning tickets.

It’s quite simple: Betting against the public (or the consensus) can be profitable.

Bettors spend hours on end pouring over every last statistical detail and betting trend, but it could be the case you need only one number to make a solid wager. Follow NFL line moves and you don’t even need to know the odds and key stats in order to be successful most weeks.

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It’s not a foolproof strategy, obviously, but there are scenarios where line movement caused by public action is a key indicator of which side of the ledger you should lay your money.

Look, there’s a reason sportsbooks are in business. If the NFL betting public knew what it was doing on a consistent basis, the books wouldn’t make much money. Last we checked, the books were still afloat, if you catch our drift. Said another way, the wagering public often gets it wrong - if you do the opposite of what the wagering public does, you can often get it right.

The public loves favorites, and they love the ‘over’ on the total. Let’s face it: The average square Sunday bettor tends to side with the public teams like New England, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and the two clubs from New York, and they also want to see scoring.

Because of that, the lines are shaded accordingly. Bettors willing to take the underdog and the ‘under’ are typically working with an extra point, if not more than that. That's a siginficant edge that will pay off over the course of a season in a few extra wins. [ See also strategies for when it makes sense to bet the NFL moneyline instead of the NFL point spread ]

An especially good spot is if the public is riding the chalk very heavily. That way, you can bet against the public and take the pup. It might not pay off every Sunday, but as far as broad strategies go, it’s a good one. Besides, the NFL, more than any other sport, attracts tons of public bettors that play right into this trap.

Winning more NFL sports bets can sometimes be as simple as betting against the public. To understand how to do it, you have to watch NFL line moves and understand what may be causing it.