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NFL: Betting Against the Public

When it comes to sports betting, the NFL is king. Even fans who know little about wagering on football still find a way to get involved in their office pool or play fantasy football with their friends and family in hopes of making money every week and at the end of the season.

Because of this, true “sharp” bettors aim to take advantage of what the consensus likes by wagering on the opposite side, also known as “fading” the public. This can be a profitable betting strategy, especially since sportsbooks tend to win more often than not and end up beating the public with the lines they originally set.

Fading the Public Works

There are a few secrets to successful point spread betting, and one of them is always trying to get the best of the number. The public obviously plays into this because they are many times the first bettors to put their money down on a particular team they really like, forcing sportsbooks to adjust their opening lines.

“Sharps” see these initial line moves and try to wait as long as possible until they believe the number is at its peak before betting the other side. Of course fading the public only works if their side loses.

Keep in mind, many bettors spend hours on end poring over every last statistical detail and betting trend. But in the case of fading the public, all you really need is only one number to make a solid wager. Just follow NFL line moves and figure out who the public is backing, and you don’t even need to know the odds and key stats in order to be successful most weeks.

While not a foolproof betting strategy, line movement caused by public action is often a key indicator of which side you should lay your money on.

Oddsmakers Really Call the Shots

There is obviously a good reason why sportsbooks are in business, and successful at that. If the NFL betting public knew what it was doing on a consistent basis, the books would not make much money.

Oddsmakers are the ones who set the opening numbers with the public in mind, trying to get them to lean to one direction. Since the public tends to be wrong more than right, it is the books who benefit from that, and you can too.

Two of the most common public plays are taking the favorite and “OVER” in nationally televised games such as Monday Night Football. They also like the most popular NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.

Lines on those teams are shaded accordingly, so bettors willing to take the underdog are typically working with an extra point, if not more than that. That can be a significant edge and will pay off over the course of a season, resulting in a few extra wins.

Bet the Moneyline over the Point Spread

An especially good spot to fade the public is when they are riding chalk very heavily. That way, you can bet against the public and take the underdog instead.

And better yet, wager on the moneyline to maximize value. It might not pay off every Sunday, but as far as broad betting strategies go, it is a solid one that will help you turn a profit. Besides, the NFL attracts more public bettors who play right into this trap than any other sport.

To recap, winning more when wagering on the NFL can sometimes be as simple as betting against the public. But first you have to understand how to do it, which involves monitoring NFL line moves daily and finding out what and who is causing those moves.