Betting Against the Public

If you ask The Collective of Gridiron Gamble, there’s nothing in the world that quite meets the adrenaline rush of betting on sports, especially when it comes to betting on football. Sure, it’s fun to root for your favorite team week in and week out, but having a bet on the outcome or a few player props makes the game far more exciting. Plus, betting on football can provide to kick your interest needs when your favorite team isn’t playing.

Of course, we all want to win when we place sports bets.

In the betting world, there are sharps and there are squares. A sharp is often what a professional or a smart gambler is referred to. A sharp is someone who is making a source of income from his or her sports-betting practices. A square is the opposite, it’s the casual bettor, or the regular “Joe Public,” as Rich Ryan often refers to this type of bettor on the Gridiron Gamble podcast. The square bettor is often doing it for fun, but the idea of earning substantially from his or her sports-betting practices is generally secondary.

When it comes to betting on sports, and specifically when it comes to betting on professional football, it pays to be a sharp thinker. That applies even if you don’t consider yourself a professional gambler.

How can you make money sports betting? One way is to think more like a sharp and bet against the public.

Betting Against the Public

You’ll hear The Collective talk about it time and time again, you’ll want to “fade the public.” In the most general of definitions, this means you’ll want to do the opposite of what the public is doing. In other words, take the sharp side. That’s the side you want to be on.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock like Gridiron Gamble’s resident moose, Mo Nuwwarah, you know that there’s a reason Las Vegas is still standing and that sports books in Sin City continue to do well. It’s because the public normally takes the square sides of bets in large volumes and the casino wins out.

Casinos don’t mind when the sharp side of a bet wins, because they’ll make a ton of money from the public side. If you’re a bettor, it’s more profitable to bet with the house than it is to bet against it.

Using a tool like the NFL public betting chart from TheSpread.com, you can see which side the public is wagering on and look for opportunities to take the other side. There is a lot of parity in the NFL and bookmakers do a really, really good job at setting point spreads. When the public is hammering the heavy favorite and most popular team, it can pay to go against the grain and fire a bet on the opposite side. Again, there’s a reason Las Vegas is standing.

Another thing to keep in mind when looking to fade the public is to understand how the point spread comes about.

When a bookmaker decides on a point spread, it’s more often than not because of the public. Bookmakers know they can hang a line on a game a little higher if a team is a heavy favorite with a lot of public-driven hype. Why? The casinos know public bettors can’t resist, and they certainly don’t want to bet against the heavy favorite.

The casual sports bettor, or the square, doesn’t want to bet against the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers, or the Green Bay Packers. The regular person would rather bet on these teams and not have money riding on the likes of the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, or Jacksonville Jaguars. Look for spots where you can take advantage of the overrated public hype and bet in line with the sharps of the world.

Fading the Public in the Las Vegas SuperContest

When it comes to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, fading the public can lead to a huge payday. Of course, there are going to be years like 2016 when all of the public favorites are hitting left and right, but those years are more anomalies than anything else.

Oftentimes in the SuperContest, games with heavy public volume are the games most often picked. While these games may be more surefire locks to earn points in the SuperContest, keep in mind that it’s hard to gain ground and move up the leaderboard if everyone else is earning the same points.

That’s not to say you don’t need to go with favorable picks, but there should be times when you happily pass up a public favorite to go with a less popular selection on your weekly SuperContest card.

Furthermore, The Collective suggests using a site like FantasySuperContest.com. The site catalogs all picks and there is a ton of information to filter through in order to learn about your competition. You can gauge trends of your opponents, see which teams your fellow SuperContest competitors pick most often, and more. FantasySuperContest.com is a valuable tool for those looking to take it to the next level in the SuperContest.

Even if you’re not in the SuperContest, but regularly place bets on the NFL, FantasySuperContest.com is an excellent resource. For one, you can follow some of the leading contestants and mirror his or her picks to place some winning bets yourself. This is called “tailing” and is an easy way to score some winners.

At the end of the day, it pays to be different, both in the Las Vegas SuperContest and in the world of sports betting. Many of the world’s most successful bettors have built fortunes on fading the public, and you should look to do the same.