You've heard it before: Fade the Public.
Find out why it doesn't actually make sense.

Who is the Public?

The public side of a bet is the side which the majority of people will wager on. Historically, the public tends to lean towards big favorites and overs, although that has started to change in recent years.

75% of the Bets are on...

We have all seen these tweets or updates from various industry “experts”. There may be some truth in what they are reporting, but it is also very misleading.

When you hear something along the lines of “75% of bets are on the Chiefs”, you should be aware of a few factors:

  1. We don’t know when the bets came in, and what lines were locked in for those bets. Rest assured, not every bettor got the same price. Early in the week the Chiefs may have been -3 on the spread, and an hour before kick-off they may be -5.5. This is obviously a drastic change and the bet reporting does not reflect that.

    In the example above, some bettors may have taken Kansas City -3 early in the week, and others may have taken them -5.5 right before kick-off. Both of these bets are technically “on Kansas City”, but they are nowhere near the same bet.

    Having a variety of different lines looped into the same category is very misleading.

  2. There are sharp plays on both sides of every bet. Don't be fooled into thinking that all the professionals are on one side of a bet, and all the amateurs are on the other. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, it's not uncommon to see different sharp betting groups opposing each other on multiple games over the course of a day.

Bettor Versus Book (-110)

Generally speaking, sportsbooks aim to have an even amount of risk (action) on both sides of a bet. While not the case 100% of the time, it is often the case. This means that regardless of the outcome, the sportsbook will make a profit on the result based on their commission (also known as vig), which is what they charge the bettor in order to place the bet.

A bettor can never truly fade the public in the same way that a sportsbook can. Every time a bettor places a wager, he or she is paying a -110 price. Therefore, every -110 bet that a sportsbook takes action on, they are getting +110 on their money. And the difference in those 20 points is massive; it is how the sportsbooks continue to make money year in and year out.

Should you really be fading the public at -110 when the sportsbook is doing so at +110? You are paying a premium to be on the same side as the sportsbook without understanding where their edge is coming from.

Circles Off

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out Episode 7 of Circles Off with betstamp co-founder, Johnny, and betstamp co-owner, Rob Pizzola.