Whether you are a seasoned sports gambler or you have just made your first deposit into a sportsbook, you have likely heard terms like “fade the public” or “follow the sharps” many times. What do these terms mean exactly, and where can you find the information necessary to be able to decide whether you want to fade or follow the public?
Where To Find NFL Public Betting Percentages
When it comes to the public, that term is often used to lump together the majority of “casual” bettors who are simply looking to put down some action and follow simple narratives. These narratives often include betting on favorites and overs, because the public is more likely to root for a lot of points over a slow, sluggish defensive orientate football game.
How can you find out what the NFL public is betting on?
That is where betting percentages come into play. The best way to follow what the public is doing is to track bet and money percentages. This can be done on apps like Pikkit, which is a service that provides real-time data on popular bets, money percentages, and line movement.
Using these apps can provide enough information for you to decide whether you want to follow the public, or actively bet against them. In addition to money and betting percentages, you can also monitor where game lines move during the week.
Line movement refers to when the odds or the point spread for a game changes. Sportsbooks will often try to compete with one another and release their lines as early as possible. When they are released, they will usually move closer to one side or the other.
The goal of a sportsbook is to ensure that they have equal amounts of bets and money on both sides of a wager. That way, they will continue to be profitable no matter the outcome of a game. If you see that a high percentage of bets are coming in on one side, that’s usually a good indication that is where the public is leaning.
However, it’s also important to monitor the amount of money being wagered. If more money is being wagered on the opposite side of where the bets are being placed, that means professionals (people who tend to bet large sums of money) are on the opposite side. That is when the decision needs to be made as to whether or not you want to tail or fade the public.
Is It Better To Bet Against the Public in NFL?
Ultimately, how you decide to place your wagers is completely up to you. However, using the information that Pikkit provides could be a good way to decide which strategy you want to implement. Is it more profitable to follow the NFL betting public or fade them?
The answer to that question changes on a yearly basis, and if it was as simple as fading the public, we would all be rich at this point. However, here are some interesting numbers from the 2022 NFL season so far.
According to Sports Betting Dime, had you followed the public and bet on the side receiving the higher percentage of bets, you would have an against-the-spread record of 85-101-7.
What does that mean? Well, the public has taken a beating this year. Underdogs are cashing at an alarming rate, and with scoring at an all-time low in the NFL, unders have been more profitable.
If you go back to the 2021 NFL season, public bettors finished the year with a record of 140-137-4. Far from profitable, but it was at least a more successful season than this year.
Ultimately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy to implement with your sports betting. However, the more information you have, the better off you will be.
The public is not always right, but they’re not always wrong, either. So combining the public betting trends with your own analysis can ultimately prove more profitable in the long run over simply following one strategy.