Betting Against The Public – Money-Maker or Myth?

Sports Betting

In our continuing series on sports betting this summer, the next area we will attack is betting against the public. On sponsored TV betting shows, YouTube videos and podcasts, they all have someone claiming the public always loses.

Just this past week I saw two YouTube videos in which they said the public losses “98% of the time” and the other said “99%”. First of all, that is too broad a statement to make. There is no documented proof of that being true, that is a made-up claim. Do most recreational bettors over a 10-year period lose money in a particular sport? The answer is YES, but the percentage is nowhere in the 95 percent or higher range.

As it turns out, I can prove the numbers are not close to that high. Since 2008, I have written an article three to six days a week covering line moves, 49 or 50 weeks a year. I search for significant line moves on the day of games (the day before on college football and the NFL). In sports that have spreads, the search is for those with at least a 1.5 point line movement from the original starting point, with the same being true on totals. On sports like baseball and hockey, it would be at least 10 cents on the money line and at least a half a run or half a goal on totals for a differential.

This number of circumstances ranges from four to seven instances per day and when I have more than that, I will choose games of greater interest to bettors. In addition, I avoid big money lines (200 or higher) since one team is expected to win and point spreads of 25 or higher, as those are often discretionary wagers. Also, the line moves are organic and are not influenced by injury or teams resting players.

The ‘Factual’ Numbers

Without boring you with all the numbers covering over a decade, here are the important ones I keep track of. This is over 8,000 significant line moves, thus, the data is accurate, fitting into the set parameters.



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