Whether you've been around the sports betting game for a
while, or are new and have been following the advice found on this site,
chances are you've been to sites like Covers.com while doing research on
upcoming games. Chances are you've also noticed the little "Consensus"
tidbit next to each game, telling you which team the public thinks will win.
You may see that a team has a 70% public opinion and feel like that might be
a pretty good bet for you to make. While nothing is ever certain in the
world of sports betting, this feeling is generally incorrect. Today we will
offer you some tips on reading the public consensus, what it means and when
If the Public Always Won...
One of the most important concepts to keep in mind when betting on sports is
this: if the public won more than they lost, sport books would cease to
exist. That is simplifying things a little, of course, but generally
speaking that is a true statement. Casinos and sport books are in business
to make money--lots of money. If they are losing money in a particular area,
they will either change the rules or stop offering it entirely. Since the
world of online sport books is alive and thriving, it is then safe to assume
that they are making money and that, over the long term, the general public
loses their money.
I've been telling people to subscribe to the theory of reverse public
opinion for years now. As is the case with a lot of the advice I've offered
here at SportBooksReview, I'm not suggesting that people blindly bet against
the team with higher public support every night--just keep it in mind when
doing your research. There are some situations where observing the public
consensus and comparing it to line movement can be very eye-opening, and
these are the situations where you can pounce.
Public Consensus and Line Movement
As we discussed in our Line Movement article, there are a number of factors
that could cause sport books to move the line. One such factor is one team
getting decidedly more money wagered on it than the other, creating a
scenario where the books would lose a large amount of money if one team
wins. Books would prefer to have a nice, even amount of money bet on both
sides of a game, so that no matter which team wins, they'll come out on top
due to the juice (newbies: betting $110 to win $100, the $10 is the juice).
This is why it's a good idea to take a quick peek at the consensus
percentages along with the line movement for the games you want to bet
on--there can sometimes be some very useful hidden information to give you
When doing your research, if you happen to see a game where the public is
very heavily betting on one team, say 70% or higher, yet the line did not
move from it's original number, then you have to ask yourself why that is.
If the public is betting most of their money on a team, but the books don't
move the number to attract betters for the other team, then it's telling you
something. Either the books are confident that the public will lose, or the
big-money sharp betters have already made their bets on the other team.
Either way, this is a major red flag. Again, don't blindly bet your money on
this strategy, but there will be situations where these numbers are too
strong to ignore.
Generally speaking, I like fading the public--especially when there is a
strong public consensus betting on the underdog in a game. As you surely
already know, the common theme of my articles is research--we're talking
about your money here, so it's extremely important that you make every
effort to find an advantage before making your bet. As is the case with a
lot of my advice, this isn't meant to be a one-size-fits-all strategy, but
part of a larger overall strategy of doing your homework and ultimately
finding solid money-making opportunities. If you follow the advice I've
offered in this article and combine it with some of my other strategies, you
will win money--the only question is: how much?
Check out more of our sports betting tips articles to become a smarter
sports better. Knowledge is power, folks.
Best of luck, and please gamble responsibly!
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