Winning money on the NFL lines may be the toughest task in all of sports betting. Football is the most popular sport in the country, which means U.S. sportsbooks accept more money on the NFL than any other major sport. With so much liquidity, what are already among the most efficient opening lines and spreads become even more efficient by kickoff. With that said, it’s pivotal for you, the sports bettor, to use all the tools at your disposal to find an edge against the oddsmakers. One way to do that is to use public betting information, such as money splits, and consensus picks here at Scores and odds.
What Are NFL Consensus Picks?
With access to exclusive betting handles from some of the biggest sportsbooks in the industry, our NFL consensus page shows you what kind of picks the majority of bettors are making each week. For example, look at the public betting percentages for the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in the image below.
Here we see that 61% of betting tickets are on the Raiders, while the percentage of money (also called the handle) is more evenly split at 52% for the Raiders and 48% for the Chiefs.
Basically, you get to see what kind of action and liability bookmakers are taking behind the counter. This gives you an idea of what the “public” is betting, why a line has moved, and what direction the line may go next. From there, you can decide if you think there’s value in fading public or not, given the updated odds.
Follow Or Fade The Public?
One of the more popular betting strategies is to simply fade the public. This is a contrarian betting angle and implies there’s value to be had by fading the public because oddsmakers react to lopsided betting percentages by adjusting the lines.
Generally speaking, when it comes to NFL betting, the public loves favorites and overs. There are also popular teams and players to bet on such as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The other idea is that by fading the public, we may be fading recency bias from recreational bettors who overreact to one game or an outlier outcome. This is especially true in the NFL, where there are only 17 regular-season weeks, and early in the football season.
While it might be a popular strategy, and you’ll certainly find pundits tout on sports shows and throughout social media, the reality is that winning in sports betting is a bit more complicated.
It’s best to approach each game on a case-by-case basis. One game and line may be a great opportunity to fade the public, another may not. Circumstances vary so you need to stay on top of the news, weather, and injury reports and analyze each situation with its public betting trends and line movement. If it’s a prime-time game or a game with a popular team, it’s more likely to be +EV (positive expected value) to fade the public.
If you’re new to sports betting, you won’t gain a feel for this overnight, but you can follow our experts and read their analysis behind each pick by signing up for SAO Premium. And of course, you always want to find the best lines by using our NFL odds comparison tool.