Public Betting

NFL Public Betting Trends – Don’t Read Too Much into NFL Consensus Picks 

No doubt, NFL public betting significantly affects NFL game lines. NFL game spreads are partly due to betting percentages, both how much money and sentiment.

The best to think of this is to think in terms of the 2023 Super Bowl. SB 57 will pit (or pitted, depending on when you read this) the Kansas City Chiefs won their conference championship and will face the NFC Conference winning Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles opened as a -1.5 underdog. After oddsmakers set the line, NFL public betting sentiment went 70% to Philadelphia to cover the spread.

But for some reason, the odds didn’t change a lick. No movement happened in the first two to three days after oddsmakers set the spread line.

Why? NFL public betting isn’t the only determinant of whether an odds line changes. Make no mistake, NFL public betting can determine money bet lines and straight up money bet odds, but it’s not the most critical factor.

We’ll get into the essential factor shortly. For now, it makes sense to understand NFL public betting’s impact by looking at the oldest form of gambling in the United States, stock investing.

When the public bought Apple stock before Steve Jobs’ death, they bought Apple stock because of Jobs. Sentiment said Jobs would continue to ensure Apple makes money. When people buy Tesla stock today, it’s because sentiment surrounding Elon Musk is good or on the rise.

Betting Public – Tesla Stock Example

If you don’t believe the statement about Musk, consider what happened to Tesla stock when Elon decided to purchase Twitter and make himself Chief Twit.

We can use Tesla stock as an example to understand everything we must know about NFL betting money percentages, overall money wagered, money percentages on NFL favorites, point spread allocation, single bet decisions, specific betting percentage allocation, moneyline odds, and anything else we’d like to know about NFL betting, including NFL public betting splits.

When Tesla stock dived, the sentiment came in at an all-time low. However, the stock bounced back less than a month later. 

Why? Elon lowered the price to purchase a Tesla. Suddenly, those who couldn’t afford a Tesla could now afford one. So sentiment went up. It turns out that although he tweets wacky stuff, Musk isn’t that bad of a dude.

So here’s the thing about NFL betting. Consider NFL public betting splits. A public betting split says 50% like one team to cover and 50% like the other. 

But in NFL betting, that never happens. NFL public betting splits don’t occur. In almost every game, the public sides with the favorite, and they do this even when it’s obvious the favorite is a false favorite.

Now that you know NFL public betting splits don’t happen, think again about Tesla stock. The public was all in on Elon being a conservative wacko who wanted to use Twitter to end the world as we know it.

But once the Chief Twit lowered the price of Tesla cars, oh wow, now the public reversed. The Chief Twit is a solid fella again.  

The same thing happens in NFL wagers. 

Public betting is all about sentiment, like those who decided to call Elon a good guy because he lowered the price of a Tesla.

Public betting is never about the money. Because public betting is never about the money, oddsmakers don’t track betting data that arrives from the public.

Instead, odds makers look for NFL consensus among pro handicappers to set lines.

What is the NFL Consensus?

An NFL consensus FAQ sheet might read something like, “NFL consensus is where most bettors believe one team will cover the spread over another.

The Tesla example, and you can check to see that what we’re saying is true, proves the betting public doesn’t have much to say in spread line changes. Another example is how the 70% who backed the Eagles didn’t change the Super Bowl 57 spread line.

Don’t get us wrong, NFL consensus exists, but the NFL consensus oddsmakers follow regards pro wagers, bets that exceed the standard $100 here $100 there casual bettor limit.

By pro wagers, we’re talking at least five-figure and up to six-figure bets. Think about it this way, if we bought five shares of Tesla stock on Jan. 31, 2023, we would have had to pay about $850 bucks. 

But when an institution buys Tesla stock, they could invest $50 million, $100 million, $200 million, and sometimes even more.

The same concept applies to NFL spreads. The more money, the more the oddsmaker will change the spread.

About NFL Public Consensus Picks

We’ve established that the NFL consensus info we’re privy to, who the public likes, has no bearing on point spreads. Let’s carry on with the discussion.  

Public’s NFL Betting Record

Should I fade public NFL bets?

Yes, in most cases. It’s always a good idea to fade public NFL bets because the public bets are based on sentiment, and pros bet based on risk versus reward, or to say it another way, value. 

How Can Bet Percentages and Money Percentages Signal Sharp Action?

For years, oddsmakers have used money percentages to change NFL betting lines. They still do to a great degree, but it used to be more critical.

The more public money that goes into a single bet, the more public action, and the more difficult it will be to determine the market moving money. Now, non-pro bettors like James McIngvale dumps millions of dollars onto teams to cover spreads.

McIngvale makes enormous bets to boost sales in his Gallery Furniture stores. Knowing this, oddsmakers don’t automatically change lines when McIngvale makes a wager.

The best way to know if you’re following sharp action is to see if the line changes or doesn’t. Steam betting is a real thing. But if there is no line change, like in the early days of Super Bowl 57 betting, you can be sure oddsmakers are waiting to see which way the pros will go.

If the line does change, then it’s a good bet a pro, or someone McIngvale, just made a bet.   

Is it better to bet against the public in NFL?

Yes, it is. A better strategy is to become an NFL trend betting expert. Another better method than blindly betting against the public is to fade teams coming off huge wins.

The public loves winners. So they will pound favorites coming off big wins. Fade NFL winners. Why? Like in any sport, teams bounce after tremendous performances.