Fading square bettors is a profitable NBA strategy. Why does this work? Oddsmakers know which teams recreational gamblers will wager on, usually the league’s best (Warriors, Cavs, Spurs, Celtics) and favorites, and shade the lines toward them.

When we talk about betting against the public we are often referring to the spread ticket percentage but the strategy also works using spread dollars. For the last three seasons, we have been tracking dollars wagered on games in the Association. Here is how contrarian bettors have performed taking teams getting little public support.

The less money a team attracts, the more profitable it has been to wager on them. The optimal strategy is targeting teams getting 25% or less of spread dollars. If we add one more filter we get a viable betting system.

Teams receiving 25% or less of spread dollars and that experience positive line movement (go from +2 to +3) have gone 170-125-5 (57.6%) ATS since 2015. Usually, when we talk betting strategies we refrain from showing all the filters we use to build our systems in fear of giving away the milk without you, the reader, buying the cow.

With spread dollar percentages, this isn’t a worry. Anyone can get live updating odds and spread tickets percentages at no cost from Sports Insights but the percentage of spread dollars wagered is unique to Bet Labs.

Only our users know where the money is going and thus can exploit the overeager public. Tonight, one game in the NBA is getting lopsided betting action. At the time of publication, 75% of spread dollars are on the New York Knicks -3.5 at home vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 25.5 points per game (8th in the NBA) but could struggle against a Lakers defense that is top 10 in efficiency. The public loves the Knicks but contrarian bettors will take the Lakers and the points.


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