We are over halfway through the NFL season now and some trends start to stick out at this point.  One thing that I noticed is that the number of plays that I have in a given NFL week seemed to be lower than normal.  The PRO systems that I follow from the Think Tank weren’t producing as many picks as I was accustomed to.  Part of it could just be luck, sometimes games just won’t fit your systems due to random chance.  But I noticed a different trend when I used the Bet Labs software to investigate.  The number of lopsided bet games in the NFL are disappearing.

Our friends over at Sports Insights have long preached to bet against the public and that basic idea still holds true, although you may have to find additional criteria to be profitable.  The problem is we aren’t seeing nearly as many games that fit these criteria as we used to.


I wanted to only look at games that were getting 30% of the bets (betting tickets, not dollars wagered) or fewer.  The record for this season is 14-15 which isn’t remarkable at all.  What is remarkable is that we are currently on pace to only see 55 games that fit those criteria this season.  That is a big dropoff from what we have seen recently:

SeasonGames < 31%
2016-1755 (projected)

Any system that utilizes the betting against the public philosophy simply isn’t going to have as many games this season.  One of the easiest systems was the “80/20 rule” in the NFL.  Any time that 80% of the bets are on one side, blindly take the other and profit:


Being that games with 20% or fewer of bets are a subset of games with 30% or fewer of bets, it follows the same trend that we saw above:

SeasonGames < 21%
2016-176 (projected)

While it was always a low-volume system, the number of opportunities has plummeted in recent seasons.  The real question is what is the cause of this change?  ESPN’s David Purdum recently reported that NFL betting was down this season to go along with the multitude of reports that television ratings are down across the league.  Perhaps fewer recreational square players are watching and therefore betting on games each week.  There is also my hypothesis that more and more people have access to betting percentages and want to be on the contrarian side, and by doing so they inevitably make that side less contrarian which fits with the data that we found above.

All of the data above was mined using the Bet Labs software.  If you are interested in researching and creating your own systems, we offer a 6-day trial to get started.

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