College basketball has been back in our lives since last Friday but the official start to the season is tonight with a marquee doubleheader in Chicago at the United Center. Top ranked Duke plays No. 2 Michigan State and No. 4 Kansas squares off against No. 7 Kentucky in the Champions Classic.

Oddsmakers opened Duke (-2) and Kansas (-4.5) as early favorites. According to the Sportsbook Insider bet activity dashboard, 60% of spread tickets are on the Blue Devils and 83% of bets are on the Jayhawks.

There is only one way to bet Duke-Michigan State and Kansas-Kentucky. Fade the public. Top 10 matchups attract the most recreational bets. With casual fans targeting these high-profile games, contrarian bettors can profit by simply going against the public.

Top 10 Games: Betting Against the Public

Spread %ATS RecordROI
<5093-70-610.9%
<4043-25-222.1%
<3014-6-134.0%

Top 5 Games: Betting Against the Public

Spread %ATS RecordROI
<5025-19-210.8%
<4011-8-112.6%
<307-251.3%

The less public support a team gets the better they perform against the spread. The trend holds if you look specifically at Top 5 contests as well, though the sample size gets smaller.

Kentucky has failed to cover in back-to-back games. More than 70% of spread bets took the Wildcats in each contest to start the season. As a result the public is on Kansas. Duke is getting a majority of bets in its game but more than 50% of spread dollars are on Michigan State.

Keep it simple, if you’re betting the games tonight (and you are) fade the public.


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