When to Bet Against the Public

UNC BB

For today’s analysis, I’m going to be looking at the best times to bet against the public in college basketball.  Betting against the public is a simple method of monitoring real betting data and see which games are seeing the most lopsided action.  Then you go against the majority of bettors and bet on the side getting a low percentage of bets.

To start with, I’m using three filters to bet against the public:

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I’m looking at games played in the regular season, getting less than 25% of bets.  The third filter means you are focusing on games receiving 20% more bets than the average game.  In other words, you are looking at games that are being heavily bet.

Just based on these three filters, you get to a 52.6% win percentage, but as the title suggests, I wanted to look to see if there were better times than others to fade the betting majority. Luckily, I can quickly do this with these filters within the software.  First off, let’s take a look at which month has been the most profitable:

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January is far and away the best month to bet against the public using the criteria above.  This is really when conference play starts to take off and the number of non-conference game diminishes.  In fact using another filter shows the contrast of results between conference games and non-conference games:

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Another way we can separate the data is by looking at the day of the week that the game is played on.  While television contracts have ensured that we’ll have college games every day of the week, the marquee day for college sports will always be Saturday:

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It makes sense that fading the public would work best on the day when the maximum number of public bettors are placing their bets.  Wednesdays have had the second most games that fit the criteria, but have had the worst return of any day.

We can break down Saturdays one step further by looking at the time of the game:

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Betting against the public on Saturdays loses some profits as the day goes on.  Any game that starts at 8:00 PM ET or later has not been profitable when betting against the public.  Perhaps guys can only get their early bets in before they eventually get dragged to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for new towel sets.  Whatever the cause, those early games have shown much better returns than the later games.

So betting against the public is not all created equal.  It’s not as simple as reading betting percentages and placing your bets.  I’ve added an additional filter and shared this system in the Think Tank which you can view here.  Bet Labs members can start following this system (and 100’s of others) immediately.  If you are interested in following, we have a 6-day trial to try it out.

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