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What You Should Know About the Betting Public

A lot of sports bettors look at what the betting public is doing before they place a bet.  Some bettors even make that their primary strategy (although this may not be the best strategy to use over the long run).  But who exactly is the betting public?  Why are they contrasted with betting sharps?

 

The betting “public” doesn’t refer to every single member of the public.  Sharps (professionals) after all are members of the public, but they do not comprise the majority of the public.  In fact, they are a very small percentage.  Serious amateurs also are not considered as part of the betting public (that’s what you are, if you are intent on learning real betting strategies and maybe someday going pro).  Serious amateurs are a larger minority than sharps, but still a minority.  The betting public refers to the vast majority of bettors who are totally casual. 

 

These people may bet simply for the sheer fun of it, or out of a spirit of competition with their friends.  They may back the team they hope will win as a cheering gesture.  They may bet completely blindly, relying on intuition or hope to lead them in the right direction.  Or they may bet with a passing familiarity of betting terms and strategies.  They may occasionally study, but never make the comprehensive effort over time to really learn their stuff.  Sometimes they consider themselves serious amateurs, but they aren’t.

 

Here is what you should know about the betting public:

 

  • They tend to bet on favorites.  These teams are more popular and more widely known, which makes them the automatic choice to bet on.  They do not necessarily understand how betting spreads work and how this can influence the outcome of a bet.  They tend to believe the winner on the field is always the winning bet.
  • The public is influenced by the media and the news.  This is true to such a degree that any headline is likely to cause a stir.  If a key player is injured, the public will quickly react.  If there is an argument between players, the public may shift their loyalties.  Likewise, the public is overly fixated on skill positions in sports, and tends to ignore the other positions and their importance. 
  • The public will typically ignore lower-profile games and bet on higher-profile games.  This is important to know since they will more or less ignore entire games.  Remember, they are going off of the most casual knowledge and interest.
  • They will also be influenced by sentiment.  Casual bettors will bet their guts, or back their favorite teams regardless of how they are actually performing.  They feel like they are obligated to support their favorite team even under the worst of conditions.  Winning isn’t so important to them as making a stand and showing their support.  It’s their way of telling their favorite players, “I still believe in you.”  Logic has nothing to do with this, so be wary of the public and how they bet in major games where there is a lot at stake.

 

Simply betting against the public is not a strategy on its own, but betting with the public is generally a bad idea.  Most importantly, you want to make sure you are serious about your betting and not a member of the betting public!  Also know that online betting sites tend to compensate for the public’s actions by adjusting the betting lines.  This works out great for you if you are already planning on betting on the underdog.

 

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A few things to consider when gambling online:

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