Interesting little piece for some of our readers. (Link)
Tidbit: ‘Gamblers must win more than 52.4% of their wagers to make a profitâ€”known in sports betting as overcoming "the juice."
Daniel Fabrizio, the president of the website Sportsinsights.com, has found perhaps the easiest way to make money gambling on football games: Find out what everyone else is doingâ€”and do the exact opposite. Call it the sports version of contrarian investing.
Mr. Fabrizio analyzed the final betting line of every NFL regular-season and playoff game since 2003 and monitored the bets placed with six popular bookmakers. He determined that when one team garners at least 80% of the bets, the other team wins against the spread 53.2% of the time. When the other team is also the underdog, the figure climbs to 56%. Gamblers must win more than 52.4% of their wagers to make a profitâ€”known in sports betting as overcoming "the juice."
The logic behind the data is simple. When people wager too heavily for one team, oddsmakers shift the betting lines to encourage action on the other side. The new spreads most of the time swing too far in favor of the unpopular team. People who bet against every favorite that received at least 80% of the bets would have made money in six of the last eight years, including this season.
Mr. Fabrizio cautioned that the technique requires patience. Most casual bettors struggle with the psychology of ignoring the so-called experts and consistently picking against the consensus.
Last week, two teams received no more than 20% of the action in their games: the Redskins and the Seahawks. Washington covered the spread in a 33-30 loss to Dallas, while Seattle suffered a 34-18 beating at the hands of Atlanta.