Following Betting Trends

Betting trends are a formidable weapon in the arsenal of serious sports bettors. In short, these trends are large scale movements of betting action and basically tell us what the general public is betting on at the moment. They can be expressed in both percentages and actual numbers of bets.

Sports bettors find gambling trends useful because these trends can be used to identify profitable bets. One of the most popular theories is that it is profitable to bet against the public. The merits of this theory can be debated back and forth all day, but the basic idea is that the general public is so bad at placing wagers that it is profitable to bet against them.

We don’t believe it’s that simple to turn a profit, but there is some merit to noting the trends. In some cases, the public goes so overwhelmingly towards one side of a bet that the sportsbook has to adjust the line to keep the action somewhat even. If you pay attention and know your sports, you can find value on these artificially adjusted lines.

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General Public vs Smart Money

Here’s another theory behind online gambling trends: if you notice heavy public action on one side of a bet but the sportsbook refuses to move the line, it must mean that the sportsbooks are paying attention to the professionals with the smart money. The logic behind this one is that sportsbooks would normally move the line to get even betting, but they have decided to stick with the smart money.

Once again, the goal is to profit by going against the public. This strategy is almost the same as the one we mentioned above, except it looks for instances in which the line does not move even though the trend would normally dictate a move.

Watch for Line Movements

One other strategy is to look for trends in which the public is wagering heavily on one team, but the betting line moves in the wrong direction. This is often a sign that the sportsbook saw smart money come in on the underdog. For example:

  • Team Underdog +21
  • Team Favorite -21

You notice in this matchup that the public heavily favors Team Favorite. But instead of making Team Favorite a less attractive bet, the sportsbook changes Team Favorite to -17. This move in contradictory to what you would expect in a match in which the majority of bets are already on Team Favorite. The only explanation is that the sportsbook has seen smart money come in on Team Underdog.

So How Useful are These Trends?

They can be useful, but they are not the final solution to locking in a profit. You should look at them as if they are one piece to the puzzle. They have their use and should be noted but they alone will not make you a profitable sports bettor.

Research, bankroll management and strategy should all be used to identify profitable bets. As interesting as they are, they are only one piece of information in the grand scheme of things and do not become a slave to them.

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