Another key to great sports handicapping is finding value in the spread/line wherever possible. If all of the public is betting on one side you better believe the bookies will fade the line on that team so that in the long run, the public is a loser. Successful handicappers look for the long-term edge wherever they can find it.
One interesting thing to note is that the public loves betting favorites especially for Baseball. Two reasons for that include the public’s inability to pick underdogs, and the public’s desire to win now. Favorites win a large percentage of the time but pay out very little when win and cost a lot when lose. The long-term bettor will get burned betting favorites.
Psychologically, after a bettor bets on a heavy favorite and loses the inclination to bet on them the next game is actually very small. The fact that the public will likely steer clear of the favorite in their next game will add value to that team. Coupled with the motivating factor of losing a game it should have won, we have a great play.
Blindly betting on teams coming off a loss as a favorite greater than -200 playing against the same team is 260-131 +14 units over the past 7 seasons. If only matriculated before Game #100, we end up with a system that is 137-56, +35.7 units. That includes an 18-5 run this season, +7.6 performance this season.
Splitting up the system to monitor performance before Game #100 can be argued to be meaningless but for many systems involving favorites, cutting games off at the Game #100 actually has a large impact. An article on this phenomenon will follow.
In summary, going against public opinion is the strongest when coupled with good handicapping strategy to identify proper motivation with the team the public is fading.
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