One of the most important factors to pay attention to when handicapping a football game is where the public is betting.
Many handicappers feel more comfortable betting with the public because they believe if everybody else is doing it, then it must be right. Others like going against the public because they believe that taking the side of Vegas is the way to go, as Vegas never misses paying their light bill.
We believe in a mixture of both, but paying close attention to the way the line is moving dependent on the public betting percentage.
One of the strongest movements in all of sports betting is called the Reverse Line Movement. This RLM is when the public is heavy on a certain side, yet the line moves in the opposite direction.
For example, let’s say a road team opens up as a -3 favorite, and the public percentage of bets favor them to the tune of 75 percent. This means that only 25 percent of the bettors are taking the home team.
As the game approaches, the line now moves down to -2.5, or less despite the favorite getting the majority of action. This RLM is very powerful as it tells handicappers who Vegas believes will cover this spread. Betting on the side of Vegas and going with the RLM as opposed to going against it will lead to bettors making wagers that seem wrong in their head, but right in their wallet.
When looking to make a wager, football handicappers need not to ignore what the odds-makers are doing. Their job is to make sure there is equal action on both sides and to limit their losses. Therefore if bettors are able to understand which “trap” oddmakers want handicappers to fall into, they can avoid easy losses and cash in on easier wins.
There is also never anything as a for-sure-bet. Bettors need to remember that when they see numerous bettors proclaiming their love for a certain betting side. When bettors start hearing more than a couple people liking a certain side, it is worth a second look to look at the opposite side.
Finally, the most important rule in sports betting is that if you can research it on your computer, Vegas has already done it.
Football handicappers should not try and think that they are going to outsmart Vegas with something they read online. Instead, they need to use it to their advantage as Vegas has already accounted for that into their line.
The oddsmakers are more aware of late breaking news then it might appear.
So, handicappers need to take all of the information necessary to make sure they’re making a smart bet.
As a rule of thumb, if the majority of the public like the same pick, it may be wise to either stay away from that game, or look in the opposite direction.