This guide will walk you through our NFL public betting data: what it is, why it matters and how to potentially use it to make the most informed bets possible.
What NFL Public Data Is
Public data tells you which side the general public is betting on. It measures the number of bet slips on both sides of a wager. On BetQL, this is signified by “Ticket %.” To be clear, this should not be confused with total money or handle, but rather the percentage of total bets wagered on a particular outcome.
BetQL web users view NFL public data like this:
As you can see, 67% of public bets were wagered on the Chiefs (-9.5) while 33% were on the Chargers (+9.5). This means that if 100 bettors were involved, 67 of them would have bet slips on the Chiefs (at any value) while 33 would have bet slips on the Chargers (at any value).
Why Accessing Public Data Matters
There are several ways you can improve your betting ROI using public data.
Betting against the public is a commonly deployed strategy because novice bettors tend to overreact to news like injuries or suspensions. When do you fade the public? When 70% of public bets are wagered on one side of an outcome, betting on the other side is a proven long-term winning strategy. For example:
The Eagles are playing host to the Giants and are listed as 5-point favorites. New York's starting quarterback gets ruled out and public bettors react. Heavy action results and 75% of public tickets back the Eagles, who are now 10-point favorites since the line got driven up. The overreaction by the public as a result of the lineup change inflated the line, thus making the Giants a more valuable bet.
At times, there’s no doubt that universally betting with the public can lead to short-term success. However, it’s not a winning long-term strategy. Remember, sportsbooks are profitable for a reason. The lines that look too good to be true probably are. Therefore, taking a look at where the public is leaning and comparing it to our best bets and sharp data is highly suggested.
Where Our Public Data Comes From
BetQL has proprietary relationships with sportsbook operators that provide this data in exchange for promotional value on the website.
Betting With The Public
The concept of betting with the public is as straightforward as it sounds. If the Texans (-3) have attracted 65% of the tickets and the Buccaneers (+3) have attracted 35%, that means that 65% of public bets are backing Houston as three-point favorites while 35% are backing Tampa as three-point underdogs. If you want to bet with the public, you'd bet on the Texans, just like you'd back the Ravens in the dashboard example below:
Pretty simple, right? There are a couple important distinctions to make when looking at public data, though.
Public data lumps in all kinds of bettors, from professionals to casuals to fans who have a rooting interest. Further, the public tends to back favorites, back the over and overreact to news like injuries or suspensions. That’s why betting against the public on spread bets where the public is over 70% is a winning strategy over the long haul. That leads to the next potential strategy.
Fading The Public
There’s no doubt that betting with the public can lead to short-term success. However, it’s not a winning long-term strategy. Remember, sportsbooks are profitable for a reason and understand that the public leans towards favorites, leans towards overs and reacts to breaking news in today’s social media age. You know those lines that look too good to be true? They probably are. If it was as simple as betting with the majority, we’d see a lot of millionaires cashing all over the sports betting world.
Betting against the public shouldn’t be a strategy employed on every single wager, but rather in pick-and-choose situations. After all, oddsmakers are very accurate across the industry. However, there are times to take advantage of bad point spreads, over-adjustments or under-adjustments made by oddsmakers. That’s one situation when our model's best bets become a useful and valuable tool.
Developing A Personal NFL Betting Strategy
Identifying an edge is one of the most difficult aspects of sports betting. Luckily, BetQL subscribers have a full arsenal of tools to utilize on our web interface. BetQL is every bettor’s one-stop shop for live odds, a proven best bets algorithm and sharp picks in addition to public data. Which tools you use and how you do so is completely up to you.