Public Betting Percentages

Whether you’re a seasoned betting veteran or a newcomer getting ready to make your first wager, it’s important to keep public betting in mind when placing a wager. Here, we’ll explain how public betting works and what 

What is Public Betting?

Depending on who you talk to throughout the sports betting circles, they will definitely have an opinion about public betting. Public betting is which side of a specific wager that the majority of people (“the public”) is currently placing their money on. 

This has a pretty large spread to the world of betting as different sportsbooks are going to react differently depending on what they believe the public is doing and how much money they have on either side of the bet. Public betting can be a major factoring decision in terms of which side of a wager you should bet as some people believe the public knows something and is taking advantage of a line or the “wise” bettors are influencing a line to manipulate it to their advantage. 

How Does Public Betting Work?

Public betting is a critical component to understanding the odds in terms of the spread. If a large portion of the public money is going on the favorite (-3.5 point spread for example), then the sportsbooks will respond by raising the spread (-4 point spread) and vice versa. This can happen for team spreads, moneyline, and point totals if the money is heavily supporting one side over another. 

This is a big reason why when you bet on sports, the lines and odds are not always even. The sportsbooks would love to have the money split on both sides of the wager so they can pay out with the losing side’s bets and keep the vig as a profit. Public betting can be as egregious on one side as 100 percent or as slim as 51 percent; as long as there’s a majority, it is considered the public bet. 

There are a multitude of reasons for the public to choose one team to bet on whether it be rest, travel, momentum, or trends. There are also many ways that the public could choose a bet as social media has people selling their picks or an influencer saying to bet that side as it is likely a lock to hit. 

Why is Public Betting Useful?

Public betting is a useful tool to understand because it can tell you where the number is going to be. If the favorite is the public favorite, the odds for the underdog are going to improve and could provide a lot of value. If it is for a football game spread, it can get past key numbers that bettors look for like 3, 6, or 7. 

Some sportsbooks will show you the percentages as they will list the team like this: New York Yankees -135 79%. That would mean the Yankees are favored and 79 percent of the bets are on that side.

Be careful though as this could mean different things. Does it mean 79 percent of tickets or 79 percent of all the money for this bet? Make sure you understand what the numbers are telling you before using them as a reference.