Follow the Money to Riches in Sports Betting

by Wayne Root

Big Connections Needed
Unless you’re one with big connections, you can’t easily find out how much money has been bet on each team in a particular game. Many like to think they know, and some do, but trust that a 35 year betting sports professional like myself certainly does. It’s my job and duty to “follow the money”. What I want to verify is it 2500 public bettors betting $200 each for $500,000 or three sharp players giving $500,000 in three different bets. That’s good and solid information that’s needed. 
Analyzing the Marketplace 
What you can find out, though, is how many bets by percentage have been placed on each team by monitoring as many sports books as you can. When we see a game in which a huge majority of the bets – 70 percent or more – are on one team we would typically expect the odds for that team to get less attractive. That’s the sign of public money coming in. But is the public money only showing up at one betting site or across all of Vegas and offshore? The books generally like to have action that is closed to balanced so that they can make profits with little risk, so they will change the lines to attract action to one team to achieve that balance. This will give you data on where the marketplace is betting. It will additionally allow you to see the line movement at different betting establishments. 
Sharp Money Bets
When a game moves in the opposite direction to what you would expect are you confused? Sometimes, though, we will see games in which the large majority of bets are on one team, yet the line moves the opposite expected direction to make that team even more attractive. What that tells us is that the small number of bettors on the less popular team have bet more money than the large number of bettors on the popular team. 
Do you Recognize the Upset?
If the team’s point spread moves significantly then we know that the sharps bet the game aggressively. It can be profitable by betting against the public in these situations as the public. This is a great way to spot teams that are ready to pull off a big upset – something that can lead to very profitable moneyline bets. Even if the moneyline bets fail, the point spread bets that I post succeed and are successful a majority of the time. 
See you in the Winner’s Circle and at the Cash Window

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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