Betting Intelligence Guides

Understanding Public Betting Percentages and Using Trends to Your Advantage

A common phrase you’ll hear in sports betting circles is “fade the public”. To many bettors, it’s clear that if you can figure out what sides a sportsbook needs and join them, you’re probably in a good place. After all, the house always wins, right?

The question is how do you figure out what the public is betting on, and how do you discern which bets the house needs? If you’ve been wondering about the sports betting strategies relating to public betting percentages, we’re going to delve into all of that and explain below. Let’s start off with a simple explanation of what’s being referred to with ‘the public’ in terms of money and/or consensus.

Understanding Public Betting Percentages and Using Trends to Your Advantage
Understanding Public Betting Percentages

Who Is ‘The Public’?

There are all types of people who place a sports bet. It could be the casual fan who wants to back their home team, someone who feels like they found an edge on the game or a very calculated individual who bets professionally. However, the general understanding in the sports betting community is that the bettors fall into two main buckets: public and sharp sports bettors

The sharps are the professional bettors who do this for a living. They’ll actually make enough money betting on sports – be it making the correct picks, arbing or middling – for this to be a significant source of income. They’re disciplined, calculated bettors who wager with no emotion. They understand the importance of where the line opens, where it moves and how to take advantage of it.

And on the other side of the coin, we have the public. This includes everyone else from the beginners who are just getting started to those who have fun recreationally to veterans who bet all of the time. Whether flattering or not, if you’re not someone who wins for a living, you fall into the ‘public’ bucket.

What Is Public Money?

The logic behind tracking the public money is quite simple. Have you ever heard the old adage: “the house always wins”? We know this to be true because the Las Vegas Strip is lined with luxurious billion-dollar mega-resorts. If the house didn’t always win, there would likely be a bunch of low-budget motels on The Strip. 

The crux of tracking the money is that the public doesn’t usually win. Maybe the house loses to the sharps but they definitely win against the public. If that’s the case and the house does always beat the public, then it becomes fairly valuable information to understand what the general public is doing. If you can figure out where the public money is on each game, in some ways, you might be able to be on the side of the house. And if you need to win whatever games they need to win, then you should be able to have an edge.

There are some flaws with this mindset but in general, that’s the idea. If you track where the public money is, you can find out what sides the house needs to win and be on their side – the side that wins more often – and get yourself an advantage.

Where Do You Find The Public Money Betting Percentages?

This has been the million dollar question for many years in the sports betting community. Unfortunately, there is still no definitive answer.

The main reason for that is because sportsbooks tend to be secretive with what’s happening on their ledger. There’s a number of explanations for that but in general, they simply don’t want the public to have the same raw data that they do as it could actually give players – especially pros – an advantage. So while there are some tools that purport to let Twitter followers and newsletter readers know where the public money is, you should always take it with a grain of salt. It might be somewhat on point but it’s not 100% accurate. Here are some places to find the public money percentages:

  • Outlier – Of course, you can use Outlier to get public betting volume and dollar amounts on nearly every game, line and player prop out there. Our data is aggregated from a series of sources.
  • VSINVSIN is one of the biggest outlets that provides television and online content focused solely on sports betting. You can find betting split percentages on their site.
  • SportsInsights – They’ve long been viewed as one of the first places to look for public money but they are now under the Action Network umbrella. You can still visit SportsInisghts to get some more intel.
  • Patrick Everson on Twitter – There are many good Twitter accounts to follow in the sports betting community but if you’re looking specifically for public money, Patrick Everson tweets it out regularly. He can be followed at @PatrickE_Vegas.
  • Follow The Sportsbooks On Twitter – Many of the sportsbooks will tweet out when there is a public consensus on one side, so make sure you’re following the big brands. A number of the books send out full breakdowns as well for each game, so you might find that useful.

The system might pre-suppose some arbing opportunities, but be on the lookout for more options. This applies to bookies that have embraced arbing.

It is a technique used by progressive gamblers to bet on the same markets in different gambling sites.

Odds comparison sites that feature all betting sites on one platform are the best place for arbing. They showcase odds value in real-time across all gaming platforms, making sure bets are easier to identify.

The bettor picks one common market among bookies and stakes on different outcomes. Of all outcomes listed, at least one will turn out correct. However, it only works well if possible outcomes are 2, giving the better a 50% chance of winning.

Market Efficiency

Column Value 1 Value 2
Row name -108 24
Row name -108 24
Row name -108 24

Odds comparison sites make the work easier as they rank bookies based on the odds value in a specific market.


  • You can earn guaranteed profits
  • You don’t have to be a Great Bettor to win
  • Plenty of arbing opportunities are available
  • Arbing profit margins are slim
  • You have to put a lot of work into finding
  • You need a large bankroll

Arbing like most other betting strategies & systems gives the bettor a chance to win back their investment. Also, no law inhibits arbitrage betting, making it legal. Therefore, use the opportunity to improve earnings.

Outlier Team
April 17, 2023
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