Anyone who loves to bet on sports is always looking for an edge against the sportsbooks. Every once and a while, that edge pans out. However, more times than not, the books end up beating the betting public over a longer period of time.
Case in point was the month of November. The betting public lost big while all the legal sportsbook operators in the US market posted impressive gains. The majority of those losses were tied to losing bets on NFL games.
As the biggest betting sport in the sports betting industry by far, legal sportsbooks’ bottom line hinges on the outcome of each week’s NFL games.Jump to
The Betting Public and Betting Favorites
The betting public, as a whole, is notorious for betting favorites in any sport. This is especially true when it comes to betting on the NFL. This may be tied to popular teams such as the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. It could also be tied to the desire to back a winner.
Whatever the case may be, the heavy lean toward betting favorites plays right into the hands of the books taking the bets. They can tweak their betting lines to create an even bigger push in that direction to heighten the action on the favorite’s side of the bet.
Given the added betting volume on popular NFL favorites, unexpected upsets move quite a bit of money in the books’ direction.
That was clearly the case in November due to some of the biggest NFL upsets of the year. Certain industry insiders have described this past November as one of the worst months ever for the US betting public.
While the actual revenue numbers for legal US sportsbooks will not be released until later in December, this could have been one of their best months ever.
BetMGM’s director of race and sports is Jeff Stoneback. He was quoted as saying that the sheer number of NFL wins in November was “unbelievable… percentage-wise.” Stoneback has more than 30 years’ experience in the bookmaking industry and he admitted that “I was shocked.”
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Parity and Betting NFL Games
Straight-up upsets in the NFL are not all that rare. However, current betting trends highlight this year’s results. Through the first 12 weeks of the NFL regular season, underdogs have won more than 40% of the games, without the point spread.
Adding in the spread, the winning rated jumps to 56.4% against the closing line. Betting NFL underdogs on the road has been the best bet. That winning rate against the closing spread is close to 61%.
The bigger the upset, the bigger the gain for books. Not to say that the US betting public is rather predictable, but when Green Bay or Dallas loses a game they were expected to win, sportsbooks post their biggest money gains.
The to-date results points to a higher level of parity in the NFL this season. Heading into the final six weeks of the regular season schedule, as many as 24 of the 32 teams still had a realistic chance to make the playoffs.