Last weekend was a perfect example of why I love the Public Action Report so much. It went a very nice 5-1 ATS to bring the season total to a nicely profitable 13-10 ATS. It was successful with a full range of teams — from very significant underdogs to a pretty solid favorite. It was another weekend that proves that you can learn a whole lot just from looking at what other people are doing.
We haven’t recapped the criteria for a couple of weeks, so let’s do that. We are looking for games in which 70 percent or more of the bets have been made on one team. Typically in situations like that we would expect the odds for the heavily-bet team to get less attractive with time. That’s because the sportsbooks typically like to balance the action between the two sides so their risk is minimal and their profit is all but assured regardless of how the game turns out.
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Sometimes, though, we will actually see the opposite happen — a team’s odds will move to become more attractive despite the solid majority of bets being on them. There are two major reasons why these movements — the ones we are looking for — can happen. First, it could be that The amount bet by the small minority of bettors is significantly more than the large majority. That can happen if sharp bettors are betting on the less popular side. Second, it can happen if, for some reason, the books aren’t afraid of action on the popular side because they are confident in the other side and don’t mind the exposure. Either way, the odd line movement is a very good indicator that the less popular team is worth a close look and, often, a bet.
This week we again have six games that fit the criteria — four college games and two from the NFL:
Navy (+8) at Air Force (Saturday, Oct. 6, 11:30 a.m. ET)
Nearly 80 percent of all bets have been placed on the Falcons here, yet the line opened at 10 and has dropped to eight. In fact, it dropped to 7.5 in many places before jumping back to this level. That means that Navy is worth a look. The Midshipmen haven’t been a great team, but they are playing better in their last two.
Indiana (+14) vs. Michigan State (Saturday, Oct. 6, 12 p.m. ET)
Three-quarters of bettors have backed the Spartans, yet the line has moved from 15 to the key number of 14. That means we should be looking at the Hoosiers. Michigan State has only covered once in five games this year, and the Spartans offense is still not on track. Therefore, this is a lot of points for them to give away.
Eastern Michigan (+3) vs. Kent State (Saturday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. ET)
Eighty percent of bets have been on Kent State, yet the line has dropped from 3.5 to the key number of three. Moves involving three are particularly interesting, so Eastern Michigan draws our attention. Eastern Michigan has yet to win this year, but the Eagles had a strong confidence building effort at Michigan State last time out and have had two weeks to get ready for this one. They should be ready for a strong performance.
Illinois (+13.5) at Wisconsin (Saturday, Oct. 6, 3:30 p.m. ET)
The game opened at 14.5 and has since moved through the key number of 14 to 13.5. That is a move against the more than 80 percent of bets on Wisconsin, so that’s a clear sign that we should look at Illinois. Wisconsin has just one cover in five games, and the Badgers are not firing on all cylinders on either side of the ball. Therefore, going against them doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Miami (+3) at Cincinnati (Sunday, Oct. 7, 1 p.m. ET)
The Bengals have drawn more than 70 percent of all bets, yet the line has fallen from five to the key number of three. That means that the Dolphins get our attention. Miami has played tough in their last three games, and the public doesn’t seem to be giving them enough credit.
Jacksonville (+4.5) vs. Chicago (Sunday, Oct. 7, 4 p.m ET)
The Bears have drawn a very strong 85 percent of the bets in this one, yet the line has dropped from 5.5 to 4.5. That means we should be paying attention to the Jaguars. Jacksonville has not been consistent this year, but they have covered both of their road games and they can be tough if they get their act together. The Bears, meanwhile, have been strong in their last two, but are still not the most stable team in the league.
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