Fading the public is a profitable strategy in the NBA. The table below shows how betting against the squares performed during the 2017-18 regular season:
The against-the-spread (ATS) win percentage and return on investment (ROI) improves the more lopsided the action becomes. When recreational players load up on one team, the oddsmakers inflate the lines, which creates value for contrarian bettors.
With this strategy being profitable in the regular season, bettors logically want to apply the approach to the playoffs. Unfortunately, the results have not been the same …
Since 2005, $100 bettors wagering on teams getting fewer than 50% of spread bets in the playoffs have lost $2,718. At every level, the ATS win rate is around 50%, and unlike during the regular season, the ROI does not improve the more skewed the betting action becomes.
On the surface the results are discouraging, but fear not. In the right situation, betting against the public is lucrative in the NBA postseason. Using Bet Labs, I’ve discovered the optimal strategy for fading casual bettors in the NBA Playoffs.