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College Football Betting Tip: Fade the Public in Conference Championship Games

Nov 27, 2018 8:43 PM EST
  • There are 10 conference championship games being played in Week 14 of the college football season.
  • Using the Bet Labs database, we find an optimal strategy for betting these games.

Welcome to Championship Week. Conference titles and spots in the College Football Playoff are on the line starting Friday.

The conference championship games will receive increased handle with fewer betting options on the small slate and seven of the 10 title games featuring at least one ranked team.

With an influx of public money concentrated on a handful of games, this seems like a perfect opportunity to bet against the public. But does fading recreational gamblers work in these high-stakes games?

Fading the Public

Betting against the public is one of the most popular and simplest sports betting strategies. The logic is simple: whichever team the public is loading up on, simply bet the other team.

Oddsmakers know which team casual bettors want to wager on — usually favorites and ranked teams. The bookmakers will shade the lines accordingly, creating value by betting against the public.

There is increased value fading the public in heavily bet games, like in conference championship matchups.

According to Bet Labs, teams getting less than 50% of spread tickets in conference championships have gone 44-32-3 (57.9%) against the spread since 2005. Teams getting less than 40% of bets are 24-15-1 (61.5%) ATS.

A Bigger Sample

Fading the public is a profitable strategy in conference title games, but a 79-game sample isn’t huge. We can draw from a bigger pool of games if we look at all neutral site matchups, which often have the same features as a championship game: increased public action and teams of equal caliber.

In neutral site games, it is also profitable to bet against the public:

  • <50% of spread tickets: 378-331-14 (53.3%) ATS
  • <40% of spread tickets: 217-172-6 (55.8%) ATS

It is a simple strategy, but going against public perception is a contrarian approach to sports betting that returns a profit. Here is an early look at the teams the public is fading this weekend.

The betting percentages will change throughout the week, so be sure to check our free odds page for updates.

Credit:

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa

Follow John Ewing on Twitter
@johnewing

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60.5
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55.5
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54.5
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68.5
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50.5
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