What separates casual sports bettors from professionals? The first and most obvious distinction is that pros, also known as wiseguys or sharps, are much more successful and win at a higher rate. They are typically risking large amounts on games and have decades of experience betting on sports. But more than that, pros bet with their head, not with their heart. Wiseguys crunch numbers and spend hours each day analyzing data and matchups. Pros have no allegiances.

They are fearless but disciplined. They bet numbers, not teams. Pros only place a wager if they’ve identified an edge. If not, they lay off. In the end, it’s all about value. Casual bettors, also known as recreational bettors, square bettors, Average Joes or just “the public,” bet largely based on bias and gut instinct. They bet like a fan and almost always side with the most popular teams, their favorite teams and teams with the most star players. Average Joes are susceptible to media bias and focus mostly on big games that are on television. Recreational bettors gravitate toward favorites (because they want to back the “better” team), home teams (because they overvalue home-field advantage) and overs (because they want to root for points and watch a fun and exciting high-scoring game). One of the best tools in a sharp bettor’s toolbox is going contrarian. This means betting against or “fading” the public, who lose more often than they win. By going contrarian, sharps can place themselves on the side of the house (which always wins in the long run).

But more importantly, going contrarian means extracting additional value by capitalizing on artificially inflated or mispriced lines. Remember, sportsbooks don’t set lines in a vacuum. They set lines with public bias in mind, which means they shade numbers toward the popular side they know the public will back. By going the other way and backing unpopular teams, contrarian wiseguys can buy low and get better numbers, which increases their chances of winning and covering exponentially over the long haul. A simple way to capitalize on public perception is to bet on teams coming off a loss. Casual bettors have short memories. They are eternal victims of recency bias, which means overreacting to recent events. When betting the NFL, it’s a week-to-week rollercoaster. If a team looked great last week, the public remembers that and will blindly back them the following week. If a team lost or looked awful, Average Joes will rush to the window to bet against them.

Since 2003, NFL teams coming off a loss have gone 1,889-1,841 ATS (50.5%), losing 50.87 units according to Bet Labs Sports. This doesn’t sound very impressive. But, in comparison, teams coming off a win have gone 49.5% ATS, losing 106.35 units. In other words, teams coming off a win have lost more than double the amount of units compared to teams coming off a loss. The key is focusing on teams who not only came off a loss but got blown out. All week long, public bettors are pounded with media personalities telling them how terrible a team looked last week, how bad they are and how they can’t possibly bounce back and be competitive.

Sharps love situations like this because it allows them to buy on bad news and sell on good news—one of their foundational betting philosophies. Since 2003, teams coming off a loss of 16-points or more have gone 572-520 ATS (52.4%) the following week, winning 20.34 units with a 1.8% ROI. This means that a $100 bettor would have profited $2,034. Here are the Week 2 system matches

• Steelers (lost by 30 to the Patriots, now -3.5 vs Seahawks)

• Dolphins (lost by 49 to Ravens, now 19 vs Patriots)

• Giants (lost by 18 to Cowboys, now 2 vs Bills)

• Falcons (lost by 16 to Vikings, now 1 vs Eagles)

• Browns (lost by 30 to Titans, now -2.5 at Jets)

If teams coming off a 16-point loss or more are also on the road they’ve performed even better: 261-223 ATS (53.9%, 22.76 units, 4.5% ROI).

The bigger the blowout, the more profitable the losing team becomes the following week.

Teams coming off a 20-point loss or more have gone 420-354 ATS (54.3%) the following week, winning 42.71 units with a 5.4% ROI. If they’re on the road they improve to 191-148 ATS (56.3%, 31.83 units, 9.2% ROI).

Teams coming off a 30-point loss or more have gone 113-89 ATS (55.9%, 18.13 units, 8.6% ROI). The Steelers, Dolphins and Browns would all match this week. If the 30-point blowout team is also on the road, you hit the Holy Grail spot: 53-36 ATS (59.6%, 14.39 units with a 15.6% ROI).

The Browns would be the only match. The road angle is key because the public says the team is terrible, just got blown out and now they have to go on the road and are “guaranteed” to get crushed. But it’s just the opposite.

Everyone will think you’re crazy for backing these disgusting teams that look like they can’t possibly cover. But in the end, you’re making a smart, value-driven play that has proven to be successful over the long term.

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