NFL Player Props: Is It Profitable To Fade The Public?

Written By Jeffrey Schreiber on December 19, 2022
fade the public

Between 2016-20, NFL games went under their total 50.7% of the time. At -110 odds, you need to win at a 52.4% rate to be profitable. Because of that, you wouldn’t have been profitable blanket-betting either side of NFL totals over the past five years. The same cannot be said for player props, which have been highly skewed towards a potential fade the public strategy the past few seasons.

With NFL sides and totals, if you are betting Sunday, you’ve likely lost any chance of getting an edge on the closing line. Player props may offer an alternative and have, generally, been much more beatable near kickoff compared to sides and totals.

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Has A ‘Fade THE PUBLIC’ Strategy Been Successful?

It’s always been a fun conversation with friends about fade the public bets. There is constant chatter, mixed with some very dumb conspiracy theories about sportsbooks having secret information. However, I can present a small-sample strategy that has led to a 70% success rate this season.

John Ewing handles data and public relations for BetMGM. On his Twitter account, he tweets the most bet player props for Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football.

For the last 33 primetime games, if you were to bet the opposite side of the most-bet prop at BetMGM, you would be 23-10. As you can imagine, players to go Over their totals have been extremely profitable, with many Overs garnering 95% of the handle. Christian McCaffrey’s receiving yardage Over on TNF was the most recent victim. Fading the public in primetime has been profitable during the 2022 NFL season, at least in this context.

Find The Best Odds

If you’re going to optimize your chances of long-term profitability, you must also seek out the best available odds across sportsbooks for props. We have a way that makes it simple – our Prop Finder Tool. Simply search the player name and compare odds across sportsbooks in your state.

HOW TO PLAY PLAYER PROP BETS

There’s an edge in betting the Unders on weekly player props close to kickoff. The edge is so great that you would have posted a positive ROI last year if you bet every single under with no other information. And BTP research indicates this isn’t a one-year fluke but rather sustainable long-term.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean you should never bet Overs. You have to be selective with picking your spots based on new information, and it’s always best to handicap each situation independently.

Betting the Under may not be the most fun way to watch a game for some. No one wants to cheer for a player to fail, but the increased ROI you get from focusing on Unders should outweigh that for those wanting to be profitable long term.

Betting an Under on season-long props is also optimal. There are just so many more ways for them to hit. Maybe a player gets hurt, their team rests starters in Week 18, or they just flat-out underperform.

The logic is different for weekly props, but we see the same results. The Under appears preferable regardless of the type of bet you’re placing. All you need to know is that the general public bets Overs, but this is suboptimal. Unders hit at a significantly higher rate.

Video: How To Make Money In Sports Betting By Understanding Odds

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Jeffrey Schreiber

Jeffrey Schreiber is a sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media. Jeff is recent college graduate with a background in finance and analytics. His goal is to provide readers with data and information behind the "why" to make a bet. His most memorable betting moment came during the divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs when he turned $37 in same-game parlay bets into $25,000.

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