What are Consensus Picks?
When you are planning to place a bet, it can often be beneficial to know what the public is leaning toward on a particular game. The consensus picks show you what percentage of the public is betting on each side, and you will need to decide whether you want to bet against (or fade) the public or go with the consensus.
Regular bettors often prefer to buck public opinion, given the fact that the sportsbooks win more often than not. The line is set with the goal of getting equal action on both sides of the contest, and sometimes the books make the bet seem more enticing than it really is. If the public hits a popular side hard, the books often come out on top.
Many bettors are fans first and either have a personal interest in the outcome or don’t follow the games as closely as they should to be successful bettors. The majority of bets are placed on favorites and the over, because fans want to think their teams will win, and they expect them to score a lot of points.
Books often shade their lines against the favorites and the over, expecting the public to bet heavily on them. If the public hits one side really hard, the line will shift, benefiting the educated bettors even more. Typically, you have better than a 50/50 chance of hitting on a bet if you fade a public that is betting a team at a rate of more than 75 percent. Large underdogs also are very profitable when more than three-quarters of the public is going with the favorite
Fading the public is a strategy that has stood the test of time, though it needs to be combined with knowledge of the teams you are betting on. The houses know what they are doing (and have made a lot of money doing it), so playing alongside them while getting better odds -- and a better payout -- often will work to your advantage.