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Insider

How to use contrarian betting strategy in NFL Week 1

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Always fade the public. It's Sports Insights' contrarian, yet highly profitable betting strategy. Whenever the public zigs, we zag.

In the sports betting marketplace, there are two types of bettors: "sharps" and "squares." Typically sharps are wise guys or betting syndicates who spread five- to six-figure bets across multiple sportsbooks. Widely respected, sharps are a smaller group who move lines across the market.

Most bettors can be classified as squares: recreational weekend warriors who place their wagers based on instinct, rather than data and analysis. These individuals overwhelmingly pound favorites and overs, which has historically created value on underdogs and unders.

Squares consistently overreact to recent results, such as teams coming off a blowout or on a prolonged streak. Oddsmakers can accurately anticipate the behavior of these bettors and shade their opening lines to force square bettors to take bad numbers when playing the popular side of a game. These shaded lines create additional value for contrarian bettors who go against the grain and take the underdog.

Every week in this column, we will examine some of the top historical betting trends, identify sharp money indicators and inform our readers about how to capitalize on public perception. We'll be your personal Jiminy Cricket, guiding bettors through the ins and outs of NFL betting.