Public Betting Percentages for NBA, MLB & NHL

how to bet on sports

As the Basketball leagues resume, lovers of this sport have so many games to bet on. But how does one know how to place a successful wager and where to place it? 

Public betting percentages can help you out. But what is this? 

Here, we provide you with the latest public betting percentages for NBA, MLB, and NHL games that you can use to your advantage.

What Are Public Betting Splits?

Simply put, they’re the percentage of bets placed on each team by the public. For example, the public stakes 60% on the Anaheim Ducks and 40% on the Los Angeles Kings. The betting volume is more on the Ducks than the Kings.

You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with me? I’m not a professional gambler.” However, it is important because public betting percentages can be a valuable tool for anyone looking to make money betting on sports.

If you know how to read and interpret public betting percentages, you can use them to your advantage. Say you see that the public is heavily betting on the favorite in an upcoming game.

You might think the favored team or player is a sure bet. But what if the public is wrong? What if the selected pick is going to lose?

This is how knowing how to read public betting percentages enables you to find value bets that the public is overlooking.

On the other hand, public betting percentages can also be misleading. Just because more people are betting on a favorite doesn’t mean that team will win. So they could be wrong about the outcome of the game.

Public betting percentages are an excellent way to see where the money is going in a particular game.

What’s the Difference Between Bet and Money Percentages?

The terms “bet” and “money” percentages are often used interchangeably. However, they aren’t the same.

Bet percentage is the percentage of total bets placed on each team. On the other hand, money percentage is the percentage of actual money wagered on the units.

The two values often differ because sports betting offers promotions that give bettors extra incentive to bet on one team over another.

For example, a sportsbook might offer a promo where bettors get $5 in free bets for every $20 they bet on the underdog.

In this case, the bet percentage would be higher for the underdog than the money percentage. This is because more bets are being placed on them in favor of the bonus. However, the money percentage would be more significant for the chosen team because there are more actual wagers on them.

Public betting percentages can help you make your picks. In short, when you realize most bettors are picking one team, you might want to bet on the other team. Or, if you notice that most bettors are picking the underdog, you might want to bet on the favorite.

Perhaps the best thing about public betting percentages is that they give bettors an idea of how the majority feels about a specific player.

For example, if a star player is injured and expected to miss a few games, you might see that public betting percentages drop for the team he plays for. This could, thus, be a good opportunity to bet against that team.

Public betting percentages are just one factor to consider when making your picks. Before placing your bets, you should also look at things like injuries, weather conditions, and the recent form of the team or player.

What Is “Fading the Public”?

The idea behind fading the public is pretty straightforward. You bet against the team that the majority of people are betting on.

Let’s say the Golden State Warriors are playing the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors are the top pick, and the public is betting on them at a rate of 70%. That means that for every $100 bet on the Warriors, there is only a $30 stake on the Lakers.

The sportsbook will more than likely adjust the lines to try and get equal action on both sides, but they won’t always be successful. This is especially true when many wagers are placed on one team.

But why fade the public? Aren’t you better off going with the flow?

The main reason you would want to fade the public is to take advantage of lines set by the sports betting sites. Sportsbooks wish to get as close as possible to 50/50 action on both sides to ensure the house makes money no matter who wins.

When the volume of bets on one side is heavier, the line is usually adjusted to make it more attractive for people to wager on the other side to try and balance things out.

Suppose the Philadelphia Phillies are playing the Chicago Cubs, and 80% of bettors are taking the Phillies -6.5. In this instance, the sportsbook will adjust the line to -7 to get more people to wager on the Cubs.

They do this because they know that if they can get an equal amount of bets on both sides, regardless of who wins, the house has an edge – thanks to the vigorish (read: juice).

This is where bettors can take advantage as bettors. By paying attention to the percentage of bets placed on each team, we can make more informed decisions on which sides to wager.

How Do You Calculate the Public Bet Percentage?

The most popular sports for public betting are hockey (NFL), basketball (NBA), and baseball (MLB). Football (NFL) comes close, but the public generally doesn’t impact the lines as much because there are so many games each week.

The percentage of bets on each team is calculated by looking at the money wagered on each side. For example, let’s consider an NBA match where the Boston Celtics are playing the Brooklyn Nets, and the sportsbook closes at the following odds:

Celtics: -5

Nets: +5

In this instance, the negative sign in front of the Celtics’ odds means they are the preferred team, while the positive sign in front of the Nets’ odds means they are the underdog.

The moneyline for this game would look something like this:

Celtics: -200

Nets: +180

If you were to bet $100 on the Celtics, you would win $50. If you bet $100 on the Nets, you would win $180.

The percentage of money wagered on each team is essential when finding value in the moneyline. In the example above, 80% of the bets were placed on the Celtics and 20% on the Nets. So it tells you that more people are betting on the Celtics.

However, if the percentage of money wagered were 60% on the Celtics and 40% on the Nets, it would tell you that while more people are betting on the Celtics, enough people believe in the Nets to make them worth a bet.

The percentage of bets placed on each team is vital, but what’s even more crucial is the percentage of money wagered. The more money wagered on a team, the sharper the odds might be.

The percentage of money in the bet is also known as the handle. It’s the total amount of money wagered on both sides.

For example, if the Celtics receive 80% of the bets placed but only 60% of the money wagered, that’s a sure sign that sharp money is on the Nets.

Get Expert Public Betting Percentages for NBA, MLB & NHL Today

If you’re looking for the best public betting percentages for NBA, MLB & NHL, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we track the percentage of bets placed on each team so you can make informed decisions when placing your wagers.

We are the premier destination for sports betting information and are here to help you beat the book. Visit our website to view cutting-edge public betting trends, tips, and odds in the MBA, MLB, & NHL sports marketplace.


Dan Weiner

Hailing from Atlanta and attending college at the University of Texas, Dan is passionate about sports, particularly college football and soccer. He's a diehard Atlanta pro sports and Texas Longhorns fan. He likes every sport and will watch anything and everything the weirder the better. He joined Betsperts after an 11 year career in television production at ESPN.

Deals of the Day

See All