Tony Reno on Betting Against the Public

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If you spend any amount of time talking to Tony Reno, chances are you’ll hear him bring up the general public. More specifically, he talks about how profitable betting against the public can be. Why is this the case? Well, it’s actually quite simple. We picked Tony’s brain for a while and got some valuable answers to some of our questions about his ATP strategy.

Why does betting ATP work?
“The public (or average Joe) loves to bet on favorites. The average Joe picks winners. Sportsbooks set the lines with this in mind. This is a large part of the reason why bookies stay in business. Bettors that take the “hot” team every time, find themselves losing more often than not. Sportsbooks aren’t always looking for balanced action – they’re sometimes looking to exploit the masses.”

What percentage of the time does betting ATP work?
“If you bet ATP every time, you’ll win 60-70 percent of the time. If you bet ATP most of the time, you’ll win, but if you use public trends an information tool and consider other factors (like team health, where the game is being played, betting trends, etc) you’ll win even more. Not every game is worth betting on. If you don’t feel good about a line, stay away from it – even if the public is leaning heavily one way. Sometimes they’re right.
Try to recognize trap games and stay away from ‘em. Vegas has an information advantage. If you see the public jump to one side heavily, the experts think the game will go the other way. The experts (or Vegas oddsmakers) are right more often than Joe.”

Should I bet ATP every time?
“While betting ATP is a valuable strategy, public data should only be used as part of the consideration. Every once in a while I find myself having to bet with the public because the Vegas has their numbers wrong. Bookies lose big when this happens, but it does occur. Successful sports betting isn’t as black and white as betting ATP. Checking lines early, and watching their movement throughout the week, can give you a good idea which way to bet when you make your decision. Only bet early if you know that the early lines are way off, and you anticipate movement which will balance out the action. I took a home football team underdog at +6.5 early last week which I knew was a steal. The spread moved to +4.5 by kickoff and the underdog won straight-up.”