It seems like I cant read a post at Covers anymore without a mention of who the "public" is betting, and at what percentage. I will admit, I have strong opinions (almost all negative) about the validity of these percentages, what they mean, and the seemingly endless inability of anyone to provide any sort of statistics with history of how to use them and what to expect.
But yet it is so prevalent in how people pick their games they must know something I dont, so Im keeping an open mind and putting this out there as an honest attempt to gain meaningful information. Currently, all I have is anecdotal answers of personal experience, but no facts. Its always things like "I use the numbers, but I use other stuff too" or "I am 10-4 in my last 14, its working!". You get the same kind of answers when you ask someone "is there life after death". Im trying to draw a line here between faith and science - so I will ask the follwing questions to anyone who will answer:
1. Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?
2. Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?
3. What type of sportsbook gives up these numbers? If crappy sportsbooks with 500 dolar limits are the main contributors, what good is that? Does pinnacle really give out these numbers? Try walking up to a Vegas sportsbook and ask the manager about their handle - let me know what they say....
4. Think about the business model of sportsinsights. Spread a popular belief that you know more than the average gambler, then charge for that info - sounds a lot like a tout in different clothes if you ask me. Explain sportsinsights motivation to be forthright in any capacity.
5. Assuming the numbers are real, and from a real sporstbook, and from legitimate sportsbooks - what do they mean? What - specifically - do you do with them and why would that make any sense?
6. Do people who bet more money win at a higher percentage than those who dont bet as much?
7. Please provide any history, statistics, or a model of when to use the numbers and how. Not a vage answer - but specifics - with backup. Example: When a team is 80% or higher, and the line has moved 1 point in the opposite direction, that team wins at a 58.5% rate over the past 5 years.
Im sure the answers to the above will provide a platform for more follow up questions, but considering I have never seen an answer to the above - I wont hold my breath.
This is not bashing those that use these numbers, or an attack in any way, it is an attempt to understand and inject some rational discussion in to what appears to be a totally irrational subject.
Everyone has their own opinion about these numbers - but everyone uses them differently - and that is always trouble from a statisctical relevancy standpoint. If something is statistically relevant, there shouldnt be varying opinions on how to use the numbers or what they mean, it should just be self evident.
My opinion going in to this discussion is that these numbers are absolute hogwash - an urban myth spawning an industry to suck more money out of lazy gamblers looking for easy answers to complex questions. So someone please change my mind.....