What is Smart Money Action in Sports Betting?

Las Vegas is a known hub for smart money bettors who like to have as many options to wager as possible. Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Circa Resort & Casino/AFP

Smart Money. Often mentioned and talked about. But what does the term mean to you and how can you identify it? And if you can identify, how can you make it work for you when betting?

Smart money or sharp money is a term that is used to point out that professional bettors or those that are skilled enough to make a living as a gambler, are what they are betting on.

These individuals have more and better information than many oddsmakers at the top sportsbooks and they are highly respected and, to a degree, even feared.

How is it possible for such a person, a group of people, or even a syndicate to have more intel than a collection of oddsmakers?

Think of it as those that regularly make large amounts of money in the stock market or other similar endeavors. Some people are smarter, have an innate sense and ability to “beat the odds” against those that have many of the same tools.

How to Find Smart Money Action

Smart money is the opposite of public money. If your typical bettor is reviewing the betting numbers at OddsTrader.com and sees 80% of bets are placed on one team, they are inclined to follow the herd.

What you as a sports bettor should do is dig deeper and find a situation where 80% of the bets are on one team, yet only 50% or less of the money wagered is. This is a red flag that someone or a group of people are not following the masses and are instead on the opposite team.

To further determine if this is wise guy action, if those percentages are as stated and the line has not moved from the opening number or has gone against the starting point, that would be considered smart money.

All online sportsbooks are astute to watching this type of betting action, knowing what to expect from the public and make adjustments accordingly.

With the OddsTrader app you can see how the public is betting on each game. This tool should make it easier for you to spot possible smart money plays-

Respect Smart Money, Just Don’t Go Overboard

A popular misconception is that those in the know win all the time. That’s why there are touts on social media and other places saying they win 75 percent or more and win year after year.

Professional bettors do not win anywhere near that percentage, the best ones are in the low to upper 50’s at best.

Their skill is to identify a bad number and pounce on it and they have the bankroll to do so. Oftentimes, because of betting limits, they have placed a series of bets at the same time with the hopes of wagering the amount they intended to.

They are not thinking about win percentage, these bettors are interested in money won. Let’s say a sharp bettor can get down 15 football bets at 5K (or more) a piece just at one sportsbook. He’s able to do this in three different books and he goes 8-7 (53.3%) on the day.

The OddsTrader app connects you with the best online sportsbooks so you can shop around for the best price or, just like smart money bettors, have an extra option in case they bring down your limits once you start winning.

That would mean despite having what most considered to be an ordinary day by normal standards, this person just made $4,500. We are not suggesting that every sharp bettor has $247,500 to work with on a given football weekend, we are just explaining it’s about the winning, not percentages.

The point is, if you have the information that has you convinced that the side you are on is correct and that might be the opposite of smart money, that doesn’t mean you will be wrong.

Learning how to access what is smart money or not is an acquired skill. And always being on their side does not guarantee you will win a large number of your football picks or any other sport for that matter.

However, if you want to be more than a recreational bettor, learning this skill will enhance your chances of winning more wagers or take you off bad bets you might have made. Bottom line, smart bets will make you money. 

OddsTrader.com is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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