Originally published on Telegram on 1/25/2023 (Article has been expanded for publishing on TheSharpPlays.com)…
A lot of people have been commenting on how hot the public has been in the NBA with sides lately. The phenomenon is nothing earth shattering. A few weeks back I commented how COLD the public was betting sides in the NBA (as reported in the daily “Public Concentrations” report to Twitter…usually posted 5pm ET weekdays and 11:30am ET weekends).
Why did the public’s side performance in the NBA all of a sudden spring back? Did I jinx it? Did I change the way I covered it? No, the rubber band got stretched so much against the public that it was statistically “due” to spring back in their favor. I reported on the incredible cold public run because it was so statistically out of whack from the norm…which then made it a high probability that a progression run for the public was coming.
When you have performance data, you will notice over time that it progresses and regresses to the mean (average performance). So, if something has a long-term win percentage of 49%, over a large sample size (say a data sample covering over 10 years and 2000 selections), and currently that content has a win percentage of 17% on the year…a progression to the mean of 48% is highly probable. So, we can reasonably expect that a losing streak strong enough to bring that 17% up to around 49% is coming! It is just a matter of when. However, the longer the hot streak (or cold streak), the closer we are to that streak flipping!
If the long-term win percentage of something, in this case the public performance on NBA sides, is 48.84% (over 11 years now, click here), but at the current time they are hitting 30%…that means they are likely due for a hell of a run at some point. A run that will pull them into their usual 48.8% win range overall for the season. The problem casual bettors have is understanding that things progress and regress around long-term smoothed percentages. People see the public hitting 30% in the NBA and instead of thinking…this rubber band is pretty stretched out and due to snap back…the public thinks, “WOOHOO…I can get 70% winners by fading the public!” Sorry, but that ship already sailed.
If the public has 30 wins and 70 losses on NBA sides, for 30% winners…but their long-term win percentage is around 50%…they are likely due for a 70%, 80%, 90% or better run as their overall record gets back to around that long-term 50% level of performance.
It’s also why THE WORST thing you can do is follow someone on a lengthy hot streak. I know…it goes against everything you hold dear as a gambler. “This guy is 20-2 his last 22 bets…time to fucking UNLOAD on what he’s betting today!!!!” Um, no. Sure the run might continue, but it surely won’t continue forever…or perhaps even for one more selection. The guy being discussed did not find the magic for betting sports that will allow him to win 80% consistently moving forward. It doesn’t mean he will be a long-term loser, or that his 23rd wager will lose, but it likely does mean a good losing run where he only hits 20-30% winners is coming around the next corner! A run which then brings him to his long-term win percentage of 53 to 54%…if he’s good. At which point everyone will say he is a douchebag and the greatest fade ever. LOL! The highs and lows of gambling!
Just something to keep in mind as you watch public and sharp runs. Runs are called “runs” because they will not continue forever, but are here for just a short period of time. A hot streak just means that at the conclusion a cold streak will be coming. A cold streak means a hot streak will be coming up once the cold front has run its course.
So often I will see TSP Live content go on a cold streak and people will step away from it. If something is long-term profitable, as TSP Live (paid content) has been over the last 4 years since it was created, the last thing you want to do is stop. I know, sounds like that is a self-serving statement. It’s not intended to be that way, but just an illustration that nothing continues on a straight line up…or down. When you experience a cold streak, with whatever strategy/method/content you are using, the last thing you want to do is change course. Why? As you have probably noticed in your own gambling, when you change course during a cold steak, you will miss the inevitable hot run that offsets all the cold and provides a profit! If you bet properly you can and will weather any cold streak. That’s the trick though, few bet properly and that is always their undoing.
Any TSP content (free or paid) will not win every month, but if you play the game of leaving when it is cold and trying to time when to get back in when it heats up…you will only find yourself being ground down as you can rarely time the turns perfectly. The best performers using TSP (free or paid) content are those which have a proper bankroll, a proper unit wager, and who don’t sweat the bad or overly celebrate the good. They are mechanical and ride the content up and down every month. Some months suck, some months are epic. Don’t try to time the turns…you will never get it right consistently enough. Instead, just grind!
Ride the content for better or worse. If you have a proper bankroll management strategy, the cold streaks won’t hurt that much. If a cold streak hurts…it’s a great signal you are betting too much. Statistically, a cold streak for someone betting daily, using 1 unit wagers, AND who is betting +EV (value/sharp) wagers, will experience a 20-30 unit drawdown at some point in the year. If your bankroll is not suited for such a run…adjust immediately because that run is coming. I don’t care how good you are, it is a statistical inevitability. You can tempt fate in a lot of things, don’t tempt faith with math…math always wins!
Now this article uses the public concentrations as its discussion point regarding progression and regression. I do not advise following or fading the public concentrations. I post them simply because the side or total with the most public money is usually (98% of the time) going to be the side with either no value or negative value. It won’t necessarily make the fade a value, but it is good to know what bets on the card have no value or negative value on them. Betting things which have no value or negative value is a recipe for losing over the long-term…could win in the very short term. So, knowing what those sides are is key to avoid them…not necessarily fade them.
Sometimes knowing what NOT TO BET is just as useful as knowing what to bet!