Sports bettors are always on the lookout for the top teams in the league to bet on. But sometimes it’s more about who they’re betting against that will make them profitable. This is what is called “fading.”
Instead of looking for when to bet on something, some sports bettors are more interested in betting against something, and there are plenty of strategies where this can be successful.
A lot of sports betting is situational and knowing when to take advantage if a team is weak. Bettors can also find edges in spots where the value becomes too good based on what other bettors are doing.
We’ll take you through what fading is, along with some tips and advice on what to look for when looking to fade.
What does it mean to fade a bet?
What does fade mean in sports betting? Fading is basically betting against something for a specific reason.
In most bets, of course, you are obviously going to bet against something. When fading, though, that becomes your primary reason for placing your bet as you did.
Fading can take many different forms, including very specific in-season scenarios where a team is unlikely to be at its best because of scheduling issues, team news, injuries and more.
When to use ‘fade the public’ as a strategy
Those eager to participate in California sports betting have almost certainly heard the phrase “fading the public.” This is exactly what it sounds like. You are betting against where the majority of bettors are putting their money because this may have created some value for you.
From the time sports betting odds for a game come out to the start of the matchup, the numbers can move quite a bit. This is based on a variety of factors, but the main reason for line movement is the oddsmakers reacting to what the bettors are doing.
Sportsbooks aim to minimize their risks, so they would prefer not to have a significant amount of action on one side of a wager. If a point spread comes out and 85% of bettors are backing one side, that will likely force the oddsmakers to adjust to try to entice bettors to pick the other side to decrease the book’s liability.
In such situations, going against the majority of bettors can be effective. Most sports bettors are recreational gamblers who like to throw a few bucks on a game here and there. Over the long haul, they’ll likely lose. They overvalue favorites, overreact to big moments and tend to pick the over because that’s more exciting while you watch a game.
The issue with fading the public is that it is basically an educated guess on where the money is going as you follow the line movement. So, how else do you find out who is the public betting on? Some websites will publish where public money is going, but it is difficult to rely on this being available for every game. Successful bettors tend to have a good sense of what the betting market will do when the odds come out.
3 fading scenarios to look for
You should do your homework and research any game you intend to bet on before you consider placing a wager, but here are three scenarios where fading a certain situation could be valuable:
- Fading the big-time performance: This is one of the most popular times to fade a team. When a team plays out of its mind or a star breaks out in front of a massive TV audience, take the other side in the next game. Teams tend to come back down to earth for a variety of reasons, including simple regression to the mean.
- Fading the team traveling on short rest: An NBA team could play three games in four nights, all in different cities. That is a spot where a team will probably not be at its best, and this could be a good time to fade it.
- Fading the under-the-radar injured team: In a sport like football, the quarterback is the only position that is likely to swing the point spread in a major way, and how the backup will play is fairly unpredictable, making it unlikely you’ll find a ton of value. However, if you are tracking injury reports and notice several key pieces to a team’s secondary are either limited or out with injuries, that’s where you may want to bet against that team. An injured safety is not going to move the point spread much, but you can get an advantage from paying attention to injury news since most bettors will not.
3 fading scenarios to stay away from
On the flip side, there are a few scenarios where it may seem like a perfect place to fade, but you’ll usually want to avoid such a tactic:
- Fading the bad team: Every major sports league has a few teams that simply are not very good. They might have a young roster trying to figure things out, injuries or a general lack of talent. Whatever the reason, do not bet against a team simply because it’s not good. You know the team is bad, but so do public bettors and so do sportsbooks. You will usually not find a lot of value in betting against such a team.
- Fading the team with the injured star: When a star sports player is out with an injury, public bettors’ immediate reaction is to bet against that team. It is not wise to follow the masses in this scenario because sportsbooks will have taken that injury into account.
- Fading the poor performance: This is the opposite of fading the team that just did really well. Fading a team after its worst performance is a bad idea for similar reasons. The public will bet against that team, and it is often motivated to get back on the right track.
Is fading a profitable betting strategy?
Plenty of successful fading strategies exist, but it can be dangerous to blindly go after recent betting trends. Sports betting is designed for bettors to fail and for the books to succeed. When a particular fading trend starts to become too popular, oddsmakers will do everything they can to shut it down quickly by adjusting their lines and negating any advantage bettors may have had.
Fading comes down to certain game-by-game situations, and it is certainly not a one-size-fits-all model of wagering. There may be a certain example that fits into one of the fading scenarios that we touted above, but there could be other factors in that particular game that would make fading a bet a bad idea.
Whether you are hoping to bet on a team or bet against a team in a certain situation, never go into a bet without first doing your homework on key sports betting rules. There are plenty of situations where fading a team or the public could be a solid play. Information has never been more available to sports bettors than it is right now. It is up to you to take advantage as you look for your next winning bet.
Sports Betting Basics
- 11 Unspoken Rules of Sports Betting
- Are Parlays & Same Game Parlays Worth It?
- Best Bonus Offers
- California Odds vs. Vegas Odds – What’s the Difference?
- California Sports Betting Odds
- How Does Round Robin Betting Work?
- How to Buy Points in Sports Betting
- How to Self-Exclude from Online Sportsbooks
- Legal vs. Offshore Sportsbooks: What’s the Difference?
- Pros & Cons of Betting on Major Sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL)
- Sports Betting Plus & Minus Explained
- What Are Units In Betting?
- What Is a PK in Sports Betting?
- What is a Winning Margin 4 Way Bet?
- What is Arbitrage Betting?
- What Is Point Spread Betting?
- What Is Sports Betting Insurance?