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Fading The Public In Sports Betting

Fading The Public In Sports Betting

Eric Kithinji
Eric Kithinji
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5 Min
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What Is Fading The Public?
Fading The Public And Line Movement
How Pros Fade The Public

It’s no secret that a large majority of sports bettors have very limited knowledge when it comes to selecting and evaluating sports bets.

Most bettors have an unhealthy obsession with the favorites, while other members of the media and the public prefer to back more famous teams or franchises that they are already familiar with.

While there’s no problem at all if the public backs the above-mentioned sides, it’s important to note that public perception has a strong effect on the oddsmaking process. When the public strongly favors one side, the bookies take notice and alter their lines.

This simple shift creates a great opportunity for cunning bettors and is the core foundation of the betting strategy known as “fading the public”.

Fading the public is one of the oldest betting strategies in the book, but it’s also one that has constantly yielded results season after season.

So if you want to know how to fade like a sharp, read on!

What Is Fading The Public In Betting

In the simplest of terms, when you decide to fade the public, it means that you’re betting against what the public believes.

An example to help you understand this betting strategy:

Team A and Team B are set to play against each other in an upcoming game. Team A is on a five-game winning streak and is playing at home, while Team B has had a few mixed results and hasn’t won a game on the road during the entire season.

So, naturally, the media and the public will be on Team A’s side, and this will be strongly reflected by the number of bets coming in.

Therefore, fading the public means that you take note of the side that the public is backing—in our above example, this would be Team A winning the game. Then look for value by betting against the public— which would be team B winning the game.

So to fade the public, you first need to know which side the public is on. Once you have that information, you can then use it to decide whether fading the public is a worthy option.

Which Side Is The Public Backing

Since you can’t blindly go against the public, you need to use several ways to help you figure out which side the public is on.

By keeping in mind that the public bet is simply the side that a large number of people are betting on, you can easily make a calculated guess.

First, you can always look at the betting odds of a sporting event. There are several reasons why bettors choose certain teams, but, naturally, bettors will more likely back the favorites or they will choose a side that has some special advantage, such as a home-field advantage.

When it comes to totals bets, the public is more often going to choose the over, especially when two teams with decent scoring records are playing against each other.

Another way of figuring out which side the public is on is by using any online tools that may be available to you.

Sharps are extremely smart and keenly monitor line movements. This helps them figure out which side the public is backing.

How The Public Affects Line Movements

Once the public has had their say, the oddsmakers will definitely react to who the public is backing. Since sportsbooks make money by charging a commission (known as the vigorish), bookies ideally want both sides of a bet to have nearly the same amount of action.

This way, there isn’t too much risk on either side of the bet.

So if the public strongly favors one team/side, the book always reacts by altering the line. Line movement helps the book to encourage betting action on the other side of a bet and is the bookies’ go-to tool for minimizing risk.

So another way of figuring out which side the public is on is by keeping an eye out for any line movements.

For example, let’s say that the Phoenix Suns are playing against a heavily favored Golden State Warriors. The bookies release the lines, and the Warriors are 7.5 point favorites against the Suns on the point spread. 75% of the incoming bets back the Warriors with the above spread.

Since this will be too much risk for the sportsbook, they will react by altering the lines on this spread. So the Warriors may have initially been -7.5 on the spread, but the book may change this to -8.5 to try and encourage some action on the Suns.

Therefore, the incoming betting action will now heavily lean toward the Suns.

Using Line Movements To Your Advantage

Continuing with the above example, you can easily manipulate line movements to your advantage. Oddsmakers like to release lines that will easily attract bettors, and once more bets start being placed, the line usually shifts accordingly.

This provides an opportunity for cunning bettors who are always looking to pounce on the line at the precise moment.

So let’s say that you were looking to fade the public on the above Suns vs Warriors game, if you weren’t pleased by the initial line that was offered by the bookies, you can wait for any potential line movements that may increase the Suns’ value.

So they might have begun as +7.5 point underdogs against the spread, but since the public strongly sides with the Warriors, that +7.5 may increase to +9.5 by the time the game tips off.

This is an immense amount of value, so someone who wanted to initially fade the Warriors and go for the Suns now has an option with a great amount of value.

Sharps who rely on fading the public are always on the lookout because catching a line at the precise moment is extremely crucial in this betting strategy.

How The Pros Fade The Public

Sharps are experienced bettors who make a living via sports betting and definitely know the ins and outs of the industry.

Sharps fade the public by using several strategies, but the two most common ways are discussed below:

By siding with the home underdog – When the favorite is on the road, the home team has the advantage of playing on their turf. This advantage is usually heightened if different time zones are involved.

By backing the underdog early on – At the start of the season, there are usually a lot of unknown variables that come into play. The public usually sides with the team that performed well in the last few stages of the season, and a lot of off-season trades also easily skew the public’s perception.

So fading the public during the first few weeks of the season could easily pay off.

Pros & Cons Of Fading The Public

There are several pros attached to fading the public. These include:

  • When done right, this strategy can be extremely profitable in the long term.
  • In certain betting options such as moneyline bets, underdogs usually have greater odds. So you can make more money by betting on the underdogs.

On the other hand, a few drawbacks of this betting strategy include the following:

  • The favorites win more often than not, so knowing exactly when to employ this strategy will be tricky for most bettors.
  • Sometimes, figuring out which side the public is on can be extremely difficult.
  • This strategy requires loads of research and a lot of insider knowledge. Many bettors don’t have the time to conduct such research or the resources to gain this insider information.

Final Take On Fading The Public

Fading the public is a great betting strategy. However, simply backing the underdogs every time isn’t fading the public, and you’re definitely going to drain your bankroll if you blindly choose this option.

So always use this strategy in conjunction with other betting strategies if you want to reap its rewards.

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About the author

Placed his first sports wager shortly after high school, and has been involved in this whirlwind of the industry since then. Fan of most of the major ...

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