What Does “Fade” Mean in Betting?

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In sports betting, to “fade” means to bet against or go against a certain team, player, or trend. It refers to taking the opposite side of a popular public betting position.


The term originated from the idea of fading popularity or “fading the public.” When a team is getting a large percentage of bets from the general public, sharps often seek to fade these masses and bet against the public side.

The logic is that the public tends to bet more casually and with emotions, while pros aim to bet against inaccurate public biases. So fading can be a smart contrarian strategy.

Common Examples

Here are some common situations where fading occurs in sports betting:

  • Fading heavily bet favorites: With popular teams like the Lakers or Yankees, pros may look to fade all the public money on those big favorites.
  • Fading big name stars: Public bettors love betting on superstar players. Fading means betting against teams with stars who are overvalued.
  • Betting against hyped teams: Teams that gain a lot of buzz and hype often attract unsophisticated money. Savvy bettors will fade the hype.
  • Going against major trends: The public tends to overreact and bet trends heavily. Sharp bettors look to fade steam when trends go too far.
  • Countering recency bias: Recency bias leads the public to overweight recent results. Pros may fade teams the public is overreacting to.

Risks and Rewards

Fading the public can be risky and requires great contrarian thinking. However, it also offers significant betting value if done accurately. The sportsbooks shade lines towards public betting sides. So fading can provide important betting value.

In general, strategic fading is a key part of sharp sports betting. Having a contrarian mindset and not following public sentiment is often crucial for long-term success.

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