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Should You Fade the Public When Sports Betting?

 Should you Fade the Public when Sports Betting?


You will hear a lot of people argue that you should always fade (or bet against) the public. Others argue that you should bet with the public because the public is usually right. I argue for a different approach to sports betting altogether. I want you to understand a few things first though. The public does affect lines and totals in games. Most casual gamblers get their information from ESPN and sports radio, who are in the business of over-hyping players and games every day. Therefore most people who place a bet are likely to bet the favorite (the popular team in the media who have been on SportsCenter all week) or the over in the game (because they have heard about the high-powered offensive players all week). If we had perfect information about both teams then the public would usually be right, but we have very imperfect information that doesn’t accurately reflect what is going to happen in any particular game.

This creates a system where you can get good value on bets if you understand when the public is wrong and when the public is right. The public can also mistakenly buy into underdogs and unders as well. Some defenses are overrated and some bad teams attract bandwagon fans that bet their new favorite team too hard. The public can be wrong on either side of the bet but sometimes they do project the game perfectly (in which case you would not bet the game). The key is figuring out where they are right and where they are wrong. “Getting value,” or understanding where the public is wrong, is the only way to make money long term. You can’t simply bet against the pubic blindly on every bet, but you can study more than the public and make money off them by betting against them when they are wrong. The public will inflate or deflate lines and totals and you must be there waiting when the line bounces the right way. Take advantage of the fact that the public is impulsive and will bet on a whim. Use them to get on the best side of the bet.

Fading the public is only a theory and will not work if blindly followed. You must apply the theory to different spots and gain an advantage over the public. Fading the public is only another way of being smarter than the general public. Sports betting is no different than buying and selling stocks on Wall Street. If you see good value on a team, a total, or a player then treat that information the same way you would a new product introduced into the economy. See the sports world the same way investors see the free market. Only then will you start looking for the edges you must have in order to make money betting on sports.


by Rance Young  email me: ranceyoung@behind-the-bets.com

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