What Does Fade Mean In Sports Betting and Wagering?

In my experience betting on sports, not once have I heard someone say that betting on sports is easy. Sure, everyone has their hot streaks where no matter who they bet or what sport they are focused on, they do nothing but cash tickets and let everyone know how hot they are. But with every good streak comes a bad streak. These streaks seemingly last forever and every single bet you make turns to mush – whether it be an unlucky play that costs you the game, or a key player getting injured or simply just being on the wrong side. Everyone goes through it and unfortunately when you’re in a slump, people love fading your action.

What does Fade Mean?

If you ever hear the term “fade” or the phrase “fade them” you are hearing and/or being told to bet against a certain team or certain handicapper for any number of given reasons. The most common use of the term “fade” is used when the general betting public is all over one side of a game. The reason for this “fade” is because many handicappers believe the general betting public (squares) don’t make sound betting decisions and take reality or perception of a team too far when placing their wagers. When sharp bettors find out they are on the same side as the public, they will likely look to downgrade a bet in size, or pass on making the bet altogether. The betting public is wrong more often then they are right, which is where the saying “the house always wins” comes from.

Reasons to Fade a Team

There are an infinite number of reasons a bettor may fade a particular team, however no one reason has been proven as better than the rest. Handicappers are a very peculiar bunch, so the reasons to fade a team could include things like the team’s current form, the injury bug, the travel, the lack of chemistry, the lack of raw talent, poor coaching, back-to-back situations, letdown spots, the weather and even the surface they are playing on (MLB and NFL especially).

This next part is where novice bettors make the common mistake when it comes to fading a team. If you are fading a team, you don’t necessarily have to love the other team. The fade gives you plenty of reasons why that specific team shouldn’t win and sometimes it’s enough to warrant a wager against them.

The general rule of thumb in terms of when to stop fading a team is when they prove to you that they are consistently playing better, or when the betting public catches on and jumps on the fade wagon. If that happens, all value will be gone and the fade would no longer be a wise investment.

Reasons to Fade a Handicapper

Around 98 percent of all handicappers have used the following terms once before: lock, lead pipe lock, max-unit play, game of the year, game of the century, underdog of the millennium, shoe-in game of the year, etc. Fading anyone who says these types of things is usually a good play. No other reason is needed than the amount of confidence these kinds of handicappers have because if sports betting was that easy, we’d all be rich.

If you happen to come a cross a very vocal poster or handicapper that shares all his bets and never seems to pick any winners, you may have just found a lucky leprechaun and I suggest fading whatever play he makes until he proves to you that he can consistently win.

Reasons to Fade the Betting Public

This betting public is typically made of amateur bettors looking to get in on the action, while not knowing exactly what they are doing. The betting public typically overreacts to a team’s performance and then either bets on them again in the following game, or bets against them because they played poorly. The best example I can give you resides in the NFL.

One week, a team like the Chicago Bears will look like Super Bowl contenders. The public will see that, and will be excited to bet on them the following week. The linemakers will be ahead of that and adjust the line accordingly. The Bears will subsequently get blown out and the general betting public will be left scratching their head wondering what just happened.

The betting public doesn’t have a good grip on reality or perception which is why fading them on games that have more than 70 percent of the action on a certain team is usually profitable.

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