“Fade the public” simply put, means betting contrary to the public majority. The logic is that the average bettor is less knowledgeable than the oddsmakers and, as such, will come out a loser more often than not. Look no further than casino profits off of sports wagering in 2017 (upwards of $250 M) as an example.

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As an avid sports gambler, I’ve always tried to look for trends that give me an edge against the oddsmakers. I’ve spent a great deal of time amassing data from various sources and using that data to determine which way to wager. For me, there is a certain thrill to having knowledge that the typical sports bettor lacks. Throughout the years, I’ve noticed that there are certain tenets that gamblers like to spout off as fact. However, if there is one single axiom that gets repeated over and over again it is none other than the phrase, “fade the public.” If you’ve ever wagered on sports for an extended period of time you’ve heard the phrase uttered ad nauseum. But just what does it mean and how well does it hold up to statistical analysis?

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But just how true is the concept of “fade the public?” Let’s dive in and take a look at some statistical analysis from 2017 to see if this concept really holds true. In the NFL, I was able to gather public consensus picks and percentages in the regular season from November 19th, 2017 forward. Now the obvious caveat: this is clearly a limited sample size as it is only taking in the final 6 weeks of the regular season (this is when I began tracking the data), however, it does give us 86 games, a good number of occurrences to test the theory of fading the public...

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