Value Sports Betting Explained

What Is Value Betting in Sports - How to Find a Value Bet

If you’re a regular at online sports betting sites and you like to read guides, you’ve surely heard about value betting. Value is a typical phrase used in finances and investment. It has a meaning in sports betting too. Punters should always look at the top expected value in sports betting to make a profit.

In this guide to value bets, we’ll tell you more about these particular wagers, how to identify them, and help you learn about probability and value.

What Is Value Betting?

In the simplest terms, we can describe value betting as the ability to identify an edge against the bookmaker or exchange. Whenever a bet is priced for less than it’s worth, it offers value. Placing a wager on it at bookmakers is key to successful betting, which is why most punters use value bets to get a nice profit.

While most bettors are stubborn regarding the value, it is a concept you need to learn to understand how wagering works. It’s not a particular betting system per se. Being a successful bettor in this lucrative industry means recognizing the value and potential of each stake. Value is the key to solid returns and long-term success. If you want to up your game to the next level, you must read this guide on finding value in sports betting.

You should learn more about the expected value and actual probability for that purpose.

Expected Value

In sports betting, the expected value or EV is a measure that describes what a punter can look for to win or lose when placing bets on the same odds. Positive EV implies profit over time, while negative EV does the opposite. To stay afloat, you should aim for a positive EV, which means appropriately identifying value wagers.

To determine value bets, we can multiply the probability by the decimal odds and add a minus of 1 to it (probability x decimal odds -1). If this equation number is greater than 0, you have a bet of value on your hands. For example, in a market where the chances to win are 50%, a value stake would have odds of 2.10. In this case, you’re beating the probability since the regular odds for this market should be 2.00 and a bit lower when the bookie takes its cut.

True Probability

The concept of actual probability shows how likely an outcome is to happen in a sports match. With a coin toss, the precise probability is 50/50 – the coin will land on one side or the other. However, in sports betting, we can only estimate the probability of an outcome. It can be calculated with this formula:

  • Probability = 100/the odds

The actual probability of value bets is often expressed in percentages. Calculating the chance and the value of the bet using the formulas above is key to finding bets of value which we’ll cover below.

How to Identify Value Bets

Finding wagers of value may sound easy if you apply the formulas. However, it takes a lot of practice to spot these bets immediately. The good news is that we have a few tips and tricks you can follow to find the top value bets in the industry.

Think in Probabilities Rather than Favorites and Underdogs

Sports betting value means finding the likelihood of an event more precisely than bookmakers. To find value in a bet, a guide is not enough. You should think of an event’s probability instead of favourites and underdogs. In sports, favourites don’t win 100% of the time. If you think like a financial analyst, you’ll set your odds and calculate your probabilities. Compare the odds you set yourself to what the bookies offer (including the vig), and you’ll learn how to find value in sports betting.

If there’s value in the odds, you don’t need to stick to favourites or underdogs. As long as you spot the value, the result doesn’t matter.

Access and Evaluate

Gut feelings go a long way in sports betting, but to be honest, you’re better off with math-based modelling. Before calculating the expected value, you should assess and evaluate all the information ready at hand. You need to make a sound decision on the bet you want to place, and for this to happen, you should set your odds, think in probabilities, and assess and evaluate all situational factors.

Specialize in Value Bets

Value betting in sports can be a great way to make money, although not all the time. To be good at it, you should specialize in value wagers. Niche markets offer better value than popular markets, as the playing field is level. Once you specialize in a particular niche market, you’ll easily spot value bets.

Value Betting Strategies

There’s no single successful value-betting strategy you can use. Instead, experts recommend using information and statistical modelling to your advantage. Knowledge is power these days, and there’s no better spot to find a lot of knowledge than the Internet.

When betting on any market, you can learn if one or more are overpriced. Those markets can make you some money with a margin of error. Statistical modelling has been used to deliver long-term success for decades. Many bettors have won millions of dollars by learning how to uncover value wagers.

As mentioned earlier, focusing on niche markets where more value bets can be found pays off. Unfortunately, no automatic value bet finder can spot wagers with ease.

What Are the Risks Involved in Value Betting?

Not learning how to find good value bets means that you’ll lose money that can otherwise be profit. You need to understand that value betting isn’t risk-free. It’s not a surefire way of getting all your bets right, so you’ll still lose a significant portion of the value bets you place. Unless you prepare yourself for losses, you will be disappointed.

Examples of Value Bets

Let’s say that a bookmaker has given Barcelona odds of 2.50 to beat Real Madrid. The implied probability of this occurring is 100/2.50-40, so Barcelona has a 40% chance of winning that match. If, however, the chances of Barcelona winning the El Clasico are 45%, the odds are 100/45=22. In this case, you have a value bet as the bookie offers odds of 2.50.

If you constantly wager at those odds, you will profit long-term. Of course, this is easier said than done. Top-rated bookmakers use sophisticated software to offer true lines, so don’t expect them to slip with such odds often.

Tips for Finding a Better Value in Sports Betting

The only tips we can offer for value betting are specializing in niche markets and wagering on what you know. The Internet is filled with plenty of information, so you can learn a lot about a match and check if there’s value in specific bets more accessible than ever.

Shop around for value bets, don’t ignore heavy favourites, and continually assess the chances and evaluate. Remember that you’ll find wagers of value easier at exchanges such as Betfair and Smarkets.

What Sports Can Value Bets Be Used For?

Is It Worth Looking for Value Bets?

Yes, it is. It is a very profitable strategy that can deliver benefits in the long run. Whether it’s horse racing, football, or betting at Esports bookies, you’ll find bets of value from time to time. The key is identifying them yourself since no software can spot them.

We hope that our guide has explained what a value bet is and that you make a profit by identifying them the next time you place your wagers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to calculate the expected value in sports betting?
    The formula for expected value is win probability x profit if you win – fair loss probability x stake. The good news is that you don’t need to do this by yourself, as many betting sites offer calculators that come close to the expected value.
  • What is the expected value in sports betting?
    Expected value is a term that determines what the punter can expect to win or lose by betting on the same odds time and time again.
  • What is a value bet in football?
    A bet of value is a typical wager with an extra value per the bookie. In simple terms, these are odds that are much higher than expected.
  • Still have questions?
    Ask our experts
Rebecca E
Writer & Media

Rebecca is a Liverpool gal and a big fan of the club. She likes nothing more than sharing tips and predictions on sports betting. Her other favorite sports include horse racing, snooker, and golf. Rebecca is in charge of writing and media at BetZillion. You can thank her for making our articles look so great.

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