Value Sports Betting Explained

Value Betting

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 when it comes to 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 have to read this guide on finding value in sports betting.

You should first learn more about the expected value and true 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. If you want to stay afloat, you should aim for a positive EV, which means properly 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 the number of this equation 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 true 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 true probability of value bets is often expressed in percentages. Calculating the chance and the value of the bet using the aforementioned formulas 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 right away. 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. In order to find value in a bet, a guide is not enough. You should think of the probability of an event instead of thinking of favorites and underdogs. In sports, favorites don’t win 100% of the time. If you think a bit 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 favorites 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 modeling. 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 own 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. If you want 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 modeling 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 are markets that can make you some money, with a margin of error, of course. Statistical modeling 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, it pays off to focus on niche markets where more value bets can be found. Unfortunately, there’s no automatic value bet finder that can spot wagers at ease.

What Are the Risks Involved in Value Betting?

Not learning how to find proper value bets means that you’ll lose money that can otherwise profit. You need to understand that valuebetting isn’t risk-free. It’s not a surefire way of getting all your bets right, so you’ll still lose a big 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 certain bets easier than ever.

Shop around for value bets, don’t ignore heavy favorites, and always assess the chances and evaluate. Keep in mind that you’ll find wagers of value easier at exchanges such as Betfair and Smarkets.

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 to identify them yourself since no software can spot them for you.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Related articles

Sports Betting 101

Online sports betting is a juggernaut that can’t be stopped. It’s an industry that generates billions annually, so most countries rush to legalize it.
Aug 9, 2022
By Tim

3-Way Betting Explained

Have you ever visited an online bookie and seen three-way betting wondering what the heck it is? It’s one of the simplest bets you can put your money on. The 3-way meaning in betting involves 3 possible outcomes, with the odds typically higher than 2-way betting.
Jul 19, 2022

Lucky 15 Bet Explained

The world of horse race betting is quite a peculiar one. Aside from the obvious bets such as picking the winning horse, there are exotic bets that can deliver incredible returns if you can handle the risk. Lucky 15 wagers are among the top such bets on offer, involving 15 different stakes across 4 selections.
Jul 12, 2022
Thanks for subscribing!
We’ll send all the updates straight to your inbox. It’s the best way to learn news about sports betting.
You’ll also receive a newsletter with information on major sports betting updates, new betting site reviews, and the latest bonuses and promotions every few weeks.
We’re very happy to have you on board!