Value Betting Explained

What is Value Betting?

This is a betting term that you’ll hear over and over. And there’s a reason for that. Value betting is one of the best methods for making a profit in sports betting.

Essentially a value bet is one where you think that the chances of a team winning are better than the odds suggest. Your job is to spot this anomaly and then quickly act on it.

Let’s use an example of a coin toss. So, there are 2 possible outcomes. It can land on either head or tails. The probability of it landing on either side is 50% each way.

To change this into decimal odds is 100/50 = 2.00 for heads and 2.00 for tails.

Let’s say we have two bookmakers.

Bookmaker A is offering odds of 1.90 on heads while
Bookmaker B is offering odds of 2.10.

Let’s say we want to bet on the coin landing heads, so which one of these bookmakers is offering value?

The value is calculated like this:
(Probability multiplied by the decimal odds) minus 100%

So let’s look at Bookmaker A.

He is offering us 1.90.
We calculate the value:
(50% multiplied by 1.90) – 100% = -5%
At -5%, Bookmaker A is offering us less than true value betting. This is not a bet we would want to take. It is not a value situation.

So let’s look at Bookmaker B.

He is offering us 2.10.
Let’s calculate the value:
(50% multiplied by 2.10) – 100% = 5%
Bookmaker B is offering us 5% value to bet on heads in a coin toss. We will take this situation every day thank you very much. It is indeed a tremendous value opportunity.

A Football Match Example

Let’s say that Barcelona are playing with odds of 2.50 to win.

The odds of 2.50 on offer imply a probability of Barcelona winning is 40%. Now let’s say we have done our homework and have calculated our own probability of Barcelona winning at 50%.

We calculate the value:
(50% multiplied by 2.50) – 100% = 25%.
Nice work. If our estimated probability of a Barcelona win is accurate, we have identified a very handsome value betting situation. On the other hand, if our assessed probability was less than the bookmaker odds implied probability of 40%, the odds of 2.50 would not represent value.

Don’t Back Favorites…There’s No Value

For this reason we rarely recommend that you spend any money backing the favorites. If the crowd is backing the favorite, then the book makers will lower the odds significantly. Teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid regularly win, so there’s little money to be made backing them. Now imagine if you somehow knew that Messi was injured for an upcoming match and would not be playing. Suddenly the game starts to look up for the other team. So, though the crowd is betting on a Barcelona win, armed with your insider knowledge, you might want to bet on the underdog. And that’s what value betting is. If the opposition were to somehow beat Barcelona, then you would hoover up a nice pile of cash. As a general rule never wager more than the possible payout.

Sometimes these monster teams like Manchester United or Bayern Munich appear bullet proof. But at the end of a difficult season, in particular after the European Cup rounds, they tend to be tired and often will only put a small effort into playing teams from the bottom of the league. Betting on the underdogs in this case can lead to significant wins.

How to Find Good Value Bets

If you look over La Liga, and then at a sports book makers odds listings, you’ll notice that the book makers appear to build their odds around the teams standings in the La Liga. Check the form of the teams. If, for example, you notice that a team is performing better, in spite of not getting the desired results yet, then there’s a good chance that their fortunes are about to turn. This is the moment to strike, as the odds will be high after those recent losses.

If you can use as much knowledge as possible to be able to put your finger on the precise point they turn up their game, then there’s some serious money to be made. This is where live in play betting is a boon. Also keep an ear open for transfer news, as the movements of key players can effect both game play and team moral.

Ears and Eyes Open For Value

Before you bet, we suggest that you check both the present odds and the pre-match reviews for any hints about late changes or injuries. Check the weather. In fact all the factors that can make or break a game. This is of extra special importance if you’re betting on more minor leagues as opposed to La Liga.

A Value Bet Example

If there are two more or less equally matched teams, then the odds will be around 2.60 on both of them. Now suppose there’s a surprise news conference and the manager of one of the teams announces that he’s going to be resting his star players for a more important match later in the week. Then the odds will start to drop on one of those teams. This is the moment to place your bets. Take the highest odds since their chances are no longer at 33% (either team wins or a draw) and are moving into the 50% margin. Odds are then worth taking at any point above 2.00. The lesson from this is that you need to keep abreast of all relevant information. it’s a work….but no one said football betting was a walk in the park!