The Role Of Value When Betting On Sports Explained

The Role Of Value When Betting On Sports Explained

January 22, 2021 Off By Diana Beasley

The successful sports bettor knows that the only way to show a profit over the long term is to continuously look for those bets that offer actual positive value.

The interesting thing about value, however, is that not everyone interested in betting on sports understands the concept. Even more surprising is how many people are confused by the idea of value betting, especially since it is an idea that is fairly easy to grasp. Value is basically a measuring of the interaction between the odds of a bet and the probability (likelihood) of the outcome associated with that bet actually happening (according to the odds implied by the bookmaker on the odds-lines).

Or in other words, if a bettor has identified something as more probable than what has been implied by the bookmaker, then chances are a value bet has been identified.

The Coin Toss Explanation

Imagine for a second a coin toss. Given normal conditions, the toss of a coin landing on heads or tails is 50% either way. A fair bet on either a heads or a tails outcome would give you odds of 2.00 – or 1/1.

But imagine someone comes along and offers you 2.20 to bet on heads – working again from the assumption of 50% (even likelihood). Even though there will always remain in play the risk of losing some money, anyone already intending to bet on such an outcome would be a fool not to take the bet at odds of 2.20.

A Practical Football Example

While knowing the “true odds” (see our “coin toss” example above) in betting on sports is impossible, the bettor can still use several methods to try and get as close as possible to the true odds of an event.

In order to understand where the bookies are coming from when setting the odds, it is important to understand not only how the odds provided have been calculated, but also have some knowledge about the information not being provided by the bookmaker.

For example, consider the following:

  • Team X has scored 14 corners during the last 3 Champion’s League matches.
  • The league average is however only 10.87, leaving Team X at a little over 3 above par.
  • The bookmaker’s odds will not likely factor in the recent uptick experienced by Team X.
  • Even though determining the exact likelihood (percentagewise) of Team X continuing their above-average corner streak can be tricky, estimating that Team X will in fact keep up the corner streak may just have created a value bet as good as any.

Helpful Value-Finding Hints

While finding value bets may seem daunting at first, there are all sorts of handy tools available online to get you off to a great start. These tools are available from several developers of value betting software tools, and are often referred to as value betting software.

Value betting software will usually display the available value bets at the start of each day. It is however still important to compare the value bets detected by these types of programs with your own records and estimations.