Sports betting isn’t simply about visiting a betting platform and randomly choosing wagers to place. That’s never a good way to go about getting involved in it. Instead, you need to be able to identify the value bets that are available. To a novice, this may not be so clear, so we have a betting guide for you to follow on locating these. Follow the information here to ensure you’re able to identify them properly.
What Are Value Bets?
A successful bettor can easily understand the difference between a team’s or player’s chances of winning and the chances of that team or player winning in comparison to the odds provided by a sportsbook on them. Success when sports betting is being able to always find the value bets and be patient in placing wagers on them whilst using a proper staking plan. This is irrespective of how improbable that outcome may look.
It can sometimes be necessary to see it with your own eyes. There have been multiple occasions in the past when major upsets have happened in the sporting world. Few could have predicted that Leicester City would win the English Premier League in 2016, but they did. A small handful of bettors were able to benefit from placing wagers on the team at the start of the season, when the odds were stacked against Leicester.
Calculating Value Bets
How is it possible to calculate value bets from online sportsbooks? Well, now that you know what a value bet is – the likelihood of a given outcome being greater than the odds on offer happen to reflect – the best way to look at it is with a 50/50 coin toss.
If you do this, there is a 50% chance it will land on heads and a 50% chance it will land on tails. A sportsbook offering odds of 2.10 for the coin to land on tails is offering a value bet, without a doubt. Why? Well, here is the calculation for it:
- Value = (probability x decimal odds) – 1
- Value = 1.05 – 1
- If the value is greater than 0, it represents a value bet.
- In this example, is a value bet present?
- Value = 0.05
As a result, placing a wager on the coin to land on tails at odds of 2.10 serves as a value bet. Of course, a coin toss only has one of two outcomes. Betting on sports with bookmakers is a bit of a different kettle of chips. That’s because we do not know the precise probability for any given outcome. We can give an estimate on a team to win a specific match, but it can only ever be a best estimate. The successful sports bettor can find value bets by estimating the likelihood of given outcomes in a better way than the sportsbook can.
Identifying Value Bets
It is important to develop a sense for value betting. It’s not a simple task, though. It takes time and an appropriate amount of effort, too. You can improve your chances of finding value bets with a couple of tips, as outlined here.
Specialist in a Specific Sport
This is very much important if you’re a newcomer to betting. Focus on a sport that you prefer. If you’re a fan of tennis, then focus on online tennis betting. Better than that – try focusing on a specific tournament as well. Doing so allows you to perfect your skills and then expand them to cover additional tournaments or competitions.
Understand the Probabilities
It may look like a lot of mathematics to find value bets. It’s not, though. You need to understand probability instead. Betting odds represent the probability of something happening, which is their implied probability. It is calculated as follows:
- Implied probability = 1 ÷ decimal odds
- Using the coin toss example from before, the implied probability for 2.10 odds is…
- Implied probability = 1 ÷ 2.10
- Implied probability = 47.62%
This suggests that the odds of 2.10 believe the chance of the coin landing on tails is 47.62%. Yet we estimate that the probability is 50%. It’s a value bet for you because the chances of the coin landing on tails is greater than the probability outlined in the 2.10 odds.
Set Your Own Odds
Make sure you sit down and look at upcoming fixtures in your chosen sport/tournament. Come up with what you believe the odds should be for each game taking place within. Don’t look at sportsbook odds beforehand, as it’s just your opinion. This provides you with the “uncomfortable compromise”. You aren’t setting the odds you want to see the bookmaker offer, but the odds that you wouldn’t feel comfortable betting on. This can be a very helpful task, especially to someone just starting out. It gets you thinking in terms of probabilities.
Remember – It’s a Betting Market
The last point is to keep in mind that it is a betting market. General opinion will set the odds at a sportsbook. Make sure you remember this. It can be hard to do but is often helpful. For understanding and identifying value bets, this is a great thing. There is a likelihood that you’ll never think of sporting events in the same way again – but it is ideal for value betting.
About the author
The creator of this project is not just another writer but he is, first and foremost, a passionate online gaming player. His attention to detail means he spends hours studying and trying out innovative new techniques in order to write content that is engaging and truly informative for the users of this blog. When he's not writing, you can find him in Macau and Las Vegas, with sunglasses and the ever-present cigar.