Value betting is the ability to identify a team who has greater chances of winning than what the odds are suggesting. It is a great technique for gaining some profit and is a regular term which is thrown around in the betting world.
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What's in this article
- Best Betting Sites
- What is value betting
- Fundamental value betting
- Technical value betting:
- How to identify value bets
- How to calculate value betting
- Value betting in football
- Value betting in other sports
- Top tips and tricks for value bets
- Value betting strategy
- Alternatives to value betting
- Value bets FAQ
What is value betting
It's very easy to get caught up into believing that one day you will win big on a bet. Just like dreaming you will win big in the lottery or at a casino. It’s also extremely common to see the odds on a match and think that the odds being offered are reasonable and that if you back it and it comes in, you will do much better than if you had done it on another site. Having a value bet is essentially like buying an item at a shop for less than its worth, making it of value.
Being a successful punter is all about understanding the worth and value of a bet and being able to determine its probability of it coming in. It’s taking all factors into consideration and evaluating whether or not the bet is worthwhile and has the potential to be profitable. A lot of people believe that having a value bet is just selecting the favourite to win or looking for good odds on favourites, but in reality, this is far from the truth. Now, we understand that the favourite is more likely to win, hence why its the favourite, but the idea of a value bet is to find the odds on a team/person and trying to work out the probability and seeing if the bookies have got the market wrong/out of line.
Fundamental value betting
This is more based on the element of gaining an edge over the bookie, via detailed betting guides and your own personal knowledge of the chosen sport/market. The Idea of Fundamental value betting is that you use expert knowledge, whether it be your own or someone else, in order to attempt to make a profit from your bets. This can be gathered based on your own wisdom and how well you know the sport, you can also use an online tipster or a bot. Either way, this technique, is not only the most common, but sometimes more effective for those who have a high IQ in the market.
Technical value betting:
More based on numbers and probability than anything else. The idea here is to know when a bet has fair odds and a good probability. Just because you see a bookmaker offer good odds for the favourite, isn’t implying that they are definitely going to win, it just shows that they are more likely to win. Therefore, you would use the technical value betting technique in order to calculate probability and decide if it's worth it and fair.
How to identify value bets
The likelihood of finding value bets isn't as hard as it may seem, and there are a few tricks you can use in order to try and hunt them down:
- Making your own – the beautiful thing about using an exchange is that you can set your own odds. This is the perfect platform to use in order to make your bets valued ones. You can set your own back and lay odds, regardless of what is offered in the regular bookmaker. Check our list of top bookmakers here.
- Do not just rely on favourites – You have to use some of your sporting knowledge in this case, as it is important to try and understand like a bookmaker. A lot fo the time, due to player injuries, weather and cup matches being played, what might turn out to be an easy win for a team, can suddenly become harder that most people thought. This is what you need to look out for, you need to try and find probabilities which will play into your favour. Its good to bet on an underdog sometimes, do not be scared because if you have thought about it properly, there can still be value in your bets.
- Specialised markets – The theory behind this is to concentrate all your time and effort to one specific market and become a specialist in this. Obviously this may take a while, but once you are a master in the market, you will find it much easier to identify a value bet. You will also be able to find odds that irregular from your own, giving you the perfect chance of discovering a value bet.
How to calculate value betting
Ok, so this can get a little complicated, so bear with us. Calculating, in general, is difficult, and we will be showing you some calculators online which can help you out, but this is a bit later on. Our aim right now is to teach you how to work it out yourself.
The first thing to note is that its a formula which is basically its own rule to value betting. If you stick to this formula before you make a bet, this will also help you identify if your bet is a valued one or not. The formula is:
(Probability of winning) x (Amount won per bet) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount lost per bet)
Ok, so if we say the home team is evens to win the match and you want to bet ₦5 on them, this would be the break down of the probabilities:
- Probability of winning = 0.50
- Probability of losing = 0.50
- Win amount = ₦10
- Loss amount = ₦5
Filling in this formula above with either decimals or fractions will help you calculate the expected value of the bet. This will help massively as the aim here is to get the expected value and if you've done the maths correctly, then you have a good chance of working out where the expected value could be positive within a bet. It’s also ideal for arbitrage betting as it helps compare the odds when backing or laying. Using this formula will also give you the best chance of understanding the bookmaker and the value of them.
Value betting in football
Finding the value of a bet in football betting markets can be fairly simple depending on how common you are with the sport. This rule generally applies to all sports, however for football specifically, it’s very important that you know exactly what your betting on.
It’s important to remember that the odds, in general, are designed to give punters a rough idea on who is more likely to win and how much money you could make on that outcome. Due to this, it's very important that in order to do well and find the value bet, you must place your research when looking into this. Knowing as much as possible about the teams and players in key.
Value betting in other sports
Value bets can be found in any sport and any market, as long as your able to bet on it. Using the formulas provided previously, this is the main way that you can find a value bet. In sports such as tennis, darts, golf etc, these are not team sports, but more individual sports, so less research is needed when looking into teams. For these sports it's just common to check up on form and how he/she has been performing lately, and also world rankings. Majority of the time the odds will explain who is more likely to win, but this does not mean that it will, so it's up to you to do your own background checks.
Top tips and tricks for value bets
Value bet in sports you know – We highly advise that you only attempt to bet in the sports you know best and preferable on the teams/players you know best. This gives you a higher advantage over betting on another sport or market you don't know anything about.
Always Trial and error – This is very self-explanatory, simply practise betting before you actually do it to see if you would have won or not. There are even some sites which allow you to place a bet with ‚false funds‘ in order for you to get the hang of it.
Listen to your research – If you're going to put your time and effort into research, (which we highly recommend that you do) then it's important to listen to yourself and follow what you have studied, do not go on instinct if you are not 100%.
Understand the formula – The formula on working out a value bet, which is (Probability of winning) x (Amount won per bet) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount lost per bet), needs to be understood. The main calculators that could be used are for Value betting, Arbitrage betting and Kelly criterion.
Enjoy your bookmakers – It’s very important that the bookmaker you are using and signed up with is one that you enjoy using and are used to. The reason we say this is because a lot of punters may open an account with a bookie when there are better and more value bets and odds at other bookies. This once again comes down to research beforehand.
Value betting strategy
Having a strategy is value betting, can be as hard as deciding which side the coin will land on. It’s not an easy one, but we believe that strategies are personal and it’s something you gain over time, practise and experience. A lot of punters simply follow the formula and use the correct tools and spend a lot of time checking bets in order to find one of value. Whereas others simply use luck. Having some form of strategy however is very useful in, specifically if you are using value and probability in order to help you with exchange betting, arbitrage betting or matched betting.
Alternatives to value betting
Below you will see similar examples to value betting which can be commonly mistaken, however, we have pointed out the key characteristics which define them all:
- Exchange Betting – Betting on the exchange can be used to find and calculate value bets, but also to back and lay bets in order to have a guaranteed profit. Similar to value bets, except here we are betting against other punters rather than the bookies.
- Arbitrage betting – Like Value betting, there is a formula, which is Arbitrage % = ((1 / decimal odds for outcome A) x 100) + ((1 / decimal odds for outcome B) x 100). This formula helps you work out the win percentage (Chance of winning) on each bet. Being a bit like that exchange, except instead of backing and laying you place bets so on different online bookies in order to cover all outcomes of the event.
- Kelly criterion – Once again another formula which is used, that formula being as follows:
F = Fraction of the bankroll
B = Decimal odds -1
P = The probability of winning
Q = The probability of losing, which is 1 – p
Following this formula allows you to master the Kelly bets. This basically tells you the amount you should be betting, based on the true odds and the given odds, considering that the odds are not true.
Learn more about Bankroll Builder techniques here.
Value bets FAQ
- Does the formula always work? Absolutely. It helps you determine from the very beginning if this bet is actually worth it and if its a value bet or not.
- How can I practise a value bet? Simply open an account with a bookmaker who shows the bet slip come up before you actually deposit money, and then type in the amount you would have bet on it and see if the bet would have actually come in. Most bookies calculate the win amount before you enter‚ place bet, giving you a good idea on what you could win and seeing if it is worth it or not.
- How to find a value bet? The best way is to calculate and to use the formulas provided earlier in the article to determine if the bet is of value.
- What is the difference between fundamental value betting and technical value betting? Fundamentals based on your current knowledge or the knowledge of someone else such as an expert tipster. Technical is figuring out the maths and seeing if the bet would be fair and of value or not.
- What is the difference between Value betting and Arbitrage Betting? In arbitrage, not only are you covering all the outcomes of a bet but you also agreeing on yourself a win (If done correctly). In value betting on one outcome only, not two, therefore there is more risk however the amount you can win is higher.
- Is value betting for you? It is for anyone, as long as its done correctly the win percentage you will have should be increased massively. Simple follow the instructions given and use the tips to your advantage and it will come more naturally the more you practice.
- Overall, Value and probability betting is basically taking away the guessing factor and instinct to betting and allows you the opportunity to try and work it out for yourself if the bet is worth it or not. Please note that a large part of this does go down to practice and research and if you put enough time into this, you will soon become the expert at it.