To become good at making sports bets it is important to understand the concept of value when
betting. Value betting is seen in many different types of betting, but the value is the underlying
concept of all these bets.
Finding value in sports games is a difficult thing to do. It takes time and experience to gain the
ability to find value bets. An easy way to understand the concept of value is through visualizing
it through an example. If a favorite is favored to win they may be the favorite but is the
probability of them winning the match the odds that bookmakers pick. Another way to examine
this is to see how odds are made. Odds are made based off of the public conception of the
outcome of the game will be. Placing bets with this understanding leads you to place bets on
selections that have a higher chance of winning.
Value is something that is chased after and is sought after to understand, but it’s hard to actually
do it. It is similarly related to the stock market.
There are stocks that are seen as favorites to invest in and stocks that are seen as risky and to
be avoided. Finding value in these stocks whether they are favorites or underdogs can lead to profits.
This is what is seen in the sports betting. Sports betting is essentially a market consisting of odds
provided by different bookmakers.
The basic definition to spot value is finding odds that are too high or low and taking advantage
of it. Finding value is essentially finding the probability of games that the general public market
“If you constantly find value bets, you will be a profitable bettor in the long run. However, bookmakers build a margin into their odds, while betting exchanges charge commission.
If a bookmaker was to offer odds on a coin toss the price would be priced around 1.90 for both heads and
tails. By running the calculation the expected value reduces accordingly:
(9 * 0.50) – (10 * 0.50) = – 0.5
Over time this means you would lose on average 50p for every £10 staked and is, therefore, a bad value
bet. The same basic calculation can be applied to sporting markets on a bookmaker or exchange.
Let’s use the Smarkets 1X2 odds for the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United.
Note: These odds have Smarkets’s industry-low 2% built into the price. Learn how to convert betting odds.
Outcome Odds Implied probability
Arsenal 2.76 36.23%
Draw 3.40 29.41%
Manchester United 2.78 35.97%
To work out the expected value of a £50 bet on Manchester United to win is calculated as:
(89 * 0.36) – (50 * 0.66) = – 0.6
The EV is negative for this bet, suggesting that over time you would lose on average 60p for every £50
staked”. It is necessary to understand some concepts of maths to be
a good sports better. It isn’t necessary to be a
mathematician but only to have a basic understanding of it.
To place value bets it is important to understand how
bookmakers calculate their odds. Bookmakers odds are a
reflection of what the general public believe what the
outcome will be. This leaves the ability to find value where
the public’s belief is wrong.
Here is how you can calculate the exact value in sports
“The formula to calculate expected value for betting is fairly simple:
(Amount won per bet * probability of winning) – (Amount lost per bet * probability of losing)
Let’s use a coin toss as an example of calculating expected value. Assuming the coin and the toss are fair,
each outcome (heads or tails) has an equal probability of 50% – therefore the odds offered on a fair market
would be 2.0.
This would result in an EV of 0 for either a Head or Tail – because the probability of the two outcomes is the
same, so if you tossed a coin infinitely it would theoretically end up all square.
If however you were offered odds of 2.15 for the coin to land on heads, this is a value bet.
If you placed £10 on the coin landing on heads at 2.15, the EV is calculated likewise:
(11.50 X 0.5) – (10 X 0.5) = 0.75
This shows an EV of 0.75. Therefore you would expect to make an average profit of 75p for each £10 bet,
because the odds received are better than the implied odds of the coin toss”).
Betting on sports isn’t just based off of luck. It is important to have a vast knowledge of the
team, player, and league that you are placing bets in. If you are able to combine your
knowledge and smart betting concepts you will become good sports better.
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