Value bets are widely hailed as one of the most effective ways of making money with online betting. There’s an entire science behind it, but anyone can learn to properly find value bets with a little work and some helpful pointers.
So, let’s start with the basics.
What is a Value Bet?
The basic gist of it can be summed up as a bet that has bigger chances to win than bookmakers assume it to have. Before going any further into how value bets work, let’s go over some basics about bookmaker odds.
All bookmakers include a certain guaranteed profit rate into their odds. That way, no matter if you win or lose, the bookie will still be able to turn a profit from the transaction. This rate is what is known as a bookmaker margin.
For example, if an outcome of a bet has a 50% chance of happening, that means that the odds will be at 2.0, or 1/1, right? Not exactly. In such a case, a bookmaker will give you odds of around 1.90. The remaining 0.10 is the margin.
Remember: as with all gambling, the house always wins.
Value betting is simply looking for the rare occasions where a bookie gives you, say, 2.20 odds on something that actually has a 50% chance of happening. These happen when a bookie fails to properly update the odds, or simply does not have enough reliable information. Finding value bets is all about finding these opportunities.
How To Calculate Value Bets
In order to find out if a bet has value, you need information about an event’s probability. These are not easy to get, and we’ll get into that soon. First, here is a basic value bet calculation:
Value = (Probability*Decimal odds) – 1
If the result of this is greater than 0, that’s a value bet.
How To Identify Value Bets
But now you might be asking, how do I know this probability?
Well, sadly, there is no quick and easy way of figuring it out. In order to find value bets in football, for example, you would have to watch a lot of footy and know how strong the teams are compared to one another. We can give you a few pieces of advice, though:
- Try going for smaller events and leagues. Bookmakers tend to not devote as much effort in properly calculating odds for these, so it’s much easier for them to make a mistake. So, pay enough attention, and you can relatively easily find football value betsthis way.
- No-one can know every sport, league, and team – know what you enjoy, and stick with it.
- Understand probability. There’s a lot more to say here than we could ever fit in a short guide, but make sure you understand the math behind all of this.
Finally, we can help you out through our own value betting tips. Bet Guru VIP’s team is made up of very experienced punters, and we’ve learned how to spot value in betting over the years. Our value betting predictions can point you in the right direction and are useful for rookies and experts alike.