Apart from just going for the easy to predict bets, experienced punters always assess the value in a bet before choosing to stake on it or forego the bet. This is why some will overlook an irresistible Man City vs Blackburn Rovers fixture (where everyone expects Manchester City to win) and go for a Liverpool vs Everton game that has better value for the given odds.
So what is VALUE in a betting scenario?
What is a Value Bet? – At Least in the Ideal World
A value bet represents a scenario where the odds offered by a bookmaker suggest a probability that is lower than the actual outcome of the event in question.
To explain this, we are going to use a simple coin toss because it has 2 practical outcomes – heads or tails.
The probability of getting heads or tails is 50%
Converting this to decimal odds gives us (100/50) = 2.00
READ ALSO: Is Betting on Fixed Matches a Thing?
Now, let’s say we have two bookmakers offering odds on this virtual market.
- Bookmaker 1 odds: 1.95 on heads
- Bookmaker 2 odds: 12 on heads
To calculate the value each of the above bookmakers is offering, we use the following formula:
(Actual % probability x odds offered) – 100
Bookmaker 1 Value Calculations
(50% x 1.95) – 100 = -2.5%
The negative means that the bookmaker is giving you less than the true value of that bet. We won’t gain as much as we ought to hence making it a less favorable bet.
Bookmaker 2 Value Calculations
(50% x 2.12) – 100 = 6%
This is a 6% value bet on the heads outcome for the coin toss. We can take this option any time since the bookmaker is giving us true value for our money.
Value Bet Calculator
If you dislike math, you can bookmark this page and drop by to use our value bet calculator whenever you please.
Betting Houses Never Give That Much Value
The bad news is bookmakers will never give their bettors so much value else they will go out of business in a weekend. Their goal, actually, is to always offer you odds that are slightly less than a bet’s true value even when betting on the underdog.
So, how can I use value betting in real life if betting houses are always working against me? You ask.
Here is where match analysis comes in.
Determining Your Own Value Betting Options
To get value bets, you first have to come up with your own probabilities for the event you want to bet on. The probabilities depend on your game analysis of features like:
- Recent team form
- The opponent they are playing
- Match history with the opponent
- Any injuries in either of the teams
Let’s say you have used your match analysis skills to put the odds of Fulham winning a match at 50%. Your favorite bookie has the odds for the market at 2.5
The value for this game becomes:
(50% x 2.5) – 100 = 25%
This is a very good value bet option. If your analysis was right, you will gain more from placing this bet as opposed to a bet that had a lower value result.
Finding value bets isn’t that easy especially if you are new to match analysis. We will give you a few tips and tricks on how to find the best value bets in the next tutorial. Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you don’t miss it when it goes live.