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Jelena Kabić
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Jelena Kabić
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Jelena Kabic is a sports betting writer that focusses on responsible gambling. A psychologist by vocation, Jelena volunteered in a rehab facility, where she worked with gambling addicts. She now reviews all our content to ensure it discusses betting in a socially responsible way.
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Value Betting Guide | How to Find Value Sports Bets

Cover image for post Value Betting
Value Betting
Value Betting Guide | How to Find Value Sports Bets

Have you always wished to increase your sports betting profit? We have two words for you:

Value Betting

Value betting is at the heart of sports betting and is essential for bettors to increase their profit margins.

Is value betting the answer to all your sports betting losses?

No, sports betting is always based on an element of chance and it is hard to predict a positive bet outcome every time.

However, as you will see in this article, value bets can go a long way towards improving your sports betting strategy and your long-term value.

Read on to discover what value betting is, how to spot value bets, and so much more!

Sportsbooks With the Best Odds

In simple terms, value betting is when the bookmaker’s odds reflect a lower probability than the true probability of that result.

Does that sound like gibberish? We’re going to explain what it means using the simplest odds example of all time.

The Odds of a Coin Toss

Think of a time when you flipped a coin to get heads or tails. The probability of getting heads or tails can be represented like this:

True Odds2.002.00
Probability of a Coin Toss

However, when you visit a sportsbook, the odds are listed like this:

Betting Site Odds2.101.90
Coin Toss Odds at a Sportsbook

In this example, we can see that:

  • the real probability of getting heads is 50%, which corresponds to odds of 2.0.
  • However, the sportsbook is offering odds of 2.10, which translates to 47.6% chance of occurence.

If the sportsbook’s odds indicate that the probability of getting heads is 47.6%, but we know the real probability is 50%, then we can call this a value bet!

Since both options have a 50% real probability of happening, the chances of getting your prediction right are identical. But, your profitability will be higher if you bet on heads.

If you bet $100 on heads, then 100 x 2.10 = a total payout of $210.

On the other hand, betting $100 on tails (1.90 x 100) = a payout of $190.

That’s a difference of $30 in your pockets for two events of equal probability.

We can go even further and mathematically calculate the value we can get from this bet.

Value = (Presented Odd x Real Probability) – 100%

In other words:

Value = (2.10 x 50%) – 100% = 5%.

To sum up, by presenting an odd of 2.10 for the result “Heads”, the bookmaker offers 5% more than it should. This is an excellent value bet!

See, the concept of value betting isn’t that difficult! However, putting it into practice is a bit harder.

Top Tip!

As you can see from the above example, value betting is crucial to master because it can give you more value for money in the long run.

This is not the primary aim of a sportsbook. A sportsbook wants to be profitable, so it will always adjust odds in its favour.

Then why would a sportsbook have value bets, we hear you ask?

This can happen due to three main reasons:

  • a sportsbook analyst makes a mistake when forming a line.
  • a sportsbook is slow to react to changes during live betting.
  • a sportsbook inflates the odds for a particular outcome for a popular event hoping to get more customers.

Your task is to search for these opportunities and gain an edge over the sportsbook. The question is how.

There is no quick foolproof way to identify value bets. However, the following are some points to keep in mind to help you.

Pick a Sport

We’ve already said this in our sports betting strategy guide, and there’s a reason why we keep emphasizing it.

Top Tip!

Focusing on one sport that you’re familiar with makes it far easier to spot value bets.

In order to determine value opportunities, you really need to understand the sport.

Even better, specialize in a specific league. For example, the NHL if you’re into ice hockey.

Keep in mind that the sportsbook’s focus will be on the most popular events and leagues, as these will make a tidy sum for the betting site.

The sportsbook’s analysts will be extra careful when creating odds for these events, but might leave windows of opportunities for the smaller, niche leagues that are not being scrutinized by the team.

That’s also why “smaller sports” like lacrosse or cricket make for good value bets.

Top Tip!

Our suggestion is to try and find value bets for less popular events as you’ll likely find more opportunities there!

Create Your Own Odds

Once you’ve selected your sport, pick a few upcoming matches.

Based on your knowledge of the teams and the sport, create your own odds without even looking at sportsbook odds.

If needed, do more research and analyze statistics to make sure you’re being as accurate as possible in your predictions.

Let’s take an example of an NBA match between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.

The Milwaukee Bucks have just won the previous three matches with Phoenix Suns by a narrow margin.

When analyzing all statistics, you think that Phoenix Suns have a 38% chance of winning this match, while Milwaukee Bucks have a 55% probability of winning.

Compare Sportsbook Odds

Once you’ve established your own odds, open up a few of your favourite sportsbooks and start comparing odds.

This is how the odds are looking at 2 renowned Canadian sportsbooks:

Sports InteractionUnibet
Milwaukee Bucks1.481.50
Phoenix Suns2.752.65
Odds for Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns

According to our estimations, Phoenix Suns have a 38% chance of winning, which translates to odds of 2.63.

All these three sportsbooks are offering odds higher than 2.63, which we think can be a good value bet opportunity.

Out of the three sportsbooks, Sports Interaction is offering the highest odds for Phoenix Suns, so we’ll use that for our value calculation:

2.75 x 38% – 100% = 4.5%

Based on our calculations, Sports Interaction is offering 4.5% value on a bet on the Phoenix Suns!

Find Value Bets Today

As we’ve seen from this article, improving your long-term potential profit is possible when using value bets!

Value betting requires a lot of hard work to master, and there’s only one way you can do this:

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Browse our recommended betting sites and start testing your value betting knowledge.



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