Making consistent money betting is not rocket science, in fact, the methodology behind it is incredibly simple. Value Betting.
In this article, I will show you the simple but effective method of Value Betting, how it works, why it works and how to implement a Value Betting System!
What Are Value Bets?
Value Bets are bets placed at odds that are higher than the actual probability of the market.
The idea is simple and comes from the mathematical concept of Expected Value. Every time we make a bet or make a deal we are always looking for value.
The odds at which we bet, with all bookmakers, align approximately with the real probabilities of that market. Of course, they then adjust the odds to give themselves a small margin.
For example, if the market had a 50% chance of winning, the odds would be $2.00, they would then adjust to add a margin for themselves. We would be left with odds between $1.90 and $1.99, depending on the bookmaker
So, we can deduce that the key to making money investing in sports betting is to know the real probability of an event and always bet with a bookmaker that offers odds higher than that probability. This would be a bet that has value, a Value Bet.
For example, if the market had a 50% chance of winning, and the odds were $2.10 that would be a Value Bet. You are beating the probability.
If the bookmakers knew with 100% certainty the probability of an event the pre-match odds would never waver, it would be mathematically impossible to beat them. In the long run, we would always end up losing our money due to the margin or commission they charge.
Thankfully, sports betting odds are merely individual estimates made by each bookmaker. If we are able to calculate the true probabilities of markets better than the bookmakers, we can find miscalculations and inefficiencies in their odds, and profit.
Systematic and disciplined value betting is the key to beating the bookies and making consistent and long term profits in sports betting!
Examples of Value Bets
A great example to show how Value Bets work and are calculated is by using the probabilities calculated by FiveThirtyEight, a publication with a speciality in statistics and polling. For many sporting events, FiveThirtyEight has begun calculating and sharing their own probabilities.
This is a great example we can use to explain our core concept. Let’s go deeper into how these probabilities work and how we can work with them.
We’ll give FiveThirtyEight far too much credit and assume that the probability they have calculated is perfect. Exactly.
Spoiler: It’s not
Next, we will use these probabilities to work out the ‘Minimum Profitable Odds’. We’ll have a full explanation of Minimum Profitable Odds and what that means coming up.
Essentially, we are just calculating the inverse of the probability to find the lowest odds at which we could still be making a profit on the event, the Minimum Profitable Odds. Based on FiveThirtyEight’s probability calculations.
Result estimated by FiveThirtyEight | Minimum Profitable Odds Calculation:
Dortmund 27% = 0.27 ▶ Odds = 1/0.27 = 3.70
Tie 22% = 0.22 ▶ Odds = 1/0.22 = 4.55
Munich 50% = 0.50 ▶ Odds = 1/0.50 = 2.00
That is it. There are your Minimum Profitable Odds. Any bet above those odds is profitable. If we find such a bet, we have found a bet with value. A Value Bet.
How to Find Value Bets?
After we have found our Minimum Profitable Odds, we move on to the next step. Comparing available odds using a bookmaker comparison tool.
Two such tools are:
Based on our calculations we would need to find odds at or above $2.00 on Munich to be profitable – we cannot find any.
For a tie we are looking for odds at or above $4.55 – again, none.
A bet on Dortmund at or above Minimum Profitable Odds would be $3.70 – We have some options!
AsianOdds and MarathonBet are both providing odds of $3.85, well above what we require. A bet on either of these bookmakers is deemed profitable in the long run, using FiveThirtyEight’s probabilities.
Let’s calculate our expected value if we were to take these odds, using the simple calculation below and assuming a bet size of $10.
$10(3.85/3.70 – 1) = $0.40
An Expected Value of $0.40, It doesn’t seem much. However, that is a 4% Yield. On every bet.
We are in the process of writing an article about compound wealth and how a yield of just 4% can produce extraordinary results when paired with high bet volume! Subscribe to the newsletter and we’ll let you know when it is published!
Don’t have an account with either of these bookmakers? We still have 1xBet with a price of $3.78 which is also profitable. It is crucial that you have the ability to compare odds and bet with multiple bookmakers. The more accounts you open, the better.
So what would happen if we miscalculated or didn’t calculate our probability at all, then made a bet on Bayern to win at their best odds of $1.94, using Coolbet? Let’s do the same Expected Value calculation below!
$10(1.94/2.00 – 1) = -$0.30
That is a -3% yield. A road straight to bankruptcy.
The key is consistently betting above the minimum profitable odds. There are certainly more considerations like bookmaker selection, staking method and betting psychology to take into account, we will discuss all of those things in future articles.
But at the core of our profitable betting philosophy is value betting.
The Value Betting System – Conclusion
If you have the ability to understand and calculate the true probability of a sporting event, you can calculate the Minimum Profitable Odds. Once you find that number, it is the simple process of searching the available odds for a betting opportunity.
When you are given a sports betting tip or recommendation, ask the tipster or service in question what the Minimum Profitable Odds are for that tip. Both to make certain you are betting above that figure and to verify the tipster, you cannot calculate a profitable betting opportunity without calculating the Minimum Profitable Odds.
No bet below the Minimum Profitable Odds is a Value bet, no bet made without understanding your Minimum Profitable Odds is a Value Bet. Be diligent and consistent with your Value Betting System.
I hope this article has helped outline the simple laws of Value Betting.
Now we just have to learn how to calculate accurate probabilities… Stay Tuned (and subscribe)
Happy (Value) Betting!