The possibility of betting online at bookmakers is offering us a big opportunity for making money online. The chance of making guaranteed money from sports betting has made a lot of people wealthy and has given them a chance to quit g their jobs.
Smart betting strategies like arbitrage and value betting are the basis of success, but the highest return you can make on Value Betting.
Table of Contents
What is value betting in sports betting?
A value bet on sports events appears when the odds are higher than the real chance, the true probability of winning that outcome.
Value bets, in other words, are appearing when bookmakers are offering bigger odds, that are not reflecting the real chance of winning that bet.
Taking these higher odds or prices at value bets is giving you an advantage, an edge over bookmakers. Value betting, in the long run, is the most profitable sports betting strategy.
What is a value bet with an example?
A value bet in sports betting is a wrong price or odds of an outcome. We say value betting because placing bets on these opportunities with wrong odds is offering us a chance for beating the bookmakers. Placing only value bets is generating a guaranteed profit in the long run.
Bookmakers are trying to define the true odds, the real probability of every outcome on sports events. To get the most accurate odds bookmakers need to have every essential information about the past and the present of teams and players.
Historical data for sports are easy to gather, but the new actual information about the players can change even from one hour to the next.
Some bookmakers are not fast enough in getting and implementing new information. Being late means that they are not lowering the odds fast enough.
Smart sports bettors are getting advantage of these mistakes, and they are placing bets on odds that have not yet dropped. Bookmakers are not doing this intentionally at all, but a lot of the time sports bettors are faster in taking action.
Example for a value bet:
The home football team has a 50% chance to win the match and has 50% to finish it as a draw or to lose.
50% of chance in decimal odds would mean an odd of 2.
The official lineups are appearing with the information that the away team is missing two key players.
This means that the chance for the home team to win will be 60%, meaning an odd of 1.67 without the margin of the bookmaker.
Most bookmakers are acting fast and lowering the odds for the home team, but some of them are too late.
You as a smart bettor have to act fast and place your bets on the odd of 2 with a big value on it.
Placing a lot of these value bets will generate a lot of profits.
From 100 value bets like this, with a stake of 100 euros statistically, you have to win 60% of them. With a little calculation, you will get that if you win 60 bets from 100, all of them placed on odds of 2, you will make a profit of 2000 euros.
In the real world, these kinds of big value bets are not so common, and it is not wise to take advantage of big mistakes like this.
Is Value betting profitable?
Value betting is the most profitable smart betting strategy. From a big sample of a source of value bettors, we already know that with value betting you can make 60% – 70% more than with arbitrage betting.
I have the same experience as well. Arbitrage betting offers you an income with a risk of almost zero but with the price of fewer profits.
How much money you make with value betting depends on:
- How many bookmakers you have access to
- The size of your starting bankroll
- How much time you invest in learning and placing value bets
- Money management strategy
- Variance in value betting
- Which value betting scanner service are you using
What are the true odds?
True odds or in other name sharp odds are representing the real probability of an outcome. True or sharp odds are the odds format of the real statistical chance of your bet.
At bookmakers, true odds are very rare, these are offered only for some bets as bonus odds. In the world of sports betting there is a margin between true odds and payoff odds.
This difference is generating profit for bookmakers and it is called the edge of the bookmaker.
The more a bookmaker can define odds the smaller the edge they can have on that outcome. On a tennis match at an ITF tournament, which is a small tournament without big players, is hard to define the true probability of a player.
Bookmakers can’t define true odds for players with a very short history and with a fluctuating performance. On these markets, the edge of the bookmaker will be very high, sometimes even above 8%.
But on the other hand, on markets like odd/even on corners where the chances are 50/50 they can offer an edge of even 3%.
There are two “easy ways” to get the closest to true odds:
- Using exchanges like Betfair to see the real probability of an outcome. This only works on matches with a lot of stakes.
- Using the odds and lines of Pinnacle as a guide
Pinnacle is still the best bookmaker at defining true odds. Comparing other soft bookmakers to Pinnacle is still very profitable in pre-match betting, on bigger leagues.
However in live betting, the odds are moving so fast and the events are changing so fast, that even Pinnacle is making mistakes.
Why does the bookmaker always win?
Bookmakers are offering lower odds than the real probability. They are lowering their odds in a way that on every match they have an edge of approximately 2% – 8%.
The goal for them is to attract as many bettors as possible so they wager money on every outcome. The other target is to get a balanced amount of stake on every outcome, this way they are maxing out their profits.
Smart sports bettors are finding the weak odds and are betting on them with a big volume. Bettors who are attacking these weak spots are decreasing the income of the bookmakers. To stop this action, bookmakers are limiting winning players.
Their whole system and every rule is built up to get your money. Even the bonus offers are built up in a way that in the end if you are not a smart bettor, you will lose your money.
if you get a bonus of 100 euros after 100 euros deposited, and you have to roll over both of them 10 times -> at a bookmaker with an edge of 6% -> the 6% of 2000 euros rolled over is 120 euros.
Without a smart betting strategy, you will lose at least 20 euros from your initial deposit.
How do you calculate the value of a bet?
First of all, we have to find out what is the true probability of the outcome to define the value of an odd.
(Real Probability of the odds in % * Decimal odds at the bookmaker)-100
Example to calculate value: True odds = 1.67 which is a 60% chance to win
You are finding an odd of 1.90.
Value: (60 * 1.90)-100= 14%
If the value is over 0% the bet is worth placing. With this value bet example in the long run for every 100 euros of stake you will make a profit of 14 euros.
How to find value bets?
There are several ways of finding value bets.
I think the two starting points of value betting strategies are:
- Comparing odds to odds of a sharp bookmaker like Pinnacle, or more sharp bookmakers
- Learning enough and gaining experience to define better, sharper lines than bookmakers
- Comparing soft bookmaker odds to sharp bookmaker odds
This value betting strategy is the most basic, but with very good possibilities. Comparing odds with other sharp bookmakers is the best chance for a beginner to enter the value betting industry.
This kind of value betting needs less experience.
You do not need to be an expert in any sport to find value bets.
We already know that some bookmakers like Pinnacle or some other Asian bookmakers are very accurate in defining these true odds.
In this situation, the next step is to find odds scanner services that are scanning the bookies available in your country.
- Getting very experienced in a sport
Finding value bets without being dependent on a scanner service or sharp bookmakers is the most sustainable value betting strategy.
Learning enough from a sport, league, or market and finding real value in odds or lines not scanned by scanners and not realized by bookmakers is a large advantage.
Noticing value bets this way is the hardest strategy, it needs the most experience and time for learning.
The biggest advantage of smart bettors specialized in a market is that their knowledge can’t be limited or taken away.
Bookmakers will limit them very late because they can’t spot them as arbitrage bettors or value bettors.
With a short example to understand what I mean:
Learning enough about a certain league or sport like German basketball. Watching a lot of matches, studying the history of teams and players. Paying attention to the trends inside matches, like which team is more active in the first half.
Steps of making money with value betting
- Register accounts at trustworthy soft bookmakers
- Every country has its regulations about sports betting and bookmakers licenses. The first thing you should check is the list of bookmakers you can legally use to avoid problems with the law.
- Check the available bookmaker if they are included in scanner services.
- Make sure that those bookmakers are trustworthy. If there are a lot of negative reviews, forum posts about them being scammy or not paying it is better to avoid them.
- Choose a value betting scanner service that meets your needs
- The biggest influencing factor is the subscription price
- The number of bookmakers scanned
- How accurate the displayed value bets are
- The speed of scanning
- Without much experience, you should choose Pinnacle as a reference for true odds
Pinnacle has the sharpest, accurate odds in pre-match betting. Comparing soft bookmakers with their true odds is still very profitable. – Click here to read my Pinnacle review
- Place bets with a value of at least 1% – 3% but not more than 6%
Placing value bets with at least 1% of value on them is decreasing the amount of variance. The more value a bet has, the less variance you will face in the long run. But have in mind that placing bets with too big value on them can flag your account for smart betting practices.
- Start with small stakes
Starting with small stakes will help you delay being limited and also will help you to decrease the loss if you make mistakes.
Beginner value bettors are making a lot of mistakes which can cost you a lot. I suggest you should bet only 3% – 4% of your bankroll until you get more experienced.
- Analyze your bet history
After you place 150-200 value bets, you can start building an excel file with your bets and stakes. Applying filters and making calculations can highly improve your value betting strategy.
How to delay being limited by the bookmakers? Read this article
If you are interested in a more secure way of making money, read the article about arbitrage betting.
Placing bets on overpriced odds.
The true odds for Rafael Nadal would be 1.2 to win the match, but you find 1.33 at another bookie.
Odds that are representing the real probability of an outcome.
They are offering odds that are lower than the real probability of winning them.
Manually or with scanner services.