New customers only | Commercial content | 18+ age limit | T&Cs apply

How to beat the bookmakers?

Beating the Bookmakers - Sports Betting

To beat the bookmakers, at least when it comes to sports betting, you need to have a strong ability to analyse events better than the bookmakers. With this expert judgement in place, you will be able to bet on odds that are higher than you believe they should be. This will give you the chance of winning some good amounts. This is the principle of a value bet.

Place your bets on Bet365 today!

Beating the bookmakers with a value bet

In short, since we have already mentioned the Value Bet in another article (click the link above for more details), a Value Bet is a safer bet than the average, since the bookmaker has not analysed the match concerned in the best way. It's all about the odds.

Let's take the example of a match between Olympique de Marseille and Saint Etienne. The odds on a win for Marseille at the bookmakers is 2.30, while for Saint Etienne it is 3.6.

Knowing that the formula 1 / (odds) x 100 is used to make the link between odds and probabilities, here is what it gives :

  • 1 / (2.30) x 100 = 43
  • 1 / (3.60) x 100 = 28

We can see that the bookmaker believes that Olympique de Marseille has "only" a 43% chance of winning, and that the odds on their success are quite high. However, you have your own opinions on this match and have carried out some analysis of the key statistics. You realise that: 

  • Marseille has won 80% of its home games this season
  • Saint-Etienne has won only 25% of its away games this season
  • Marseille has won its last five matches against Saint-Etienne
  • Saint-Etienne's top scorer is suspended for the match
  • Marseille have won 90% of their games against top 10 clubs this season

According to you, the conditions clearly show that Marseille has more than a 50% chance to win, and that the odds should have been, at most, 2.00 (50% chance to win). You conclude that the bookmaker has overestimated the odds, and so you take the opportunity to bet on them. The likely winnings will be overestimated as well, and so will your chances of winning. Therefore, your victory over the bookmaker.

Collect your VBet bonus now!

To beat the bookies, bet early

Beat the bookmakers

If you want to spot as many value bets as possible and have the best chance of beating the bookmakers regularly, you should place your bets as early as possible, as soon as the odds come out at the various online betting sites. Why? Because the bookmaker might realise that their odds are too high because of the large number of bets being placed.

This may not be obvious, especially when you are new to sports betting, but you should know that the odds at the bookmakers will systematically vary over time, particularly based on the volume of wagers placed for the bet concerned.

To take the example of the OM-ASSE match from the previous paragraph, the slightly overvalued odds of the "OM win" bet could have led many expert punters to place their bets, putting the bookmaker on alert. When the bookmaker noticed the abnormal volume of bets on the odds concerned, he would then re-evaluate the proposed value, in order to minimise his losses if Marseille won. This is often the reason why you will not find the same odds a few hours before the match as a few days before.

So don't forget: to beat the online bookmakers, timing is everything.

Odds comparators, a major asset

So you've understood, in order to beat the bookmakers and win money in the long term, you must take advantage of the value bets offered on the various sports betting sites. But how do you do this? How do you spot abnormally high odds in a few seconds? Well, that's where the odds comparators come in handy.

Like our own Sportytrader odds comparator, which is by the way one of the most reactive on the market, these famous odds comparators will actually allow you to see all the odds offered on the market. So  if a bookmaker seems to have made a mistake, you will be the first to know.

For example, a few days before OM-ASSE kicks off, you notice that, of the only three bookmakers currently offering the match, two are offering odds of 2.00 for an OM win and the third is offering odds of 2.20? You can then look into this bet and make a quick statistical study. This will often allow you to find an opportunity for a value bet. You would need to have an account with the bookmakers.

Don't be baited

Finally, by way of conclusion, you should also get into the habit of not dwelling too much on the miscellaneous facts found in the news sections of sports betting sites, including those dear Léo, Jérémy or Valentine who won €300,000 by betting just €10 on 18-match combinations. This is obviously a very small minority of punters and it happens very rarely. Remember the higher the odds, the less chance of success so don’t put too many teams in accumulators. If you want to beat the bookmakers, you're better off with simple bets that have been misjudged by the bookmakers themselves. This is the only key to success.

Place your bets on Bet365 today!

More about sports betting methods

Please Gamble Responsibly