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What is a Value Bet?

value bet

There are a number of different betting strategies that can be adopted by punters when finding a way to win against the bookmaker during their betting career. Many aim to find value bets when it comes to types of betting on a football team to win, horse racing or tennis matches. But what exactly is a value bet? Our handy guide will explain the concept of value bet and provide everything you need to know in a search to make a long-term profit with the bets you place.

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How to Find a Value Bet 

Every bookmaker or betting site has a team of bet traders who are able to set the betting odds on offer for a huge range of sporting events. As you are no doubt aware, betting on sport can be unpredictable and sometimes a sports betting site might underestimate the true probability of an outcome happening. This can result in them offering bet odds that are higher than punters think they should be and that can lead to making money from betting.

In this situation, it means that the bet you want to place is available at higher betting odds than it should be – a value bet. Let’s make one thing completely clear. The concept of betting value in sports is a subjective one and there are certainly no guarantees that value betting will yield a short-term or long-term profit with a bookmaker.

However, getting the value is definitely a measured way of placing sports bets and it allows betting customers to have some kind or rationale behind why they are betting on certain selections.

Quite simply, an expected value bet is where a customer feels as though a betting selection’s odds on offer are too high in relation to the real probability of that pick winning. There could be bookmaker value with a football team, a horse in a race or an individual tennis, golf or snooker player. A betting customer can come to this value conclusion in a number of ways.

Ultimately, value betting involves discipline and some betting customers will actually price up football matches and then compare their own betting odds with a betting site to see where the biggest value lies. The bigger the discrepancy means that there is more value with a particular betting selection when you visit a bookmaker site or app.

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How to Calculate the Probability of a Bet Winning

Betting customers will have different methods in order to find many value bets for their wagers. To start with a value bet example, imagine a bookmaker will offer odds to bet on Manchester United at evens (2.0) to beat Chelsea in a Premier League game at Old Trafford. Those bookmaker betting odds suggest that there’s a coin toss 50% chance that United are going to land a victory and a successful bet at this price would potentially double your money.

A betting customer might conclude that United have a bigger than 50% chance of winning, meaning it’s a value proposition and not tossing a coin where you choose either heads or tails. This could offer value because the Red Devils have won the majority of home games for that season. Perhaps the value is down to Chelsea having poor recent form or even missing some key players. Some bettors might even be using a statistical model to come up with a value conclusion.

If you feel that United stand a greater than 50% chance of winning unlike a coin toss, this would be classed as a value bet. You can bet on the outcome with the bookmaker in question and stand to double your money for a value betting selection where you feel as though the betting odds are on your side rather than the betting site.

Let’s look at another good value bet example. You can bet on Rafael Nadal is 1.5 to win a tennis match and his opponent Daniil Medvedev is 2.2 with your favourite bookmaker.

You might estimate that Nadal has a 75% chance of winning this match rather than the bookmaker’s probability of 66.67%. Therefore, your opinion is that the bet odds for Nadal winning should be shorter and the 1.5 being offered is too high. Therefore according to the odds, this is a value bet even at a relatively short price and it’s worth betting on the Spaniard to achieve betting success.

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Why Value Betting Doesn’t Mean a Bet Every Time

If you’re willing to embrace the concept of placing a value bet when wagering on sports, then you might need to adopt a long-term betting view. For example, a horse might be at betting odds of 9/1 which implies a 10% probability that it will win. You might study the betting form and think that this horse might be one of the market moves and end up shortening to 5/1, indicating huge value if you’re able to bet at the former price.

This still means that the betting selection will make a loss despite it being regarded as value. If the horse was trading at betting odds of 5/1, there would still only be a 16.7% probability of success implied by the odds. Value betting doesn’t mean you win every time, although the bigger the difference between perceived probability and betting odds, the better the value.

However, if you betting money with the same stake on ten 9/1 value selections, then you would only need two of these bets to win in order to demonstrate that your real value betting strategy is working. Sometimes betting requires patience as opposed to a win every time.

If you want to find the place a bet and avoid poor value, you'll need to calculate a value bet for yourself. If your value estimates are correct, you'll win your value bets more often than the probabilities shown by the betting sites’ odds would seem to indicate, thus making a long-term profit with your value bets. 

Always remember that betting on sport can be unpredictable. Indeed, the difficulty in ability to find value bets consists of being able to calculate betting probabilities more accurately than the betting sites. Bookmakers have a range of powerful bet tools at their disposal and it’s not always possible to make value betting work with a bookie.

However, you’re certainly at the right site to try and find that edge over the bookmakers when you gamble with your bets! With SportyTrader, you have a range of profitable betting opportunities at your fingertips. SportyTrader has developed mathematical bet models specifically for value betting strategies on football and tennis. These value betting models allow us to calculate value bets probabilities for the occurrence of a result. 

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We also have a team of betting experts who will supply our readers with a steady flow of value betting tips. They will do their best to find the value bets and hopefully lead you on the path to betting profit with your bets placed. Hopefully this article will help you understand more about placing a value bet and it’s always important to get the best odds whether you win or lose. 

Make sure you consider a bet staking plan and review your value bets on a regular basis to assess whether your chosen value bet strategy is working. Also consider the more obscure sports and betting markets in order to gain a bigger value betting edge over the betting operators. Head to our recommended bookmakers to find the best picks. 

Matched betting or arbitrage betting can be another potential route but be sure to consider the betting terms. There’s nothing to stop you reviewing in order to change the value on a regular basis and a customer will be looking to make a profit regardless of the outcome by betting on both sides of the market. Try to focus on markets which are either two-way or three-way if you’re going down this route. 

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