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Value Bet

Learn how to select the right bets and ensure long-term profitability using the value betting technique.

To fix the odds for an event, a bookmaker calculates the probability of a sports result actually happening. If the bookmaker underestimates this probability, the odds that it offers are too high, thus allowing you to bet at advantageous odds. A value bet is therefore a bet for which the bookmaker has underestimated the probability of the result occurring.

A bet is a value bet if the following formula applies:

1/odds < probability of the result occurring

An example of a value bet

Nadal - Murray tennis match on a fast surface

Nadal win: odds of 1.5
win: odds of 2.2

A reliable statistical model gives Nadal a 75% chance of winning, whereas the bookmaker estimates a probability of 66.67%:

1 / Odds for = 1/1.5 = 66.67%

Therefore, the probability of a Nadal win is underestimated by the bookmaker, whose odds are too high (the odds should be 1/75% = 1.33). This is a value bet.


If you want to find the best value bets, you'll need to calculate the likely probability for the events yourself. If your estimates are correct, you'll win your bets more often than the probabilites shown by the bookmakers' odds would seem to indicate, thus making a long-term profit.

So, the difficulty in making value bets consists of being able to calculate probabilities more accurately than the bookmakers. Bookmakers have a range of powerfool tools at their disposal and, at first sight, this may seem like a hopeless task.

But today, help is at hand! With SportyTrader, you have a range of profitable betting solutions at your fingertips! SportyTrader has developed mathematical models specifically for football and tennis. These models allow us to calculate highly reliable probabilities for the occurrence of a result.