If you find yourself in betting circles, you’ll just have to hear the “value bet” expression sooner or later. We will try and provide you with the detailed explanation on what does it exactly refer to and help you entirely understand its meaning and learn how you can use it to beat the bookies.
A value bet is the kind of bet where the probability of the outcome to happen is higher than bookmakers’ odds suggest. This may sound complicated and the best way to go through it is to show it on simply examples.
Example No 1
We will use a tennis match in the first example since there are only two possible outcomes in a tennis match which should make it easier for you to understand it. Okay, so we have the match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the final of a grand slam and you believe each of two stars has 50% chances of winning it (assuming you are the tennis expert and you have done all the necessary analyses).
The bookies, however, price Federer at 1.90 (9/10) to win the match, offering Nadal’s victory at higher 2.10 (11/10) odds. If you truly believe that both players have equal chances of winning the match, going for Rafa at 2.20 is a must since it brings the value, no matter of the final outcome.
How to Calculate the Value?
There is a simple formula used for calculating the value – Probability multiplied by the decimal odds minus 100%.
Let’s use the same example from above – We’ve stated that both players have equal chances of winning. The formula would look like this:
50% multiplied by 1.90 – 100% = -5%
50% multiplied by 2.10 -100% = 5%
So, of you back Nadal to win the match you will practically have a 5% edge over the bookies and you should take this bet all day long.
However, the harsh reality is that you will hardly find such odds as you’ll likely get 1.90 odds for both Federer and Nadal to win the match. To beat that, the probability of each of the players winning would have to be higher than 50%, but that’s again on you and how well you actually do your homework and analyse the match.
We’ll apply a similar approach on a football example. Let’s take Barcelona and Real Madrid are up to play El Clasico. Barcelona are 2.50 (6/4) to win the match which would equal 40% probability. However, you believe that Messi & company have higher chances of beating their arch-rivals and you’d rather go with a 50% probability of Blaugrana to clinch the spoils. The value would in that case be 25% according to the formula discussed above on the tennis example and it would be another must-take bet.
How to Find Value Bets?
This is the eternal question all punters are still desperate to find an answer to. Basically, it all comes to determining the probability for certain outcome, and you’ll have higher chances to make it right if you know more about the sport, the particular event, the particular team.