What Is a Value Bet? Value Betting Explained

28 September 2023
Alex Waite
Published on September 28, 2023 Last updated on September 28, 2023 

In sports betting, bettors can identify a value bet by comparing the bookmaker’s odds with probability. Below, we explain the meaning of betting for value.

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What Is Value Betting?

In sports betting, betting for value is where the bettor calculates if there is a better probability of winning in comparison to the bookmaker’s odds. Ultimately, players look for odds that have the edge over the bookmaker’s odds.

Often, value betting compares to the probability of guessing the outcome of a coin toss. For instance, the odds of a coin toss are always 2.0 for heads or tails, as 100 divided by 2.0 is 50%.

Therefore, both heads and tails have a 50% chance of winning. But, if the odds were 2.0 or higher, even 2.01 or 2.02, then this would represent a bet with value.

Generally, applying probability to sports betting is a mathematical way of approaching the bet. Bettors wager more with statistics rather than through emotion or gut feeling.

But, it is still important for bettors to look at the context and combine this with a mathematical approach.

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What Are Examples of the Value Bet?

Often, value betting works in different ways for different sports. This is because there are different variations and potential outcomes in different sports events.

In this section, we outline some real-life examples of betting for value in a few different sports betting markets.


In football betting, the probability of a team winning a certain match reflects decimal odds. For example, in a match between Chelsea and Arsenal, the bookmaker could give Chelsea pre-matchwinner odds of 2.2 to win.

Therefore, players can work out the probability of Chelsea winning with these odds by dividing 100 by 2.2, which equals 44.5%. Then, to find a bet that has better value, bettors would try to find odds of 2.21 or higher.

However, context is important in football, and bettors can consider this in a team’s chances of winning. For instance, if Chelsea has three or four players out injured and Arsenal has all of their players available, this could lessen the chance of a Chelsea win.


For tennis, betting for value works in a similar way. But there are slight differences because it is a sport for individuals rather than teams.

In this example, we explain how value betting could work in a match between the two top men’s players, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

The pre-match odds could show Djokovic to have 1.8 odds of winning, which would give him a 55% chance of beating Medvedev. Therefore, if a bettor finds odds of 1.81 or higher, then they can get value from their bet.

Again, like football, occurrences leading up to the match can affect the probability of winning. In this instance, if Djokovic was coming back from injury, then his odds of winning could lessen.

Also, form plays a key part in tennis, and if Medvedev was in better form, then the odds for a Djokovic win would become longer.


In many countries, basketball is a popular sports betting option. Furthermore, players can find value in odds for this sport online. Here, we provide an example involving the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

If Boston has 2.08 pre-match odds to win and Miami 1.85, then Miami is the narrow favourite with a 54% chance of winning. But, if a bettor finds odds better than 1.85, then they have found a good value option.

How Do I Calculate My Bet Value?

When figuring out bets for value, bettors can use a value bet calculator manually. By using this technique, players can work out the real probability of match odds.

Then, bettors can compare these to the bookmaker’s odds to find value. Ultimately, bettors can use a value bet calculator as a long-term approach. Players can try to add a small value to each of their bets.

The calculation bettors use when betting for value is 100 divided by the odds of the bookmaker. Over time and with experience, bettors can quickly notice good value odds over poor value.

What Are Value Bet Tips?

When approaching this betting method, there are some strategies bettors can use. Ultimately, by using some value bet tips, players can make better judgements before committing to a bet.

Below, we provide some of our top-value bet tips for bettors. By using these with the statistical approach of working out probability, players can form a rounded betting judgement.

Look at Form

Firstly, with any sports betting strategy, looking at team or player form is important. Generally, bettors can get a feel of a team’s recent performance levels by looking at their last five results.

Also, this can reveal whether a team has a good chance of winning or losing in their upcoming game.

In addition, focusing on the form can reveal trends in away vs home statistics. Looking at form is often a good starting point for bettors when looking at the value of different odds.


Although betting for value is an approach based on maths and probability, bettors must consider the context of the match too. Sometimes, sports matches have greater significance rather than one team beating another.

For example, a team may need to win to avoid relegation in a football match. Alternatively, a young tennis player may be in their first Grand Slam Final, which comes with certain pressures.

Such pre-match considerations help bettors to find additional value in odds leading up to a match, which the bookmakers may not have found.

Use Odds Comparison Tools

Today, bettors can compare different bookmaker odds quickly online. By doing this, players can quickly view a range of odds for an upcoming match in one place.

Then, they can see the best value from a cross-section of odds. Furthermore, even comparing the odds on a few different bookmakers can reveal the best value before committing to a wager.

Track Progress

When using this betting approach, tracking bets and progress is important. For each wager, players can note down their wins and losses. Eventually, over time, they can see how effective the betting for value approach is in sports betting.

Also, this approach reveals particular positive and negative trends in betting approaches. As a result, this can inform bettors about the next steps when wagering.

Utilise Previews and News

Similarly to understanding context, looking at pre-match news and build-up can give bettors more detail about teams and their players. Presently, online bettors can access lots of news and previews for most sports.

Here, they can see the latest team news and form in one place. Ultimately, these details are important when looking for value. They can reveal missing players, injuries before the match and important recent results that can then inform betting decisions.


For some, using calculations to approach sports betting can seem unfamiliar, to begin with. As a result, it takes time for bettors to practice their approach to betting for value. To begin, players can work on calculating odds without committing to a bet.

Then, they can compare the odds to try and find value. Eventually, bettors can become comfortable with the value approach to wagering.

Value Bet FAQs

Here, we provide answers to some of the most common questions about looking for bets that provide value.

What does value bet mean on Sportsbet?

In sports betting, bettors can take this approach to try and find the best value bookmaker odds. Ultimately, bettors can calculate the value of odds and find the standout options. However, to commit to this approach, players usually apply a calculation to work out the real probability of a team winning before committing to their bet.

Do value bets work?

Like all betting approaches, bettors take an element of risk when they commit to a wager. As a result, finding value in odds is not a foolproof betting approach. Instead, it is a mathematical way of finding value in betting markets. Also, bettors can consider using tips and strategies before committing to this approach to help limit wagers on pure luck alone.

How do you win a value bet?

Ultimately, there is no way to win a value bet definitely. In sports, unpredictable events happen that bettors or bookmakers can’t factor into their odds. As a result, no tip guarantees to provide certain winners.

What is considered a good value bet?

When looking at value in bookmaker’s odds, players calculate the probability of either team or player winning. Then, they compare the odds to find the best value. For example, if a bookmaker offers 2.1 odds for one team, the bettor may find further odds of 2.12. Even this slight increase would reflect the value of this bet.