Value Bet Explained

30 August 2023

The value bet is a unique market that allows players to calculate the expected value and establish whether they can lower the risk incumbent in their bets.

There are numerous advantages of value bets, including possible positive outcomes in the long run. However, it is not only a bed of roses because some limitations may discourage you. On average, it is a good market, especially for seasoned players who understand various leagues and basic principles to avoid mistakes.

What is a Value Bet and How Does It Work?

A value bet is a systematic sport betting approach where there is a lower expected risk compared to the percentage of return. Punters are expected to understand the difference between corresponding odds and the likelihood of a team winning. Odds represent the price that the bookmaker will offer in case a punter wins a bet. They are used to compute the payout.

Before a bookmaker releases odds, it first analyses the teams and fixes the price based on the winning probabilities. When you see lower odds, the price is likely to be higher. For instance, if you choose a likely outcome with odds of 2.5, it means the bookmaker will pay you 2.5 times the stake you place. Therefore, the net return will be 1.5 times your initial value of the stake.

Value Bet Tips

How to Recognise a Value Bet

You can recognise a value bet of the day by analysing the likelihood of a given outcome. If there are chances that the outcome will be higher than the odds, your expected return will be statistically positive. In other words, value betting is where a punter only wagers when the winning chances are higher than what the bookmaker estimated.

We can use a coin toss as an example to explain how a value bet works. There are only two outcomes when you toss a coin – head or tail. The chances of the coin landing on either the head or tail are 50%, representing an odds value of 2.00 for each outcome. One bookmaker can offer odds of 2.10 on heads, and another will provide an odds value of 2.00.

While the actual probability of the outcomes is the same, it is obvious that you will go for higher odds. This means that 2.10 is higher than the underlying probability, creating a value bet.

Value Bet Advantages

Players who choose to wager on value bets will encounter the following advantages:

  • A smart punter can capitalise on the numerous and huge mistakes by bookmakers
  • Bookies have minimal limitations, especially on live events
  • It is not easy for the bookie to flag your account for smart betting

Value Bet Disadvantages

Despite the numerous advantages associated with value betting, punters should anticipate some limitations, as explained in the list below:

  • It is difficult to spot the right value bets
  • You may experience extremely long streaks of losing bets
  • Players find many problems trying to avoid big variances
  • In the case of live bets, the odds will drop faster, making it hard to wager

Value Betting Strategy

Value betting is a unique market with great potential if you do it right. Before you start betting, you must deploy a few betting tips to boost your success chances. Seasoned players have an idea of how to place value bets. Therefore, the value betting strategies discussed will mostly benefit new players who are exploring value betting for the first time.

Familiarise Yourself with the Layout

You can use a mobile device or desktop to place value bets. Whichever device you use, explore the layout and how the market works. You can research or review some online videos to get an idea. The videos will give you basic information on the formulae and steps of calculating value bets before you place the bets.

Place Multiple Bets and Stick to Your Plan

Unlike other bets, value bets depend on volume. You need to create a statistical significance through multiple bets. This market requires that you place thousands of bets to establish value bets with certainty. Again, you should stick to one plan and learn if it works. If you keep switching plans, you will not know the most suitable one. In value betting, always remember that you do not depend on luck because it involves pure mathematics that shows you have an advantage over the bookie.

Understand Variance

Value betting is not about short-term gains. In this market, the bookmaker places overpriced odds, meaning a punter will likely make a greater reward than the bookie suggests. Do not be misguided to imagine that you will win all value bets. Study the variance and also anticipate downswings in your betting streaks. You may be punished hard if you do not regard the variance and know how it works.

Know the Bookmakers

A new punter must know the bookmakers they are joining. There are two categories of bookmakers concerning value betting, and they include sharp and soft bookmakers. New players should consider soft bookmakers. You also need to study the betting types and markets available on various bookies. Some bookmakers will allow you to practice value betting without real money, which is an opportunity to learn.

Choose Familiar Leagues and Events

Consider leagues where you have an idea about their structure and teams. You will understand the strengths of various players and the likelihood of a team winning. The bookmaker will also trust your intention of placing value bets on popular leagues. Some bookmakers could raise eyebrows and question your motive if you go for low-tier foreign leagues.

How to Calculate Value Bets

There is a specific procedure to follow while calculating value bets. It comprises simple steps as explained below:

  • Calculate the implied probability
  • Find the true probability which leads to the fair odds
  • Use the expected value formula to calculate the expected return
  • If your answer is a positive expected return, you will have found a value bet

Below is a practical example of how you can calculate a value bet:

Assume that Real Madrid is playing with odds of 3.6 to win

When you use the odds value of 3.6 to calculate the probability of Real Madrid winning, you get 27.7%. (100/3.6 = 27.7%).

The true probability representing the chances of Real Madrid winning is 45%, bringing the bet’s fair value to 2.2. (100/45 = 2.2). Here you find your first value bet.

At this point, you need to apply the expected value formula, which is (Fair probability – Market probability) / Market probability

EV = (45% – 27.7%) / 27.7% = 0.95

Based on the answer above, it means that for every Naira you bet, there will be a positive return of 0.95 Naira.

Where to place value bet online in Nigeria?

Nigerians can place value bets on the following best online betting platforms.

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Frequently Asked Question about Value Bet

What is a value bet in football?

Value bet soccer is where you choose the football outcome that is likely to be higher than the odds.

Is value betting risk-free?

Value bets are not risk-free, so you must anticipate some downswings.

How do you play value betting?

You should follow a specific procedure that will lead you to the computation of the expected value, which should provide a positive value before you bet.