Understanding the Concept of Value

Renowned Chinese General Sun Tzu wrote: “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss”. Making money with sports betting has nothing to do with gambling.

This is the last article from “7 Golden Rules of sports betting” saga but perhaps the most important one.

Value Betting is one of the most common terms in the betting world and it is also one of the best techniques for gaining profit. A value bet is the one where you believe the chances of one team winning are better than the odds suggest and all you need to do is to take advantage of the situation.

There is rarely a value in backing the favorites since, knowing that most punters are willing to back the favorites at any prices, the bookies tend to lower the odds significantly on teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan or Bayern Munich. Seeing that even these kinds of teams cannot win every game they play, there is often a value in backing their opponents at very high odds, especially if you have more info to back it up. This is usually a good tactic right after their European games, when players are tired and are less motivated when up against relegation strugglers.

The common mistake most bookies make is that they create the odds mainly according to teams’ position in the standings. This is also where you can find good value bets by simply watching the teams play and checking their form. If team’s performances are much better than the results suggest, there is a good chance they will turn it around and start winning, this is when you need to act since the odds on that team will be very high after several poor results. Guessing the exact moment when a team kick-starts their season can win you a very nice profit. Watching the games can take up some of your time but it is likely to significantly increase your chances of winning. Checking soccer transfer news (especially now, before the launch of new seasons in European leagues)  is also a good way to see if the squads have undergone any changes and if a team’s key players are still there.

Understanding the Concept of ValueAnother way of finding good value bets is by checking the odds early on, as well as all the information about the match in question. This is especially important for minor leagues as acquiring information about a match before the bookies will give you the upper hand over them. If two teams are similar in quality, the odds will be around 2.60 on either of them, but the odds on team 1 will start dropping really fast if the coach of team 2 states that he will rest his first team regulars for the more important match that is due few days later. This is when you need to act quickly and take the highest possible odds on team 1 since their chances are no longer 33% (assuming the chances on both teams and draw were the same before the new developments), but they are now at least 50%, and they are worth taking at any price above 2.00. This is why you need to stay updated with the latest soccer betting news and to check forums for necessary information.

Rest assured – be careful if the true value multiple is too high. It can be easy to get excited about this but the most likely reason that this might happen is because one bookmaker is using a different handicapping system than another. Don’t let one number stun you into action… keep your feet on the ground and think through every action before you take it!

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