Most of you know about value betting, but for those of you who do are new to it, I will try to explain.
Many people think that those that are successful at gambling and make their living from the bets they make are gifted at picking winners in sports events. This is far from the truth. The professional gambler does not focus on winners but value. Value is the real key to making a profit in the long term in this field. This does not just apply to gambling but in both life and business.
Sports betting provides the gambler with more value betting possibilities than most of the other betting avenues (e.g. casino, horse racing).
Value betting is an exercise in patience. You are taking small edges from every match. Don’t think bookies like to give money to you for free; their odds will more often than not be spot on. However, those small edges you take can over time turn you into a very rich man.
If you want to beat the bookmakers, you must act as they do. Bear in mind that they are human, same as we are, and that they too make mistakes. Of course, on popular and big markets like Spain, Germany, England etc, they are hard to beat, as they almost always set the odds correctly. The situation in other leagues is very much different and that leaves us space to act.
A value bet is the one where you believe the chances of one team winning are better than the odds suggested and all you need to do is to take advantage of the situation.
For a football match Barcelona – Real Madrid the probability estimates for the home team winning (Asian Handicap -0.5) and for a draw or the away team winning (Asian Handicap +0.5) could be 52% – 48% (total 100%).
The next step in identifying a value bet is to convert the percentage probability (which might have been produced personally, using prediction services or using a tipster) to odds. The odds are the reverse number of the probability estimation. In the example that would be 100 / 52% = 1.92 (home team winning) and 100 / 48% = 2.08 (a draw or the away team winning).
After comparing betting odds you find a bookmaker offering odds of 2.15 for a Barcelona win. At these odds you would receive a larger payout than the true chance of the event happening would suggest. Let’s see what the profit margin is in this example bet. Divide your predicted odds by the bookmaker’s odds; 2.15 / 1.92 = 1.119. Over the long term if each value bet you found produced a profit of 1.119 that would give you a profit margin of 11.9%.
There are a few ways to find value. Some people use a mathematical approach based on past matches and try to predict future result. Others spend hours on research looking for valuable information on various sports related internet sites to gather as much information as they can about a particular event. That information includes news about injuries, weather conditions, morale etc. In addition, some spend a lot of time watching games and base their judgment on subjective feel, a sort of a hunch. Personally, in my work I combine the last two aspects. I try to watch as many games and use all available factors before I set my odds and lines. In the end, you can let the others do the work for you by using one of the paid services available, like BetAdvisor for example.
This is the way I work: before the odds come out, I’m always trying to set my odds for further matches based on past results and my knowledge about them from the past matches. When all important factors are available I start changing my odds and lines accordingly and compare them with odds available on the market. On the difference between my odds and odds on the market I base my prediction and stakes. If the difference is bigger, the stake is higher. It is important to point out that if bookies set their odds correctly, there is no sense betting on them, because long term betting you can not make profit.
Geoff Harvey: ” Find the value, and winners will take care of themselves.”