Value betting is the strategy of placing bets with a higher probability of winning than the odds suggest
A value bet is simply a bet where the chance of winning is higher than the odds imply.
For instance a Bookmaker might estimate their odds at 5.0 (which implies a 20% chance). But if the fair odds should be 4.0 (a 25% chance) then selecting the 5.0 odds would be a value bet.
Value betting puts the ‘expected value’ in the player’s favour, meaning that, mathematically, it’s profitable long-term. Hence value bets are also known as ‘Plus EV’ bets.
Unlike Matched Betting and Arbitrage, Value Betting carries risk because there’s no hedging process involved. Every value bet stands to win or lose.
However, over a large enough set of data, the mathematical edge of a value betting strategy will inevitably reveal itself in the results. But it’s vitally important to maintain comfortable stake sizes in order to preserve the bankroll and ride out inevitable downward swings.
You can learn more about streaks/swings from my article on variance.
Without a doubt, the easiest way to find value bets is to follow the selections form a value bet finder. These specialist products enable bettors to identify sports bets with a player advantage – which means they’re profitable in the long-run.
Check out my list of the Best Value Bet Finders.
The vast majority of sports bettors have no way of knowing whether the bets they placed were value bets or not. But with a simple comparison you can test the quality of your bets.
Quite simply: if your odds are better than the Closing Line (the final pre-event odds, or ‘Start Price’) then, on average, you have found value. This is known as Beating the Closing Line.
Bettors that find a way to consistently beat the Closing Line will earn profits over the long-haul. But in practice, that’s a lot more challenging than it seems.
I’ve proven that using the Closing Line is an excellent estimator for value. Check out my analyses in my article: The Importance of Beating The Closing Line.
Some Tipsters treat selections as predictions and somewhat neglect the importance of the odds on offer.
However, the top professional tipsters know too-well that long-term profits cannot be sustained without having a mathematical advantage. Therefore many utilise advanced selection methods to identify plus EV bets, which they recommend to subscribers.
It’s important to understand the risks involved in following tipsters and how to go about finding a reputable service. I recommend reading the following articles for guidance: