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Value Betting Explained

Author: Jonathan Franzen
by Jonathan Franzen
Posted: Dec 16, 2016
value betting A TERM that bettors will come across as they research the various betting systems which are available around the net is Value Betting. With the multitude of strategies that exist by which the experts variously swear one could be forgiven for thinking that Value Betting is just the latest fad in a seemingly endless quest to devise a means by which to beat the bookies. But Value Betting, in theory at least, must undoubtedly lead to a profitable betting experience in the longer term. The concept of Value in betting is a simple one. It means, in essence, that the price on offer is more generous than the real chances of the preferred outcome taking place would suggest. Let me put that another way. In a sporting contest between two competitors of exactly equal ability in which the only two possible outcomes are a win for one or a win for the other, the real odds on either competitor will be 2.00 (1/1), or Evens. Sportsbooks which agree that both competitors have a precisely equal chance of victory will typically offer something less than Evens, say 1.91 (10/11) or 1.83 (5/6). The missing bit is what is known as the "house edge", or to put it more truthfully the mark-up that ensures that the bookie will be quids in whoever wins the contest. Now just imagine for a moment that one sportsbook gets it "wrong", and prices one competitor up at 2.10 (11/10). A return of £2.10 for a stake of £1.00 on a competitor with an exactly 50-50 chance of winning is what is known as a Value Bet. The competitor's chance of winning the contest will still be Evens. In other words, there is still as much chance of your bet losing than there is of it winning. Nonetheless, if you were to take 100 similar bets on identical terms it would be reasonable to expect that you will finish up in pocket, as every losing bet would cost you £1.00 (or a multiple thereof) whilst every successful bet would win you £1.10. Value Bets do occur frequently in sports betting. There are many reasons for this - bookmaker error, or a lack of detailed knowledge of the event in question, among them. Odds comparison services often use complicated formulae to decide which prices represent Value Bets. However, you will have noticed that earlier in this article I used the words "in theory at least". There is a reason for my having done so, and it is this - often a sportsbook will have specialist knowledge which is unknown to others which leads them to offer what would appear to be an over-generous price on a particular eventuality. For instance, a sportsbook which had inside information that a boxer was carrying a hand injury might be persuaded to offer a more attractive price than others who were in the dark. Under circumstances such as this, the "Value Bet" actually becomes a mug bet. There is no easy way to know whether a seemingly attractive price is being offered by a particular book through ignorance or knowledge. Sometimes an inspired guess is possible - if a Russian book, for example, offers an unusual price on a Russian sporting event it might be prudent to anticipate that its linesmakers are better informed than those at, say, a UK or US-offshore book. The bettor who can get Value Betting right every time will in the fullness of the time be a rich man or woman. The challenge is to know when to strike.
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Author: Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen

Member since: Jan 18, 2016
Published articles: 1

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