Value Betting 101

Value Betting is the key to becoming a professional football bettor

Value Betting might sound like a new term but it really isn´t. It is what differentiates the common sports bettor from the professional, and it isn´t easy either, that is why if can master it you will become a pro.

It requires experience, a plan, mathematical understanding and a well-executed plan.

The good news is it will most certainly guaranty a profitable enterprise with football betting or any other sport betting for that matter.

What is Value Betting

This is a term that applies for all sports and it is regularly heard on football and horse racing. Value betting is to bet less and win more, take those bets that offer the lowest risk with the highest values.

To perform value betting principles of probability, odds calculation, and value need to be applied to a solid betting strategy. This is what horse bettors call handicapping, assessing all the variables on a match giving them a weight value to determine your own odds against the sports book´s odds.

The opposite of a Value Bettor is a “punter”. The punter relies mostly on his gut feelings that come from hours and years of watching football matches and reading the news. This gives him an edge and experienced punters do win a lot of bets, but don´t make much profit out of it. How so? Because they take huge risks for meager rewards by not having a clue of which odds are worth taking. All their small wins are swiped away by single losses. It is time to put those match prediction skills to produce some consistent cash.

In any case being a punter is not a bad thing. Punters have the information, value bettors analyze it to make better decisions.

Objective of a Value Bettor

The true value in sports betting is to find “false odds” made by a sports book or find incorrect assumptions that provide a higher payout when it shouldn´t. These loopholes in the system occur not because the odds maker is dumb or got sidetracked (well, sometimes he might be, he is only human) but because the odds are mostly determined by the market.

The market is the betting community in general, the public odds, when they feel strongly about a result they will back it up no matter what. The sportbook responds just like in any other market by lowering the payout odds as demand increases and increasing the opposite odds for the underdog.

False Odds example: Let’s take the previous 2nd match between PSG and Chelsea for the Champions League 2015.

Chelsea had drawn on the away match in France with PSG, gaining an advantage for scoring an away goal and not losing as a visitor. But during the week before the home game with PSG Chelsea´s game on the Premier League seemed to be weak while PSG with Zatlan Ibramovich was playing a very organized game back home.

The odds before the game were as follow:

Chelsea 11/10

PSG 11/4

Draw 23/10

If you were to bet 10 pounds on Chelsea to win the reward would have been $11 pounds.

If you were to bet 10 pounds on PSG to win the total gain would have been $27.50 pounds.

Put your risk and reward on a scale and betting for PSG to win is more twice as rewarding. Chelsea is still favorite to win but PSG actually had better odds of winning due to their current stats, and not those based on the latest match against Chelsea. At the end PSG went on to win in extra time with only 10 men on the field since the beginning of the match.

The Value in Value Betting

Just think about it, by limiting your betting choices to just a few very select games with false odds your chances of winning are still high but your payout is more than twice as rewarding than playing the favorite all the time. You will lose some of those bets but this time 1 win can cover for 2 loses or more instead of being the other way around.

In horseracing this is called Overlay Betting, the handicappers finds those horses that have the quality to beat the longshot but possess very rewarding odds. They can lose more than they win, because it is that profitable.  

How to Value Bet, Simple Steps

How to become a Value Bettor

  • Expect losses, they are part of the system of value betting. At the end of the season you will be more profitable than the punters.

Spread your risk like financial portfolios do.

  • Value betting allows you to gain an edge over the sport books.

Only place bets when a match has been thoroughly analyzed, this process should take around 90 minutes per match and requires a system to weight in game variables.

  • The payout should be valuable to take the risk.
  • Avoid bets that fail to meet the basic criteria, this is not gambling this is an investment.
  • Don´t bet if some required info is missing.
  • Emotions are out of the picture. No favorite teams, enjoy the game but don´t let your passion get involve in the decision making.
  • You need a money management plan. How much will you invest, risk, re-invest and expend over time. All this should be very clear.
  • All bets made should be carried out till the end. No walking out while the match is on course or counter betting when things aren´t going as expected. Stick to plan.

Learn Value Betting

These were just a few pointers on how to become a real pro in sports betting, if you want to move forward we suggest you take a visit to the Soccer Widow. Her book “Football Betting Odds Calculation Course” is a very complete guide with examples that will turn the novice into a real pro.

Other Safe Betting Systems

If you think Value Betting is for you then check out other safe betting systems that reduce risk and maximize profit. The safest of all is Sports Arbitrage Betting, were a bettor places a bet on both sides of the equation, win and lose, but on different sportbooks with totally contrary odds. No matter the outcome the result will be a profit.