Good Value in Sports Betting

Sports Betting

When betting on sports at online bookmakers you need to make sure that your bets are good value in order to increase your chances of making a profit. If you do not do this you will still win bets but profits may be harder to achieve. Let me explain this last statement.

I lose more bets than I win - but the odds at which I bet compensate for the losing bets. If you bet all season long on Arsenal to win each game you'll probably end up with a fairly good win rate but it's unlikely that you'll win big even at the best bookmakers odds.

The odds will be 'short' and you may do better to try and predict when these teams might falter - and bet against them at the over inflated prices being offered on the opposing teams.

These opposing teams will most likely offer the best value to the bettor as they are not the most popular of sports betting options that online bookmakers offer their members.

Sports Betting Example

When we flip a coin, we know that the chance of it turning up heads or tails is 50% or 'evens' (1/1). As an example we set up a 'coin flipping' betting event. A neutral party begins to flip the coin. With each subsequent flip there is a definite preference for heads in the betting.

Most online bookmakers we've rated will take this in their stride, they've already set the odds at 10/11 for either outcome which takes into account the commission. They know that this trend is fairly usual as heads is often favoured in this type of event. They decide to balance their books by reducing the odds on heads to 5/6 and increasing tails to 1/1.

Heads is now commanding some really poor betting odds, an even shorter price and represents no value to the bettor. Tails now stands at slightly better odds but still only represents the 'true odds' or likelihood of winning at 1/1 or 50% and so isn’t good value.

Sports Betting Odds

The event continues and still the betting favours heads. Why? Well the 'average bettor' does not really understand 'value', he does not understand that heads might well be a bad bet or hold no value. He just enjoys betting and since 'heads' is winning - he wants to bet on heads.

The online bookmaker balances his books again with a dramatic shortening of the odds for heads to 4/9 and a lengthening to 6/4 on tails. At this point the professional bettor would step in and begin to place bets on tails. He knows that he has got value at 6/4 for an event where the 'true odds' of success are statistically 50% or 1/1 in terms of odds.