How Value Betting Works

Value Betting - Everything You Need To Know

  • Value Bets are bets placed at odds that are better (i.e. paying out more) than the actual probability of the event.
  • Bookies don’t always get the odds right. This allows punters to find ‘value bets’.
  • In the long run, this allows the better to make money betting - as the return is higher than the probability. There will be losing bets but over time the variance should even out. 

Bookmakers are a business, businesses need to make money. To do this bookmakers offer odds on something happening that is slightly worse than the probability of it actually happening. This allows margin to be made across the many bets being staked at any one time. 

What is a value bet?

Value bets come about where the bookies have given lower odds of something happening than the true probability. Imagine getting odds from a bookmaker of 2/1 on a coin flip being Heads. You know that the odds of that happening in practice are 50% (evens, 1/1), this is a value bet. The odds given by the bookmaker are essentially paying out more than they should based on the probability of the event.

If we were to place that bet 50 times at £1 bet stakes statistically Heads will come up 25 times, giving you 25 ‘wins’ (£50) but also 25 losses (£25) for when Tails comes up. This would be an easy £25 and an amazing value bet if you could fine someone to give you those odds! 

Finding situations where a bookie pays out more than the probability of something happening (a win, loss, >1.5 goals etc.) is the job the value better and is what Predict-O-Vision is built to do. 

It’s worth noting that a loss doesn’t make it a bad bet, as we like to say, we cannot predict the future and sport will always have upsets. A value bet will make money in the long run (providing the prediction is right), that is what makes it so powerful.

Going back to the Heads and Tails bet example, you might have 5 Tails come up in a row out of the first 5 tosses after you accept the bet. That would be incredibly unlucky, but you were still right to make the bet as numbers stacked up. Your potential return was better than the actual probability and it was worth taking it. 

How do we help you find a value bet?

Our technology allows you to very quickly scan all upcoming matches across the top four English football leagues. For the upcoming two weeks of fixtures you can see what events (e.g. Home win) are likely and also importantly, what events have an edge over bookies.

We call this our Edge Finder. How it works is that it is comparing our decimal odds predictions against the bookies odds predictions. It compares where the bookies have offered odds that are better, that is, where they believe something is less likely to happen than what we believe it will. Also, remember that we don’t build in any margin to our odds.


Slow and steady wins the race

Normally the more popular a bet is, the more accurate it is on the part of the bookmaker. That’s not to say they don’t get bets wrong in the Premier League, but when using our tools do make sure to keep an eye on the lower leagues too. Another benefit of assessing all available leagues for value bets is that it increases the volume of bets you can find.

Thinking back to our Heads & Tails example above, imagine you took three of those 2/1 bets on Heads but Tails came out all three times. If you went in with a third of your allotted bank roll It’s game over very quickly. On the other hand, going with a little and often approach with your bets helps to account for the inevitable variance in outcomes. 

With DataVision, we show you how to make better bets but as always, please gamble responsibly. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose - nothing in life is guaranteed!

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