Before shedding light on how to develop betting value sense, let us first elaborate on betting a bit. We will specifically deal with how value bets should be calculated.

The first question which springs to mind is what value bet refers to? To put it simply, a value bet is any bet wherein there are higher chances of the outcome being greater compared to the odds on offer. For instance, let us take the example of a coin toss. When you toss a coin, there are 50% chances that it lands on heads or tails. If a bookmaker offers odds of 2.10 on the coin landing on heads, it is called value bet. Are you still confused? This is how the value bet is calculated.

  • Value = (Probability * Decimal Odds) – 1
  • Value = 1.05 – 1
  • If the value is greater than 0, then we have found a value bet
  • So in our example, do we have a value bet?
  • Value = 0.05

Basically, a value bet is betting on the coin landing on heads at odds of 2.10. However, betting on sports is a bit more complicated. This is because in this case, you are not aware of the exact probability a particular outcome has. For instance, we might be able to give you the best possible estimate of which team is likely to win the umping Premier League match. However, at the end of the day, it would just be an estimate. And this is what successful sports betting is all about. A successful sport better is one who manages to find value bets better than a bookmaker by estimating the possibility of the outcome.

How to Identify Value Bets

It is not an easy feat to ensure that you have a sense of the betting value that you can rely on with complete confidence. A lot of time and effort is required. Let us give you some tips on what you can do to enhance the chances of finding value bets.


It is advisable to specialize when you start betting on sports initially. You will benefit quite a bit by specializing in those tournaments and leagues that you are already aware of. When you focus on the leagues you are familiar with, you can get a sense of betting value. Following this, you will have enough confidence to expand to other tournaments and leagues. Therefore, start by betting on the field that you know best before branching out.

Specializing in that particular sports that you are already familiar with will be good for you at the beginning of your betting career. You can pick one of those leagues about which you know everything, including the history and team performance. Investigate and dig more to find out more about the leagues. Once you have mastered the technique, you can try out the other leagues that you have little knowledge about as well.

Baseball is one game that provides ample opportunities for betting every season. However, if you do not have adequate knowledge about the game, you will simply waste your time and would not be able to develop a sense of value. Therefore, find a game you understand before venturing into new territory.

Understand Probabilities

Finding value bets does not require you to be a mathematics genius. However, you will need a basic understanding of probability. This is because the betting odds indicate the likelihood of an outcome. This is referred to as ‘implied probability’ which can be calculated as:

  • Implied Probability = 1 / decimal odds
  • So if we use our coin toss example, the implied probability for the odds of 2.10, is:
  • Implied Probability = 1 / 2.101
  • Implied Probability = 47.62%

Therefore, the odds offered indicate that the probability of the coin landing heads is 47.62%. However, we estimate that the possibility is 50%, thereby making this a value bet as the chances that the coin would land on heads is higher than the probability indicated in the odds on offer.

Set Your Own Odds & Price Up

This exercise is excellent in ensuring that your ability to find value bet is developed. Take a look at the upcoming fixtures in tournaments or leagues that you intend to bet on and think about the odds for each match without taking a look at any bookmaker odds. Do not listen to anyone else.

You want to come up with an uncomfortable compromise. In this case, you will not set the odds that you want the bookmakers to offer and instead will set odds that you will not be thrilled to bet on. For instance, if you are going to bet on the Asian Handicap market in the match between Manchester City and West Brom, you need to think of a handicap that would make you uncomfortable if set by a bookmaker. It could be anything. Basically, you have to play the bookmaker role.

This task will do wonders for your skills. This is something that we cannot emphasize enough. It will indeed take you a long way if you are just at the beginning of your sports betting career. When you set your own odds and try to think of probabilities and check the result of those odds, you get the opportunity of pitting your betting wits against experienced bookmakers. This will take considerable time. However, you can think of this exercise as an equivalent of doing to a betting gym. Some days, you might not like doing it, but in the future, you will realize that it does a world of good to your betting fitness.

This exercise can play a pivotal role in ensuring that your sense of value is developed. The reason we refer to this task as uncomfortable compromise is that in this case, the odds you are composing are not the ones that you want the bookmakers to post. Instead, these are the odds that make you uncomfortable. This little exercise will make the beginning of your sports betting career smooth. It allows you to think and understand probabilities and then cross-check the outcome. Therefore, you get pitted against experienced bookmakers and manage to understand how they work better.

If you put in the required effort, it will make sure that you excel in your betting career. Do this one regularly each week in whichever sport or league you intend to specialize in. Your instincts will get sharpened, and you will understand how things function in a better way.

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