Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Betting with value - value betting



As value is THE thing to watch out for mathematically when betting, I will try to explain it as easily as possible.


Many find value betting difficult to grasp, also because it is not a set system. You will often need to make your own calculations to find value.


Rest assured, I will show you an easy way to find betting value in the over 2.5 goals market below. In my book ”Betting on over 2.5 goals – The Ultimate Guide”, system 1 is based on value and came out with 8.47 points profit from 100 selections. I will show a part of the system, without, of course, giving it all away.



What is value betting all about?


To explain value, we need to look at the correlation between odds and the statistical chance of a bet coming in.


You can directly translate odds into percentages for a given event happening = a bet to win. Just use the calculator here.


Let´s say we find a bet we like at odds 2.0. Now, let's type in 2.0 in the field "Decimal odds" in the calculator. In the field implied probability you can see that odds 2.0 translate into percentages of 50%. The odds suggest that we should win this bet 50% of the times if we bet at odds 2.0.



Odds converter


In general: Low odds, of course, translates into a high chance of an event happening, like Manchester City to win at home at odds 1.2. High odds above 2.0 indicates a chance of under 50% of an event happening or a bet coming in.


The VALUE comes from us finding/estimating a higher percentage chance to win a bet than the bookmakers odds suggest.


You could also say it in this way: We have value if the bookmakers odds are higher than those odds we get when translating our own estimated percentage chance of the bet to come in.



Value betting example


Look at the screen dump below:


Let´s say the bookmakers have Arsenal to win at home to Bournemouth at odds 1.5. That translates into a chance for Arsenal to win of 66.7%.


We figure that Arsenal has a higher probability of winning of 75.0%. Our 75% estimated chance for Arsenal to win this match translates into odds 1.33. But we get odds 1.5.



Value betting



To put it simple:


You could either say that we have a higher chance of winning the bet than the bookmakers believe, or you could say that they give us a better price for the bet than we should have had, according to our estimations.


No matter how you look at it, there is some juice between the price and the chance of the bet winning that is hugely in our favor.


If we constantly find bets that have a better chance of winning than the implied odds suggests or get better odds than our estimated chance of the event happening then we have a margin that should in effect make us winners in the long run.



How to calculate value


There is a lot of factors and a thousand ways that you can calculate a percentage estimate of a bet coming in, like for instance form and missing key players. You will normally look for 10-20% value, but sometimes the bookmakers get it so wrong that the value is evident, almost no matter what you factor in.


Let´s take a simple real-life example, with some pretty simple calculations.



I have found a match between Torino and Udinese in the Italian Serie A on February 11th, 2018. On bet365 I can get odds of 1.85 for over 2.5 goals.



Torino - Udinese



The calculator tells me that these odds translate into a 54.05% chance, that the match will go over 2.5 goals.


I go to soccerstats.com, click the Serie A flag and click ”goals”. I then press ”home” in the table that pops up.






You can see that Torino has had 64% of their matches gone over 2.5 goals when playing at home this season. Teams perform very differently at home and away, so I always look at home stats for the home team and away stats for the away team.


Now I turn my attention to Udinese when playing away, by clicking the away button in the table.






I find that Udinese has had 73% of their matches gone over 2.5 goals in the current season when playing away. I add Torinos 64 percentage to Udinese’s 73 percentage which gives 137.


I divide by two to get an estimated chance of over 2.5 goals of 68.5%, much higher than the 54.05% that the implied odds suggest.


I know use this calculator to see how much value I will get on the bet


I put 68.5 into the ”Estimated percentage” filed and then the bookmaker’s odds into the ”Odds” field and press ”compute”. I get 26.7 % value on the bet, which is quite outstanding betting value.



Betting with value



I could also just divide 68.5 with 54.05 to get the number 1.267, exactly as the calculator. I subtract 1 and multiply with 100 to get 26.7% value in this case.


It´s often a good idea to look for value prices early in the week, and try to catch early prices/odds as they might change according to what the public bet. The bookmakers will adjust their odds accordingly.



How to utilize value


Value can be used as a system if you find a certain method like the above to investigate bets. But it can also be an underlying concept for all your betting. You should always consider if the price seems right, but it can be very hard to do so blindly without using numbers.



Do we always win when betting with value?


Value does not mean that we will win any bet. It does not guarantee profit. So to repeat myself, value insures that we have an edge over the bookmaker in the long run, by finding a higher chance of an event happening compared to those percentages that the bookmaker’s odds suggest. And that edge should lead to us being profitable in the long term.


For professional punters, it is mandatory to find value before placing a bet. That is very clear from what I have been able to gather through the years. And if the pros do it, there must be a reason for it. At least they are the ones making money from betting on a consistent basis.



Good luck with your betting! 




Lowkeysoccerbetting is all about betting and trading the football goal markets. I have written three books. The first is on the over 2.5 goal market and how to bet on it. The other two is about trading goals. You can find all three in the menu on this webpage. I also send out newsletters with betting ideas and thoughts and have written blog posts on the goal markets and other subjects like odds, betting strategies, consistency and discipline, which you can dive into.

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