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Tips: What is Value Betting?

Being able to calculate odds for any given betting market is vital to a bettor. If the odds are higher than your estimations, it means there is some room for value betting.

What is Value Betting?

When it comes to particular sports, some markets will naturally be more appealing than others whether it be the standard 1x2 bet or doing a full Asian Handicap betting line. As far as value betting goes, this entails the bettor trying to find a value in a bet which may not necessarily be deemed so by the bookmaker and getting an edge over them. This can be done by bettors calculating their own odds and placing or laying against them to sustain their chances of winning.

Value is often thought of more in the realms of finance, but when it comes to sports betting, this is where bettors understand the difference between the chances of something happening and how the odds stack up. Typically, the favourites tend to get offered quite short odds which doesn't represent much value, so bettors may tend to place on the probability being longer as that will mean they will get more value from their stake if they win. For example, betting £5 on a team winning that are backed at 20/1 will secure winnings of £100 if that comes through. Therefore, it is up to the bettor to decipher where the market is falling out of place and if so, how to capitalise on that.

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How does Value Betting work?

Part of betting is based on instinct and some bettors use their instinct to guide their bets. Perhaps more seasoned bettors are inclined to do their research. For example, when it comes to horse racing, there are a multitude of factors that may be assessed by a bettor to inform them of their betting decision, such as the form of the horse, the particular breed, the owner of the horse and his track record in big events and of course the racecourse itself and what the going is like whether that be good or good to firm. The latter part in this case would favour some horses over others and bettors would have to know which race course suits which horse.

Understanding value betting and finding value bets are two different matters. But if a bettor can find value bets and can continually back them, then it will help them fare much better against the bookmaker.

From a mathematical viewpoint, value bets can be calculated. Using a coin toss to explain betting value, then there is a 50% chance that it will land on heads or tails. But if a friend offered 2.10 or 2.15 on heads, then the bettor will take that as opposed to the bookmaker who would offer lower odds. Identifying value bets aren't easy, but the following tips could make bettors more successful in the long run.

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Tips to become better at Value Betting

Here are some tips for you to become better at value betting. Making the best out of these will increase your betting yield in the long run.

  1. Like with all things in life, practise makes perfect and the same applies to betting. More specifically, when it comes to value betting, then specialising in a particular sport is worthwhile. Finding a niche can pay off, particularly if it is a sport that you are very knowledgeable in and can identify trends over a long period of time. This is, because you can use that information to your advantage and place bets where other bettors might not be so clued up on. Once a bettor feels comfortable on a particular sport, then they can start to look further afield and bet on other sports.
  2. Of course, it is important to be patient. Sometimes, the results might not be what you desired. But bettors need to be persistent if they want to see improvement over time. There are factors that are often beyond a bettors' control, such as if you placed money on a tennis player to reach the final of a Grand Slam or ATP Masters 1000 final, but the player in question had to pull out through injury or there was a shock result. If you stick by your methods and tweak it where necessarily, then you will become more finely attuned to what is going on. Don't change up the strategy too much otherwise you know it won't work. Only after placing a big number of bets over a period of time will a bettor know what to do with a greater level of certainty.
  3. Similarly, it is important to go over and review your results. From here, you can get into a routine of analysing what went well and what didn't go as well and make necessary adjustments based on your conclusions. The markets may have identified long-term trends or had a bias against particular clubs which in turn, could change your thinking and be more accustomed as to what bets will provide more value. Being organised and keeping an updated table of results or a safe record will help bettors in the long run.
  4. Timing is also key. Placing bets closer to a match can also be beneficial. For example, if there was a Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich and say Marcus Rashford got injured, then this would affect the odds of United winning as Rashford is one of their star players. Bets in football that are placed closer to the kick-off time are therefore more likely to be more stable and could present better value for money. On the same note, it is important not to forget that betting markets can be volatile and the markets are led by general opinion. It is very tricky to change public opinion and you shouldn't let this dishearten you from betting on the sports you love.

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