Sports Betting: Value and Why it is so Important in Betting

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An Introduction To The Concept Of Value In Sports Betting

Value and Why it is so Important in BettingYou and a friend are sitting at home bored, when your friend makes a suggestion. “Let’s toss a coin, if it’s heads, I’ll give you a pound, if it’s tails, you give me a pound.” You agree, you toss the coin ten times, win five each, both end up level, and you return to being bored (if it was a more interesting friend, you wouldn’t be bored, but you are sat with the boring one – we’ve all got one).

Then the same friend makes another suggestion. “Let’s toss a coin, if it’s heads, I’ll give you a pound, if it’s tails you give me one pound and twenty pence”. You should disagree, but you don’t as you are so bored, you win five each, but this time, as well as being bored out of your skull, you are also a pound down. You tell the boring friend to leave, and phone up a more interesting one.

Now, in terms of gambling, in the first example, in the long run, you would expect to be completely level, but in the second example, you would be down a lot of cash. Now obviously, none of us would be silly enough to take the bet in the second example, but that is exactly what every punter who doesn’t look for value does every time he places a bet. The bookmaker will have a margin in every market, so that in theory, they should pay out less than they should if the odds were exactly right, and here is how they do it.

Barcelona are playing at home to Real Madrid, one bookmaker prices it up like this –

Barcelona 5/4 (2.25)

Real Madrid 9/4 (3.25)

Draw 9/4 (3.25)

(for all the examples I shall use decimal odds – the ones in brackets. To work out decimal odds from traditional fractional odds, divide the first number before the slash by the second number and then add one).

Planet Mark's Top Rec:

32Red are giving the old 'High Street Bookies' sports betting brands some real trouble in 2019.

This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

30181

 

Planet Mark's Top Rec:

32Red are giving the old 'High Street Bookies' sports betting brands some real trouble in 2019.

This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

30181

 

Planet Mark's Top Rec: There are a lot of good reasons why Bovada are the number #1 US friendly sportsbook. Look beyond the big welcome bonus and you'll find the real magic...

Bovada have a huge range of markets (especially when it comes to the bigger events), competitive lines and super-easy deposits / withdrawals.

The killer reason is the promos – you’ll find their list of offers for regular bettors unrivalled anywhere online. Check out www.bovada.lv to see the latest deals for yourself now!

Bovada Sportsbook

Three punters walk in, and each has a different view, but each wants to pick up exactly £100 as they have a date the following night (one of them is the boring friend, so we know it’s not going to go well…)

Punter A has £44.44 on Barcelona, knowing that he will pick up exactly £100 if they win (£100 divided by 2.25 is £44.44)

Punter B had £30.77 on Real Madrid (£100/3.25=£30.77) and boring Bob has decided it will probably be 0-0, so he has £30.77 on the draw.

So one punter will pick up £100, and the other two will take their date to the fish and chip shop. So who are the winners here? Well obviously the winning punter is a winner (unless it’s Bob, he’ll never be a winner) but let’s look at it from the bookmakers point of view. The bookmaker has taken in £105.98 in stakes (£44.44 + £30.77 + £30.77) and whatever the result , they will pay out just £100. The bookmaker is guaranteed a profit before the game even starts, and this profit comes from the three punters – so in effect all three punters are making a loss by placing a bet here, irrespective of the result. The bookmaker is effectively tossing a coin here, and saying, if I win I’ll pay you a hundred pounds, if you win, you pay me £105.98 – a bad bet!

So, that is all well and good, but how do we combat this, won’t this always be the case? Yes, the bookmakers will always have a margin, but a bookmaker relies on their pricing being correct – sometimes they are not. Which begs the next question, how do we know if they are wrong? Well, we price up the event ourselves.

Bob has a cousin, Rob. Rob is just as boring, but Rob is a winning punter, as he studies form, keeps a close eye on team news, and knows everything there is to know about Spanish football, and Rob decides to price up the Barca game himself. He does this using percentages. After a lot of thought, this is what he thinks .

Barcelona Win 48% (He thinks Barcelona will win 48% of the time)

Real Madrid Win 26%

Draw 26%

(48+26+26=100)

He then converts these percentages into prices. He does this by taking 100% and dividing by this by the percentage he deems correct. So here are the odds as Rob sees them.

Barcelona 2.08 (100%/48%)

Real Madrid 3.85 (100%/26%)

Draw 3.85 (100%/26%)

Value in online sportsbettingWith this knowledge, Rob looks at the bookmakers odds, and compares his odds. He thinks both Real Madrid and the draw should be priced at 3.85, but bookmaker is only offering 3.25, so obviously he thinks this is a terrible bet. But he has priced up Barcelona at 2.08, and the bookmakers are offering him 2.25. Happy days! Bob places the bet, content in the knowledge that whatever the result, the value in the bet is on his side, and not the bookmakers! Barcelona may not win this particular game, but in the long run, if Rob is right, he will make money.

Obviously some markets may have more than three outcomes (or just two) but the same principle applies, put a percentage value on each outcome, convert to a price, and then compare with the bookmakers odds.

Now all this seems terribly easy, but to be successful at this, you need to be better than the bookmakers at pricing up events, and this is not easy, as It is their business, and they are not in the business of giving money away. When starting out, the best advice would be to stick to a sport or event that you would consider yourself an expert on (it might be League 2 football, the Eurovision Song contest or in Rob and Bob’s case the annual International Paint Drying Contest). Study it, price it up, compare your prices to the bookmakers, and take advantage in the spots where you think you have an edge. There has never been a better time to shop around for the best price with odds comparison sites and betting exchanges, so gain as much value as you can.

In the long run you will be more successful using this approach, the more work and expertise you put into it, the better you will become. Happy Gambling!

Planet Mark's Top Rec:

32Red are giving the old 'High Street Bookies' sports betting brands some real trouble in 2019.

This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

30181

 

Planet Mark's Top Rec:

32Red are giving the old 'High Street Bookies' sports betting brands some real trouble in 2019.

This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

30181

 

Planet Mark's Top Rec: There are a lot of good reasons why Bovada are the number #1 US friendly sportsbook. Look beyond the big welcome bonus and you'll find the real magic...

Bovada have a huge range of markets (especially when it comes to the bigger events), competitive lines and super-easy deposits / withdrawals.

The killer reason is the promos – you’ll find their list of offers for regular bettors unrivalled anywhere online. Check out www.bovada.lv to see the latest deals for yourself now!

Bovada Sportsbook

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