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Value Betting Strategy

Value bet in sports betting
Written by Anton

Value betting strategy is a pretty effective and that’s why it’s so popular among professional gamblers.

What is Value Betting system?

Value betting strategy is quite popular and its essence lies in the search for overvalued odds on a particular event. In other words, the punter needs to find in bookmakers’ lines much higher odd than the real probability of the outcome. Let me begin by mentioning that this system will not bring you a quick win, as it is designed for a long-term perspective.

In order to really understand the concept of this system, you first need to grasp odds formation by bookmakers. Many bookies have their own staff of analysts who calculate the probability of a particular outcome on a specific event and then set the odds. But surely, this staff puts probabilities only on top-outcomes (1-X-2, TU/TO 2.5), and then all other results are automatically calculated and odds are set in view of bookmaker’s margin.

I’d like to emphasize that top-outcomes are usually subject to the lowest margin, so it’s better to make overvalued bets on such outcomes. Also, overvalued odds may appear in the case when not all bookies are simultaneously reacted to the rapid change of events in a particular meeting.

In other words, when 10 bookmakers have already lowered odds on the outcome, and one bookie hasn’t managed to do it yet, you have to bet exactly in this bookie, thereby taking away the highest odd on the market.

Example of value bets

As you understand, in this strategy it’s important to bet on odd that’s higher than the real probability of a particular outcome. The real probability is an odd without bookmaker’s margin, and it’s best to calculate as average value of several known bookmakers.

Let’s say we have the odds for the top-outcomes (Team 1 or Team 2 win) of a particular event from 5 bookmakers:

B1: Team 1 – 1.52, Team 2 – 2.4.

B2: Team 1 – 1.49, Team 2 – 2.33.

B3: Team 1 – 1.46, Team 2 – 2.5.

B4: Team 1 – 1.43, Team 2 – 2.9.

B5: Team 1 – 1.39, Team 2 – 2.7.

Now let’s take B4 as an example and calculate the real odd without margin:

  1. 100/1.43 + 100/2.9 = 69.93 + 34.48 = 104.41% (everything above 100% is the bookmaker’s margin, and in our case it amounts to 4.41%).
  2. 1.43+4.41% = 1.493; 2.9+4.43% = 3.027 (these are real odds of the outcomes without margin included).

Further, in the same way we determine the real probability of outcomes for other bookies and then calculate their average value. Though it could be said that many value bettors are guided by odds one bookie only, whose analytical staff they trust most. For example, I personally have noticed that a sufficiently strong team of analysts picked up at Pinnacle, and therefore this bookie is so difficult to beat at a distance.

In this case, we also focus on the odds of one bookie (B4) in order not to bore you with unnecessary calculations. So, we have calculated the real odds without margin, which are equal to 1.493 and 3.027. Thus, the stake of Team 1 wins at B4 is suited as this odd is higher than real probability of the event outcome (1.52>1.493).

As you know, it takes lots of time to find such overvalued odds manually. In this case, betting odds comparison services may be useful to you. They analyze the lines of dozens bookmakers and provide the best deals on the odds in a few clicks (e.g. OddsFan). In addition, some arbing scanners (e.g. BetBurger) already offer their customers private info on value bets, thereby performing your work to find overestimated odds.

Advantages and drawbacks

Like any other betting strategy, this betting system has its pros and cons. Among benefits, I’d like to point out that such bettors are more difficult to identify than arbers. Consequently, their accounts in the bookies tend to live longer. Moreover, if you learn how to correctly analyze information and find overvalued odds, then this strategy can bring significant profit in the long run.

One more pro – even if your bet gets rejected, then you essentially have nothing to lose unlike arbitrage situation, where the bet cancellation on one shoulder can be costly for arber.

As for drawbacks, the main of them is that value betting system doesn’t guarantee 100% profit. In addition, as I mentioned above, this strategy can be profitable only in the long run, and if your series of failures will be delayed, it will take a long time to be in the black.


As you can see, the reviewed strategy is not a simple, but with the right approach, it can really bring you a tangible income that has been confirmed by many professional gamblers.

That’s all for now, but in case you still have any more questions, welcome to the comments. 🙂

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