The Betting Veteran is rumoured to have been living out in the mountains for the last five years. Despite this, he still managed to win three fortunes at the biggest bettings in the world during 2018 alone. How did he manage this? No one knows, but some say it was the Shaolin betting training he received in 1957.
One of the most important things about placing wagers is finding value bets. There are two ways to carry this out. The first way relies purely on scientific, statistical skills and the second way combines stats with using a gut feeling.
Finding true value bets
The term “value bets” is usually applied to bets that have a positive betting value. Working this out is not a simple task though. Using sports betting as an example, the first thing that you will need to do is carry out some research. Study form charts and league standings to work out what the percentage chance is for each side winning. Using Wolves against Watford as an example, Wolves have a 36% chance of winning, while Watford have a 38% chance of winning, and a draw offers 26%. Once we have found out the figures, we are able to work out which of the bets has value.
The next step is to work out the implied probability that the odds on each outcome gives us. In order to do this, we need the odds to be in decimal format, so either work out how to do this or make sure that you use a bookmaker that offers decimal odds. The way that we work out the implied probability is by using this formula, (1/odds) x 100. The odds for a Watford win are 2.80, a draw offers 3.25, and a Wolves win offers 2.50. So the implied probability for a Watford win is 36%. For a draw, it is 31%. For a Wolves win, it is 40%. Notice how the implied probability does not add up to 100%. The bookmaker has a margin of error in place because sporting events cannot be relied upon to act in a statistically perfect manner. In this case, there is a margin of error of 7%.
Once we have worked out the chances and the implied probability, we can begin to work out which bet offers the best value. All we need to do this is to take the implied probability away from the chance of winning that each betting option has. So for a Wolves win, it would be 36 – 40, which gives a value of -4. For a draw, it would be 26 – 31, which gives a value of -5. For a Watford win, it would be 38 – 36, which gives a value of 2.
In order to find the value from the bets, you are looking for any positive value. So with the bets for the Wolves and Watford game, the only bet that has positive value is a Watford win. This method does take a lot of effort to work out the win percentages for both sides – especially two sides that are closely matched. Usually, when trying to find value, it is best to look for sides that are at opposite ends of the standings.
The most important thing to remember about finding value bets in this manner is that sometimes it will mean backing against your instincts. If you have chosen a top-against-bottom clash to wager on, then it may mean that you will end up wagering for the bottom side to win. If this is where the value is and you want to bet in this manner, then betting against the favourite should be the wager you choose.
The second way to find value bets is by utilising in-play betting to your advantage. If you have found a wager that really speaks to you and offers good value from using the previous method, but it has low odds that put you off backing it, then in-plays can offer a way to still back it while improving the odds.
The biggest question here is how? Well, firstly, as the game goes on, for certain wagers, the odds will increase because it is getting less likely as the clock runs down. One of the biggest markets that allows for this is the over betting market. Taking basketball as an example, if your research concludes that over 50 points will be scored in the first half of the Nuggets and Bucks game, then the longer the game goes on, the better the odds for this will be – especially if there is a period when very few points are scored.
In situations like this, it is about your instincts combined with research. If you have found a wager that offers value, the research you have conducted backs up the bet, and you feel that the wager is likely to come in, then it is in your best interests to wait until the odds have risen to a level that will provide a better return. This may require you to watch the game live so that you can pass judgement over it in real time, or at the very least watch the live stats.
The one real risk to this method is that you may leave it too long and the bet will come in before you have a chance to place the wager. When wagering on over 0.5 goals in football, this can happen quite often. This is why it is best to choose a specific level where you intend to place the wager. If a goal goes in before the odds hit that level, then it is not a loss because you would never have placed a wager at those odds anyway. While this method does require a certain level of instinct to pull off, it is important to remember that it also requires research and statistics to back it up and make it successful.