From underdog to champion: the art of spotting value bets in football betting
Professional betting is a lucrative career and has earned millions of pounds for many people. Some people have even left their jobs to focus on placing wagers and have doubled or tripled their previous salaries. And with many betting sites available to punters like the well-known and reputable bet365, becoming a professional punter is quite easy. If you have any troubles accessing the operator in Slovenia try using Bet365 alternative link. Much of the punters’ success is seen in football due to its popularity. Even so, some things differentiate the best punters from the regular ones. We look at how being a value bettor can set you apart and help you build an illustrious career.
Many football punters make bets based on odds. For example, if team A has 1.20 odds and team B has 2.50 odds, many people assume that A is likely to win, and they back it. If you place 100 pounds on team A and it wins, you get 20 extra pounds. It seems easy enough, yet it is not a guarantee, nor is the payout big. Why is this?
Odds are not as accurate as people think. After all, they depend on the following:
The bookie’s pay: Bookies make money by charging a commission on all wagers. So, while the odds may seem straightforward, they also include a fee.
The public opinion: Bookies don’t just set odds based on their data. Instead, they also consider what people think. If more people think team A has the upper hand, the odds will reflect this opinion.
As such, when you look at odds alone, you consider just a few aspects of the event. Unlike this mode of betting, value betting focuses on more than the odds. Let’s go back to teams A and B again. A value bettor will assess the price of the payouts and determine if they are accurate. For example, a bettor may realise that team B actually has a higher chance of winning and thus has the edge despite being presented as the underdog. And in that case, placing the 100 pounds on team B could result in a payout of 250 pounds.
This type of strategy is all about assessing the value of wagers by comparing the probability of the events to the odds offered by the bookie.
How to Place a Value Bet
Now that you know that odds are not the most accurate way of measuring football outcomes, how should you proceed? You need to determine the probability of events happening.
Let’s use a common example. Ideally, a coin toss should have a 50-50 chance, resulting in 2.00 for heads and 2.00 for tails. But a bookie would not offer you this. Instead, they would account for public opinion and their commission, thus resulting in about 1.90 for heads or tails. So, if your 100-pound stake was to result in 200 pounds, you would get 190 pounds for the same bet, resulting in a 10-pound loss.
In the same way, the football odds you see on betting sites are not free of commissions and other factors. So, to arrive at a value bet, here is how you should proceed:
Learn to calculate odds: All bookies have statisticians who calculate the probability of events using available data, their commission, and public opinion. Since you don’t need to consider public opinion and a commission, you can set odds based on the available data. This way, you can tell if there is value in the bookie odds.
Avoid bias: The concept of underdogs and favourites often pushes people to make bad bets. When making assessments, forget about what you know and instead focus on what the data proves.
Only pick value bets: The difference in your odds and what the bookie presents will inform the best approach. If there is no value, don’t place the wager. But if your evaluation shows value, you can proceed with the wager.
Finally, take your time to understand the market by specialising in one category. For example, you can focus on match winners as this leaves you with fewer choices, enabling you to calculate probabilities better and compare them to odds.