Everything You Need to Know about Value Betting

Value betting is one of many ways to make money with sports betting. In this article, we'll explain what it is, whether it works, and how you can get started!

What Is a Value Bet?

A value bet is any bet where the probability of a given outcome is greater than bookmakers believe. Although it's impossible to predict the exact outcomes of every sporting match, the goal of value bets is to gain an edge over bookmakers, which results in a profit over the long term. Another way to think about value bets is in terms of their odds. In this case, a value bet is any bet where you believe the true odds of an outcome are lower than those provided by bookmakers. In other words, you believe the outcome is more likely than bookmakers think. For an example, let's look at football. If a bookmaker is quoting odds of 1.46 for the Home team to win, but you think the real odds are 1.42 — meaning that you think the Home team is more likely to win than the bookmaker does — that would be a value bet.

What Is Value Betting?

Value betting is a sports betting strategy that revolves around placing value bets. Although you can never predict the outcome of a sporting match with 100% certainty, placing a series of value bets should statistically result in a profit. This profit comes from the difference between the true odds of the outcomes and the odds offered by bookmakers.

Can You Make Money With Value Betting?

So, can you actually make money with value betting? Of course, the answer to this question is a definite yes! Although it's not easy, you can absolutely make money if you know how to spot value bets. Sure, your first few bets might be unsuccessful, but the more value bets you place (assuming they are actually value bets!) the more likely you are to tend towards profitability. Obviously, value betting has its challenges. For one, there's being able to find value bets, which takes a fair amount of skill in estimating the probability of a given outcome. Other than that, there's also the issue of bankroll management, which is how you ensure that you still have the money to continue betting, even if one of your bets is incorrect. We'll discuss how you can tackle some of these challenges later on.

Value Betting vs Sports Trading

Aside from value betting, another well-known way to make money with sports betting is through sports trading. Unlike value betting, sports trading does not concern itself with the true odds of a certain outcome. Instead, sports trading involves taking advantage of how the odds of an outcome change over time, whether at a bookmaker or on a betting exchange. While sports trading is also a viable betting strategy, it has a lot more similarities with trading the stock market than with value betting. You need to be able to understand how the market or bookmaker is changing their odds, based on various signals and events. How the sporting match will actually progress is a lot less important in most sports trading strategies.

How to Get Started with Value Betting

The road to profitable value betting is a long one. However, there are strategies you can use and tips you can follow to speed up your success.

Before we get into those, let's look at the step-by-step process that is value betting:

  1. First, look at your chosen sporting markets to find outcomes that could work as a value bet. Deciding which bets are and aren't value bets is a complicated process. Usually, betters will create their own models and algorithms to calculate the probabilities of various outcomes, based on past matches. You can try to find value bets using intuition, but this requires some serious sporting knowledge and skill!
  2. Second, identify the outcome you want to bet on and place a sensibly-sized bet based on your bankroll. Many betters suggest only placing between 1% and 5% of your bankroll on a single bet. As a result, if you have a £10,000 bankroll, your individual value bets should range in stake from £10 to £50.
  3. Third, wait for the match to finish and see if you win! Although you may lose bets from time to time, the objective is to make a slow and steady profit on the back of hundreds or even thousands of value bets.

Value Betting Strategies

There are a multitude of value betting strategies out there. Unfortunately, they all share one major issue. The more people find out about a betting strategy, the more that strategy is "priced in" to the odds provided by a bookmaker or betting exchange. As a result, strategies that were once profitable are much less effective nowadays. In any case, some value betting strategies for football include laying the draw, laying the favourite, and various over/under strategies.

Value Betting Tips

Assuming you know how to identify value bets, one of the most important aspects of making money with sports betting is bankroll management. Only place a set amount of your bankroll on each bet, and adjust that amount with regard to how sure you are the bet will be correct. As a result, use a higher stake for low odds bets than for high odds bets. If you don't know how to spot value bets, you can always use a tipping service. These services are built to identify value bets, and they often do so with some success. Of course, the issue of bankroll management still stands. That's why we built Hinto: a sports betting algorithm that identifies profitable value bets, and tells you how much to place on each bet so as to ensure long-term profitability.

Final Thoughts

There's a lot that goes into value betting. Although the concept of a value bet is relatively simple, it's being able to identify these bets that presents a major issue. Other than that, there's bankroll management, which is how you ensure one wrong bet doesn't wipe out your entire bankroll. If you're looking for an easy approach to value betting, be sure to check out Hinto.