What is a Value Bet?
A value bet is the kind of bet which any serious bettor is constantly looking out for. It is a phrase used to describe any bet in which the chances of a certain outcome are actually higher than the bookmaker seems to think it is, and the odds are therefore better than would be expected.
How is a Value Bet Used in Sports Betting?
The main principle behind a value bet is that the bookmaker offering the odds has made a mistake in terms of the probability of an outcome. Since bookmakers build their entire business model around getting such decisions right the vast majority of the time, bets of this kind are fairly difficult to track down, and often rely on the bettor undertaking extensive research and arming themselves with as much information – if not more information – then the bookmaker is utilising. One useful tip is to shop around a range of different bookmakers and betting exchanges looking for the most attractive odds. Whilst odds generally tend to gravitate to a similar level across multiple outlets, examples of odds which are higher than elsewhere may represent a value bet. Another method of spotting value bets is to take advantage of the advice given by professional tipsters, or to pay attention to the opinions of various pundits and experts. Over time, specific pundits will be seen to make accurate predictions more times than most, and factoring the opinions of these pundits into a longer term betting strategy will allow a bettor to take advantage of more value bets.
Perhaps the most important tip to bear in mind when attempting to find value bets is not to chase after losing bets attempting to recoup the money, and not to bet more than can afford to be lost. It should always be remembered that looking for value bets is a long term strategy, rather than simply a way of achieving lucrative one-off success.