What’s the worth of a fixed odds bet? To grasp this concept it is good to have an understanding of probabilities and odds. You don’t need to be a maths professor but it would help to learn a little about probabilities. Odds are only a numerical representation the probability of an event.

The “normal” way of fixed odds betting is first finding an event you believe in, then check if the odds present value. Valuebetting requires another way of thinking. In fact, valuebetting is the opposite of conventional betting. It’s not about picking objects, but picking odds.

It is not nescessarily to believe in the team you put your money on. As long as the odds presented are better than the strictly mathematical chance your team has of winning the game, it’s a valuebet.

Sporting events that represent value don’t follow any paticular pattern. No need to pay attention to criteria like league table, form, history, injuries, etc to find value sports bets. In fact it is better to keep things as simple as possible.

Let’s look at an example.

It all depends on what you think the chances of an outcome are (it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about cricket, soccer, tennis or whatever). If you think a team has got 50 % chance of winning the game, odds above 2.0 (evens) represents value. If you think the team has only got a 40% chance, it’s no longer a valuebet (with odds =2.0).

Sports events with good value are events which will give you a positive payoff over time.

Lets use English football as an example. If Sheffield Wed is priced at 10.0 (9/1) for a win at Old Trafford, it is a valuebet if you think Wednesday will win more than 1 out of 10 similar games. Out of 10 similar games you would need the team to win at least once to recoup the other £9 (dollars etc) that you lost on the other games. If they there is somthing to suggest they could win more than this then these odds represent a value fixed odds bet.

The formula for finding a sporting events value is:

Decimal odds * Percentage

——————— >= 1.0


Percentage in the formula above is your opinion on the chance of the team winning the match. Of course you could use this for any sporting event and on any market (there are often various markets on one sporting event).

If the result of the above calculation is a number greater than 1.0 the bet is a value bet. If it’s below 1.0 it’s not a valuebet, but it can of course still be a good bet. To learn about how to come to your opinion of what will happen in the sports event you may want to read the article ‘beat the bookmaker’ available from our archive.

Running with the same example here are some useful facts about finding value with fixed odds betting.

* Big favourites are rarely good objects for valuebets, due to the bookmakers’ fear for large payouts if the favourites should win. Big names like Man Utd, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, are rarely given good prices by the bookers, because the bookmakers know that the common punter bet on the big names (as they often seem to win their games, and they have a huge following).

* As a result of the above, real value is often found in the form of underdogs. The bookies know that punters are more likely to bet on favourites, and therefore prices are generally higher on underdogs.

* Patience is the key to success when betting on value. Do not alter your strategy if you loose several times in a row. The point is that when you win, your net winnings will outweigh your total losses.

* Valuebetting could be a good strategy in the beginning and the end of a season. Results are often more unpredictable in the first and last quarter of the season, and punters should perhaps make use of this “fact” by adopting to the valuebetting strategy during early authumn and late spring.

* Stake determination. Once you’ve found a good valuebet, you need to determine how much of your funds you should bet on this object. There are several criteria that can help you to determine your stake, and to help you place your bets using a certain system. This is called money managment. One sucessful technique is from John L. Kelly, a very secessful sports investor in the gambling world. He has a formula that increases or decreases the stake depending on you opinion of the chance of a certain outcome (win, lose etc). We do no agree with this approach, especially for people new to value betting. If you opion is wrong, which will happen when you practice you will lose money. We have some advice on this subject. Start using a small betting bank. Second only choose to stake a small percentage of your betting bank on each bet. We would suggest 4 or 5%. As you win bets your betting bank will increase and so will the value of your stake.

Finally it’s better to be pessimistic when forming your opinion of an outcome to protect yourself from loses.

Leave a Reply