Lean about the main differences between sharp and soft bookmakersRead More
What is a soft book? What is the difference between a soft book and a sharp one? If you are wondering about this, check out this articleRead More
Imagine you were to bet on the toss of a coin. Assuming the coin can’t land on its rim,
there is a 50 % chance of heads, and 50 % chance of tails. Now, imagine you were to
bet on the outcome , and had two people offering you the following odds:
This article explains what expected value is. Obviously, you choose the bet with the highest odds, since the probability of each outcome is the same. Now, let’s see what happens if you place a bet on heads at 2.10. Half of the time, you’ll lose your $10 bet, and half of the time you’ll earn $11. From
this, we can calculate the expected value of your bet to be $0.5.
After one toss, you won’t have profits of $0.5. You will either be $10 down or $11 up.
However, if you increase the number of tosses, your average earning per bet will
theoretically converge towards half a dollar per toss. This means that if you toss the coin 1000 times, you should expect earnings of $500. Whether you end up a bit above or
below $500 is a matter of luck, but it is skill that landed you there in the first place. You can read more about what happens if you increase your number of bets in this article on the law of large numbers and how it applies to sports betting.
Finding Value in the Odds
It doesn’t require much skill to realize that 2.10 is a good odds on the toss of a coin. In
fact, since odds = 1 / probability, fair odds would be 2.00. Because the odds offered is
higher than what the underlying probability suggests, it is a good bet.
So why don’t we do the same in sports? Why don’t we use the probability of each
outcome to calculate the corresponding odds, and in turn distinguish a good bet from
That’s exactly what we do. Welcome to value betting.
How value betting works and how value occurs in betting markets
The next article covers how value betting works and this article shows an example from a game between Chelsea and Manchester City.
What is sports value betting? Learn the essentials to understand how it worksRead More
No one is able to perfectly predict the outcome of every sporting event. However, this
does not imply that it is impossible to become a profitable sports bettor, nor that those
who are profitable are merely lucky.
The goal is not to win every bet, but to make +EV bets.
The goal when betting is not to win every bet you place, but to make decisions
that have a positive expected value (+EV). In other words, you want to place bets
that have a larger chance of winning than implied by the odds you paid for.
Beating the closing line equals + EV
As previously described, the sharp bookmakers’ closing lines are considered to be the
expected value. This means that If you traded at higher odds than the closing line, you
have made a +EV bet. On the other hand, if your odds are lower than the closing
line, your bet has a negative expected value (-EV). In that case, it’s time to revise
your strategy. You can read more about the closing line in this article.
Successful sports betting is a long run game
Over a small sample size of bets, variance will have a dominating impact on your
results. In other words, anything can happen. However, over a large volume of bets,
the variance will even out and luck is replaced with skill. In the end, only sports bettors
who are able to consistently beat the vig-free closing lines at the sharp bookmakers
will be profitable.
Learn what value bets are and how it can improve your sport betting strategies today!Read More
The Closing Line is the No. 1 most important metric by which professional sports bettors judge their performance in order to determine if they have an edge over the market.Read More
What is an Arbitrage Bet, Surebet or Arb?
In an arbitrage bet or surebet you will bet on all outcomes of the game for a sure win. In a value bet you only bet on one outcome of the game. Thus the risk is higher, but so is the potential reward. A typical arbitrage bet is typically around 1%. In theory arbitrage bets are great, but in practice there are a couple of elements that makes them less appealing. E.g. the odds changing after you have placed one side of the bet or that the bookmaker voids the bet (palpable error). Both of these would lead to the surewin no longer existing. If you loose that bet, it will take you a lot of arbitrage bets to make up for the losses. Also, the number of arbitrage opportunities are less frequent as the odds needs to be high on all of the game’s outcomes. Because of this it is also a lot easier for bookmakers to identify and limit arbitrage bettors than value bettors.
What is a Value Bet?
Value bets are typically between 1-5%. However, the largest value bet recorded with Trademate was 182 % ! Valuebets occur far more frequently than arbitrage bets, because there only has to be deviations in odds on one outcome of the game. This means that you can get in several hundred bets/trades per week. Which again implies that you can get in a higher overall turnover and a higher compounded growth. The downside is that there is more variance, so the ups and downswings are larger. This is best mitigated by reducing the odds range and stake size.
You can read more about value bets in these three articles:
The Pros and Cons of Arbitrage vs Value Betting
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of the different betting strategies that actually work: matched betting, arbitrage betting, and value betting.Read More
Sports Betting 101
In order to beat the bookmakers, one must first understand how they work. This video explains the business models of the bookmakers or in other words how they make money. We also explain the difference between the European and Asian bookmakers.
This explains why value occurs in betting markets. Basically, it comes down to the markets being inefficient.Read More
This article explains why some bookmakers are sharper than others. In general, it comes down liquidity and the individual bookmaker's business model.Read More