Value Betting Guide

Value betting is one of the best ways to make money in sports betting today. Whether you bet on football to greyhounds or anything in-between, if it is available on sportsbooks, there may be a value bet for you. Learning how to make appropriate value bets will be a fantastic stepping stone to further your betting success.


To go into value betting, we must first understand how bookmakers set their odds. There are a few manors in which bookmakers set their odds, all of which can be used to an advantage when set correctly for a value bet.

  • Algorithms – Often the main resource bookmakers rely on to set accurate odds is an algorithm, where a program gives out its own perceived odds based on previous performances. It may sound simple, but it is actually quite complex as there are millions of details and factors taken into consideration by the program, to produce what are often quite accurate odds. When it comes to live betting, these algorithms are essential to sportsbooks as humans are not capable of calculate new odds as quickly as this program is.
  • Professionals – Sportsbooks will have teams of professionals to set odds and to act as assurance to the algorithm. One of the main aspects that an algorithm is no able to take into account is the human aspect. Details like the severity of an injury or players having an off day are adjusted for by the professionals.
  • Sway – The idea for any sportsbook is to have an even amount of money on either side of the bet. The sportsbook does not bet against anybody, they only make a small profit from each bet. If one side of a bet is receiving an excessive number of bets, the sportsbook will sway the odds to better reflect this and keep an even amount of money on either side of the bet.

Implied probability

From the odds given by the sportsbook, we can calculate the implied probability. This is the probability that a certain bet will win, set by the sportsbook. Calculating implied probability is easy, (1/decimal odds) * 100 = the implied probability. If this seems complex, don’t worry, there are many free online calculators to help you work it out. The final result you will be left with is a percentage chance of a particular bet winning.

Actual Vs Implied Probability

Value betting stems from a difference in your calculated probability and the implied probability. On close games this can be difficult to pin down, but when sway is taken into consideration it can be much easier to find great value in bets.

The value bets will generally favour the underdogs at, as sway is usually one of the biggest causes of odds deviation. While it is not always wise to bet on the underdog, in this case, making several similar underdog bets with good value will still result in a profit in the long run. With value betting, it is not about winning every bet, but winning the right bets.