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How to Find Value Bets

Being successful in betting is all about understanding the difference between a player’s chances of winning a match and his chances of winning a match compared to the betting odds offered on that possibility. You can’t be successful unless you continuously find value bets and use them patiently with a well-thought-of betting plan which exploits those values to the maximum.

How to find value bets
Developing a sense for gauging values of different bets isn’t easy. It takes a good amount of time and effort to cultivate that sort of ability. Following are some useful ways in which you can locate value bets:

Setting own odds
Setting own odds is an excellent exercise that can help you develop an ability for finding value bets. You can look at all the upcoming fixtures of various tournaments and leagues you’d like to bet on and come up with your own odds for every match. You should do this without checking out the odds offered by any other bookmaker.
Please note, it has to be YOUR opinion and no one else’s.
What you are required to come up with in this scenario is what’s known as ‘the uncomfortable compromise.’ What it means is that you don’t set odds that you’d like bookmakers to offer, rather you set odds that you yourself may not be comfortable betting on.
So, for instance, if you’re wagering on Asian handicap market for a match happening between Manchester United and Liverpool, you should try coming up with a handicap that if offered by the bookmakers, would make you uncomfortable to bet on either side. Hence, essentially you play the same role as played by the bookmaker.
This task can be highly beneficial for any bettor who is just starting out in the field of sports betting. Setting odds yourself can get you thinking about various probabilities. And as you start observing the results of your odds, you’re able to compare your betting strategies against the seasoned bookmakers. Although this is time consuming, it can be likened to working out in a gymnasium. There are days when you don’t feel like doing any heavy lifting, but it’s essential nevertheless if you want to improve your betting fitness overall!

Understanding of probabilities
You don’t necessarily have to be a mathematics wizard in order to find value bets. However, you should have a good understanding of the concept of probability. This is because betting odds are actually a representation of the probability of a particular outcome actually occurring or not. It’s also referred to as the implied probability, which is calculated as follows:
Implied probability = 1 / decimal odds

Hence, if you use the example of a coin toss, the implied probability in case of 2 .10 odds (for a coin landing on tails), comes out to:
1 / 2 .10 = 47.62%

As you can see, the offered odds for coin landing on tails is 47.62%. However, we know that the actual probability of it happening is 50%. It is this fact which makes this a value bet!

It’s advisable to specialise in particular tournaments and leagues that you’re already familiar with, when you’re starting out with sports betting. Once you’ve developed the ability of sensing betting values by maintaining your focus on a particular league or tournament, you can then apply your learnings to other leagues and tournaments. It’s always better to bet on what you have knowledge about first, before expanding into unknown territories.

Remember that it’s always a betting market
The odds are normally set by the general betting opinions of the betting masses. Making it a habit to think this way isn’t very hard to do, however, can sometimes reduce your love for the sport to merely something about economics. And it's very difficult to undo it once you start thinking that way. It can completely change the way you perceive your favourite sport. In fact, you may never be able to look at it the same way again. But, that’s a good thing if you’re keen on and serious about identifying betting values.

Being persistent enough
Just like any particular talent or skill, developing an ability to locate value bets takes a considerable amount of time and patience. It’s essential to develop an intuitive sense or gut feel for gauging betting values, as it’s essential for succeeding in the longer run. This is important even if you are planning to take a more abstract approach, for instance, using some sort of betting model. Knowledge is a very powerful thing and the best knowledge can be gained by experience alone.

Constantly reviewing results
You can’t know where you’re heading unless you know where you’re coming from. Developing ability of gauging betting values is a lot about reviewing your previous assessments and seeing how you’ve performed. Where all were you right and where all did you go wrong? You’re most likely to base your decisions on preconceived biases when you start setting your own odds. While some may be accurate, others may not. This can only be remedied by constantly reviewing your assessments.