Finding Value in Sports Betting|en

[ 01-06-2016 ]
Finding Value in Sports Betting

One of the least known concepts for new sports gamblers is the value. That is understandable, however, many competent bettors have trouble with the notion, too

Making a bet just since it has good value doesn’t necessarily mean you think the team you are betting on will win that game, especially when you are wagering on an underdog on the money line. But you do expect that over time betting on the same team in the same case would generate a profit.

If a team is +200 on the money line and you expect it to win 40% of the time, you have a right bet, although you think the team lose more often than they win.

In our instance above, if the team we take at +200 wins four games out of 10, we will show a decent profit. If we bet $100 to gain $200, we will lose $100 six of the 10 times, but gain $200 the other four times, leaving us with an overall profit of $200. That is a 20% return on the money we risk.

Tips and tricks:

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Obviously better than you get at your local bank.

Those who bet on horse races may be used to this concept, referred to as an "overlay" among horse racing wagers. If a horse which needs to be a legitimate 3-to-1 shot goes off at odds of 5-to-1, you get an overlay which should be a money-making case over time.

The similar premise works in sports handicapping when betting the money line. It does not necessarily need to be an underdog, either. If a good baseball team with its best pitcher throws against a weak team with a poor pitcher, we can have the favorite at -300. If your handicapping displays the favorite wins four out of five times, you get a decent bet, as you will win $100 four out of five times and lose $300 the other time, generating a profit of $100.

Finding Point Spread Value

Finding value when betting point spreads is not so cut and dry, because every team has a 50-50 chance to cover the spread. When you hear sports gamblers discuss about finding value when wagering against point spreads, it is just a matter of wagering into a line they believe is some points too high or some points too low.

If a team is favored by 5 points and the gambler believes the line should be 9 points, there is value in wagering the favorite. If the reverse were right, in that a legitimate 5-point favorite is favored by nine points, the value will be wagering on the underdog.

Unlike wagering into the money line, gamblers who look for value expect to win, even though that seldom happens more than 60% of the time.

Finding value with totals works in the similar manner as finding value with point spreads, except we are betting that a number is too high or too low.

The key to long-term success is finding good value. If your judgment is sound and you bet only when you get an advantage, you will find yourself in the black at the end of the season.

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