valuebetThose who bet on sports and hope to turn this into a lucrative and sustainable activity, need to play the long game and understand the importance of finding value bets. These are elusive and finding them requires a great deal of experience, but also a basic understanding of the relationship between odds and probability.

In a nutshell, you need to find those wagers where the value of the odds exceeds the risks, with the basic formula being: Odds x probability (%) / 100 > 1.00.

At least in theory, by performing this calculation before placing any bets and sticking to those results that are in accordance with the formula will result in long-term profits. In the long run, luck evens out and profits will accumulate, while the proverbial house edge can be completely offset. The difficulty consists in actually finding the odds that match the criteria, because the bookmakers are great at keeping the value before the reasonable line.

Tracking and calculating odds

In order to find value bets, one needs to commit himself and undertake research by monitoring the markets many days prior to kickoff. Punters know that there is a considerable difference between the first odds and the ones offered just a few moments before the game begins. They shift based on how much players bet on that particular outcome, as well as the late minute news coming from the teams.

Placing an early bet on the favorite or backing the underdog just minutes before the game begins is generally a good idea of capitalizing on the odds. This is not written in stone and in order to identify value bets, you need to use your own judgment and experience to determine whether the risks surpassed the potential profits, or the other way around.

This is where things turn subjective and the ability to estimate the risks is of critical importance, while calculating the odds is the easiest part. There are a couple of tools that exist such as odds comparators and statistics, which can be used to narrow down the search and focus on a handful of events that are worth the effort.

Beginners shouldn’t overplay their hands and assume that they have the ability of spotting value bets all by themselves. Being overly confident is a sure-fire way of going bust, so capitalize on the skill of those who have been in this line of work for quite a while. can provide you with educated advice and identify value bets on your behalf, while also explaining the reasoning behind these choices. This is the best way of earning while you learn.