What is value betting?
Whenever we make a bet or open a trade we are always looking for value.
A concept which has been talked about on arbing and and betting forums for the last few years is that of value betting.
In order to explain what value betting is first we need to look at how bookmakers operate and the difference between soft bookmakers and sharp ones.
If you look at the screenshot from Oddsmath above you will see a column called margins. The bookmaker margin indicates how much profit a bookmaker will take on an event if they balance each outcome correctly.
For example a sharp bookmaker like pinnacle operate at a 2% profit margin. This means that if you backed every outcome on the above event you would lose £2 for every £100 staked.
A soft bookmaker like Bwin though operate at a 6.5% margin meaning you would lose £6.50 if you backed all outcomes.
Bwin are operating at a higher profit margin as they don’t manage there odds as effectively as Pinnacle do.
Sharp and Soft bookmakers
In the betting and arbing world there are two different types of bookmakers sharp and soft.
Sharp bookmaker such as Pinnacle and sbobet don’t limit winning players. They look to effectively manage their margins in order to produce a profit.
Soft bookmakers such as Bwin, Ladbrokes, Bet365 etc often don’t manage their margins in the same way as pinnacle.
Instead soft bookmakers look to limit winning players and those that can consistently find value betting at their odds.
This means that the sharpest sports bettors in the world look to use sharp bookmakers as these are the ones that will accept their bets.
Finding a value bet
When I look for value bets I often focus on favourites and use Pinnacle as my sharp bookmaker for comparison.
Pinnacle don’t limit winning players and operate on a tight margin this means their odds most of the time will indicate the true probability of an event.
The above screenshot is tonights game Caen vs PSG. Pinnacle offer PSG at 1.47 whilst soft bookmaker Coral offer them at 1.53 this is a great value bet.
Pinnacle’s odds of 1.47 indicate a 68% of PSG winning whilst Coral’s odds 1.53 offer us a 65.4% of PSG.
The theory behind value betting is that is by constantly taking better odds then the sharpest bookmakers are offering you are going to profit in the long run.
Where can I find value bets?
If you want to find value bets you can do it manually using any odds comparison sites.
If you are prepared to pay a little you can use the excellent oddsmatcher tool that comes available with the Oddsmonkey premium service.
I have reviewed the Oddsmonkey premium service here.
There is also a good value betting tool called Trademate. Which has an excellent blog regarding all aspects of value betting.