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Home » value betting
Jamie Clark
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Value betting is where you as a punter think you’re getting good odds from the bookies about an outcome in a sports event. It’s a relative concept and based around your perception of the prices on offer. That’s why they say value betting odds are hard to find. In this detailed guide, we discuss how to find great wagers on the most popular sports in the UK right now. Get the lowdown on the best value bets today from our experts.

What is Value Betting?

What looks like value to one punter from a gambling perspective may not be to another. It’s all relative when it comes to betting. That’s because so much relating to wagers we place is do with opinions. When there’s a general or popular consensus, value is unlikely to be found. It’s where either the traders on the best betting sites or you yourself don’t agree with the bookies after they’ve priced up a market that you can track it down.

If the odds are different from one bookmaker to the next, then you may scent an opportunity. The best value betting sites are ones offering the biggest prices, but the concept is entirely based on your view. All any odds available are is a way of expressing implied probability. Conventional wisdom suggests that you need to at least double your money to get some value out of placing a bet.

Odds of Evens (2.00) convert to an implied probability of 50%. Punters must think long and hard if taking a price shorter than that constitutes a value bet or not. Depending on your stance, there may or may not be exceptions to any flexible or strict rule you set for yourself when gambling.

How Does Value Betting Work?

There’s a point when the odds of any potential wager become value. Precisely where that is in terms of the price offered depends on a number of other factors. These can include current form, the opposition, conditions, fitness, historical records and past performances based on previous meetings. If you’re to unearth a value bet or two, then you need to find situations where most of these boxes are ticked but also the bookies haven’t spotted it.

While that may seem unlikely at first, it’s not impossible. Mistakes can be and are made by betting traders. You may only have a short window to capitalise on their misreading of form or the opposition before they realise their error. If you believe the odds are in your favour, then why not back yourself and put a bet on? Your best friend in pursuit of value betting is knowledge.

If you follow a certain sport closely because you enjoy watching or playing it, then your opinion is as valid as anyone else’s. That includes oddsmakers and betting traders. If you can catch them out, then more power to you. Patience can also be a virtue with value bets by biding your time and waiting for the price to drift to the figure you have in mind before placing your wager.

How to Find Value in Sports Betting

Find is the operative word here. Value betting is something you have to seek out. Research and background details will help in your search of course, but there are other forces at work. As well as your own opinion and those of the betting traders, professional tipsters also have their say which can influence the market if they are respected sources with track records of finding winners.

That can work for or against you, depending on if the experts agree that your fancy is overpriced and value. Gambles will then develop, probably taking any value out of backing it. Careful study of form and the betting are key elements. The past doesn’t always inform the future, but it’d be foolish not to look back over previous and recent performances.

Getting value is about your own assessment and conclusions. Other punters may draw similar ones or reach a different outlook on a sports event. That is part of the fun with betting. Everyone is allowed an opinion and, if you wish, you can put your money where your mouth is. Value bets may be found in the strangest of places in games, matches and races you never expected.

Value Football Betting

According to official UK Gambling Commission statistics, almost half (£1.1 billion) of the £2.4 billion Gross Gambling Yield from remote betting came from football between April 2021 and March 2022. That shows you how important placing wagers on the beautiful game has become. Punters have clearly found a few value football bets in amongst that massive haul. It’s more popular than ever.

There are both outright football betting markets and ones for individual matches that you can wager on. This opens up loads of options for punters. You can either look at specific games in search of value betting opportunities or take a longer term view and put bets on that last for the entire season. The path you choose depends on your level of patience and when you want to see return on investment (ROI).

Some markets will offer greater value than others. It’s unlikely that most punters will think Double Chance betting provides this, for example, as the prices are inevitably shorter than those for the 1X2 match result. Other markets may have bigger odds but come with greater risks attached such as Correct Score, where only the precise final scoreline between two teams pays out.

Given its established popularity, bookies target this sport with football betting offers than can increase your chances of getting good value. Anyone who has benefited from Betfred’s Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven promotion, for instance, probably feels like they’ve had some football value bets on the First Goalscorer market.

Best Value Bets for Horse Racing

Some value betting at the racetrack remains second in interest and engagement behind football. Thanks to major events and meetings like the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National and Royal Ascot, horse racing betting still has a huge role in the gambling industry. These long-established annual galas that celebrate the best Flat thoroughbreds and National Hunt racehorses are just at the zenith of the sport.

If you wish, you can bet on horse racing practically every single day of the year in the UK and/or Ireland. There’s no off-season like football and other team sports. Value betting horse racing wagers are bountiful, not least because the favourites on average at best lose as often as win. That should create plenty of opportunities for you to take them on.

The best value bets on horse racing, though, are ones you can back each way because you receive a return if your selection at least runs into a place. While there is a greater outlay as unit stakes double, if you back a winner both the win and place parts of the wager pay out. That is why you will see horse racing tipsters talking about each way value quite a lot.

There are minimum odds thresholds to make this type of gambling worthwhile and you need so many runners in certain types of races to get this kind of bet on at all. Many punters look to the ante post betting for value where standard each way terms apply, but wagering there comes with the added risk of no guarantee of a run for your money. You must decide if that’s worth the gamble for better odds.

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Jamie Clark

Extra Place Races & BOG Help You Get Value on Horse Racing Bets

Getting each way value has become easier since the bookies started introducing Extra Place races. These pay out above and beyond industry standards, provided so many runners take part.

Another promotion that ensures you don’t miss out out on value horse racing odds include Best Odds Guaranteed that applies from a certain time on the day of the event and gives you the Starting Price if it’s bigger than what you took.

What Should I Do When There Isn’t Any Betting Odds Value?

There are going to be times and events where try as you might, there simply isn’t anything betting wise that leaps out at you as value. That’s OK. You don’t have to have a bet as there’s always another day to take a punt. Betting for the sake of it isn’t recommended. Leaving it alone in this scenario is responsible gambling.

Top Value Betting Tips

Advice should never be prescriptive, but our experts do have some for all you value seekers out there in the world of betting. We can’t make any definitive promises, though. Following our helpful hints isn’t a guarantee that you will get everything right when gambling. Paying attention to these factors should enable you to reach informed decisions and make better choices when you want to wager, though, so here are our top tips for finding value punts:

Consider Bogey Teams Carefully

Whether it’s football or another team sport, there are sometimes opponents that certain sides struggle playing. This is also the case with individual sportspersons as well. You might spot a bit of value football betting in backing the bogey team or that tricky rival that always seem to raise their game. If you study head-to-head records, then you can find such opportunities.

Look Out for Potential Giant-Killings

There are times when big teams have got bigger fish to fry. A cup run might be a distraction if they want to focus on the league or Europe. It’s good value betting strategy to consider taking them on in the event that they don’t take other competitions they’re involved with seriously. They might play the kids, but their opponents have a full-strength side. If an upset could be on the cards, then there’s value on offer. Keep your eye on the team news and you’ll spot such openings.

Whenever Possible, Bet Each Way

We’ve already sung the praises of each way betting here, but it’s worth underlining the point. If you can mitigate the potential to lose money by doing it on horse racing and other sports in certain markets, then why not? Each way value is all around us now thanks to Extra Place races or getting four places on your favourite striker in the top goalscorer betting for the season. Fully embracing this type of gambling is one of the best value betting tips anyone can give.

The Bottom Line

Any bookmakers out there can have good prices, if they want to push certain events. Despite this, some provide them more often than others. What is important when betting though, is to gather as much knowledge as possible and make it work for you. We hope you had use of this article and can put some newfound intel to good use in your next bet!


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Jamie Clark

Horse racing expert Jamie Clark joined the SafeBettingSites team in 2021 after a decade working in related industries. Hailing from a strong gambling background, he is now the master behind our Academy, breaking down and explaining betting jargon and key terms. Jamie can aid you in better understanding what they all mean. He uses his vast knowledge of horse racing and other popular betting sports to pull the curtain back on popular wagers by providing advice and strategy on how to make these work best for punters. After honing his skills as the sports editor of major betting brand Coral, Jamie forged a successful freelance career working with bookmakers to provide informative content just like that in the Betting Academy.

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