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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
You need to find value, a relative concept for individual punters, but there are absolutely no guarantees of success. It’s all about your opinion and interpretation of the odds offered. If you think they are too big, then that’s a sign of value. Provided you’ve done enough research around the sport or event you want to bet on, then you should have some winners.
Value sports betting odds may be found when different bookies offer different prices on an event. That is the most likely scenario. You can make your own assessments as you get more experienced. Factors that determine value include current form, past performances, team news, injuries and fitness.
If you get winners as well as value odds, then of course. It is often the price that attracts you because of the potential profit you will receive if successful.
All betting odds are an expression of implied probability. An Even-money chance, for example, is another way of saying it’s 50-50 that this wager wins. If you want to see profits and returns from any potential punt, then our free bet calculator shows you all this based on information you put into it.
The risks involved are the same as with any wager to be honest. Just because you think you’ve got a value bet on with the bookies doesn’t mean that it will win. You must prepare for the worst, whilst hoping for the best. That approach will serve you well when betting.