April 1, 2015

Betting Insights – Value In Odds by @stufferonald

There are so many aspects to being a successful sports bettor that it can be easy to miss some of the basic fundamentals. Here we can take a look at arguably the biggest fundamental aspect of sports betting – odds. The crux of sports betting is not simply finding winners, but finding winners that are priced incorrectly, and in your favour. Sounds easy, but professional bettors, and even trading houses based around the world invest huge amounts to try and find such errors. Typically speaking, bookmakers are very good at pricing events accurately, making it difficult for punters to profit, especially after a bookmaker’s margins have been applied.


Finding value is a concept that so many are aware of, but so few are able to master. In its simplest form, finding value is the ability to find instances where the bookmaker’s perceived chance of a particular outcome is lower than the true chance. For example, if Man United are priced at 2.00 to win at home to Southampton, this would imply a 50% chance of success. If you could accurately calculate that there was actually a 55% chance of Man United winning (which would suggest odds of around 1.80), then you’d know that backing Man United at odds of evens would represent very good value. Over sustained periods of time, backing bets using the same logic should ultimately prove profitable – providing your methods of odds calculation is good enough – and in turn will lead you to success as a sports bettor.

Using this example, backing Man United 100 times under these circumstances should see you make 5 units of profit (5% Return on Investment), whereas if the bookmaker odds were correct (and excluding any margin they include), you’d expect to end up level, with a profit of 0.


Now comes the most important bit, and the one fundamental that is easy to achieve for absolutely any sports bettor – getting the best odds. Odds are the aspect of sports betting that is overlooked by the majority, but has the largest bearing on overall profitability over any length of time (the longer the period, the bigger the impact of odds acquired). When we say “easy”, we mean that it is technically very straight forward to do – open an account at all bookmakers across the globe, and bet at whichever bookmaker is providing the best price on each bet you want to place. Over time, this will give you huge benefits. In reality however, this isn’t an easy task, it requires a fair bit of manual effort to find the best odds, and money management to ensure you have funds available at each bookmaker.

The below table gives two examples of just what kind of impact odds can have on your sports betting success. The first shows what just a 0.01 difference in odds can mean over the course of a 12 month period. For high volume traders (50 bets per week), this can result in 14.3 units LESS per year. If you bet £100/game, that’s more than £1,400 a year you’re losing, purely because the odds you get are 0.01 lower than the best available.Tab1

The next table shows how it’s possible that failure to secure the best odds available can actually turn a profitable betting system in to a losing one. Just 0.03 difference in average odds over the course of a year could see someone placing 50 bets a week lose out on more than 40 units of profit. This turns a system generating 3 units of profit per month in to one that loses 0.35 units per month. A £100 bettor with the potential to earn £4,000+ over a 12 month period is now looking at ending the year with a £400 loss, purely because they didn’t find the best odds available to them.Tab2

The importance of being able to get the best odds is vital for any sports bettor looking to make a sustained profit over time. Failure to do so – as highlighted in the above examples – can prove very costly. Using a bespoke sports brokerage such as Eastbridge can remove the time constraints usually associated with odds hunting, and for those in the UK, can provide access to the best odds from Asian bookmakers that would otherwise be unavailable.

By @stufferonald.

Join the professional punters here at Eastbridge for huge liquidity at competitive prices.

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