Hints for identifying positive value in sports bets
While it is not possible to provide an ideal manual for identifying value in any possible sports betting situations, some guidelines bettors can follow in order to make finding positive value easier.
- Wager only on the sports event you understand well
The first point is very clear. A player is more likely to make more accurate assessments of probability when he knows the sports he is betting on very well, understands the game dynamics, is familiar with player’s strengths and weaknesses, and other factors that can make an impact on the result of the event.
- Take into account multiple factors
All factors that affect the outcome of the events should be weighed out and considered prior to making assessments about probability. Some factors may hold more weight than others do, so a punter should carefully examine all of them. If you ignore or underestimate some variables, or overestimate the others – all this can potentially impair the accuracy of your real probability assessment. The only way out is to learn to include and consider properly the significance of all factors affecting the sports event. It takes time to master it, but this is what a punter should do if he aims to be successful at sports betting
- Assess actual probability of the outcome before looking at odds offered by bookmakers
Punters make more realistic assessment of the outcome probability if they do it before they start looking at the odds offered by bookmakers. Some players may think that this sequence is not important, but it is. Looking at the bookmakers’ odds before making your own assessment will have an effect on your thinking, and will make a punter’s own assessment more dependent on the bookmakers.
- Do not exclude betting on heavy favorites
Some bettors tend to think that betting on favorites cannot hold positive value bettors because the odds offered on the favorites are typically very low. This thinking is erroneous because if a favorite has high chances for winning, then even very low odds can still hold positive value. What is important is not the odds themselves but rather how they relate to the actual probability
- Shop around for best odds
The final point is about being somewhat selective when you look for the right odds to place a wager on. The odds offered for different sports events vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. The differences in the odds are normally quite small, however, over the time they can grow into a quite substantial amount. Therefore, it is worthwhile to shop around a bit and find the best odds for your wagers.
For bettors success in betting rests on consistently applying the concept of the value and sticking only to value bets, even when the odds offered by bookmakers contradict bettors’ own assessment.