Value Bet Explained

How Does a Value Bet work?

No matter whether you are new to sports betting or have long been registered with online bookmakers, it is hugely important to come up with some form of strategy. This page will take a detailed look at value bets, outlining this form of wagering, as well as answering the question “how does a value bet work?”. A value bet is simply one which offers good value for money, based on the teams or players involved, along with the odds offered by bookies. So, for those looking for information surrounding value bets explained, look no further.

Key Takeaways – Value Bets

When it comes to answering the question “how does a value bet work?”, the following are some of the most important takeaways in which punters should take into account:

  • A value bet is when the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring is greater than the odds from a betting site reflect.
  • Most bookmakers will work hard in order to provide accurate prices, however odds will sometimes appear that are good value.
  • Those with expert knowledge in a particular sport or event stand a good chance of utilising value bets.
  • Value bets are available in all markets, whether it be football, tennis or golf.
  • Value betting often requires less money, due to its success rate.

How Does a Value Bet Work?

As we have already alluded to, a value bet is where the probability of a certain outcome in a sporting event is greater than the price in which a bookmaker has offered for it. As such, those placing value bets will effectively have a better chance of being successful than is implied by the odds that were ultimately taken advantage of. Meanwhile, part of understanding the answer to the question “how does a value bet work?” is knowing how to detect such bets.

How to Find a Value Bet?

It is one thing to know what a value bet is, but another thing entirely to know how to find them. When it comes to sports betting, it is difficult to understand the precise likelihood of a potential outcome, however certain bookmakers will have a reputation surrounding specialising in a particular sport, meaning that errors may be made in determining price. Successful punters are often the ones that can quickly spot when odds are off and where good value is available. Value bets can also materialise when new information becomes available, whether it be an injury to a key player in an upcoming football match or the No.1 seed at Wimbledon being knocked out early in the tournament. Most bookmakers will be quick to adjust their prices upon such events taking place, however some may take their time or make errors in doing so. Meanwhile, bookies may even set odds at a greater level for market purposes. Whatever the situation, there are always likely to be inconsistencies in sports betting offered online, leading to value bets which can be profited from.

How to Calculate a Value Bet

When looking to calculate a value bet, the following formula is perhaps the easiest to understand:

Value = (Probability X Decimal Odds) -1

For example, in the event of a tennis match taking place between two evenly matched players, each will have a 50% chance of winning. A bookmaker is likely to offer the duo odds of around 2.10, which can be formulated into the following:

(50% X 2.10) – 1 = 1.05 = 0.25

However, punters must remember that they are effectively challenging the knowledge or software used by bookmakers when placing a value bet, with the greatest challenge being identifying value in a particular set of odds, especially when there is no exact method of doing so. Therefore, taking everything in this Value Bet explained article is hugely important.

Value Bet Example

In order to gain a clearer understanding of value bet explained, let’s take a look at an example from the world of football. Let’s suggest that Chelsea are available at a price of 2.50 to defeat rivals Arsenal, effectively meaning that they have a 40% chance of doing so. However, punters who have looked into recent form, player availability and their home advantage believe that the Blues’ chances of winnings are greater, making for a value bet.

Don’t Always Back the Favourite

As with any bet, punters are being dictated by the prices set by bookmakers, meaning that constantly backing the favourite is unlikely to be a good strategy. While the favourites are more likely to win, bookmakers will also offer them shorter odds than what the real probability of them coming out on top will be as a result. As a result, punters are often likely to be in a better position when betting on other potential outcomes not occurring, with bookmakers hoping that bettors bet on favourites.

Why Punters Must Be Aware of Value Betting

The fact that there are new bookmakers entering the market on a regular basis is testament to the fact that many punters are still unaware of the concept of value betting. Those who have an understanding of value betting are likely to bet more sporadically or when they have an excellent feeling about a particular market. However, the majority of money made by bookmakers today is as a result of customers now understanding what value is, as well as where it can be found.

What Other Betting Guides & Strategies are Available?

With taking the time in order to detect value bets not suiting everyone, it may well be worthwhile considering another strategy, with having guides in place in order to cater for such a need. Whether it be in-play betting or betting using live streaming features, there are a number of different options available to punters operating online today, whether you are a beginner or high roller. We’ve also provided guides on topics pertinent to the world of betting as a whole, such as our guide as to what an oddsmaker is. Elsewhere, whether you are considering whether a traditional sportsbook or a betting exchange best suits your needs, choosing a betting strategy that ties in with your budget and goals is hugely important.


This value bet explained page should have provided readers with a much clearer understanding of this type of wagering on sports, with it undoubtedly being a good option when used at the right time. Value betting is effectively taking advantage of when there are inconsistencies in the odds offered by bookmakers, based on your belief on the probability of a certain outcome occurring. So, for those with good knowledge of a particular sport or event, value betting is likely to be a potentially profitable form of betting that is worth considering.

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