Finding Value Bets on Football Matches

Learning about finding value bets on football matches is extremely important if you like football betting. Value is an extremely important concept in sports betting but not everyone understands it completely.

Finding Value Bets on Football is Essential for Long Term Profits

Simply put, value is a theoretical measurement of whether any given bet is expected to make money in the long run or not. In basic terms, there’s positive value when the betting odds of a bet are at a level where the potential reward offered is better than the risk.

All of this means that these type of bets will offer profit in the long run because their value is higher than their probability. 

Here’s an example, let’s say that we have a bet where the probability for each outcome is 50%. If we bet on a football match to finish with more than 2.5 goals, there are just two possible outcomes… Yes and No. Here are the odds:

Over 2.5: $2
Under 2.5: $2

Sportsbooks have to leave a margin for profit so the actual odds would be:

Over 2.5: $1.90
Under 2.5: $1.90

Sportsbooks make a profit with bets paid below their probability of happening.

Using the same example, if there’s a sportsbook offering one of the two possible outcomes for more than $2, then that would be a value bet. Take time and read a review of William Hill odds and always look for value bets.

The higher the value of a bet, the better paid it will be. Using the previous example, the value of both bets is 1.00, as they both pay their 50% probability. Always use the following formula to find this value: 

odds * probability / 100. 

Finding the Probability of a Bet

How to calculate the probability of a bet? Sports are not maths, so how do we know the probability of one team winning against another? How can we know how many goals are going to be scored in a match? 

Sportsbooks should clear all our doubts because they’re the ones that set the odds with their teams of line's makers who study the probabilities and determine the odds for each match.

As bettors we make simpler calculations. You can use the probability of a bet to calculate the odds and you can use those values to recalculate the probability and establish the probabilities of the bets offered by the different sportsbooks. What we would do is basically calculate the average of all the sportsbooks to find the probability.

Graphic Example of a Value Bet

Using the over/under 2.5 goals market, here’s a simple example that will help you find the value bet based on the probabilities of six sportsbooks.

Over 2.5

1 Sportsbook:  $1.90
2 Sportsbook: $1.95
3 Sportsbook: $2
4 Sportsbook: $2.20
5 Sportsbook: $1.85
6 Sportsbooks: $1.94
Average Probability: 47.94%

Under 2.5

1 Sportsbook: $1.90
2 Sportsbook: $1.85
3 Sportsbook: $1.80
4 Sportsbook: $1.70
5 Sportsbook: $1.85
6 Sportsbook: $1.80
Average Probability: 52.06%

As explained before, the lower the odds, the higher the probability of winning. Based on the information included on the example above, the probability of the total of goals scored going “Over” 2.5 is 47.94% and the probability of the total of goals scored going “under” 2.5 is 52.06%.

Sportsbook 4 offers betting odds in favor of “Over” 2.5 goals being scored at $2.20. Now we will determine if the value of what they offer is higher than the probability by multiplying 2.20 with the average probability of the match seeing “Over” 2.5 goals scored and divide it by 100: 

Value = 2,20 * 47,94 / 100 = 1,05468 

Here we can see that this would be a value bet because the result surpasses 1. As for the probability, if the stakes have a value of 1.05, the bettor will get $105 for every $100 he/she bets.

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