How to Find Value Bets in Football Betting


How to Find Value Bets in Football Betting

Understanding the concept of value bets in football betting is crucial for long-term success. While seasoned betting veterans may find it common sense, it can be challenging for newcomers to grasp. Betting your hard-earned money on underdogs can feel like learning to rappel down a building – it requires trust in your preparation.

The main task is cultivating confidence in your ability to identify value bets in football betting. Developing this skill may not be easy, but there are steps you can take to start honing your intuitive sense of worth.

What Are Value Bets in Football Betting?

To be a successful football bettor, you must know the difference between a team’s chances of winning and how the odds compare. Success means finding valuable bets and making smart wagers, even if they seem unlikely. Think about those times when a huge upset happened in a football game. You might wonder who would bet on the underdog to win. Well, experienced bettors do.

Understanding value bets in football betting is the key to long-term success. It might be common sense for pros, but it can be challenging if you’re new to betting. It takes work to bet your money on a team everyone thinks will lose. But that’s what successful football bettors do. They find value bets and stick with them, even if it feels uncomfortable.

Calculating Value Bets

Before we dive into methods for developing a sense of betting value, let’s briefly explore the concept of value betting and how to calculate it.

What exactly is a value bet? It’s a bet where the chances of a particular outcome are higher than the odds the bookmaker offers. Think of it like a coin toss. When you flip a coin, there’s a 50% chance it’ll land on heads. Now, imagine a bookmaker offers odds of 2.10 for heads. It is a value bet. Here’s the formula for calculating it:

  • Value = (Probability * Decimal Odds) – 1 
  • Value = 1.05 – 1 
  • If the result exceeds 0, it’s a value bet. 
  • So, in our example, is it a value bet? 
  • Value = 0.05 

Yes, betting on heads at odds of 2.10 is a value bet.

However, betting on sports is more complex. Unlike a coin toss, we can’t precisely determine the Probability of outcomes. We can make educated guesses about who might win a Premier League match between West Brom and Manchester City, but it’s still an estimate. It is where successful sports betting comes in. A successful bettor finds value bets by estimating the likelihood of outcomes better than the bookmaker.

Identifying Value Bets

Building confidence in identifying value bets is a complex task. It requires dedication, time, and effort. Here’s how to enhance your ability to spot valuable bets

Starting Smart: Betting on Familiar Football Leagues

When you’re starting to bet on football, it’s smart to focus on what you know. It means choosing the football leagues and tournaments you’re already familiar with. By doing this, you’ll get better at finding valuable bets. Once you’re confident in your skills, you can explore other leagues.

Stick to the leagues you know best at the beginning of your football betting journey. Start there if you follow a league closely and understand the teams, like the Premier League. As you gain experience in these familiar leagues, you can use the same knowledge to bet on other leagues.

For example, while baseball may offer many betting opportunities, it’s better to focus first on what you’re familiar with if you need to learn more about it. Betting on what you understand is the first step before trying new things.

Great Rewards Require Great Skills

Grasping Probabilities: Your Key to Football Value Bets

To excel in football value betting, you don’t need to be a math expert, but you do need to comprehend probabilities. Why is this important? Because betting odds represent the likelihood of a specific outcome, known as their ‘implied probability.’ You can calculate this as follows:

Implied Probability = 1 / Decimal Odds

Let’s use a football example to illustrate this concept. If we consider decimal odds of 2.10 for a particular outcome, the implied Probability would be:

Implied Probability = 1 / 2.10 Implied Probability = 47.62%

So, according to the odds, there’s a 47.62% chance of that outcome occurring. However, based on our estimate (or knowledge), the actual Probability of that outcome, say in a football match, might be 50%. It makes it a value bet when the real likelihood of an event is higher than the odds suggest.

 The Value Bet Skill Builder

A fantastic exercise to enhance your ability to spot value bets in football is to set your odds and prices. This exercise involves independently assessing upcoming fixtures in your chosen leagues or tournaments without referring to bookmaker odds. It’s entirely your judgment, free from external influence.

A Bookmaker’s Shoes: The ‘Uncomfortable Compromise’

What you aim to achieve here is what we call ‘the uncomfortable compromise.’ Instead of setting odds you’d hope to see from bookmakers, you set odds you would feel uncomfortable betting on. For instance, if you’re wagering on the Asian Handicap market for a match like West Brom vs. Manchester City, your goal is to determine a handicap that would make you uneasy about betting on either side, whether it’s Manchester City -1 goal or West Brom +1 goal. In essence, you step into the shoes of a bookmaker.

Benefits of Crafting Your Odds

We cannot stress enough how beneficial this task can be, especially for newcomers regarding football betting strategies. Crafting your odds encourages you to think in terms of probabilities. By checking your odds against actual outcomes, you pit your betting insights against seasoned bookmakers. This process takes time and dedication, like going to a fitness gym. There may be days when you’re not in the mood for it, but your ability to identify value bets will significantly improve in the long run.

Dedication and Improvement

This practice is pivotal for developing an intuitive sense of value. Remember, the aim is to reach ‘the uncomfortable compromise,’ where you’re not creating odds you’d prefer bookmakers to offer but somewhat odds you wouldn’t feel comfortable betting on yourself. This exercise is an invaluable tool for budding punters just starting. It trains your mind to think in terms of probabilities, and through consistent effort, you’ll sharpen your ability to identify value bets, primarily when focusing on a specific sport or league throughout the season.


Understanding the concept of value is essential for long-term success in football betting. While it can be challenging to grasp at first, there are steps you can take to start developing your intuition for value.

By focusing on familiar leagues, understanding probabilities, and crafting your odds, you can build the skills and confidence to identify and capitalize on value bets. Remember, it takes time and effort, but the rewards are worth it.


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