- Search for Value
- Knowledge is Power
- Lower Leagues Offer Riches
- Focus on Lesser Sports
- Consistent Errors
- Trends and Streaks
- Free Bets
When it comes to finding value bets betting on sport, there are no simple answers and no shortcuts. If there were, we wouldn’t be writing this, we would be on a beach drinking champagne and eating lobster. However, if you’re looking for good sports wagers and want to know how to find value bets, we most certainly have some excellent pointers… and here they are!
Search for Value
If you want to consistently beat the bookies and see your betting accounts in the black, finding good value sports matches and bets is the key. Before the game is played it is impossible to know who will win, but there is something you can try to achieve: value.
A value bet is one where the prices are too high and so effectively the odds offer you a greater reward than they should, relative to the probability of higher chances. Calculating the probability of an event happening is no easy task, but make sure that whenever you place a bet you are doing so because you believe the odds are higher than they should be.
Knowledge is Power
This quote, generally attributed to the English philosopher Francis Bacon, could well be adapted to “knowledge is value” in our mind. If you want to find value and consistently uncover value sports bets at good odds, it is vital to gain sufficient knowledge and information. In fact, ceratin betting tools will work wonders as they can facilitate the process enormously. This, however, does not change the fact that you must put a lot of effort into thorough research.
Any and every bit of information you can find in relation to a given match or event might just give you the edge over the bookies. Does a team tend to struggle after a midweek game? Are a couple of key players being rested? Has the regular penalty taker been switched? Has the weather forecast changed? Are the bookies overlooking or over-valuing some crucial piece of information?
Lower Leagues Offer Riches
If you like football then specialising in the lower leagues and focussing on smaller teams may be a great way to find some value bets. When it comes to the Premier League, Champions League and other hugely popular competitions, the leading bookmakers usually have every angle covered. However, they are less thorough and less well-researched when it comes to the likes of League Two, under 19s football and games taking place in less popular leagues in countries like Slovakia or Cyprus. If you make these areas your speciality, noting when the bookies are out of line will be far easier.
Focus on Lesser Sports
It is hardly surprising, given the history of gambling on the island, that nowadays the UK online betting market is very much dominated by football and horse racing. Consequently, this is where the bookies spend the most time in making sure their odds are correct and they generally don’t offer anything in the way of real value.
However, when it comes to cycling, Alpine sports, handball and MMA, plus all the other niche sports and events they cover, they are far more likely to make pricing errors. Actually, some of the easiest sports to bet on are the ones you might know very little about. However, this should by no means discourage you from becoming a pro in this sport. Thus, becoming part of the few eagle-eyed fans of those sports will give you a real chance to find some good bets.
Sometimes a particular bookie will have a blind spot where they consistently get the prices wrong. Over time market forces – by which we mean canny punters who hammer them on their out-of-line odds – will ensure that the bookies correct these. But until they do, you may be able to find a nice seam of great bets at inflated odds.
Sometimes the major bookmakers obtain their odds through third parties, and for a range of reasons, these odds may not stack up. For example, a betting site may go through a period where they repeatedly overprice over 2.5 goals in football games where there is a short-priced away favourite. Or they may consistently have the wrong handicaps on a particular minor rugby competition.
No matter what the error is, if you can spot it early, you could well find an easy and steady stream of value bets. Make the most of these while you can!
Perhaps the easiest way to find good matches on which to bet is to follow a tipster. There are loads of tips from a range of sources, including YouTube, various sports and tipping sites, mainstream TV and newspapers, and, of course, your trusted friends too.
It is worth noting that the most famous and richest gamblers are unlikely to give their tips away. At best, they will share them after they, and other shrewd punters, are already on and, more than likely, the odds have been slashed. At this stage, much, if not all, of the value these tips once had will have vanished.
However, tips can still be an excellent starting point to give you an idea as to what might be a good bet to place. Plus, if you follow a tipster and have one of the best betting apps downloaded on your phone, you can be quick enough to place your wager before the odds shift. Don’t give up on following tips as this means you are part of a community. You can see what other people are thinking, compare the thoughts of the various tipsters and see if they reinforce your own views or make you think twice about a bet you initially believed to be a good one.
Trends and Streaks
The concept of trends is an interesting one and is often relevant to financial trading, be that of currencies, shares, or anything else. There are many sayings and rules of thumb from this lucrative and slightly shady world and to paraphrase one, a trend is only a trend until it ends. That is the cautionary part of this story, but let’s start at the beginning.
Sometimes teams, players, horses, or anything else you might decide to bet on go on a run of form or hot streak. This might be a defender scoring goals, a team keeping clean sheets, a horse putting together a run of wins, or a cricketer racking up the runs for fun.
For whatever reason, be it great form, sky-high confidence, luck, a statistical anomaly, a change in technique, or something else, their performances or results have deviated from the norm to create a trend.
It is more than likely that the bookies’ odds will not reflect this, at least at first. Initially, the bookies will hold their odds, believing performances and outcomes will revert to the norm quite quickly. If you are able to spot a trend early and get on at the start of a streak you could land very handsome returns, especially if it continues for some time.
Of course, this is no magical panacea or gambling miracle. The hard part, as with buying shares, is timing things right. Can you get on at the beginning of the trend and get out, stop backing it, just as it ends? That is the same conundrum as trying to buy shares at the bottom of the market and sell them at the top, and it isn’t easy. Get it right, though, and those value bets will keep on coming.
Our last piece of advice is one that we tend to serve up in any article about being successful at gambling, backing winners or trying to have the edge when betting. It is nice and simple too: make the most of free bets and offers. These alone won’t be sufficient to make a terrible punter into a pro or a bad bet into a good bet, but they do very much put the odds in your favour.
The bottom line is that you will harldy risk anything by taking advantage of what the bookies have to offer. Almost all bonus code offers promoted by betting sites to new and existing customers increase the value for the punter. Taking a fairly typical “bet £5, get £20” in free bets offer, subject to the Ts and Cs, you are effectively getting £25 of bets with a risk of just £5.
In such a scenario, you almost don’t even need to find good sports bets because the value lies in the promotion. If you make five bets of £5 each you can afford to lose two, three, or maybe even four (depending on the odds) and still have the edge.