Value Bet Betting Term Meaning

Casual punters browse through a selection of markets pick a bet and wait for the outcome. Professional bettors meticulously search through the markets and look for the best value bets, so let’s find out exactly what value betting is.

Value betting is being able to identify an edge against the bookmaker and find a ‘value bet’ that is priced for less than it’s worth. In simple terms, a value bet represents great value for your money on that particular selection.

Value betting is the key to staying profitable over the long term. A seasoned punter who has done their research will be able to identify a value bet straight away. They can then focus their attention on that match, team, player or race and figure out how much to bet to extract the maximum amount of profit.

It might appear that betting on the chalk (heavy favourite) is a value bet, as they’re more likely to win, but the snag is that you have to bet a considerable amount of your bankroll to see a decent return. That certainly doesn’t constitute good value for money. 

The only way to be able to identify value bets is to do your homework and understand the probability of particular outcomes. 

Value betting boils down to the punter’s knowledge vs the bookmakers’ implied odds. Looking at the market below, the value-bettor has done his homework and found Norwich are unbeaten in their last 6 East Anglian derby matches against Ipswich in the English Championship, plus they have a fully-fit squad with several players in good form and confidence is high.

Neither side has drawn many games this season, so a ‘win’ result is more likely. The bookmaker has priced Norwich at 2.20 which gives the implied odds (probability of them winning) of 45.45%. The punter feels Norwich have a higher than 50% chance of winning so this represents a tremendous value bet opportunity.

ResultDecimal OddsImplied odds/probability
Ipswich to win 3.2 31.25%
Draw 3.45 29.98%
Norwich to win 2.20 45.45%

Total 106.68%

A betting exchange may give you more chance of finding a value bet than a regular sportsbook because the implied odds are often less. Added to that, you’re also betting against other punters and you can set your own odds. 

It is possible to create a bet at the odds which you deem as good value. There is no guarantee it will be matched, but if it does, then you have the price you wanted.

Another way to increase your ability to spot a value bet is to specialise in niche sports betting. The more popular a sport is, the more people there are betting on it. This allows the bookmaker to keep a close eye on who the favourite is and adjust the odds accordingly. 

If you bet on lesser-known markets, it’s much harder for the bookmaker to identify where the odds are skewed. That means you’re much more likely to find a value bet there. 

Value Bet FAQ

What is a Value Bet?

A Value bet is a wager where the price or odds appear higher than the implied probability.