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How sports betting works. Value betting


Sports betting is an extremely gambling activity. When you wager your hard-earned money on the outcome of the specific event and then watch it, you tend to be on edge, your adrenaline secretion is increasing, the heart beats faster and faster…And there’s only one thought pulsing in your head: will my bet win or lose? These are the typical signs of gambling excitement, emotion evoked by the prospect of success. It’s an all-consuming feeling, very hard to get rid of. As soon as you get it, you need more and more of it. It sucks you in, like drugs or alcohol.

Individuals who bet on sports very often get on this hook. They start wagering big stakes of money on random events, becoming deeply addicted to gambling. But not all sports bets are valuable enough to place them. Let me make things clear.

How do bookmakers calculate odds for the event?

Let’s assume a match Nadal - Federer. The true winning probabilities are 70% against 30%, i.e. 7 games of 10 will the Spaniard win and 3 games out of 10 will be victorious for the Swiss player. In this situation the odds are the following:

Nadal wins 1,3                                                           Federer wins 3,0

With the consideration of the bookmaker’s margin, the original values will be modified in the following way:

Nadal wins 1,25                                                           Federer wins 2,7

Using these figures, we calculate back in percentage and get 80% against 37%. Now the sum is 117%, the margin is 17% (117% - 100% = 17%).

This would be perfect for the bookmakers as it would make it almost impossible to win from them. They are good pros and adding to this their margin, betting could hardly be profitable. BUT…

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Many punters suppose that Nadal is a very inconvenient opponent for Federer, so they bet on the Spaniard’s victory and enrich bookies with the following stakes:

Nadal wins 10 000 bucks                                           Federer wins 2 000 bucks

Now let’s take all possible outcomes: either Nadal wins (as it happens in 2 matches out of 3), or Federer (every 3rd contest). Then the bookmaker gets the following profit or loss, depending on the outcome of the event. We also assume that for every 2 victories of Nadal there is one of Federer. The winning bets are paid off from those that lost.

Outcome   Bets amount     Odds        Paid off amount    Bookmaker’s net profit:

Nadal wins       10 000          1,25             2 500                          - 500

Federer wins     2 000           2,7              3 400                          6 600

At this stage we see, that should Nadal win, the bookmaker will always be out of pocket, but would gain a profit should Federer win. And it’s not a very good way to make money. Bookmakers aim to receive a consistent profit without regarding the actual outcome of the match (from any bet). So they start modifying the odds.

In our case they stimulate people to place their bets on Federer by increasing odds on the Swiss victory and decreasing them on the Spanish. And the figures we get are:

Nadal wins 1,2                                                         Federer wins 3,2

Here we come to value. We see that the set odds differ from the true correlation of forces between the players. And our goal is to notice these deviations. The greater deviation is the larger betting value is. And don’t forget about the bookmaker’s margin.




What I’m getting at, is that not all matches are valuable. Very often punters influenced by different information wager their money considering only real winning chances of the opponents. In this case the only one who gets an edge is the bookmaker, due to his margin. Punters, in their turn, lose their bets in the run, because there is always someone who wins and who losses.


In summary, when punters rely on the relatively true distribution of odds and believe that all lines have value, totals, handicaps, winners, etc. they get it wrong. When odds reflect the true winning chances they have no value at all! But the beginners keep placing their bets and as there is always a handful of lucky dogs whose bets win, they think that there is always a value. So choose the ideal option to bet on!!!

Don’t wager on more than one sporting event a day

As a matter of fact, a valuable match is a rare thing to come across. Moreover, matches with great value are unique and it’s rather difficult to make a profit of them. Sometimes 3-5 bets are required to be in the black. So string yourself up and start looking thoroughly for potentially valuable matches. If you can’t cope with gambling excitement make it a rule not to place more than one bet on sports a day. One bet is well enough to get some extra money and to satisfy your gambling needs. In addition, you’ll try to bet on the most reliable match and that is what we need. Don’t waste your nerves and money! Follow the example of the pedestrian in the video below and avoid bookmakers’ traps!

Relevant articles:
Live bets. Special aspects of betting tennis live
Betting on tennis handicaps explained
Understanding totals bets in tennis
Betting on huge positive and negative handicap and total markets
Sports betting strategies



aawww i hope you are doing well lorik D= life is unfair but we have to face what toorromw brings. there's always ups and downs, like a wheel you will someday be on the top. *huggies*i love watching tennis tournaments! I think i got that from my dad *who played tennis before*; so i am into it. i do hope nadal wins~ but hehehe i still want a nadal-federer rematch. i wont get to choose between the 2 of them xD[]

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