Sports Betting 101 – Understanding Bet Value and Value Bets


Betting is a fun hobby that can also be profitable, but it’s important to understand how the odds work. This can help you make better, more informed decisions about where to place your bets and how much money to stake.

Understanding Bet Value

Betting with the right knowledge and intuition can make a huge difference to your overall winnings. The key is to know how to identify the best value bets, and that takes some time and effort. But the rewards can be great – especially if you take the time to spot them early and get in on them before they become too widely available.

One way to do this is to keep a detailed spreadsheet of all your bets, and track closing line value. This will allow you to see which bets are profitable and which ones you should avoid in the future.

Value Betting

When it comes to sports betting, value is what makes the difference between a win and a loss. Having a good understanding of betting values is essential to winning big at the sportsbook.

The simplest way to calculate your bet value is by dividing the probability of the outcome by the decimal odds. If the odds are greater than zero, then the bet is considered a value bet.

Value bets can come in all shapes and sizes, but they generally fall into two categories: underdogs and favorites. Favorites are usually the teams that have a lower probability of winning, while underdogs are the ones with a higher chance of winning.

It’s tempting to bet on your favorite team, but this is not a smart long-term play. In fact, many bettors have a strong emotional attachment to their favorite team and this can lead them to bet too much on them.

Another common mistake is to bet on popular teams that have a lot of public attention. These are teams that have recently won a championship or are known for their high-profile media stars.

These teams are often quested at better odds or receive a bigger point spread because the bookmakers need to draw in as much money as possible. In addition, they can often add extra value to underdogs by allowing them to win outright and adding a little bit of money to the spread.

Tie bets are another type of value bet. These are bets that are placed on teams that might end up in a tie, such as the number of goals scored or a scoreless half. These bets can be a good way to get into the game, but it is crucial to understand the odds of the tie before placing a bet on them.


In football, the odds for a game’s totals reflect how many points the teams will score combined. The sportsbook sets the total at a certain number, such as 66, and then you can bet on whether the final combined score will be over or under this number.