Value Betting

Beating the Bookie

If the odds given by the bookmaker are not fair, it can be very difficult for a punter to win. Because of the barrier of Overround, nearly 95% of the punters lose with fixed odds betting over a period of time. Most leading booking firms know how to lock profit margins while giving away fair odds to gamblers.

It is not easy to make predictions in a sport as it is not governed by the principles of probability like a game of cards or dices. In a game of roulette, punter knows he has 1/37 chance of getting his number right. But even a diehard England fan cannot say with certainty that he is going to win. Also, it is impossible for a punter to know if his odds are any better than those given by the bookmaker.

It takes practice over a long period of time to get answers to questions like these. A certain amount of familiarity with the booking system and the way firms give their fair odds is very helpful for the punters. The thing to remember here is that bookmakers can be wrong with their odds just like the gamblers. They sometimes make big mistakes that are easily pounced upon by seasoned gamblers. One such example that comes to the mind is that of a bookmaker called William Hill giving away odds of 200/1 for Primoz Peterka winning World Cup of Ski jumping in 2002. With the kind of form that Peterka was in, especially when he won the qualifying round only last night, he should have got the odds of 10/1. Experienced gamblers won big seizing their opportunity. But these mistakes are rare and far in between for the punters to win big. Little errors from bookmakers are common though, and they account for 5% of the gamblers winning on fixed odds consistently over a period of time.
It was only a few years ago when Leicester won the EPL at odds of around 5,000 to 1. Even if you had the system to calculate the true odds of Leicester winning the EPL, you would most likely not have placed the bet, as they were the underdogs that many people thought wouldn’t occur before the start of the season.
Knowledge about betting is acquired by gamblers in many different ways. Some of them focus upon the past performances of players and teams to predict about future events. Other try to make a guess by studying the weather conditions, injuries and form of players, and motivational levels of teams. Still others make predictions based upon their hunch feelings. There are even gamblers who pay others to do all the studying for them for placing bets.

None of these methods can be chosen or discarded out rightly. You know which method works best for you and helps you in spotting value in your odds. It is surprising that majority of gamblers overlook value betting and choose to back winners over losers. The fact is that a champion team cannot win every time it plays on the field, no matter how much their diehard fans want them to win. What is important for a gambler is to know if the chances of a team win are greater than the fair odds given by a bookmaker. A punter has found value if he believes that the prices offered by the bookmaker are higher than the true chances of the team winning.
It doesn’t matter to a value better if he is backing the team with a lower ranking. To him, odds are just numbers having no bias towards a particular team. This is the reason why value betting is good way to beat the bookmaker. To book profit, a punter needs to keep in mind the prices given by a bookmaker.

If a gambler is winning consistently, it only means that he is beating the bookmaker at his own game. He wins more number of times than desired by the bookmaker according to his odds. It confirms the fact that the punter has found a way to value betting whether he is just following his hunch feeling or made some sound calculations. In a book titled Successful Football Betting, author Geoff Harvey has underlined the importance of finding value in the following line- Find the value, [and] the winners will take care of themselves.” You can find the book at the bottom of the page.

If you want to win on a consistent basis, you have to crack the code of probabilities. If you can make accurate predictions, you will have created opportunities for winning at the bookmaking firms.