Sports Betting Guide - Making Informed Picks



Sports betting is simple and fun, but it takes more to win. It does not come as a surprise when you find some gamblers struggling to win. Sports betting is, by its very nature, a risk-ridden venture. However, if done prudently, it can be a fun and rewarding addition to enjoying sporting activities.

Sports Betting Guide - Making Informed Picks

Any online sports bettor should always be keen to make the most from their bets by placing value bets. Unfortunately, most online sports bettors do not understand the importance of value in sports betting.

What is Value?

Understanding the term 'value' employed in sports betting is critical. Simply put, the term value sports betting refers to a player's ability to find bets that pay better than they would normally do. Finding value comes on different facets. Whether it is choosing the wager amounts, markets, or times, online sports bettors should always be intentional in their approach.

Now that the term value might be somewhat clear, a crucial part of understanding what value entails in sports betting lies in understanding the concept of implied and actual probabilities.

Implied Probability

Whenever an online sportsbook puts out a money line, they are essentially shedding some light on the likelihood of a certain outcome. As a result, every player should convert betting odds into implied probability. Ideally, the implied probability is calculated by converting odds into percentages.

Although there is usually some math involved, this knowledge comes in handy for sports bettors when assessing the potential value offered by certain markets. How does one calculate implied probability? This should be a straightforward process, albeit unique to the type of odds provided. Here are some formulas employed when making these calculations.

  • Decimal odds: Implied probability = (1/ decimal odds) 100%
  • Fraction odds: Implied probability = denominator / (denominator + numerator) 100%
  • Negative American odds: Implied probability = Negative American odds / (Negative American odds + 100) 100%
  • Positive American odds: Implied probability = 100 / (positive American odds + 100) 100%

Players who are able to consistently place bets that offer the most value are destined to be long-term winners. However, making value bets is not just about betting on outright winners, it could also mean betting on teams that might not win.

Determining Actual Probability

Now that everything about implied probability has been laid bare, sports bettors have to find ways of determining their actual probabilities. Different punters adopt different strategies. Some try to figure out possible outcomes over a series of games. For instance, if two teams were two play five games and one is likely to win four of the five, the favorite is assumed to have a win probability of 80%.

Another approach involves coming up with a formula that considers key variables of the game. For instance, a soccer-related formula might cover things such as squad value, current form, home advantage, injuries/suspension, and the quality of the coaching team. Each of these variables is assigned a value objectively, and the actual probability is then determined.

As a general rule, when the implied value is less than the actual probability (the players' general assessment), the respective bets are deemed to have a high value.

Top Sports Betting Tips

A large part of value betting is anchored on being consistent in making informed decisions, not the math. Here is a list of tips that could help any bettor establish a solid foundation to have fun and often win when making online betting selections.

Understand the Value Concept

Value is a term that is synonymous with sports betting. Now that the value concept has already been discussed, success in sports betting online is anchored in consistently placing bets that offer a positive expected value.

Embrace Sports Betting Strategies

While most new players do not give much thought to strategy when placing sport bets, it is always advisable to pick or craft a wagering strategy and stick to it. Bettors employ several strategies, including arbitrage betting, backing heavy favorites, or betting based on winning streaks. Yet, strategies never guarantee success, but they can often enhance your chances of winning selections.

Compare Odds & Lines

Bookies do not always offer the same odds and lines. As such, it is always advisable to do some shopping before making a sport bet. While the differences might appear small, they often add up over time, giving players the best value for their wagers.

Consider Less Obvious Markets

Information can be a game-changer in sports betting. Besides having a general understanding of the game, players should always look for better value markets that the online bookmaker offers in different markets. The good thing is that it only takes a little effort or research to identify a high-value option in less obvious markets.

Chase Some Bonuses

Bonuses offers sports bettors high value, but when played correctly. When it means signing up with a new bookmaker or targeting reload bonus, bettors should always be on the lookout for the best bonuses.

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