Technical vs. Value-Based Betting When Wagering on Soccer
You’ve probably heard people talking about obtaining value with soccer betting. But what does the phrase actually mean? Surely the idea is to place wagers in the hope of landing the biggest possible return each time?
While the above is certainly true, taking a longer-term approach to your soccer betting and identifying “value” betting opportunities will give you a much stronger chance of securing a profit than simply betting to win every time.
In this article, we look at how to make bets that you will perceive as “value” and why this is a sensible way of operating when it comes to betting on leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A.
What is a Value Bet?
When you visit the soccer section of the top New Jersey sportsbooks and top Pennsylvania sportsbooks, they will not have a section marked out as “Value Bets” so the onus is very much on the customer to identify these type of wagers in order to obtain some kind of edge over the house when it comes to placing a bet.
To use an example, Liverpool might be trading at even money to beat Manchester United. So if you back the Reds at that price, then you would effectively be doubling your stake should they beat the Red Devils in ninety minutes.
However, you might consider that Liverpool have a stronger than 50% chance of winning the match. Your calculations or the statistics at your disposal might indicate that Liverpool have a 60% or even a 65% chance of winning.
That would mean that Liverpool represent value in your eyes. The fact that the bookies are willing to double your money on a selection where you feel the odds are stacked in your favor might prompt you to bet accordingly.
Why Does Value Betting Work?
It’s important to take a long-term view when it comes to soccer betting. Using the above example, you might back Liverpool at even money and they end up creating a stack of chances but only draw the game against Manchester United.
It doesn’t mean you were wrong to back the Reds at a price which you considered to be a value one and it might be that the next two “value” even money selections you bet on will win and you’d therefore secure a profit with the three bets providing that your stake was the same for each one.
Naturally, value bets don’t have to be such a short price. You might see a player priced at +20000 and regard that as a big price considering that they’re on penalties or free-kick duties. While the odds indicate that they’re unlikely to be the First Goalscorer, you might think that their true odds could be closer to the 10/1 mark and therefore bet accordingly.
Can an Odds-On Shot Ever Be Value?
Yes, a lot of the time! Just because a bookmaker has priced up a team at 4/6 to win a particular match doesn’t mean it’s simply parlay fodder. If you think that the said team has a 75% chance of winning the match in question, then you might look to stake a large amount at 4/6 and get a 66.6% dividend on your original stake.
Sometimes, a soccer team can even be value at odds like -500 if you consider them to be so vastly superior to the opposition that they will be comfortably ahead by the final whistle. The thing that tends to scare bettors away from backing odds-on shots as a single is the fact that you have to risk more money to secure a decent return.
What Soccer Betting Markets Offer Best Value?
Bookmakers now offer more than one hundred pre-match betting markets on a Premier League or less popular league matches. On the one hand, it’s great to be given so much choice but where do you start when it comes to finding the markets that are going to provide the most value?
The 1X2 market is obviously straightforward and is great when you have a strong view about a particular team winning a match, especially if the price is right. However, many shrewd betting customers look towards the Asian Handicap markets simply because the bookmaker margin is very low.
A typical Asian Handicap bet might be Chelsea 0 in a match against Tottenham. With this example, you would profit if Chelsea won the game but get money back if the match ended in a draw. Betting on a two-way market like this eliminates the draw and adds a degree of insurance into the bet.
Alternatively, most bookies now offer customers the chance to bet on Team A to win + both teams to score or Team A to win to nil. So if the price about Team A simply winning is too short, then you can take your pick over whether they will win without conceding or not.
If you don’t have a strong view on which team will win the match but think it might be low or high-scoring, then you might take a look at markets such as Over/Under Goals or Both Teams to Score.
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Compare Different Bookmaker Odds to Get Value
It’s not uncommon for a betting customer to have several bookmaker accounts and this certainly provides more flexibility to your soccer betting. The bookies often differ when it comes to the odds for a soccer match and you might be able to back a team at 2/1 when every other firm is going 6/4.
Comparing different bookmaker prices will automatically give you an edge over someone who bets solely with one firm. Sometimes there might be a gamble on a particular team leading up to kick-off and one bookie is either slow to change their prices accordingly or simply wants to take that particular side on.
How to Get In-Play Betting Value
When betting In-Play, it’s naturally hard to compare different bookmaker prices and most customers stick with one operator when it comes to live soccer wagers. Therefore, it’s important to bet with a bookie where you think the prices are generally fair although most will factor in a bigger margin for In-Play bets than they do with pre-match ones.
It doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found and many customers find that performing an “eye test”, i.e. watching the opening exchanges of a soccer match, will give them an added advantage before they decide to go ahead and place a bet.
Is there a dominant team in the soccer match? Has either side set up in an attacking or defensive formation? Which players are getting the best scoring chances? Being able to answer these sorts of questions will ensure that you can place informed value bets on the action.
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