What Does Value Mean In Sports Betting and Wagering?
If you’ve ever been to a store during one of their huge “sales” you are often times looking to buy products at a discounted price. Buying at a discounted price not only saves you money, but it gives buyers a chance to feel like they got plenty of value for the money they spent. The same can be said in the sports betting world. Value is one of those things that bettors chase and live for. If they see value in a certain play, they are absolutely going to play it. If not, they may wait until another opportunity with the same value presents itself - much like waiting for something to go on sale again at a different store.
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What Does Value Mean?
If you hear someone in the betting industry talking about or using the word “value”, they are referring to a bet or betting opportunity that can be profitable over the long term. The term “value” is very subjective and can mean different things to different people. To try and simplify for you, a handicapper must realistically determine if the bet they are about to make has a higher reward than risk potential.
How to Determine Value
There are two ways we can look at the term value. We can look at it from a line perspective or from a price perspective.
When looking at a line, some bettors may see “value” taking the points with the underdog based on a number of different reasons that their research brought to light. On the flip side, some bettors may see “value” with taking the favorite – again, for a number of different reasons. Determining value within a point spread is a very tricky thing to do, but most serious handicappers have methods they trust to determine what the true spread should be. Based on the method’s data, a bettor will be able to determine whether there is true value on the current line.
If we talk about value from a price perspective, the key thing to determine is whether or not the reward is higher than the risk involve. If it is, then we have an opportunity to bet into a price that offers up value. For example, let’s take a look at the most popular (dumbest) prop bet in Las Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday, the coin flip. We already know that the odds of either side landing face up is 50 percent. Because the lines are typically -105 or -115 on either side, betting this prop long term offers up absolutely no value. By repeatedly making this bet, you would be risking more than you stand to win on a bet in which the odds are 50 percent either way. If for example, they rolled a dice with four of the sides being heads and two being tales, this bet would be full of value.
Now that we’ve split up the value into lines and prices, we must now compare how squares and sharps perceive value.
How Squares and Sharps Perceive Value
The biggest problem with square bettors is that they think they are a better handicapper than they really are. Often time a square will get too cute with his bets, whether it be the line he get’s or the price he bets into. The reality of the fact is that squares overestimate the edge they have on each bet they play, therefor the risk they have to deal with is greater than it should be. This is a very quick way to lose your bankroll.
A sharp is much better at understanding the risk they are taking when they make a bet. The important of this is what separates the good handicappers from the poor ones. Sharps don’t look at each individual bet, they are more inclined to look at the bigger picture and realize the only way to come out ahead over the course of a season is if each bet (win or lose) was a bet worth making.
Another thing sharps understand is that picking winners at a high rate is fine and dandy, but if you are not getting any value when cashing the tickets, you aren’t going to be as much money as you think you are.
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