Value betting is a discussion that is always being had. Some people believe in it and some people don’t (never pro bettors). This article may ruffle some feathers, but sometimes it is good to have our feathers ruffled.
I am going to start with a statement…
“It is impossible to make a profit from betting if you don’t find value.”
This isn’t an opinion or a theory, it is a mathematical fact. There is actually no discussion that is possible about this. If you aren’t finding value bets, then it is impossible to make a profit from your betting. It is that simple.
The problem comes when punters don’t understand what this means, or even recognise that they’re finding value.
Value is where the odds you are taking on your bet are higher than they should be, assuming you are backing to win. For example, if we have a runner at odds of 10 that should be odds of 8, then we will happily bet on this horse all day long.
Without a doubt the easiest way to find a value bet is not to look for value. If you ignore anything to do with value and just continue to build a system that makes a profit then, assuming it does make a profit, you can congratulate yourself for having found value bets without even thinking about value.
If you want to become a true handicapping artist, then you will actually be hunting the value down. Do you need to do this? Absolutely not, you can make a profit by finding value by default when you develop a profitable system. There is only one goal in pro-punting…to make money. Nothing else matters, not the art, not the approach, in fact not even the race. Because we measure performance over months, the single race is not important to us.
Don’t think I am telling you to stop enjoying the sport, or watching the races. I’m not. What I’m saying, is that if you really want to make money from betting then you can enjoy all these things, but they actually don’t matter. All that matters is your bottom line. If you increase that by hunting for value, then hunt for value. If you increase it by ignoring the concept of value and letting it work away by default, then continue what you are doing.
Different approaches work for different people. The only thing that is important, is what works for you.
The big question, is how do we measure value.
Of course, if you aren’t actively hunting it then the answer is easy. You don’t. Well, you do but not directly. You don’t need to measure it directly because you are finding profits without thinking about it. The value is in them inherently due to the approach you are using, and so the value is measured in the profit you make and the amount of winners you find.
When we are actively hunting down value by creating our own odds line, then we need to be able to measure it directly. The easiest way to do this is very simply to look for horses that have higher odds than the odds line you have created. You will probably need to be looking for a minimum of 20% higher odds if you are going to make a profit.
This isn’t because odds lines don’t work, just that your odds are very unlikely to be pinpoint accurate. We need to allow a big margin of error and go for horses with significantly higher odds than our odds lines suggest they should be.
But, don’t just bet on all of them. This is also not the correct approach. Yes, you will make money, but you have to balance it up against the regularity of finding winners. If you are betting odds at a 100/1 then you only need to win 1 bet in 100 to make money. If you allow for variance then you could potentially have hundreds of bets before a group of winners come in. Is it worth it? Unlikely, the horses don’t win often enough to make it worthwhile and the bankroll required to survive the losing streak is very high.
What you are looking for are…
- Horses that show value in their odds.
- Horses that actually have a good chance of winning the race and are in your contenders list.
If you have any other questions on value then please leave me a comment and I shall get back to you.