Expected Value, or EV, is the best way for new players to find great value bets. Although all the terms and phrases are important, a bettor can survive if they have a good understanding of EV.
What is the expected value of sports betting? It’s the expectation of a betor winning or losing on every bet placed on the same odds again and again. A positive expected value (+EV), indicates profit over time. While a negative value (-EV), implies loss over time. The bet is more valuable if the EV is higher than it is.
The coin flip is the best example of expected value. For a $10 wager on heads or tails, someone would be willing to pay $11 for the bettor. The EV for each bet would be.5. The bettor could win $0.50 for every $10 wagered. This makes the bet a +EV wager. The bettor will profit if they have done enough to eliminate luck.
It is easy to understand expected value when it is broken down into three parts: why it is important, how it is calculated and how bettors might find positive EV betting opportunities.
What is expected value?
Many new sports bettors believe they should place their bets on winners. They simply look at the game and decide who they think will win. Amateur sports bettors are often shocked to learn that this is not the best way to make a profit. When they find out that some teams might lose or not cover the spread, they are sometimes the best teams to place a bet on, they become genuinely shocked.
This is why? This is because it’s difficult for most people to predict the winners of games with spreads with such accuracy that it’s lucrative. This is how most sportsbooks make their money. Amateur gamblers believe they can outsmart this system using their “sports knowledge.” This would make anyone with enough sports watching a millionaire.
Sports can be unpredictable but the expected value of a sport is not. This is how it works. It can be argued that someone who is able to use EV but not very much sports knowledge will make more money betting on sports than someone with a lot of sports knowledge and little understanding of EV.
This is because the expected value doesn’t take into account anything other than numbers. It simply tells a betor how much a wager is worth. A bet with a +EV could be a good bet. A bet with a -EV could be considered a poor value. The expected value can also help new bettors sort through information they already know. New bettors with a high EV will have a better chance of succeeding if they use it and pay close attention.
Calculating the EV
You mean to tell me that you didn’t pay enough attention to the expected value in your high school math class? You don’t even know the formula? Wow… How disappointing. It’s not difficult to calculate the expected value of a sports bet, even if you make jokes about it. Multiplying the odds of winning with the bet amount, subtracting the chance of losing with what could be lost with each bet. This is the formula:
(Probability to win) x (Amount won per wager) – (Probability to lose) x
This simple formula has the best thing about it: the internet can do some of the work. Find the decimal numbers of the winning bet amount at an online sportsbook. Check out the articles by BettingPros’ experts about betting systems to determine your chances of winning and then choose one to use. The equation is easy to calculate: just enter the numbers and use a calculator. It is easy to calculate EV and it becomes a secondhand element in sports betting.
Find Value Bets
If the bettor is unable to find +EV bets, all of this will not matter. This is where common sense and sports knowledge come in. Most people who are reading this article do some value-finding. Finding value bets is simply looking for markets or sportsbooks that offer higher odds than expected. Find an area in which oddsmakers are not being fair, calculate the EV and determine how valuable a wager would be.
When looking for value bets, there are some things a bettor should keep in mind.
The wager may not win money if it is +EV.
You must win the bet! The EV simply shows whether the bet is worth it. While EV is a great tool, it does not guarantee that you will win every time you bet on an underdog.
You can’t lose every time you place a -EV wager.
Sports betting is a game of guesswork. Although a bet on sports may not turn out to be profitable more than once, it is still possible to make a profit. Sometimes a bet on a heavy favorite could turn out to be an -EV wager. The -EV indicates that the bet is of poor value and not that the heavy favorite will lose.
Even though the odds are low, they can still be a good value.
Even though odds are low, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be a +EV wager. It means that the bettors are not going to make a lot of money from it. A bet of +130 is not a good bet, but calculations suggest that it should be closer to +120 or +125. There are still opportunities to win!
Money can be won if a gambler outwits the bookmaker.
This is the essence of sports betting. The bettor and the bookmaker can be outsmarted to make a profit. This information is invaluable in helping you to determine your expected value.