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There is a popular concept in the world of sports betting called value betting.
This is the idea of making money by betting on sports events at great odds. To do it though you need to really know your stuff because the obvious bets are so tight. Or you need someone to tell you your stuff...
Let me give 2 examples.
Here's the first:
There is currently an awesome australian (yep, australian..... ) racehorse on the scene called Black Caviar. This horse is quite unique and is unbeaten in I think its 22 or 3 races now. Anyhow recently the horse was flown all the way across the world to race at a big meeting in the UK, no doubt to rub the Brits face in it. But its ok we can handle it....
So the day of the race dawns and everyone checks the odds. 1/6. So for every 6 you bet you will win 1 if the horse wins. There is obviously no value in that because you need to bet a decent amount to make even a paltry return and then risk losing it all (which almost happened through a dumb mistake by the jockey and BC was really close to being caught on the line).
The second is Euro 2012. Just look at the odds of the games, any simple bet (win/lose/draw) is never going to be a value bet.
So to make money you need to know your stuff and that takes expert knowledge. Which is why so many people fall into the hands of unscrupulous tipsters. Don't do it!!! So many of them are pirates charge the earth and do not deliver. You will be far, far, far better simply reading the good sports journalists and finding the betting angles by reading between the lines of their words! OK you won't become an expert overnight but your guidance will be far better than from a tipster.
My own example in the few bets I noted up on the Euro 2012 thread are a good example. I don't know anything about football betting but i do know where the best writers on the England team lurk. The hints of these journos gave me 2 winning bets 7/1 on England going out on penalties and 11/1 on them coming from behind against Sweden. In addition I kick myself for not backing their words but again one or two racing journalists spotted some value bet opportunities on Black Caviar.
Do it yourself, don't rely on tipsters.... I will start an Olympics thread and lets see how we do!
Therefore be warned folks!
Thanks that was an interesting read. The Australian papers were reporting the bookmakers here were laughing at the odds being offered on Black Caviar. I think they were queueing up to bet on it themselves as some British bookies were offering 1.30 (= 3/10). You would be lucky to get 1.10 on that horse with an Aussie bookie.
I've read a bit on value betting where you don't even bother reading form, or even know anything about the game you're betting on. There are sites that analyse all the odds on offer across loads of different bookies - a good one is Betbrain (look for links to "Value Bets" and "Sure Bets"). From that they work out the implied probability of a team or horse winning. Then if one bookie is offering odds way better than the others you can sometimes get a positive expectation bet. Bet on enough of those and in theory you should come out in front. The thing is the outliers are almost always the underdogs at long odds, so you may have to place a lot of bets before you land a winner. And of course you have to set up accounts at loads of different bookmakers. For that reason I haven't tried it!
There are always the upsets that you wished you had bet on, like Australia losing to Bangladesh in a one-day cricket match a few years ago. The bookies were offering thousands on Bangladesh. If only...
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Wow 1/3 and they were still all over Black Caviar ..... mind you a really beautiful horse! Hope they don't race her to death but give her some years having some fun at stud I grew up around Newmarket where she was stabled during her stay in the UK, and apparently she created quite a stir! Amazing achievement tho, 22 wins in a row, something not done in over 150 years
Appreciate you taking the time to reply to me Ed. I think what you are getting at is 'arbing' - which in theory sounds great but I have never actually seen anyone pull it off!!
leads me on to another associated point though - do you know anything about betting exchanges where you bet against an individual rather than a company? Apparently the odds are better than a standard bookie but i have never looked closely at them - maybe i should
Arbing is different again. That is the "surebets" category on that BetBrain site. That is basically where you bet on all possible outcomes with odds that guarantee a profit no matter what the result is. Theoretically its possible but difficult in practice.
I use a betting exchange (Betfair) all the time. The odds are better in most cases than the bookies. The main drawback that I find with them is multi-leg bets. A traditional bookmaker is far easier to use if you want to bet on 5 premier league matches on one ticket for example. Betfair has got a multi section but its difficult to use and the odds aren't as good as the single match wagers.
An exchange also allows you to bet against (or lay) a result like a bookmaker (then you pay a 5% commission). This allows you to do things like lock in a bet if the odds change. Say you bet on Usain Bolt to win the 100m at 2/1, then his odds drop to evens, you can lay at evens to guarantee a win.
Great answer Ed thanks a bundle > that use of the exchanges to hedge sounds really useful, especially to me as a lot of my sporting bets are weird and wonderful long odd punts lol
I used to bet a lot more on sport, even handicapped betting on american sports and did ok but gave up on it when I found most of the bets were odds against so even though a string of 5 or 6 wins in a row was not impossible, one loss would be catastrophic and really hard to dig out of...
Oddly (no pun intended) but interestingly golf was actually a good money spinner because bigger odds are often surprisingly available on in form players but it took such a lot of time reading about a sport that bores me witless that i gave up on that too eventually and now just do the odd bet to add some spice to a televised event...
You're right about golf being boring. I haven't played for a few years but its a game that is great to play but watching it on tv is like watching paint dry.
The other day when I was writing that post about the value betting, the top value bet on the site I was looking at was some unknown guy to beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. It had a rating of over 1.6 which is really high on their scale (most of the value bets are a touch over 1). Although I can't remember the exact odds they were pretty high around 16/1 or so. I was almost going to put some money on him then thought no what are the chances, this value betting only works if you place loads of bets across many events and you come out ahead in the long run. And he won. Grrr
Aaargh I know what you mean > a gut feeling that you should back a punt but paralysis sets in .Awesome price though..
100% agree on the 'lots of bets to hit a biggie' approach, makes sense to me!
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