A value bet (sometimes referred to as an AP although strictly this could apply to any advantage play) is a bet whose odds have a probability value higher then the real probability of it happening.
One of the easiest ways to find value is when a bookmaker attaches an offer to a specific type of bet. These offers can be analysed and the well informed punter can put themselves in positions that will be profitable over the long term.
The Expected Value (EV) of any particular bet can be displayed as a percentage where anything over 100% has a positive expectation and we expect these to return a profit over the long term.
Example of a value bet
A bet at odds of 9/2 (decimal odds of 5.5) may be offered as a boost by a particular bookmaker. If the exchange lay price on a liquid market is 5 we would consider this to be a fair market value.
The EV of this particular boost would therefore be 5.5/5 x 100 = 110%.
Over the long term we would expect to win this bet once every five times. If we bet £10 each time this gives us returns of -£10 four times and £45 once so we would be £5 up having bet £50 – a 110% return!
Where to find value bets
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