Football is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in the world. Millions of fans tune in every week to watch their favorite teams play and cheer them on.
Making money from betting on football is hard though and very few people manage to do it the long run.
One strategy that has been used by professional gamblers for years to beat the bookmakers and earn consistent profits however is value betting.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about football value betting, including the strategies, tips, and tools you need to get started.
What exactly is value betting and why do you need to focus on making sure you are a value bettor? Why might the bookies have got the odds wrong? And what value betting strategies can you use to improve your footy betting?
We’ll take a look at all of this below.
Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or just starting out then, this guide will give you the edge you need to succeed in the world of football value betting. So let’s dive in and start winning!
What is Value Betting?
Value betting is a betting strategy that involves identifying bets that have a higher probability of winning than the odds offered by the bookmaker.
In other words, value betting is all about finding bets where the odds are in your favor.
If, for example, the odds of Arsenal to win a match were 2.10, but the actual odds should be 2.00, then you have found yourself a value bet.
In essence value betting is as simple as that. Trying to find as many of these opportunities as possible – and with as big an advantage over the bookies as possible – is the art of value betting.
This can be a difficult task however, as bookmakers are experts at setting odds that accurately reflect the probability of an event occurring. They also have vast resources at their disposal including computer systems, software and professional odds compilers.
With the right approach though it is possible to identify value bets in football.
There are many factors that can influence the odds of a football match, including injuries, form, and team news.
By analysing these factors and comparing them to the odds offered by the bookmaker, it is possible to identify bets that have a higher probability of winning than the odds suggest.
One of the key advantages of value betting is that it allows you to make consistent profits over time.
While individual bets may not always win, over the long term, the strategy will generate positive returns.
This makes value betting a popular strategy among professional gamblers, who rely on consistent, long-term profits to make a living.
Why it is Essential to Find Value Football Bets
Ultimately if you are going to be successful in football betting long-term you need to find value. It is the only way to viably make a profit.
If you are consistently taking bets where the odds are below the true chances of winning, you cannot expect to make a profit in the long run – it would be impossible.
Even taking “fair value” – if the bookies offered odds that reflected the true chances of winning, you would only break even in the long run.
Or using the exchanges, where you can often find fair value odds, you still have to pay commission (normally 2%), meaning you would still lose overall if you are not finding value bets.
What you have to do is identify instances where the odds are wrong – and this can happen for a variety of reasons.
Let’s take a look at some of those reasons now.
Why the Bookies Might Have Got the Odds Wrong
Bookmakers can get the odds wrong in football for several reasons.
While they employ experts and use sophisticated algorithms to set odds, they are not infallible and can make mistakes.
Here are some factors that can lead to bookmakers getting the odds wrong:
1. Incomplete or inaccurate information: Bookmakers rely on a vast amount of information to set odds, including team news, player form, injuries, and historical data.
However, there may be instances where the bookmakers lack complete or accurate information, leading to misjudgments in their odds.
This can happen for example with obscure leagues in far-off parts of the world where information is difficult to access, or if there is late team news with a key player becoming injured in the warm-up. Being quick to pounce on this information can give you an edge over the bookies.
2. Bias and public perception: Bookmakers consider public opinion and betting trends when setting odds. If there is a popular team or player, bookmakers may adjust the odds to balance their books and protect themselves from a significant loss.
In such cases, the odds may be overly generous on one side of the book as the bookies are expecting a deluge of money on the other side.
This can happen for example when a big-name team like Liverpool or Manchester Utd are out of form.
Even though they are playing badly, their odds will often be shorter than they should be because the bookies know punters will back them anyway with a flood of money, because they are big-name, popular clubs with huge followings around the world.
Here is an example from the 2022-23 Premier League season:
Liverpool had started the season poorly, losing three and drawing four of their opening eleven games.
They were up against Leeds, who had a similar record – drawing three and wining two of their opening eleven games.
However, Liverpool were priced as low as 1.22 by the bookies for the match:
That is very similar to the sort of odds you would get if Liverpool had been in excellent form and had started the season strongly.
So the odds took no account of Liverpool’s poor start to the season – and in particular their leaky defence.
The bookies knew they would take a lot of money on Liverpool as they are a big club and are always backed heavily, so they offered only short odds on them, whilst the draw and Leeds were at attractive prices.
As it was, Leeds won the game 2-1, so those opposing Liverpool would have made a huge profit.
In instances such as these there can be value on opposing these big-name sides.
3. Over-reliance on statistical models: Bookmakers often use statistical models to analyze historical data and predict outcomes.
However, these models may not account for certain intangible factors such as team morale, motivation, or tactical adjustments, which can influence match outcomes.
If the bookmakers overly rely on their models and neglect important qualitative factors, it can lead to inaccurate odds.
Imagine for example a team that has just won the league and has been out celebrating. They may be tired and not have the same motivation for the next game – with the players metaphorically “on the beach” already.
If the bookies price that team up the same as usual however, it can present value to oppose them.
4. Human error: Bookmaking is a complex process, and errors can occur.
Human errors, whether in data input, odds calculation, or other aspects of the bookmaking process, can result in incorrect odds being offered. These errors can present opportunities for value betting.
Normally you see these errors in-play rather than pre-match, as sudden unexpected events during a game can present opportunities.
Beware however of huge errors in the odds – for example odds of 100/1 being quoted instead of 10/1.
The bookies will class this as a “palpable error” and will be entitled to void your bet.
5. Market factors: The odds offered by bookmakers are influenced by market demand.
If there is a sudden surge in betting on a particular outcome, bookmakers may adjust the odds to balance their liabilities.
Sometimes these surges can be irrational or an over-reaction to a piece of news, creating discrepancies between the odds and the true probabilities of an outcome, allowing sharp bettors to find value.
It’s important to note that while bookmakers can make mistakes, they are generally efficient at setting odds and have a vested interest in maximizing their profits.
However, by carefully analyzing the available information and identifying opportunities where the odds deviate from the true probabilities, astute bettors can exploit these discrepancies and find value in the market.
Let’s take a look now at some value football betting strategies.
Value Football Betting Strategies
Okay let’s take a look at some strategies that have proved able to consistently find value and produce a profit over the long term.
1. Betting on the Draw
One of the most effective ways to find value football bets is through backing the draw.
Partly this is because when thinking about football betting, opting for the draw is not typically the initial choice that springs to most punters’ minds.
It may appear an uncertain choice, as if you are unsure which team will emerge victorious.
However, this perception leads to a smaller amount of money being wagered on the draw compared to the teams’ outright victories, resulting in inflated odds for the draw.
As explained above, the bookies weight their odds to ensure they are not over-exposed to one outcome and have a balanced book. With little money backed on the draw, this can lead to inflated odds for it.
A perceptive individual named JK Diego recognized this and devised an incredibly successful system to take advantage of the additional value often found in draw odds.
It is important to note that blindly backing the draw would inevitably result in losses in the long run. Instead, Diego identified the crucial factors that help identify the specific instances where the draw is a value bet.
For example, certain leagues and teams demonstrate a higher frequency of draws, and specific match characteristics increase the chances of a draw outcome.
Armed with this valuable information, Mr. Diego constructed a draw betting system that achieved an impressive feat, generating over $100,000 profit overall according to his recommended staking..
We tested this system ourselves extensively for 15 months and witnessed outstanding results, producing a remarkable $10,000 profit with $100 flat stakes. The system has continued to perform admirably since then.
Undoubtedly then JK Diego’s Draw Betting Strategy has proven to be an effective approach to finding value football bets.
2. Exploit In-Play Betting Opportunities
Rather than supporting teams in pre-match betting markets, bettors are increasingly attracted to in-play betting.
In-play markets offer valuable opportunities as odds fluctuate during the game. Naturally, these odds changes can be unpredictable and occur rapidly. This dynamic environment provides ample chances for knowledgeable bettors to capitalize and make a profit.
The majority of bookmakers now provide some form of in-play betting option and of course there are exchanges to use as well which can have excellent liquidity for in-play betting and tend to have better in-play odds.
One way to find value on in-play bets is to look for instances where the in-play stats suggest a strong likelihood of a goal.
This could be for example because one team is dominating, creating lots of chances and representing a value opportunity to back.
Or it could be an open game where both sides are attacking, suggesting backing the overs is a good option.
One service that has shown to be very effective at capitalising on in-play opportunities is Banker Bets Football Trading Clubs.
They have a variety of in-play strategies focused on finding value and have proven very adept at doing so, making over 1,000 points profit in total.
During our live trial they also performed very well, producing consistent profits throughout.
You can of course also develop your own in-play strategies by following stats such as xG and goal attempts.
The key – as with pre-match bets – is to focus on instances where the stats and play indicate the odds are higher than they should be.
3. Finding Value on Goalscorer Markets
Another good way to find value is to focus on a specific niche, getting to know it inside-out so you can spot any errors the bookies make.
For example, you might want to concentrate on a particular market like over/unders, corners, or player passes. Then you can study all the stats, angles and factors that go into making up the odds, making it your specialism.
A service that has exemplified this approach is Anytime Goalscorer Bets, which concentrates solely on predicting whether players will score at any time during a game.
This particular market offers value opportunities by leveraging knowledge of team news, penalty and set-piece takers, as well as understanding player form.
Becoming a team’s penalty taker can make a huge difference to a player’s chances of scoring a goal for example, but the odds might not change to reflect that.
Having expertise on such matters has yielded impressive results for Anytime Goalscorer Bets, with our trial showing over £1,200 in profit to date with £20 per point stakes.
The service boasts a return on investment (ROI) of over 10% and a commendable strike rate of 32%.
Additionally, it adds an extra layer of excitement to cheer for a player to score without the need to worry about the overall outcome of the game.
So whether you want to follow the tips of Anytime Goalscorer Bets or develop your own speciality, focusing on a niche and knowing the market inside-out can provide you with value betting opportunities.
In conclusion, football value betting is a strategy that offers the potential for long-term profits by identifying bets with higher probabilities of winning than the odds offered by bookmakers.
It involves finding discrepancies between the true probabilities of outcomes and the odds provided by bookmakers.
While bookmakers are generally efficient at setting odds, there are instances where they can get it wrong due to incomplete information, bias and public perception, over-reliance on statistical models, human error, and market factors.
Value betting is essential for long-term success in football betting, as it is the only way to viably make a profit. Simply taking bets where the odds are below the true chances of winning or fair value will result in losses or break-even results.
By identifying instances where the odds are wrong, astute bettors can exploit these opportunities and find value in the market.
Several value football betting strategies have proven effective in consistently finding value and producing profits. These include betting on the draw, exploiting in-play betting opportunities, and focusing on niche markets like goalscorer markets.
In summary, by understanding value betting principles, analyzing factors that can influence odds, and utilizing effective strategies, bettors can gain an edge and increase their chances of success in the world of football value betting.