Value Betting is the Key to a Profitable Season

The key to successful sports betting is obtaining value when you find the best number that is meaningful. Value betting is the key to a profitable season every year. It means getting better than “true” odds on a team. If your number crunching game suggests the underdog should be receiving 3.5 points, but is receiving 6.5 point, then that is a value-betting proposition, also called an “overlay”.

Value betting means betting when you regard the risk as a worthy bet tilted in your favor as the best change to win. That handicapping objective does mean betting the underdog without hesitation. Too many amateur bettors are oblivious to the value of backing the underdogs thinking the books are infallible. Even a relatively poor team receiving a large point spread does not actually have to win the game but cover an inflated point spread. They do cover because the better team is only interested in winning and reducing the risk of injury, not covering the point spread.

Oddsmakers are often in a position where they have to issue lines/odds on a large number of games which makes them vulnerable.

Even with their considerable expertise and computer software, oddsmakers are sometimes speculating and fail to judge the game or event properly or ignored a potentially key factor in the outcome. They do come close to their number about 70 percent of the time in the NFL but less in college since there are so many college games to handicap.

Pay attention to key number in football, especially 3,4,6,7, and 10, where minor changes in the spread have major implications for value. Even with the 2 – point play conversion option, changing a line from 6 to 7.5 is a major move. If you liked the underdog at +6, then you are getting tremendous value at +7.5. In Football, many games are decided by a margin or 3 points than by any other margin, except for the mismatches.

Going against public opinion is a value bet when amateur bettors are driving the number. Also called a contrarian betting strategy used by a lot of sharp bettors.

Certain teams traditionally have a strong public following. It might be last year’s champion or a team with a high profile media superstar. Some teams, like the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bulls, Manchester United or the New York Yankees have captured the public’s imagination and have millions of fans.

The best-value bets can often be found by going against these teams because the oddsmakers adjust the line to reflect the expected weight of public money.

A team or player’s current form should be a major consideration in your analysis. But do not over-emphasize the result of their last game performance, especially high scoring games and “blow outs”. The score may not accurately reflex the performance of quality of either the winning or losing teams. Every team will have a bad day during the season and their value may drop and be under valued their next game depending upon their opponent.

Value betting goes up and down during the season on most teams that lack consistency. It could also be called spot betting when a value bet falls into a slot on a certain Sunday that you need to recognize. These spot bets are usually associated with the following:

  • good teams coming off an embarrassing loss the previous week

  • teams that are still overrated by the books

  • quarterbacks that are playing beyond their abilities

  • teams that are off to a fast start but cannot sustain their early success

  • teams that are able to cover-up their defensive weakness temporarily

  • strength or weakness of schedule

Value insights in to these and other patterns of play will be there most weeks but need to be deciphered by avoiding all the hype. Oddsmakers are a crafty bunch at twisting and turning numbers that can leave the average bettor perplexed. This is their game of chess trying to beat you with your checker mentality. Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. There are many good value underdog bets in the NFL that cover about 50 percent of the time and can also win outright.

Be a value bettor with a keen eye to the number and match-up. There is nothing wrong losing a close value bet which will happen but a close loss is better for your confidence than getting zero value for your money in a lop-sided blow out loss where your money is gone at half-time.