One of the most common misconceptions in the world of online betting is the word "VALUE". People often see value as simply a price, but it's so much more than that.
Firstly you have to remember that odds are simply an indication of how likely a bookmaker feels a bet is to land (plus their margin). A price of Evens or 1/1 basically means the bookmaker thinks it has a 50% chance of landing. And how do you figure that out? Well with a simple little equation:
Take the decimal odds of any selection (1/2 = 1.500, 1/1 = 2.000, 11/8 = 2.375) and divide 100 by that number. So a few examples:
1/2 = 1.500 = 66.67% 6/4 = 2.500 = 40.00% 21/10 = 3.100 = 32.26%
1/6 = 1.167 = 85.71%
Now VALUE isn't simply looking at that price and seeing if it's worth your money, it's about calculating the difference between how likely YOU think a bet is to land vs the bookmakers. This in turn makes value subjective to each individual really. But just read the below and see if you come to the same conclusion as I do (not based on real stats by the way, just an example):
Northampton Town have scored in 92% of their home games this season. This weekend they play Mansfield who have conceded in 82% of their away games. Northampton have scored in their last 5 meetings with York home and away and their top scorer is available for selection.
Now I know there are a million other factors to consider here but for now let's just assume that this is all the factors we know. What % chance would you give Northampton to score against York in this game? Well if I just look at what we have here I'm going to go with around 85% just off the bat, hopefully you came to a similar conclusion.
Well if Northampton were priced at 1/4 to score against York this weekend, would that be value in your eyes? Well if you said 85% like me above, then yes, the 1/4 is VALUE and here's why.
If you think Northampton have an 85% chance of scoring then you're saying the odds should be 1.17 (100 divided by 85). The actual odds on offer however are 1.25 giving you a value of 0.08. The higher that difference is, the more VALUE there is in the bet, regardless of the price. And if you can repeatedly exploit value from bookmakers, that's where you gain an edge, and that's how you seal long term profit.
Bookies Cut Now there is another important part to consider, in that bookmakers will purposely give you lesser odds than what they actually feel a bet is worth. By doing this they take their cut from the pot really. So odds of 1/2 or 66.67% as discussed above, is more likely around 80% once the bookmakers have taken their slice of the pie, so it's worth considering this as well
What is +EV?
EV stands for Expected Value and it's largely the same as above really. But expected value is calculated from the price at which you back a bet vs the closing line (the odds at time of kick off). By backing prices earlier when the market is formed, you can often create a positive expected value because most punters won't get on until closer to the game. This means that the market is more volatile, and therefore a smaller amount of cash is required to move a price in a certain direction.