Many sports bettors have probably heard the term “Expected Value”, but they may not know its meaning or how to use it when betting. Expected value is the way to measure the gap between the expectations of bettors and those of a sportsbook.
Oddsmakers in the U.S. use positive figures for the underdog and negative figures for the favorite. The line number will increase as the likelihood of winning decreases and vice versa. Sports bettors can use these line numbers to figure out whether a bet is under- or over-valued.
Talking of odds and implied probability, Pennsylvania sports betting apps are very popular as they allow gamblers to conveniently place various bets based on the trending data.
Why is expected value important?
Even sports bettors who win only do so about 55 to 56% of the time. Those who look for expected value (+EV) look at the lines the oddsmakers give to each game.
Sportsbooks usually employ the best oddsmakers, algorithms and programs to find the most efficient lines. They can create a line that an average bettor can’t do with the same accuracy.
Sports bettors have an advantage over other gamblers when weighing bets by expected value. This can also give them a slight edge over a sportsbook. Using the strategy early in the week can help in a market like the NFL, as value bets are only available for a short period before the market catches up.
Winning at casinos requires more than just hoping to find winners. Betting by taking expected value into account does not necessarily mean you will be successful. However, if you don’t take it into consideration, it guarantees failure over the long term.
Cost of the vig
Most online sportsbooks charge about 5% as a fee on the betting line. This is known as the vigorish or ‘vig’. Bettors basically pay a levy on a bet, whether they win or lose. They need to win 52.8% of their bets just to break even. With that being said, sports betting gives sports bettors more chances to win than many other forms of gambling.
Calculating the odds
If you want to win at sports betting, you need to think critically and use your calculation skills. If the book’s line number is a positive value, you need to divide 100 by the line number plus 100. You first add the line number plus 100 and then divide it. An example would be 100 / (110 + 100) = 47.62(%). To calculate negative odds, you must divide the line by the line plus 100. An example would be -190 / (-190 +100) = 65.52(%)
Positive expected value
Rather than betting on a team that is likely to win but requires a high price to bet on, smart bettors look to find the biggest discrepancies between what the sportsbook implies will happen through its betting lines and what they expect will happen. They aren’t necessarily looking for the best team but for the most value. They don’t bet on who they think will win but on a scenario that is more likely to happen.
Sports bettors don’t know beyond doubt which bets have the positive expected value. They may develop a feel for the market, and if they know when to ‘buy low’, they may just beat the closing line.