Positive Expected Value Betting

EV (Expected Value) Betting

Expected value betting can be a fickle beast but there are certain methods you can use to try and tame the beast. Our guide to positive EV betting will show you a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.

In this guide, we teach you about positive EV betting, what it means, how you can try to wrestle the variables into your control, and what the most effective ways are to use EV betting. Check out the rest of our guide to learn more about how you can slowly but surely increase your overall profitability in the long run.

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What is expected value betting?

Expected value betting is perhaps not something that you would have heard of, especially if you are fairly new to online sports betting. The whole notion of sports betting would seem to be quite simple. The sportsbook tells you what the chances are of each team winning and you gauge how you want to bet with that information in mind.  Of course, it is more complex than that but that is the premise.

Where things start to get interesting is with the odds that these sportsbooks give you, but with expected value betting explained, you will start to understand how it can be used effectively in your betting. You may think that a set of odds is set in stone when they are shown on these sportsbooks. That is just not true. These odds and spreads are liable to shift and change right up until the point of the start of the sporting events. However, whatever the odds and spreads were when you placed your bet will still be the odds that you are using, even if the odds and spreads change closer to the start of the sporting event.

So, what does this mean, and how does it tie into this strange concept of expected value? Well, expected value at its core is quite simple to understand. It is essentially the difference in expected probability between the bettor and the sportsbook. As we have just mentioned, a sportsbook will change its odds and spreads on a match if they feel they have ultimately overvalued or undervalued a team. It can change as a result of injuries leading up to the match or any other external factor that might impact the match itself.

The point is, this will often throw up opportunities for bettors to cash in on expected value betting. If the operator has overvalued a team, there is an opportunity for the bettor to get superior odds, spreads, and potential winnings if they place their bet at the right time.

What factors can influence expected value betting?

Unfortunately, sports betting math can be complex and there simply is no guaranteed formula for working out an exact positive expected value. There are several variables to consider with this concept. Of course, sportsbooks will calculate their expected value but you as the bettor are trying to weigh the likelihood of an outcome coming true against the probability given to you by the sportsbook. From there, you can try to establish if you believe there is a sportive expected value betting opportunity. So, what do you need to consider to try and gauge if this possibility is present?

Injuries

One thing that influences positive expected value is injuries to key players in a team. If you catch a sportsbook out early enough that they have yet to update their odds and spreads as a result of injury news, you are possibly in for a positive EV bet. Injuries to key players can shift the probability of an outcome to a significant degree so always keep your finger on the pulse and try to act quickly if you see a key injury has taken place in a team.

Past performances

Something that can affect positive expected value betting is the past performances or form of a team or player. If a player has been on a miserable run of form, you can weigh the betting option against the probability of the result with that information in mind. You can also use this kind of information to your benefit if you feel like a turnaround in form is on the cards for the team.

Weather

Believe it or not, the weather can have a pretty important impact on positive expected value betting. If you are looking at odds and spreads on a betting market like total points in a match, then the expected value can shift based on whether or not it will be raining on the day of the match. There are plenty of sports where rain will hinder the overall performance and therefore the likelihood of a high-scoring game. If you stay on top of what the weather might be, you can possibly find a positive value betting opportunity.

Records

Take a look at the records for anything and everything that you might want to bet on. Has a quarterback thrown X amount of yards more than he did last season? Has Steph Curry hit the same 3-pointer percentage he would be expected to make at this stage in the NBA season? Stats are your friends when it comes to expected value betting so be sure to take in as many of these stats as you can to help you find some expected value betting avenues.

Home and away teams

Whether a team is playing home or away can play a big role in your expected value betting. Take your time to assess what the previous records are between specific teams, who has got the better of who, and at what stadium. If there is a term that is a thorn in the side of one of the bigger teams and they are playing away from home, there could certainly be an opportunity for expected value betting.

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Tips for positive expected value betting

Now you know what some of the variables are that affect positive EV sports betting, we wanted to give you a few tips for how you can go about placing your expected value bets. These tips will help guide you on your path to finding value bets with the best live betting sites and sportsbooks in the US.

Staying vigilant

This is probably the most important rule when it comes to positive EV betting. You need to stay vigilant at all times. You need to always be checking sportsbook platforms and the best betting apps to assess their odds/spreads, and calculating whether or not you think a set of odds and spreads is overvalued or undervalued. The odds and spreads on these sites can change at any time so you must always assess them to make sure you jump in at the opportune moment in terms of positive EV.

Don't always bet on your favorite team

Never bet with your emotion. Even if your favorite team is playing against your bitter rivals, always bet with your head and never with your heart. If you think this will ruin your viewing experience then perhaps avoid betting when your team is involved altogether. With that said, if there is an opportunity for positive EV betting against your favorite team, you need to take it. Sportsbooks are doing their homework as well so when there is a slip up on their end with the expected value, you need to grab it with both hands, even at the cost of your loyalty.

If it's the best bet, it generally does not have great value

If a bet looks like it is one of the sure bets of the day, then there is going to be very limited value. That is the trick with positive EV betting. It may not be the most fun way to approach betting but it is the smart way to do it. Even underdog odds and spreads may not be giving you real value. So, when it is clear that a set of odds and spreads is distinguishing heavily between a favorite and an underdog, it's best to move on to a different set.

Always compare sportsbooks

There is no crime in shopping around on different sportsbooks, just as you would hunt out the best sportsbook promo codes. In fact, we very much encourage you to keep your options open when it comes to finding positive expected value with sportsbooks. The more options you have at your disposal the better your chance is of actually finding a value bet or 2 with these sites. If you are limiting yourself to one sportsbook you are simply making your life that much more difficult in your pursuit of value bets.

Use an expected value calculator

Lastly, you should always have an expected value calculator on hand to help you with figuring out the difference in expected probability, so if available, always use the betting sites odds calculator. The calculator may not give you the exact positive expected betting value but it can help you get a clearer picture of where there may or may not be value betting opportunities.

Conclusion to our positive EV betting guide

Positive expected value betting can be a tricky thing to get a handle on but we have seen far too many professional bettors get it right to think that this isn't the right way to go. If you are just into your sports betting for a bit of fun or are looking for the best betting deals, the expected value betting strategy probably isn't going to be for you, as it requires a significant amount of effort on your part. However, if you are genuinely trying to build your bankroll and take your bets with a degree of seriousness, then positive EV betting is the way forward for you.

Keep our picks in mind before you get started as they will help keep you on the right track. Remember, it's all about keeping your eye on the ball at all times. Watch these sportsbooks like a hawk and really take your time to assess their initial odds and spreads to see if they have slipped up by overvaluing or undervaluing certain teams.

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Positive EV betting FAQ

⇆ What is expected value betting?

Expected value betting can be a difficult concept for new players to grasp but that does not make it any less important to know. Our guide to expected value betting will break down the basics for you before we head into the more complex parts of how it all works. Check out our guide to add this valuable tool to your sports betting arsenal.   

➗ How can I find positive expected value bets?

The trick with positive EV betting is actually finding bets that give you the opportunity for value bets. There are certain techniques, variables, and factors to consider when you are trying to conduct EV betting. These variables are tough to figure out on your own which is why it's a good idea to read our guide. We break down all of the most important aspects of EV betting and how to get the best sports betting edge, as we show you exactly how it all works for sports betting.   

💯 Is expected value betting a complex strategy?

Some strategies like sports betting the arbitrage way and EV betting are going to dissuade new betting fans from using them because they seem too complex on the surface. Our guide to EV betting will let you know just how complex this approach is and whether or not it is suitable for players who have just started their online sports betting adventure.   

📱 Is there an expected value calculator I can use?

There are a number of betting calculators for you to use that can help make your life a lot easier. However, there are some things that even a betting calculator can't help with. Our guide will shed some light on whether or not you can use a positive EV betting calculator to help you with your bets.   

💵Can you use a sportsbook bonus in conjunction with EV betting?

Having the opportunity to use a welcome bonus in conjunction with a betting strategy is always ideal. As such, our guide will let you know where you can find some top-quality welcome bonuses for sports betting and whether or not you can actually use these bonuses with your positive EV betting strategy.

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