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Everything You Need to Know about Expected Value Sports Betting

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Once you start to take an active interest in making money from your betting activities, you will come across punters talking about the expected value or the abbreviation, EV, which it is often referred to.

Finding expected value is something that can have a positive effect on your betting, so it is worth investigating further and as you are about to find out, how to calculate the expected value of any bet is not as difficult as you might think.

The aim with finding expected value gambling is to place bets which have a positive EV, and all that this basically means is that over a period of time if you were making bets using the same criteria, you would end up with a profit.

Understand Expected Value Betting

The opposite is true when looking at a negative EV, you would expect to make a loss over a period of time if you were making the same kind of bets.

Before we move forward though, it is important to note that a negative EV bet is not necessarily a bad bet and that it will more than likely lose, it just means it doesn’t represent value.

To explain this point of view, it would be a good idea to give an example.

Let’s say that Manchester City have been drawn away against Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup.

Aston Villa are sitting in second place in the Championship and are enjoying a fine run of form.

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, has announced that he is going to play a full-strength side as it is his aim to win the FA Cup so you have priced the game up yourself and you think that Manchester City should be priced at around 1.90 to win the game.

When the bookies compile their odds for the game you see that the average price is a very tight 1.80.

Therefore, if you back Manchester City to win the match at 1.80, you are betting on a bet which doesn’t represent any value whatsoever.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t place the bet or that the bet is likely to lose?

Not at all.

It does mean though that if you make bets over the course of a football season which represent negative value, you will be operating in a way which will be of no advantage to you whatsoever and depending on the quality of your selection process, will result in you making far less profits than you would if you were using the same selection process but only concentrating on bets with a positive EV.

How to find expected value

The expected value formula is actually very simple.

It is nothing like the Kelly Criterion formula which most punters take one look at and then run a mile because it looks so complicated because as you can see, what you see is what you get.

How to calculate expected value

(Amount won per bet * probability of winning) – (Amount lost per bet * probability of losing)

Let’s look at an example of how to calculate expected value formula and the easiest example to use is that of predicting the outcome of tossing a coin.

The coin can either land on heads or tails, so it is an even-money bet.

If you tossed the coin a few hundred times, you would expect that the number of times it landed on heads and tails would be the same at some point.

Now if someone offered you odds of 2.15 on the outcome of a toss, this would obviously be considered as a value bet, and we can use the expected value formula to prove this.

(11.50 X 0.5) – (10 X 0.5) = 0.75

This means that there is an expected value if you are betting on odds of 2.15 on an even-money bet of 0.75.

In layman’s terms, this means that that you would expect to make a profit of 75p for every £10 of bets that you make at these odds.

How to find expected value when matched betting

If you are one of the many punters, who have discovered the wonderful world of matched betting, using the expected value formula can be used to find out if a bonus or promotion is worth taking advantage of.

It is just a case of entering the size of the bonus alongside any wagering requirement, and as long as the EV is positive, the bonus could be worth getting involved with.

The secret of successful matched betting is to take advantage of every positive EV offer which is out there, even if the EV is only the equivalent of a pound or two, the profits will soon mount up, and in the case of matched betting, these profits are more often than not risk-free.

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Is it worth spending time on expected value betting

The vast majority of punters don’t even give a second thought to expected value sports betting, and it is only when they discover matched betting that it somehow hits home that it is something that they should take very seriously indeed.

For those few punters who look for expected value betting in their normal bets and they stick with it, they will reap the benefits over the long term, and if they are using a solid selection system, the profits will confirm the benefits of it.

When you get used to using the expected value betting formula, it will become second nature, and if you don’t feel like making these calculations yourself, there are online calculators which will make the task so much easier for you.

Whatever way you look at it though, if you start to embrace the benefits of expected value betting it won’t do your profits and harm at all and you will probably look back and wish that you had got involved with it much earlier.

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