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How to Calculate Expected Value of Winning in Football Betting

Many punters ignore statistics and wager their money on their favorite teams or players. That is the main reason why public bettors often lose their bets.


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expected value winning


Football betting is a popular type of entertainment among people of all ages. But this does not mean that all punters have an in-depth knowledge of football betting. Many sports fans rely on their gut instincts when placing a bet. Furthermore, many punters ignore statistics and wager their money on their favorite teams or players. That is the main reason why public bettors often lose their bets.

Believe it or not, mathematics plays a crucial role in football betting. Bookmakers build margins into the odds, also known as vigorish or juice, to make a profit. The betting odds provide valuable information about the probability of an event to occur and the amount of money you will get if your bet wins. In other words, the odds a bookie offers are not just some randomly chosen numbers - they reflect the chances of your bet to win.

What is Expected Value?

The expected value (EV) is an important concept, helping football fans to determine how successful a given football bet will be in the long term. The expected value can be positive or negative. A positive expected value suggests that a bettor will make a profit over time, while a negative value indicates that a punter will incur a loss over time. Bets with negative expected value are bad value wagers, while bets with positive expected value are good value wagers.

An erroneous belief is that when the odds are high, the bets have a good expected value and vice versa. Besides the size of the odds, there are other things to consider when calculating the expected value. Stick with us as we will explain how to calculate the expected value of a wager and apply it to your football betting strategy.

How to Calculate the Expected Value?

As mentioned on superbettingsites, the first step to calculating the expected value of a wager is to determine the percentage likelihood known as the implied probability. It gives information about the percent of the time you will win the bet according to the betting money line. The formula for calculating the implied probability is (1 / Decimal Odds) x 100.

Let’s assume that the odds for your favorite football team to win are 4. Then, the implied probability is (1 / 4) x 100=25%. It means that you will win 1 out of 4 times. If the bookmaker uses American or fractional odds, you have to convert them into decimal odds.

The prediction of a bettor of which will be the winning team is the actual probability. The wager has a positive expected value if the actual probability is higher than the implied probability. This means that you are likely to win in the long run.

For example, the odds for Team A and Team B are listed at +200 and -230, respectively. Team A is the underdog. If you believe that Team B will win the game, you might want to know whether there is value in the odds before placing a bet. Bettors have to convert the American odds into decimal odds to calculate the implied probability.

For negative odds, we use the following formula:

1 - (100 / - American odds)
1 - (100 / -230)=1.435.

Then the implied probability is (1 / 1.435) x 100=69.69%. If we give Team B a 70% chance of winning, there is a positive expected value. But if the actual probability is lower than 69.69%, there is a negative expected value.

How to Calculate the Actual Probability?

The actual probability is a bit abstract concept as there is no formula to calculate it. It relies on the punter’s prediction. A way to determine the actual probability is to imagine that the two teams will play 10 games against each other and predict which team will win. If you believe that your favorite team will win 7 out of 10 games, you give an actual probability of 70%.

Another way to determine the actual probability is to compile a list of criteria that you think will affect the outcome of the match. Use numbers to apply a value and percentages to assign importance to each of them.

Identifying positive value wagers might be challenging for rookie sports fans. However, it is a useful skill to learn because it will help you avoid sucker bets. Of course, you will not win every bet you place, but you will improve your chances of winning in the long term.




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