Good day class, your betting tutorial at MyTopSportsbooks continues with a new topic, expected value. In this article, we will discuss what EV betting is and how it impacts your expected winnings. Also, we will touch on various topics surrounding expected value betting and how they relate to your wagers and the bookmaker’s odds. So let’s begin.
What is Expected Value in Sports Betting?
Many bettors have heard of expected value in sports betting, but how many gamblers have a clear and concise understanding of it in the betting market? EV measures the probability gap (expectations) – between the bettor and the sportsbook. The bookmakers or oddsmakers list what they believe are the probabilities assigned to all the types of bets bettors can make. The EV is reflected in the betting lines for the Moneyline, point spread, totals, over/under and anything else you can get a bet down on. Most sportsbooks in North America incorporate American odds – plus signs for underdogs and minus signs for favorites. The line can change as the probabilities of a win and loss change. This is how it works, the line for an underdog win at +120 is more likely a winner than an underdog listed at +240. On the flip side, a favorite listed at -185 stands a better chance of winning than a favorite at -115. Here, it gets tricky when you convert the line numbers to implied probability. Here is how it works for an NFL bet: the Buffalo Bills are playing the New England Patriots. The sportsbook sets the line at +100 – meaning a coin flip on the outcome. If the bettor thinks the Patriots have a better than 50 percent chance to win the game, the EV would be positive. If the bettor thinks the Patriots don’t have a chance against the Bills, they would status the game as a negative EV on the coin toss odds. It works the same for the NBA or any other sporting event. You can make value bets on parlays, but don’t wait for the closing line, bet now when find the +EV.
Is Expected Value Important for Bettors?
Weighing the pros and cons of a prospective sports bet against the EV is one place the ‘sharps’ can get an advantage against the sportsbooks. Neophyte sports bettors make one common mistake that drains their bankroll: waiting until the last minute to go over the betting board. They consult the NFL odds on Sunday morning, hoping to find winners to put on their betting slip. For bettors seeking +EV, they review the line as early as possible, looking at probability and whether the oddsmakers have overvalued or undervalued the game they are looking at. To get the value of the bet, you find it early in the week because by Thursday (for NFL bets), the oddsmakers and sportsbooks have made adjustments to the lines. Value plays are like a Zebra in sports betting, you see them rarely, and they aren’t around long. If you are a sharp +EV, betting is the foundation of your betting strategy. Casual bettors, known in gambling parlance as public money, don’t use +EV enough. The public bets blackjack hoping for a 21, while the sharp is like someone who plays the stock market – buying low and selling high. Many sports bettors have an overemphasized sense of their betting prowess, and their ego makes it impossible to win over the long haul, betting on a wing and prayer. Sportsbooks like Fanduel, BetMGM, Draftkings and Caesars have spent years and millions of dollars dissecting events. They create efficient lines that protect their exposure using algorithms, the best oddsmakers in the business, and programs. Professional gamblers have a success rate of 53-55 percent, so the sportsbooks must be doing something right. There are reasons why online sportsbooks give new bettors free bets and promo codes to gamble on their site or free drinks and other perks at casinos because they have the edge.
Tips for Positive Expected Value
Stay Away From Your Favorite Team
+EV bettors avoid a ‘heartstring’ bets because they consider the expected value to factor in. Leave your home team’s jersey in the closet when making a wager. Look for the best value on any given day.
Leave Everybody’s Favorite Team Alone
You don’t have to because the public is betting on their favorite team. Instead of going with the crowd, determine if the popular bet is the value bet that will pay instead of betting on sentimentality.
Stay Away From Everyone’s Favorite League
See above; leave favorite teams alone.
Home Favorites are a No-No
Local favorites aren’t necessarily the best EV bets. Beware of your local sportsbook and home teams. Often they represent the sentimental choice and not the best EV bet.
Heavy Favourites are not Your Best Bet.
National favorites often inflate the odds reducing the payout, and are not good EV bets. Bettors must consider the underdog’s value when assessing value and review discrepancies between the sportsbook and the bettor’s opinion. Let the public bet on the favorites; sharps will look at underdogs with extra value.
The Best Bet can be No Bet at All.
The sportsbook is well-equipped to protect itself against exposure to discrepancies. There will be times when there is no value in the favorite or the underdog. Don’t let your heart rule your mind. Protect your bankroll and walk away when you can’t find +EV bets.
Get After a +EV bet Early.
If you are serious about +EV bets, you need to check the betting lines as soon as they are posted. The early lines haven’t been adjusted to reflect the sharp or public money coming, and that is your best chance to find a +EV bet.
We at MTS advise anyone looking to get a +EV down at a sportsbook to shop for the best available bet. We suggest you review every site you can find, and we recommend trying these online sportsbooks to find the best odds. Remember, a fool and his money are easily parted. Don’t let the sportsbooks make a fool out of you.