With football matches taking place every day in leagues around the world, there are opportunities to bet on matches at pretty much any time of the day. Many punters put a lot of research into their bets and use their knowledge of the game, teams and players to pick out bets that they think have a good chance of coming in. However, other than backing a selection that you think will win, you should also take into account whether or not your bet has value.
What Is Value In Betting?
Let’s say that West Brom were playing Barcelona. The majority of us would think that Barcelona would win this match 99% of the time which is a reasonable expectation. So, does that mean that if you were backing one team to win, you should bet on Barca? That should depend on the odds that you were offered.
If a bookie was offering odds of 1 million/1 on West Brom to win, despite you thinking that they’ll lose, there is obviously value in that bet as the odds imply that West Brom will only win the match 1 in every 1,000,001 times.
Another example would be betting on the toss of a coin. There is a 50% chance that it will land on heads and 50% that it will land on tails. Therefore, the true odds of either outcome is evens (2.0). If you were offered odds above evens, the bet would have value and if you were offered odds below evens, the bet wouldn’t have value.
Bookmakers apply a margin to the odds that they offer. For example, if a bookie was offering odds on the toss of a coin, they may offer odds of 1.9 which is around a 5% margin. They apply these margins so that they are able to make a profit regardless of the outcome of an event. Bets on sporting events are a little trickier to determine whether or not they have value as the true odds of an outcome are based on stats and a lot of other data unlike the toss of a coin where it’s mathematically sound to state that each outcome has a 50% chance of occurring. Nevertheless, a margin is applied to whatever the bookmaker determines to be the true odds.
Below, we will take a look at a few of the worst value bets in football betting markets.
One way that you can add value to your betting is via bookmaker offers. The list of free bets from which bookie shows bookies that offer incentives for placing bets. By qualifying for these free bets, you can give yourself additional chances of winning which increases the overall value of your betting activity.
Bet Builders are at the top of the Worst Value Bets list. They are offered by several bookmakers now and often go under various names such as ‘Request A Bets’ or ‘YourOdds’.
These are basically accumulator bets where all selections are on the same match. For example, ‘Harry Kane to score first, Over 2.5 goals to be scored, Tottenham to receive the most corners & Mo Salah to be carded’.
As stated earlier, bookies apply margins to all betting markets. As Bet Builders contain selections from multiple markets, these margins are combined to give a much larger margin which means more profit for the bookie and less value for the punter.
Also, with Bet Builders, bookies find it much harder to balance their books to ensure that they make a profit regardless of the result. Because of this, they apply a greater margin overall to the bet which again, decreases the bets value.
Accumulators are one of the most popular football bets. Many of us place an Acca on the weekends matches at what sometimes looks like good odds. However, similar to Bet Builders, the bookies margin on each selection is combined with each selection that is added to the Acca. The more selections you add, the less value the bet has.
This is why some bookies offer bonuses for winning accas with accas with more selections getting bigger bonuses. This isn’t because the bookmaker is being overly generous to customers but just that they are taking more value away from the customer with the bigger the accumulator is and so can afford to give some back and still lock in a healthy profit.
Half Time / Full Time
Half Time / Full Time bets are when you bet on which team will be winning at HT and which will be winning at the final whistle. The often high odds on this football betting market can be attractive but they are generally very bad value.
If you compare the odds for the HT/FT market of what a bookmaker offers and the odds available on a betting exchange, you’ll more often than not find a huge difference. Betting exchange odds are generally considered to be close to the true odds given that they are set by the market as no margins are applied.