Value theory in sports betting

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So much is said about the value theory but explaining it completely is a whole different story, so forgive me for my courage, I will once again explain all about the Value Theory in sports betting.


As the name suggests, this theory is just another theory that can be applied to a specific situation, but in practice it can be useful for all bettors, or at least for some I’d say.

In practice, the value theory is tipping the balance between the odds offered by the bookmakers and our perception of the lines/odds created by us.

Basically, it’s turning we into oddsmakers and having the job of providing odds for that outcome.

If we find an imbalance, positive of course, let’s say a difference between the odds offered by the bookmaker and our odds, we are betting according to the value theory. We are betting with value, both in the short and especially in the long term.

This difference found by our perception is justified I’d say, with the bettor having strong convictions to find or try to find value.

It’s certain that probably, at the end of this article, you might not like my opinion about the theory, but that’s something you will see for yourselves, but I think that these days the value theory is a topic that’s very commonly thrown around lightly.

Once again, by topics, I’ll try to explain how we reach the value theory.


A lot of bettors that adopt the value theory end up giving a huge weight to the qualitative aspect of the teams.

The bettors that adopt this aspect really value visualizing the teams and even building “power rankings” of the teams in order not to be tricked by certain situations during the rounds.

Having a qualitative notion of the team, giving it more or less quality is actually something that the value theory is focused on, so that in the end we might have valuable odds, meeting the famous value theory.


This analysis is also good to “assess” the truth of the team, especially with the analysis not being based on betting statistics but on visualization, which means, seeing the teams play against each other.

One time, on an article written some time ago, I said that, when watching a game, we are watching two teams, not only the one we are analysing.

We should take that into consideration, because that will be useful for us in the future since we will already know more about that or another team and in the end, we even know more about the teams that play in the league we specialized on.

Specialization… Well, that leads us to our next topic.


Specializing ourselves in a league is another step towards proving the value theory. Knowing everything that is going on, from behind the scenes to the practice and the news is a good way to quantify the odds to give to that match we want to bet on.

Being aware of everything and knowing how to anticipate a less positive situation on the teams can lead us into betting with value on the next match.

Here on this aspect it is important to be aware of all the news and also knowing how to dissect the fakes news from reality, with the job being more complicated here.

Knowing what the league demands from the clubs, how it shapes up, how the teams respect the others, how they struggle in certain away matches definitely helps us having an improved notion of our odds compared to the odds offered by the bookmaker, especially on more obscure leagues, or with less interest for the bookmakers.

Being specialized is being closer to the “true odds” for a certain market or for a qualitative evaluation regarding a specific market.


Some defend that we should make a Power Ranking from the teams before the start of the league and then adjust it, which means, in other words, making our own standings.

Adjusting our own “league table” is something that can help us tremendously in fulfilling the value theory.


Betting knowing that something isn’t true can actually give us an “edge” to bet with value, and it happens when we find differences between the odds offered by the bookmakers and the ones we calculate.

The value theory is heavily based on this aspect, as well as on the other ones I’m naming one by one. This is definitely the one that interferes the most with our fair odds for the market we are analysing.


Betting based on the Value Theory is also taking advantage of the “gap” on the lines offered by the bookmakers.

A vigilant bettor knows how to identify that something is poorly analysed or misjudged. Sometimes we jokingly say that the intern of the bookmaker made a mistake and will be fired soon.

Finding mistakes or gaps is also part of sustaining the value theory, because if the odds are misadjusted, or in this case too high, the bettor will bet on it, because it has value.

Obviously a situation like this doesn’t happen everyday, with these being rare occasions. But if we are alert, especially on those leagues we are experts on, we know something is not right beforehand, that someone made a mistake there.

It can last seconds, minutes or even hours, it will depend on the detection of the mistake by the bookmaker and the odds’ adjustment because of the money that is coming in from the Sharps and the betting syndicates.

Keep in mind that some bookmakers already “cancel” bets because of this. You can read their T&C’s and check that they can do it, which completely nullifies our opportunity of taking advantage of a gap.


I apologize to the “prophets of doom”, those who are still grasping to the old context of sports betting. I know they are profitable, but they aren’t adapting to this fast-paced world of sports betting.

The value theory can be timeless, but it isn’t a practical theory right now. It might be something we can apply in general, but it isn’t practical in terms of its execution.

Why? Is it our fault? That’s easy to understand, it is not our fault, but it’s the fault of the bookmakers who obviously know how we find value.


If we’re looking to know more about the league, the specialization, they also know and have “money” for it, while we are depending on a lot of things.

If on the true optic of many this is harder, what do we do? Do we keep “betting” the same way? Do we freeze and keep holding on to theoretical principles, that in practice don’t take us anywhere?

I think that the timeless article is more topical than ever, with the new theory saying that we must be “chameleons” in sports betting.

You also have the right to defend theories or create concepts, but sustained only on something that is real, and the only “real” thing is the real context of sports betting right now.


Being in constant mutation, adapting to the markets, leagues and anomalous situations will be part of our day-to-day as bettors from now on. The COVID-19 pandemic was an example of something that happened and made us change the way we bet completely.

We stepped away from ideas, we get away from the weighing aspects on our “fair line” tables and we reset them.

The bets we were used to making changed a lot with the COVID-19 but even before that, they were changing, because the fight against the bookmakers stopped being a fight and became something slightly inglorious.

Some call it insisting on a mistake, while others continue betting on what they used to bet on, some give up, because it is complicated.

The idea is to adapt, shaping ourselves to the conditions imposed by the market, the bookmakers and by ourselves!

Yes, by ourselves, since we are the ones “shooting ourselves in the foot”, because we are “teaching” the bookmakers how to protect themselves, through what we do and how we do it.

Any strategy or new idea will soon be understood by the bookmaker and they can adapt and put us at their mercy once again.


We would say that we’re playing a game of “cat and mouse” here and even with traps, the mouse still mocks us and end up avoiding the trip.

My friends and fellow bettors, life is not easy, and sports betting aren’t as well. The value theory follows us, but it isn’t, in my opinion, absolute truth. If we listen to new ideas or concepts every day, let me put a theory into practice, since you’ve said it yourselves that it is a timeless article.

You must adapt, be some sort of “betting chameleons” and you know why? Because chameleons change colors to protect themselves against their predators, and that’s exactly what we must do.

Utilize this theory, combine it with the value theory and be smart in the way you place your bets, don’t leave any loose ends, so that the bookmakers can’t catch you and make you do their job for them!

That’s all for today, good luck!

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