Often you’ll hear a handicapper talk about “value” when it comes to offering a pick. They’ve got a pick that offers great value. What exactly is “value” when it comes to sports betting? If it’s a point spread pick, it doesn’t cost any more to bet on it. Where does the value come from?
The dictionary defines value as a noun as being “an amount, as of goods, services or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price of return.” As a verb, value is defined as “to estimate the value or worth of; to rate at a certain price; to appraise; to reckon with a certain number, power, importance, etc.”
Other disciplines look at value as what we might call “good buys.” When you’re investing in a stock, real estate or anything else that will increase in worth value is seen as being connected to two things—the present price and what the future price may be.
As an example, if you purchase some land in a region at 70% of the cost it would normally be bought at, you have immediately gotten good value. That is as long as the land comes with no strings attached or any unforeseen problems. You’ve bought that land for $0.70 on the $1.00.
Later if that investment turns into a big profit, you will have realized the other aspect of “value.” You paid 30% less for the land and now you’re making a profit. The more cash you make in respect to how much others have made on similar sales and when compared to how much you spent on the original purchase determines the value.
Each person determines value in his/her own way. In order to decide if something has value, you have to have a set of criteria to follow. Value for land might be determined by how close or far away it is from an urban area, by the surrounding neighborhoods, how much traffic it sees or does not see and the per capita income of local residents. Value is partly determined by the purpose of what is being bought and the features or aspects of the item purchased that make it attractive to others.
As an example, if you buy land designated for an exclusive residential neighborhood and it is located in an area that sees a lot of industrial traffic, the value of that land is diminished. But take that same land with the same traffic and use it for an industrial mall and the value increases.
How does this relate to sports handicapping? Value in sports handicapping is really determined by the point spread or money line. In other words, is the bet you’re making on either side a good value because it is sure to pay off. Bets that have good value call for the bettor to make a wager that’s worth three, four, five or even more units. It depends on how much value the line offers. In this way, you can see both aspects of value as it relates to the present (the spread) and the future (increased unit betting to create a large profit).
Value comes from matchups, trends, depth and other factors. However, since the public prefers to bet on the team that is favored, odds makers will usually make bettors pay more to wager on the favored team. You especially see this with the moneyline where it costs more to win less.
When it comes to value in relationship to the point spread this does not come from actual team wins but from how well a team does against the spread (ATS). Thus, a team with a bad straight up record and that sits at the bottom of the conference may have a great record ATS. As an example, a football team may have a straight up record of 4-12 but a record ATS of 13-3. A team like that offers bettors great value when it comes to spread betting and poor value when playing the moneyline.
As a sports bettor it is important to seek out value spreads and moneylines. When you do find a value bet, remember that the more value the more units you’re going to bet. A line that offers basic value is worth about two units, while one that carries great value may be worth anywhere from four to five or, on rare occasions, even more.
One other tip—shop around for the best lines. One sportsbook may give you an extra half point on the spread or more cash on the moneyline. Take the points on the spread or the edge on the line. In order to do this, you’ll need to be signed up at various sites with your account loaded and ready to go. Don’t be caught short when it comes to finding great value.
There are a lot of good deals available each and every day. There are also a lot of bad ones. The secret to winning consistently is developing an ability to determine which are the best bets to make. If you can do that, you’ll be golden. Use the tips and methods in this article to guide you as you search for the best values in sports betting.