How to Identify Expected Value in Sports Betting

Betting is the act of placing a wager on the outcome of a game or event. There are several factors to consider when making a bet, including the payout odds and the likelihood of winning or losing. The best bettors will identify betting value and make smart decisions based on their research. This will lead to a profitable long-term betting strategy.

The most basic form of calculating expected value is to look at the probability of a particular outcome and compare it to the odds offered on that outcome. For example, a coin toss has an equal chance of heads or tails. The odds on a fair coin toss would be 50/50 and therefore the EV would be zero. This calculation can be more complicated in sports betting, as odds aren’t always accurate and inflated by the amount of money wagered on one side of the market.

In addition to identifying EV, the best bettors will also understand how odds work and how to spot value in a line. This will allow them to place larger unit wagers on lines they deem to have positive EV and avoid those with negative EV, which makes it much more likely they will come away with a profit over time.

Additionally, the top bettors will limit their exposure to a few markets and focus on becoming experts in those markets. This can take a lot of time, but it allows them to develop a deep understanding of the sport or league and its tendencies. It’s important to track your results (a standard spreadsheet is fine) and stick to your system.