A Value Bet is a bet on the outcome of an event whose odds have been misjudged by the bookmaker.
Value Bet – the example of tennis
2009 French Open final between Federer and Söderling: Federer’s victory was rated at 1.50 on most online betting sites. However, an analysis of the results showed that:
Federer was the world’s number one and number two on clay court at the time, behind Nadal.
Federer had experience in Grand Slam finals, not Söderling.
Federer led 9-0 in his face-off with the Swede. The Swede had only taken one set from him in nine matches so far.
A few weeks before Roland Garros 2009, Federer had beaten Söderling in two sets on clay in Rome.
The odds should rather be around 1.20 or 1.30. Federer’s victory at 1.50 was what is called a Valuebet.
Valuebet – the football example
Semi-final of the French Cup 2010: Quevilly/PSG. PSG’s victory was rated at 1.50 on most online betting sites. However after analysis, we noticed that:
There were 4 divisions between Quevilly and PSG.
Paris is a Cup team and it only played the French Cup at that time of its season.
The match was going to be played in Rouen for safety reasons, and not in Caen where Quevilly had its habits.
Paris could count on all its strength (only Coupet was absent for a long time but Edel had taken his bearings).
PSG had just won convincingly against Bordeaux.
Surprises in the French Cup become much rarer from the semi-finals onwards and Paris had historically done well against small teams.
Here too, the odds should have been around 1.30 rather than 1.50. So there is “value” on this Bet.
The Risk-Free Bet – The Surebet
Surebet, literally “safe bet”, is a bet on which you are certain to make a profit. Its principle is simple: as the odds of an event are set independently by the bookmakers, there are sometimes large discrepancies between the odds. All you have to do is find the best odds from the different bookmakers for each possible outcome of the event.
To have a Surebet, the following mathematical formula must be less than 1: (1/Best odds for team 1’s victory) + (1/Best odds for a draw) + (1/Best odds for team 2’s victory).
Let’s say you want to bet €100 on this risk-free bet.
You must then split your bet as shown below:
- 100€ X (1/ Best odds for Team 1 to win)
- 100€ X (1/Best odds for a draw)
- 100€ X (1/Best odds for team 2 to win)
Surebet are also available for 2-issue events such as tennis. They are a little easier to spot but the calculation method remains the same. The following formula must be less than 1: (1/Best odds for player 1 to win) + (1/Best odds for player 2 to win). You must then bet 100€ X (1/Best odds for Player 1 to win) and 100€ X (1/Best odds for Player 2 to win).
Watch out! There is nevertheless a flaw in Surebet. If the bookmakers offering the odds you play in your Sure Bet do not have the same rules, there may be danger. This is particularly the case in tennis: when a player quits, one bookmaker can cancel the bet while the other will validate it. So make sure you read each other’s rules before you start betting in a Surebet.
What happens at the end of the surebet?
Surebet existed before the online betting market opened in 2010. Since then, it has been almost impossible to find Surebet because the operators’ odds have become too low and the State only allows a limited number of online betting sites on the market, those it considers reliable. Surebet could be introduced again in the coming years if the Arjel (Online Gaming Regulatory Authority) continues its slightly more flexible policy observed in 2012.