Calculating the Expected Value (EV) on Your Sports Bet

by | 10 May 2024

When making your first few bets, it’s natural to want to be as cautious and meticulous as possible to avoid losses. The best thing to do when starting is to study the basics of sports betting by looking at different guides on how to bet smart, which should include how to anticipate the possible value of a game outcome.


Understanding expected values in betting


Expected Value (EV) is a statistical concept that allows bettors to assess the potential profitability of their bets. With EV, you no longer have to rely solely on intuition or hunches when placing bets. Instead, you can use concrete numeric formulas to realistically assess the value of your bets.


Calculating expected values


Finding your bet’s Expected Value is a straightforward process, involving two key components: the probability of an outcome and the potential payout. The formula is as follows:


EV = (Probability of Winning) x (Potential Payout) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount Staked)


Determining the probability of winning requires a deep analysis of various factors, including team statistics, player performance, weather conditions, and other relevant variables. When you have access to this information, you can assign a probability to each possible outcome.


Next, consider the potential payout. This involves carefully assessing the odds provided by bookmakers. The higher the odds, the greater the potential payout in the event of a win.


By plugging these numbers into the EV formula, you obtain a numeric representation of the value of your wager. A positive EV indicates that the bet carries value, while a negative EV suggests that the bet might not be worth pursuing.


Embrace the power of positive values


Positive Expected Value holds the key to long-term success in sports betting. When you consistently identify bets with positive EV, you ensure that your wagers have an edge over the long run, leading to a betting journey that yields results.


However, it’s important to remember that EV serves as a guide and doesn’t guarantee immediate wins. In the short term, you may encounter losses even with positive EV wagers. Nevertheless, by sticking to positive EV bets and maintaining a strategic approach, you set yourself up for consistent success over time.


Sample calculation:


Imagine a basketball game between two teams, Team A and Team B, with Team A having a 60% probability of winning, and the bookmakers offer odds of 2.5 for Team A’s victory. If you decide to stake $100 on Team A, the EV calculation would be:


EV = (0.60) x ($100 x 2.5) – (0.40) x $100

EV = $150 – $40

EV = $110


With a positive EV of $110, this hypothetical bet carries incredible value, suggesting the potential for it to be profitable for you.

Looking for a online calculator? There’s one right here.


Enhance your betting results with EVs


Learning how to eye for EVs is a game-changer for sports bettors, providing a systematic approach to betting rather than merely betting on instinct. Once working out an outcome’s value comes naturally to you, you set yourself up for consistent results!


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