Value Betting vs Arbitrage Betting: Which Strategy is Right For You?

by | 30 Apr 2022

In the world of sports betting, two popular strategies stand out: arbitrage betting and value betting. While you can definitely use both strategies to your advantage, you’ll quickly find that, depending on your preferences and risk tolerance, one strategy might be more attractive than the other.

In this article, we’ll dive right in on the key differences between these two betting strategies, while highlighting each of their advantages and drawbacks to help you decide which betting strategy is for you.

Value Betting

Value betting is a strategy where bettors try to identify bets where the odds offered by bookies are lower than the actual probability of the outcome happening. 

This means the bettor looks for bets where they believe the bookies have undervalued an outcome, providing an opportunity for long-term profits. Let’s take a look at an example of value betting.

Say Team A and Team B are set to play a big soccer match. Bookies have set the odds for Team A to win at 2.00. 

After doing some light research, you quickly assess that Team A’s odds are actually at 1.50. You realize that the bookies have undervalued Team A’s chances, and you make a decision to place a $10 bet on them at 2.00. Sure enough, Team A wins and you get a payout of $20. 

What you’ve just done here is called value betting. When you find that a bet is worth more than its actual price, then that gives you an edge over the bookie.

Value betting requires the bettor to assess the true probability of an outcome and seek bets with favourable odds. Unlike arbitrage betting, value betting does carry some level of risk, as the outcome of the event is uncertain and relies on the bettor’s own assessment of the probability. 

That’s why it’s important to find those undervalued bets to make informed betting decisions, ensuring that you come out on top!

Related: What Is Value Betting | Types & Sports

Arbitrage Betting

If you’re not too keen on the possible riskiness that value betting entails, you can also try out arbitrage betting. This kind of strategy involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of a game across different bookmakers to guarantee a profit. This strategy is also known as an arb or a sure bet. 

Let’s return to our earlier example, only this time, you don’t go with value betting. Instead, you might bet $10 on Team A to win with Bookie A and $10 on Team B to win with Bookie B. You do this after finding out that Bookies A and B have different odds for the same game. By taking advantage of discrepancies in odds offered by different bookmakers, you can lock in a profit regardless of the outcome of the event.

The main advantage of arbitrage betting is the reduced risk involved. Profits are guaranteed when executed correctly, and you don’t have to worry about the outcome of the game, unlike in value betting.

However, finding suitable arbitrage opportunities can be time-consuming and require quick action to capitalize on the discrepancies in odds.

As with any form of sports betting, there are risks associated with arbitrage betting, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest odds, research the teams or players involved, and assess the risks accordingly.

Related: Statistical Arbitrage vs Matched Betting

Conclusion

Arbitrage betting and value betting are both legitimate strategies for when you’re just breaking into the betting scene. When choosing which strategy to take, it’s important to be mindful of your personal preference and risk tolerance. 

Arbitrage betting is more about risk reduction and quick execution, while value betting involves assessing the true probability of an outcome and seeking long-term profitability.

If you prefer to steer clear of risks and want to take advantage of opportunities for guaranteed profits, arbitrage betting might be the right strategy for you. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to find undervalued bets, and willing to work up an appetite for risk, then value betting might be a better choice.

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