- April 16, 2018
If you would like to regularly profit from esports betting, you must ensure that you get real value from the odds that you bet upon. Speaking realistically, this is the only way that you can ensure a steady and regular income consistently. Those who don’t pick value bets have little chance of success in the long term.
This is the most basic principle of esports betting, and indeed of any form of betting, yet oddly enough, many people who bet on esports don’t quite understand this. You’ll find that even some fairly experienced bettors don’t search for the value bet. Instead, you’ll find them betting on whichever result they feel is the likeliest to occur. This might indeed look logical, but as we’ll explain further here, it is a flawed approach.
The flaw in the strategy…
You’re betting on esports in order to make a profit. If you always bet on the most likely outcome, you might win a considerable percentage of the time, but that doesn’t mean that, taking your wins and losses together, you will actually make a profit.
The mistake that most people make is thinking that betting is all about picking winners.
Betting is, to an extent, about picking winners, but it is also about beating the odds, or picking and choosing matches to bet upon where the odds are considerably in your favour.
If you would like to earn on your bets on a regular basis, you must first thoroughly understand what a value pick is.
And that’s exactly what this article is all about
We’ll tell you all about what a value pick is in the betting industry, and also give you important tips on how to find good value bets. All you have to do is read this article thoroughly, understand the concepts that we’ve put down here, and then apply those concepts in practice. Do this, and you will considerably increase your profits from esports betting.
So, what exactly is a value pick when you bet on esports?
That really is the million dollar question. You know that the odds on esports websites are supposed to reflect what probability a particular team has of winning a match or an event. A value pick is when you realize that a particular team has a much better chance of a win than the odds seem to show.
This can happen in certain circumstances
For example, a certain esports team – let’s say CS:GO’s mousesports – may have won a recent event. However, in the next event the team is off their stride or has a member who is slightly ill. For whatever reason, they aren’t playing optimally. They go up against another team that is slightly lower in the global rankings. Since they are off their stride, the lower ranked team is actually likely to beat them.
Nevertheless, you’ll get extremely high odds on the lower ranked team, because the higher ranked team has recently won a major event. This is what is known as a value pick, where you get excellent odds on a team that is likely to win an event, and so get very much more than your original stake as a return on a successful bet. This sort of value pick betting is the goal of any successful esports bettor.
There’s the concept of negative and positive value
A potential wager has positive value, that is to say, is likely to be very lucrative, when the chance of a team coming through with a win is very much greater than the odds on the bookmaker site suggest.
A bet can also have negative value, in which a team that is likely to lose is getting odds that say it is likely to win. It goes without saying that this latter is something you absolutely want to avoid betting on.
Just to make sure that you understand the concept of value betting perfectly, let’s give you another example.
Just imagine that I’m tossing a coin, and you have the opportunity to bet upon whether that coin comes up heads or tails. This is a good example, because you know that the potential of a coin coming up heads is exactly 50% and that the possibility of it coming up tails is also just about the same.
This means that either outcome is equally likely
Now, what if someone were to offer you odds of 3.00 if the coin came up heads, and odds of 1.50 if the coin came up tails? In simple terms, if you were to bet a hundred dollars on the coin toss, you would win $300 if it came up heads and $150 if it came up tails.
So which way would you bet?
Knowing there was a 50% probability of either outcome, would you really bet on tails, knowing that you would get less? It’s obvious that you would bet on heads without hesitation.
Heads is the value pick here.
Converting decimal odds to a percentage probability
Most gamblers tend to think of the chances of a team winning or losing as a percentage. For example, if you have one top team going up against another, you weigh up all the different factors that might contribute to either team winning or losing, and you might say, within your mind, that such and such a team has a 70% chance of a win. Now, you need to check whether the odds that a betting website is offering are better or worse than the odds that you have calculated.
There is a very simple formula that you can use to covert the decimal odds that most professional esports websites use to a percentage probability.
This is how you do it
Let’s say that, as in the case of our coin toss, each team in an event has a 50% chance of a win. This almost never happens, but just to illustrate our example, let us take it that it is so. Now, you’re getting odds of 3.00 on one team. What you need to do is divide 1 by 3.00 and then multiply that by hundred. This will give you 33.33%. This is the formula…
1/(the decimal odds) x 100 = the percentage probability that the odds represent.
The actual probability of that team winning is 50%, and 50% is higher than 33.33%, which is the percentage implied by the odds, which means that the odds you’re getting on that particular team have positive value.
In short, if the percentage calculated by the odds is less than the percentage chance you believe the team has of winning, the odds have positive value.
Let us take another example, in which you are getting odds of just 1.5 on a team that also has a 50% chance of a win. Let’s do that calculation again. We divide one by 1.5 and multiply the result by hundred. This gives us 66.67%. Since the chance of a team winning is 50%, and the odds are giving us a 66.67% probability, this wager has negative value.
If your actual assessment of the probability of a win is less than the result you get from the odds, then that wager does not have value, or has negative value, and is not worth putting your money on.
Do NOT bet on every match
The key to successful and lucrative betting is not to bet on every match that is a sure win, that is to say, where one strong team is likely to dominate the match, but rather on matches where you see that one team is likely to dominate, and the odds on the match also have a definitely positive value.
Identifying value in a match is therefore a two step process
The first step is where you actually assess, using your knowledge of various esports teams, which team is likely to win in that particular match. The second step – when assessing the possible value of a bet – is to compare your assessed percentage probability of a win with the percentage that the odds represent.
Predicting the outcome of an event
While comparing your prediction with that represented by the odds is easy, correctly assessing the chances of a win or a loss in a particular match is not that easy. Many esports events can be quite unpredictable, and very often even a top ranking team will lose to a much lower ranked one. Many things influence how a team plays in an event, not least of these being the fact that the team is made up of human beings, and human beings can become sick, or simply be off their stride on certain days.
In an esport like CS:GO, where a team is made of just a few members, if one of them is off their stride, it can affect the tactics and success of the entire team, and ensure a loss where there should have been a win.
It’s not an exact science
Predicting the outcome of an esport match is not a science, but is actually much closer to an art. You must have up to date knowledge on each team, and especially pay close attention to all the recent matches they have played to see whether they are playing true to form, or whether they’re off their stride.
The opposite may also apply at times
Sometimes a team that has regularly been playing badly over the previous year will make a change in their roster, or experiment with new tactics, and suddenly begin to do extremely well. This is exactly the sort of situation you’re looking for, because if you notice that a team has considerably improved their play before the rest of the esports community does, you’re likely to get very good odds on that team in the immediate upcoming matches, and those matches are likely to yield a lot of positive value in the bets you make.
You will notice that many matches on esports bookmaker sites do not give you positive value
For example, let’s say two teams are facing each other, and you calculate that both these teams are more or less equal (always a bad situation for the esports bettor). Let’s say that we calculate that one of these teams has a 57.8% chance of a win, while the other one has a 55% chance of the same. Those probabilities are more or less equal. Now let’s say that one team is getting odds of 1.73, while the second team is getting odds of 2.10.
Let’s calculate the actual value of those odds. If you calculate the value of those odds using the formula that we described earlier, you’ll see that the team with odds of 2.10 is getting a value of just about 47.62%, while the other team is getting a value of 57.8%, both of which are lower than their chances of victory. This means that there is no positive value in this match. If you come upon matches like these, and you will come upon many, you must avoid the match and wait to put your money on a match that really does have positive value.
So how do you find high value picks?
One of the first things that you should do when you’re searching for high value picks in esports is always bet on esports that you are familiar with, and preferably games that you have played yourself. When you bet upon an esport that you’re that familiar with, you better understand the complex play that goes on when two top pro-teams clash, and you can better estimate which team actually has the edge.
The second thing that you have to do is to take into account all the complex factors that go into a match. Is one team flying in from a considerable distance away just before the event, and will they be fatigued by their journey just before the match? Is the match a five match series, and does one team tend to have much more endurance than the other? These are the sort of factors that you must take into account, along with injuries to a team member, illness and other things of the sort.
A recent roster change can cut either way in determining the success or otherwise of a team
After a new roster change, even if the roster change has a positive effect, there will be a breaking in period where the new player gets used to the rest of the team, and vice versa. During this time, the form of the team can actually be considerably degraded, but if the player ultimately works out, the team can then bounce back to dominate events. These are the sort of things you need to think about when you assess what percentage of a chance a particular team has of winning a particular match. If you’d like help with this, Esportsranks analysts regularly publish match predictions featuring high value odds, usually with news of roster changes and team form to back those up.
Make your assessments before you look at the odds
One very crucial thing that you must do is to make your assessment of a match, and of the chances of each team participating, without looking at any odds put out by bookmakers. We are all human, and we tend to be influenced by others. If you look at different odds before you make your judgements, there is a good chance that your judgements will, perhaps even subconsciously, be guided by the odds you’re looking at.
This will skew your judgements, and they could well turn out wrong
So make your own judgement beforehand, and only then should you use that to assess the odds that bookmakers are offering. One common mistake that bettors often make is to sometimes ignore the team most likely to win an event, and upon which bookmakers are offering low odds.
If the odds are still reasonably high, say 1.31, you should still use the formula we’ve mentioned to assess the potential positive value of betting on that team.
You will often find that odds of 1.51, with a hundred percent probability of a win, could very well offer positive value and be worth betting on. My point is that you should always check the potential positive or negative value of both the teams in a match that you’re interested in betting on using the formula and then bet on the one you choose with this data in hand.
Compare the betting odds different bookmakers offer
Finally, don’t forget to look at different sites and compare the odds you’re getting on different sites. Each esports bookmaker employs a different team of analysts, and their odds tend to be different in just about every case.
By shopping around, you can then place your bet on the site that is offering you the most positive value on the bet that you wish to make. You might think at first that a few points in the odds are not important, but trust us, every little thing adds up in the long run, and it is well worth your while to spend a little time looking for the most positive value on your bet before making it.
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