The short answer

Betting odds are nothing more than the market prices of bets. A value bet is a bet whose odds have a probability higher than the real probability of it happening.

So, a value situation is where the odds offered from a bookmaker reflect a probability that is less than the actual probability of that outcome occurring, which basically means that odds are wrong in your favor.

More in details

Let's consider the example of a (fair) coin toss: there are two possible outcomes, equally probable, as the coin either lands on heads or on tails with a 50% probability. Using this probability to calculate the odds would give us a decimal price of 2.00 for heads and 2.00 for tails (in fact 100/50 = 2.00).

So let's say we have two bookmakers.

*Bookmaker X*is offering odds of 1.90 on heads, while*Bookmaker Y*is offering odds of 2.10.

We can calculate the value this way:**(Probability * decimal odds) - 100%**

So let's look at *Bookmaker X.*

- He is offering us 1.90.

**We calculate the value**:

(50% multiplied by 1.90) - 100% = -5%

At -5%, *Bookmaker X* is offering us less than true chance. This is not a bet we would want to take. **It is not a value situation!**

Instead, let's look at *Bookmaker Y.*

- He is offering us 2.10.

**Let's calculate the value:**

(50% multiplied by 2.10) - 100% = 5%

*Bookmaker Y* is offering us 5% value to bet on heads in a coin toss. We would take this situation, as it is indeed a value opportunity.

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