How to Calculate Expected Value in soccer Betting

Calculate Expected Value in soccer Betting

When you buy anything, you expect it to return it some value. The same holds true for soccer betting too. While staking money on any bet, you expect it to return you an edge. This edge helps you stay in the business as you win more amount than what the betting odds suggest. Value in betting arises when the bookmakers have given more odds to an event than deserved. Thus, the bettor gets the return value from the amount invested.

Technically speaking, expected value is a figure that tells what to expect or lose when you choose to repeatedly bet on the same possibility over the time. The expected value can have both the positive and negative values. A successful bettor is the one that nets the positive expected value most of the times while betting.

Formula for calculating expected value

formula for calculating expected value

The formula you can use to calculate expected value is:

Expected Value = (Amount won per bet x probability of winning) – (Amount lost per bet x probability of losing)

It holds true when the betting system is working fairly.

The expected value can be best understood with the help of a coin toss. It is a situation where the probability of occurrence of both the head and tail is same, that is one. Thus, in terms of odds, the chance is calculated as 2.00 (1/1). In this condition, the expected value will be zero. As a bettor, you will win nothing from this situation as the repeated tossing will not deliver any value and all results will be nullified against each other.

The value is generated when an odds maker proposes the odds as 2.15(23/20) for both the instances of flipping the coin. Here, the expected value is found to be: (11.50 X 0.5) – (10 X 0.5) = 0.75. So, you will win 0.75 plus the stake amount every time you win the bet.

Expected value can also be found using true odds. The equation is:

Expected Value = (Odds/True odds) – 1

So, if an event is given an odd of 2.5 and the true odd is 2, the expected value for this bet will turn out to be = (2.5/2) – 1 = 0.25. Thus, if you bet $1 on any bet, you are likely to win $0.25 on every dollar spent as suggested by the expected value.

What does negative Expected Value in soccer betting mean?

negative Expected Value

The negative expected value occurs when the true odds are more than the assigned odds. The bettors may assume that negative expected value may mean that they will land up making a loss if they go for the bet. However, it is not the case always. The expected values are dependent on odds and the odds are subjected values. They are not dependent on a single criteria.

In FIFA world cup 2022, Qatar was given a comparatively low odd than deserved considering its position as the host country. But, only the factor of being a host country cannot define the outcome of a bet. There are conditions like weather, fitness, player squad composition, history and other factors that rule the outcome of any bet. So, assigned value to an odd was less than the actual odd.  In such a situation, the player always has the scope for winning the bet per event even if the expected value comes out to be negative.

Importance of Expected Value in soccer betting

Expected value in soccer betting

To get an edge over other bettors and to win against the bookmakers sometimes, the bettors consider expected value before making a decision. Though it is not a final criterion, it is still worth the consideration in many cases.

Some bettors may make a mistake of doing the last-minute research and sift through the numbers in the hope of spotting a value in the odd. However, to get the best benefit from the expected value, the seasoned bettors start evaluating the odds as early as possible and try to spot it. The knowledge of football game and historical analysis along with other factors help the bettors understand if the odd is over or under-valued.

Fee or vig (vigor) changes the odd value too

fee or vig changes the odd value

Sports bookies charge a fee of approx. 5 per cent on every bet placed. This factor also changes the odds. For example, due to this factor, for the teams that have 50% each chance to win, the lines are set -110 in place of +100. In such a scenario, the bettors have to win approx. 52-53% of their bets to stay in the game.

Due to this vigor factor, the combined percentage of negative and positive odds does not equal 100. In a coin toss situation, the vigor changes the odd from 50% to 52,38%, which requires bettors to plan their winning streak to stay on the positive side.

Is it really possible to calculate accurate expected value?

calculate accurate

Actually, it is not! Had the positive expected value been the only criterion, the bettors would have not faced any problem making money from the betting activity.

But this is not the case. Expected value is quite a subjective factor. With growing experience, the bettors build their own algorithms, and follow news and insights and the team performance pattern and arrive upon a probable outcome. They apply all their knowledge of player performance, weather and field conditions, crowd sentiment and other factors and prepare odds. The bookies have an edge over the bettors owing to the availability of better information pool at their end and that helps them outperform the expected value in a majority of cases.

Thus, the expected value for an average bettor is no more than a calculated guess. The bettors need to be thorough with their analysis to make good from this statistic.

To conclude,

The sources like can help understand if the odd is under-valued or over-valued. With the help of information available here and the expected value parameter, the bettors can create for themselves bright chances of winning at sports betting. Thus, learn to calculate expected value, maintain a good record of all match statistics and keep a close eye on all other parameters of a football match. All this can help you have more wins in your kitty.