When it comes to betting, understanding the concept of value is one of the most important concepts to get right. The goal of any bettor should be to consistently make bets with positive expected value. This means that you should win more than you lose over the long term, regardless of how often you win or lose individual events.
To find value, you need to bet on teams or outcomes that have a higher probability of winning than the odds available. You can calculate this probability by multiplying the odds of a team or event with its actual or true percentage. The resulting number is the team’s value. In most cases, you will need to bet on the underdog in order to find value.
Another way to find value is by placing bets on spreads. These are bets that even out an uneven match by requiring the favorite to win by a certain amount in order to cover the point spread. These types of bets tend to be more lucrative than straight bets because they are easier to win.
Finally, you can also place bets on totals, which are the over/under lines set by sportsbooks. These bets cover a range of different outcomes, from how many points a team will score to how many total yards a player will gain in a game. By comparing odds from multiple sportsbooks and tracking line movement over time, you can develop an intuitive sense for finding value.