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Probability and expected value calculations are some basics every professional and advanced sports bettor should be aware of. Only if you know how to calculate the expected value of a bet you will know if you should be betting or not.
Check our guide to find out everything about calculating expected value in sports betting.
The expected value (EV) shows you how much you can expect to win on average per bet. Many profession bettors consider it the most important calculation in sports betting. It is crucial to know the expected value of a bet when comparing odds. It will help you to calculate and predict your winnings.
In order to find out the correct EV of a bet, you need to multiply the probability of winning with the amount you could win per bet. Then you subtract the probability of losing multiplied by the amount you lose per bet.
The Expected Value Calculation formula looks like this:
In our example we will be using decimal odds to make it easier to calculate.
AC Milan is playing against Universitatea Craiova and the odds are:
If you decide to bet $10 on Craiova you would end up with potential winnings of $10×8.50= $75 net winnings. The probability of that event to happen are 1/8.50=0.1176= 11.7%
The probability of that event not happening is the sum of Milan winning and a draw, combined: 1/1.35 + 1/4.50 = 0.96. The amount you would lose per bet is your initial bet which is $10 in this case.
Now we calculate the expected value of this bet:
(0.1176 x $75) – (0.96 x $10) = -$0.78
The EV for this $10 bet on Craiova is negative as you can see. That means that you are going to win a total of $0.78 for every $10 you stake.
Even though the expected value of a bet is negative, it doesn’t mean that you are going to lose money automatically. Due to the fact that sports betting is a subjective topic, you can win by being smarter than a bookie.
By calculating the probabilities you can learn how to find bets with positive EV. These bets obviously offer you the best chances of winning.
EV calculating allows you to figure out which probabilities a bookmaker is working with.
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