Football Strategy That Always Beats the Bookies

The world of sports betting is ever-evolving, with strategies like arbitrage betting and positive EV (Expected Value) betting gaining traction among savvy punters. While traditional arbitrage offers a risk-free approach, the rise of positive EV betting presents a more profitable alternative that harnesses mispriced odds and promotional offers. This strategy not only challenges the odds set by bookmakers but promises higher returns over time at UK betting companies not on Gamstop.

Understanding Positive EV Betting

Positive EV betting hinges on the concept of expected value, a term borrowed from finance and probability theory. It measures the potential return of a bet, accounting for all possible outcomes. In essence, a bet is considered a positive EV if the potential profit outweighs the risk, factoring in the accurate probabilities of events occurring.

The calculation is straightforward: multiply the potential payoff of an event by the probability of its occurrence. If this figure exceeds the stake, the bet holds a positive expected value. This strategy pivots on finding bets where bookmakers have set the odds too high relative to the true likelihood of the event, thus providing an edge to the bettor.

Case Study: The Edge of Positive EV Over Arbitrage

Consider a hypothetical football match between Norwich and Manchester United, where a bookmaker offers odds of 1.42 for a Manchester United win. Here’s how the calculations break down:

  • Probability of Manchester United winning: Assumed at 70%
  • Probability of a draw or loss: 30%
  • Potential profit if Manchester United wins: 42p (per £1 staked)
  • Loss if Manchester United does not win: £1

The expected value (EV) calculation would be: EV=(0.70×£0.42)+(0.30×−£1)=£0.294−£0.30=−£0.006EV=(0.70×£0.42)+(0.30×−£1)=£0.294−£0.30=−£0.006

This example illustrates a negative EV, typical of most bookmaker odds, which are skewed to ensure profit margins. Positive EV betting involves finding and exploiting those rare instances where the EV turns positive due to mispricing or promotional boosts.

Comparing Strategies: Positive EV vs Arbitrage Betting

The essence of arbitrage betting is to place multiple bets across different outcomes to lock in a guaranteed profit regardless of the event result. It’s considered a low-risk strategy but often yields minimal returns. Conversely, positive EV betting involves taking calculated risks for potentially higher profits. Here’s how the strategies compare:

Profit Potential

  • Arbitrage: Consistently small, guaranteed returns.
  • Positive EV: Higher potential profits, reliant on the correct valuation of mispriced odds.

Risk Profile

  • Arbitrage: Minimal risk as it covers all outcomes.
  • Positive EV: Higher risk, as bets are placed on mispriced odds that may not always materialize as wins.

Time and Effort

  • Arbitrage: Requires extensive time to find perfectly balanced odds across multiple bookmakers.
  • Positive EV: Less time-consuming as the focus is on identifying mispriced single bets.

Real-World Applications and Tools

For bettors keen on applying positive EV strategies, tools like odds comparison sites become invaluable. These platforms aggregate data from various bookmakers, highlighting mispriced odds and calculating the EV for potential bets. By using such tools, bettors can streamline their process, focusing on high-value bets rather than scouring through endless bookmaker sites.

The Long-Term View: Law of Large Numbers

The true strength of positive EV betting unfolds over time. According to the law of large numbers, the more bets placed, the closer the actual results will align with the expected outcomes. This statistical principle assures that while short-term losses may occur, long-term betting results should reflect the calculated EV, culminating in probable profits for the disciplined bettor.


In the strategic battleground against bookmakers, positive EV betting emerges as a formidable contender, offering the potential for higher profits through astute mathematical calculations. While it carries more risk than arbitrage betting, its long-term profit prospects make it an attractive strategy for those willing to embrace its calculated approach. As with any betting strategy, success hinges on disciplined application and a deep understanding of market dynamics.

FAQ on Positive EV Betting

What is Positive EV betting?

Positive EV betting refers to a strategy in sports betting where the bettor places bets on outcomes where the expected value (EV) is positive. This means that the mathematical calculation of the potential profit, multiplied by the probability of the event occurring, exceeds the loss multiplied by the likelihood of it not occurring. This strategy focuses on exploiting mispriced odds and promotional offers from bookmakers to achieve higher returns over time.

How does Positive EV betting differ from arbitrage betting?

Positive EV betting differs significantly from arbitrage betting in terms of risk and profit potential. While arbitrage betting involves placing multiple bets on all possible outcomes of an event to guarantee a small, risk-free profit, Positive EV betting involves taking calculated risks on mispriced odds for potentially higher gains. Arbitrage betting ensures small, consistent returns with minimal risk, whereas Positive EV betting offers the possibility of larger profits at a higher risk.

What is the expected value of betting?

In betting, expected value (EV) is a calculation that combines the probabilities of various outcomes with the potential winnings or losses associated with those outcomes. It essentially represents the average amount one can expect to win or lose per bet if the same bet was placed multiple times. A positive EV indicates a profitable bet over the long term, while a negative EV suggests a loss.

How to calculate the EV of a bet?

To calculate the EV of a bet, you multiply the probability of each outcome by the amount you would win or lose if that outcome occurred and then sum these values. For instance, if betting £1 on an event with a 50% chance to win £2 and a 50% chance to lose the £1 wager, the EV is calculated as follows: EV=(0.5×£2)+(0.5×−£1)=£1−£0.5=£0.5EV=(0.5×£2)+(0.5×−£1)=£1−£0.5=£0.5 This means, on average, you expect to make 50p per bet.

What tools can assist me in Positive EV betting?

Several online tools and platforms can aid bettors in applying Positive EV strategies effectively. Odds comparison sites are particularly useful as they gather and compare odds from various bookmakers, highlighting those that are mispriced. These tools can also calculate the EV for different bets, helping to identify the most promising opportunities without the need to manually assess each option.

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