The Secret to Sports Betting – Part 3

The Secret to Sports Betting – Part 3

Analysis, percentage setting and value betting!
The secret to sports betting started the previous two weeks with a review of my ten betting 
rules. In the secret to sports betting part one, we talked about the importance of having a separate gambling budget so 
that the betting does not go beyond the household money. In addition, we began to accept that 
all matches can end with home win, draw or away win and that you must never bet with your 
heart. Finally, I warned against combining many objects on one coupon and made a strong 
recommendation to always bet where you get the best odds.
In the secret to sports betting part two last week, I discussed having knowledge of what you are betting on as well as 
specializing in something, not listening to “experts” who cannot show results, taking breaks in 
betting when necessary and the importance of keeping accounts. Today I will look at how to 
find the matches you want to bet on before we put them into systems in the last part next 

The 10 basic rules

1) Only bet for money you can afford to lose 
2) Realize that all matches can end with home, draw or away win 
3) Place your bets where you get the best offers 
4) Don’t make judgement based on your team preferences 
5) The fewer games on each coupon, the better 
6) Have knowledge about what you are betting on 
7) Only listen to experts who can prove they are worth listening to 
8) It is allowed to take a break 
9) Specialize in something not everyone knows everything about 
10) Do the accounting on all bets placed 

Analyse the match!

Odds betting is mathematics and to find out whether you should bet home, draw or away in a 
match it must be set as a percentage. We have previously gone through the rule that ALL 
matches can end with home, draw or away, and this applies now that we have to find out what 
to bet on. “United win guaranteed”, “Liverpool never lose” etc do not belong in the world of 
someone who deals properly with odds betting.
There are many ways to arrive at the percentage of a match, but common to all is that it 
involves a lot of work. But that’s usually how it is with hobbies, time has to be invested to get 
better at something. The Premier League is a league that most people have the strongest relationship with, so I choose to use it as an example here.
In the Premier League, the last five full seasons before covid showed 46 percent of the 
matches ending with a home win, 24 percent with a draw and 30 percent with an away win.
That means that when two exactly equally teams meet, 46-24-30 as your percentage in the 
game is hardly far from the truth. Then it changed with empty stands. In many leagues there 
have been as many, or more, away wins than home wins during the covid period and the 
percentage setting must therefore be adjusted. Those who were early to notice this have made 
very good money as the bookmakers have continued to put the home team as favourite in 
regular matches. However, the secret to sports betting is in a long-term perspective and we 
therefore forget about covid for now.
When you look into a match, you likely have a feeling of how the match might end. It is 
necessary to input this as a percentage. Everything from injuries, quarantines, latest news 
about the teams, latest results, match reports etc should then be checked. Here we are looking 
for information that not everyone else knows. A team that has lost five straight games, but has 
had xG (expected goals) which shows that it should have taken points in four of the games, 
can quickly turn out to be a very good betting object in the next rounds. At the same time, we 
check if there is anything special about the match. Derbies and finals are often more even than 
both the teams’ strength and the bookmaker’s odds suggest. Some teams are chronically 
unstable, some only perform at home and some tend to “always” fail as big favourites. All 
these are things you will notice as you follow closely what you have chosen to specialize in.
An example we use is West Ham against Aston Villa from a random season. We start with the 
basic job for an analysis: 
West Ham with 4-2-3 in the first nine games of the season, but have taken seven points in the 
last three at home including 1-1 against Manchester City. In the previous match, the squad 
was virtually injury-free. Aston Villa got off to a great start to the season with four straight 
wins, but have since lost their last three home games. In the last away game, however, they 
struck again with a 3-0 victory against Arsenal and can thus be placed well in the “chronically 
unstable” category. Ross Barkley was injured last time and thus there is a total of eight men 
who could miss this match. 
We thus ended up with 42-26-32 as our assessment here. However, that does not say whether 
we will play home, draw or away! 

Find the value

To find out what to bet on, we have to return to the world of mathematics. The odds on West 
Ham – Aston Villa were 2.40 – 3.55 – 2.85. We stick to European odds in this guide. 2.40 on 
West Ham would have been presented as 140 in the USA and 7/5 in England, but in any case 
it means that you get EUR 240 back for a EUR 100 bet. But is it West Ham that we are going 
to play at? 
42 percent for the home win gives: 42*2.40=100.8 
26 percent for the draw gives: 26*3.55=92.3 
32 percent for the away win gives: 32*2.85=91.2 
That is to say, if our assessment of the match is 100 percent correct, that West Ham will win 
exactly 42 out of 100 matches at home against Aston Villa, we will get 100.8 euro back for 
every 100 note bet at 2.40 in odds. Draw bets return 92.30 euro and away bets 91.20 euro. It is 
thus the home win that is our bet. It does not mean that West Ham will necessarily win this 
game, but we are not looking for individual wins in the odds betting. We are looking to create 
a profit on the bottom line. And as long as we play for value in each match, the profit will 
come regardless of individual periods! 
But are we 100 percent sure that 42 percent is completely correct? We can get pretty close by 
analysing every game we’ve put percentages on over the last 20 years to see if the home win’s 
put at 42 percent actually won 42 out of 100 times. But for those who are starting out with 
odds betting in a proper way now, it may be good to enter a small margin. For example, 
requiring the value to be at least 105 in the calculation shown earlier. And if the odds had 
been 2.33 – 3.60 – 3.15 at another betting company, we would have got:
42 percent for the home win gives: 42*2.33=97.9 
26 percent for the draw gives: 26*3.60=93.6 
32 percent for the away win gives: 32*2.85=100.8 
On these odds Aston Villa would have been our bet. That’s what we mean by “Realize that 
ALL matches can end with home, draw or away”. We are not locked into playing either. We 
stand by our percentage and it is the odds we are offered that determine whether it will be 
home win, draw or away win as our bet and the value that determines whether we put money 
on it or not. 

Do some extra tests

At the start of the percentage setting, it can also be good to check with the betting companies’ 
odds after you have analysed the match yourself (not before, then your assessment may be 
affected!). 2.40 – 3.55 – 2.85 means that they assess the match as 40-27-33, i.e. very close to 
our assessment.
It is calculated as follows: 
41.67+28.17+35.09 = 104.93 
100/104.93 = 95.30
The betting company therefore takes a 4.70 percent margin on this match. Margins are how 
betting companies make their money. Larger margins make it harder for us to find value as the 
odds are lower. 
Or 40-27-33 converted.
If we assessed a match at 65-20-15 and the betting companies have it as 45-25-30, it is time to 
do some extra checks. The betting companies employ a number of experts who have set 
percentages and odds on matches for a number of years and know very well what they are 
doing. We still find value, otherwise we couldn’t make money on odds betting, but such a big 
difference can only be explained by the fact that we have found out something about the 
match that they don’t know about. If you have, congratulations, you’ve found a great game! 
But in the Premier League everyone knows “everything about everything”, so such a 
difference mostly indicates that the percentage setting of the match should be reviewed once 
That is why we recommended in the secret to sports betting to specialize in something that not 
everyone knows everything about. Simply because it is often easier to find value in Mexico 
than in the Premier League!
In part four, we conclude with how you should put these games into a system.