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Positive EV Betting: Walking Through an Example

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

Sports betting can be overwhelming at first, especially once you start to dive into sports betting math & formulas.

Believe me, I know that profitable betting strategy can be intimidating at first… It took me 20 minutes to click “Place bet” for the first time – I was that nervous.

Anyways, I’m not a writer nor an editor – I wrote this article during Happy Hour. Regardless, I hope it helps you become more profitable!

How to Find & Place Profitable (e.g. Positive EV) Sports Bets

Well, let’s take a step back…

The first question is: “Why should you want to bet Positive EV?”

The answer is simple: make money.

Positive EV betting is very simple. It’s all about finding value. There’s no BS. The sportsbook business model is to charge 4-10% “vig” (e.g. juice) on every wager a bettor places.

If you’re confused about how to interpret the vig, then think about it like this… Imagine you’re able to buy “10 dollar bills” for $9.60 or sell them for $10.40. Seems pretty good… You’re charging an $0.80 spread on a 10 dollar bill.

And this is exactly how sportsbooks make money! They charge a “spread” on all wagers.

However….It is still possible to make big profits sports betting.

The reason making money sports betting is so simple is because sportsbooks have different odds from one another.

NFL Odds

As seen in the screenshot above, the Dolphins are -165 on BetMGM sportsbook and -180 on Unibet sportsbook. That’s a big difference over the course of the long run…

Since sportsbooks set lines independently, we’re always looking for those rare, few betting opportunities where we can find plays that ‘beat’ the vig/juice. If we do that, then we have a Positive EV bet (e.g. a mathematically profitable wager).

Step 1: Set Up Your Positive EV Filters

Now, let’s get into Positive EV betting… It’s go time!

First, you’re going to need to set up your Positive EV filters.

OddsJam automatically detects the location you are betting from. Thus, if you’re in Arizona, then OddsJam will only show you profitable bets for sportsbooks that are legal in Arizona.

OddsJam Positive EV Filters

However, as seen in the screenshot above, you can still add filters to OddsJam. Maybe you only want to bet on the NFL. Or maybe you only want to see bets on FanDuel sportsbook for a specific promo that FanDuel is running. OddsJam is fully customizable. We can add in filters for anything you want! If you have suggestions, then email us – [email protected].

For the most part, I keep all sports and leagues selected. The only two filters I add are:

  • Min/Max Odds: I typically set this at +200
  • Sportsbooks: I filter for just the books I have access to / am not limited on.

Step 2: Find a Bet You Like

Next, just find a bet you like. It’s really that simple. The Positive EV wager is bolded and has a circle around it. In the screenshot below, Journey Newson moneyline at +210 odds on FanDuel is the play we want to be on.

UFC Pick from OddsJam

OddsJam automatically sorts bets by profit margin. For the filters I have set up, Journey Newson moneyline at +210 odds is the most profitable bet available in the market. OddsJam is scanning 1,000,000+ odds every second to show you these rare, few plays where sportsbooks are slipping up.

Step 3: Move Fast and Place Your Bet

Next, just place your bet. You need to move fast, as explained in this tutorial video.

Sharp sports betting is like day trading – great lines do NOT last forever… You need to move fast and know how to navigate the sportsbooks.

Betting Limits on FanDuel

As seen in the image above, FanDuel gave me a max wager of $95.20 on this play. I wanted to bet $500, but “max wager” betting limits are just part of the game. Even though this play is highly profitable, I have a capped bet size.

Regardless, I locked it in! My betslip from FanDuel is below.

UFC Bet on FanDuel

Step 4: Deal with Variance & Watch Your Profits Stack Up!

The “Percent” column on OddsJam just means “profit margin.” This is also referred to as “edge” in sports betting.

My wager on Journey Newson moneyline has a 2.32% profit margin or edge.

Bet with 2.32% edge

Since I bet $95.20 on this play, the profit margin of my bet (in dollars) is $95.20 x 2.32% = $2.21. In other words, my bet is “worth” $2.21 based on the fact that I’m getting +210 odds on this play.

Is this play still “worth” $2.21 in profit margin if I bet it at +200? No….

Everything is contingent on the price….

In the same way you’d want to buy a “10 dollar bill” for $9.60 and not $10.40, we want this bet at +210 odds, as +210 is Positive EV (e.g. profitable), but we would not want to place this bet at +180 odds, as an example.


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