Pete Nordsted's betting guide: Calculate your own odds to find value

Professional sports trader and contributor Pete Nordsted continues his new betting guide series with his exclusive analysis and insight on how to turn a profit by punting on football. Mr. Nordsted's three draw strategy in our weekly series Five To Follow earned a 15 point profit last season.

When betting on a football match you have to accept that you are going to have a run of losing bets. You are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you are not going to win every weekend and you should simply be setting yourself the goal of attaining a steady long-term profit.

Knowing that you are going to have your fair share of losers, the only way you are going to achieve this profit is by backing teams whose odds are larger than the actual chance of the team you are betting on winning.

"Before you even consider having a bet your selection must offer value. To achieve this it helps greatly if you can compile and calculate your own odds."

- Pete Nordsted

Below we will be explaining a simple method that you can use to price up a match yourself. It should be remembered that pricing up a match is all down to individual preference. Some people put more emphasis on the form of the last six games than they do on the previous 38 matches.

Pricing up a football match takes a little time to learn. With each match you need to decide how far you’re going to go back, which games (or kinds of games) you think might deserve extra or less emphasis and so on. However, with continued practice you will find that putting in a couple of hours work a week can pay off handsomely.

How to compile your own odds

Let’s look at an easy straightforward example by looking at this weekend’s match between Fulham and Aston Villa. In this instance we will be looking at Fulham’s previous 15 home games and Aston Villas previous 15 away games

Fulham’s last 15 home match form
Won 7 Drawn 5 Lost 3

Aston Villa’s last 15 away match form
Won 3 Drawn 5 Lost 7

I would then suggest the following equation;

To get Fulham’s home price:
You would take Fulham’s seven home wins and add them to Aston Villa’s seven away losses = 14

To get the Draw price:
You would take Fulham’s fie home draws and add them to Aston Villa’s five away draws = 10

To get Aston Villa’s away price:
We would take Fulham’s three home losses and add them to Aston Villa’s three away wins = Six

So then we are left with the following;
Fulham 14
Draw 10
Aston Villa 6

To get the percentage chance we divide each team’s individual score by the 30 matches.

To get Fulham’s percentage you divide 14 by 30 = 46.66%.
To get the Draw percentage you divide 10 by 30 = 33.33%.
To get Aston Villa’s percentage you divide 6 by 30 = 20.00%.

Then to get the odds you simply divide 100 by the percentage figure. So in this case we have;
Fulham 100/46.66 = 2.14
Research | Do your homework on the teams just like a manger would.
Draw 100/33.33 = 3.03
Aston Villa 100/20.00 = 5.00

We have now priced up our match and we have;
•    Fulham at 2.14
•    Draw at 3.03
•    Aston Villa at 5.00

If we then take a look at the odds from a well known bookmaker we see they have priced the game up as follows;

Match Odds: Fulham 2.20 Draw 3.30 Aston Villa 3.40

Fulham are 2.20 (45.45%) and we believe they should be 2.14 (46.72%)
We may now consider betting on them as we believe the Cottagers have more chance of beating the Villains than the bookmakers do with a +1.27% difference between us.

Aston Villa are priced at 3.40 (29.41%) and we have them as a 5.00 (20.00%) chance
We would probably not look to back Aston Villa as we think they stand -9.41% less chance of winning than the bookmakers have them.

The draw is priced at 3.30 (30.30%) and we believe it only offers a 3.00 (33.33%) chance
We may consider the draw as we believe there is +3.03% more chance of this happening.

Now the question here is how much value do we require? Personally, I would not bet on a team unless we find at least 5% value and would not bet on the draw unless there is at least 1% value

Other methods to consider

Now the above is only one method of pricing up a match.
The following is a list of other suggestions you could employ. You may also wish to mix and match.
* For long term you can look at the last 20 home and away matches for each team.
* Short term you may look at the last 10 home and away matches for each team
* How a team has played against similar opposition.
* Check the prices available from the corresponding fixture last season.

You can then assess if either of the teams have improved or deteriorated since the last time they met and price up the match from there. The main thing is to find a method that suits you and which you have complete confidence in and unfortunately that will take some time to master.

Word of warning

If you price up a match and you find that you are receiving excellent value and it seems too good to be true then you need to check the prices and the team news. The manager may be resting players or important stars may be missing though injury.

Or, you could have made a simple mistake in your calculations. Always double-check your figures, facts and team news before placing what you consider to be a value bet.

Pete Nordsted is the co-author of the Premier Football Betting Handbook 2011-12 which has just been released. The follow up to last year's successful book offers a comprehensive guide of the best markets for this season's forthcoming Premier League season and how to profit from them.

The book can be ordered by going to the following link at Harriman House or is available in the Kindle Store at Amazon. For more about his work see Premier Betting.

We have five copies of the Pete Nordsted's Premier Football Betting Handbook 2011-12 to give away in eBook format. To be in with a chance email your name and address to with book competition in the subject box.

Follow Pete Nordsted on