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How to Keep Your Expected Value Bets Positive?

Find Positive Expected Value Bets with PromoGuy

Positive EV betting isn’t widely known in the betting industry — at least not where betting is purely for entertainment. However, would it stay that way if you could get a proven ROI of 30%+?

There is a lot that PromoGuy has to teach you about expected value betting, especially positive expected value betting and how you can find profitable bets for you. This mathematically-based betting tool can help you identify bets worth placing and boost your bankroll. Join us for a quick run-through on positive EV betting.

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Positive EV & sports betting — here’s what you need to know

Knowing the difference between positive and negative EVs is crucial if you’re interested in EV sports betting. A positive expected value (+EV) implies profit over time, while a negative value (-EV) implies a loss over time. So, to begin with, you need to look for a bet that’s going to give you a head-start like a value bet.

Value Bets

Is value betting profitable? Finding value bets means looking for those opportunities where sportsbooks offer higher odds than expected in a market or on a sport offered on a sports betting platform. The easiest way to do this is to try and find an area where it looks like the sportsbook didn’t quite do its homework and calculate the EV to see if it’s positive. This may be an easy spot-check for a more experienced sports bettor, but we’ll go into some tips if you’ve only recently started your sports betting journey.

Here are some essential things to consider when looking for a real value bet and putting it in perspective:

  • A positive/+EV bet does not always mean you’ll win money from the wager. A good example is a positive EV on an underdog team. The EV indicates whether the bet is of a high value or not, but the game still needs to be played, and the bet still needs to be won for the bettor to cash in.
  • In the same breath, a negative/ -EV bet isn’t always guaranteed to be a loss. It’s crucial to understand that EV indicates the value of the bet and not whether the bet is going to be successful. If you understand EV in this context, it can help you find value bets and remain successful with your sports betting endeavors.
  • Mathematically or critically analyzing an event of chance has its risks. For example, one would expect that wagering on a heavy favorite would mostly turn out  +EV. However, even if it turns out -EV, that doesn’t mean that the team will lose the game. EV is simply a calculation of the bet’s value based on specific, relevant components.
  • Low odds can still equate to a positive EV. All you need to know here is that if the odds are low but the EV is positive, you’re not going to be rolling in cash if you win.
  • To win money, you, the sports bettor, need to outsmart the bookmaker, and fundamentally, that’s what it comes down to. If you can do this, you can make a profit from sports betting. By firstly understanding positive EV and secondly using the information wisely, you can begin to achieve results.

Calculations, calculations! How to find a positive EV

Let’s look at calculating EV

The formula to calculate EV for betting is relatively simple if you don’t have an expected value betting calculator nearby:

  • (Amount won per bet x probability of winning) – (Amount lost per bet x probability of losing) = EV

Let’s use the basic coin toss as an example of calculating EV in sports betting. In a fair coin toss, each outcome, whether it’s heads or tails, has an equal probability of 50%. Therefore, the odds would be +100.

If, however, you were suddenly offered odds of +115 for the coin landing on tails, you have a value bet. Now, you can also find out what the EV is:

If you placed $10 on the coin landing on tails at +115, the EV is calculated in a similar fashion:

  • (11.50 X 0.5) – (10 X 0.5) = 0.75

This result shows an EV of 0.75. Thus, you would expect to make an average profit of 75 cents for each $10 bet. The reason is that the odds of +115 are better than the implied odds of the coin toss.

Top tips for Positive EV sports betting

When you think about sports betting, it kind of swings in the direction of entertainment and fun, and thinking about it as a calculated method or raking in extra cash is not very common. That’s because many sports bettors start betting because of the sports and their love for sports, a specific sport, or even a team in some cases.

For many, sports betting is a fun activity that runs on thrills and emotions like gut feelings, the mood you’re in when making your wagering choices, and all the festivities that go with sports that put you into that happy-go-lucky mood.

But, if you think about it, this cannot be a winning formula if you want to make money from sports betting. So, let’s look at sports betting and how to use your EV knowledge wisely from a more objective perspective and for long-term success.

Rule #1: Don’t bet on your favorite team as a rule

Here’s where you have to start deciding whether you’re going to ace your next bet by betting with your mind or whether you are just going to have fun by betting based on emotions. If you want to bet prudently, you won’t bet for your favorite team if the positive expected value isn’t there to support your decision. If you want to be a successful bettor, then there should be a time to bet and a time to enjoy sport, but don’t let the one influence the other to the extent that you lose your critical thinking ability. When you bet, your favorite team should be the one that’s going to get the profit in your account.

You know how you feel about your own team and the reasons behind it that propel you to bet on them? Well, the same goes for teams that are considered favorites by the general public. The general public can have a plethora of reasons why they like a specific team or have a favorite, but that is not necessarily going to help you place a winning bet.

The same can be said for leagues, too.

Here, we see the psychology behind betting that most often leads to a wagering disadvantage coming to the forefront: our emotional connection with certain sports, our loyalty towards specific teams, and how following the masses can lead to a loss. We know it, and you know it, but let’s say it anyway: just because a team is a favorite among the general public doesn’t mean you’re going to betray them if you wager to make a profit.

On top of this, public support has its downsides for teams and leagues. Usually, the massive handle on these teams or leagues forces sportsbooks to shade lines toward their opponents, which creates a potential positive EV opportunity on high-profile teams.

Rule #3: Do some window shopping

When you want to get the best value for money, do you walk into the first store you encounter and purchase everything on your grocery list there, or do you do some price-checks at several outlets? A +EV bettor is willing to invest in what appears to be minor “price differences” because they know these go a long way in terms of long-term value.

Every single percentage point that makes a difference between the lines at two different sportsbooks is essential to a seasoned +EV bettor because they know how this will benefit them in the long term.

Don’t be shy about shopping around if you’re serious about finding the +EV bets.

Rule #4: You don’t always have to make a bet.

Sometimes not making a bet is the better choice. As you stare at the lines of the favorites and the underdogs with sweat dripping down your face, you feel the urge to place a bet because that’s what you intended to do. However, you’re not getting any good feedback from what you’re seeing as there is no real positive expected value that’s up to your standard.

Should you risk it? The reason for using positive EV is to stop relying on risk, so if you don’t see what you want to see, don’t place a bet. It may feel like someone rained on your parade, while actually, you won this one.


In the end, profitable sports betting is about discipline, clear thinking, critical thinking, and applying valuable tools to distinguish the profitable from the non-profitable in the long run. If you find this an attractive notion, then learning more about and using positive EV betting is definitely for you. Sportsbooks will usually have the advantage, but nothing feels better than outsmarting a sportsbook with positive EV betting.


Positive EV betting FAQ 

💸Is value betting profitable?

Value betting is a way of betting smart and avoiding unnecessary losses. If you want to know more about value betting and positive EV betting, take a look at our range of articles discussing EV.

❔When is expected value considered positive?

Expected value is a great way to assess whether a bet is worth placing or not, especially if you can identify positive expected value. We provide a complete explanation in our guide and discussion about positive EV and betting.

🔍How do I calculate EV?

To calculate EV, you need to use a specific formula. This may sound complicated, but once you see for yourself how it works, you’ll get it immediately. Check out our EV guide on to learn more.

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