Value trap indicators

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VidaBlue
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Value trap indicators
« on: October 15, 2019, 02:42:33 PM »

If odds are being offered at bookmakers or exchanges at a very generous price compared to average market opinion, this could indicate either an error or that there is a good reason why someone is daring enough to sell their bets so cheap – they could have access to very exclusive information. If the they are not errors, then from the value bettor’s perspective, these bets are value traps, since actual value is much less than the expected. Falling into many value traps may therefore have a huge negative impact on the performance curve. The phenomenon must always have existed, as it is based upon someone who knows better than the rest, a quite general situation. Nowadays with the increased number of value bettors and bots following fixed rules from value betting services, offering “value traps” may be even more lucrative than ever from the bookmaker’s and trader’s point of view.

Is it possible to identify value traps? Are there some characteristics leading up to the trap, that we can look for?

I think we should brainstorm indicators on value traps. Together, we might get a bit smarter, avoiding some of these traps or maybe even bet against them.
I’ll throw a few speculations into the bucket:

First movers: soft bookmakers are usually offering value, because they are slow to react to sharp’s sudden changes. But what when they are the first to move the odds? I’ve noticed that our national bookmakers sometimes are first movers in certain local leagues where liquidity generally is low but where sharps are still offering bets. A sudden change in their odds creates arbs that stand for some time, only the other side (asians) are continuously correcting the odds, the soft side stands rock solid. Could it be that the local bookie knows best?

No change in asian line: sometimes, if I bet close to the limit in a low liquidity asian line, my bet is what moves the line entirely. In other similar circumstances, the line does not move at all. Could this indicate that the asian does not want the line to be moved? Or is it just me, who is profiled as a sharp in one sport but not in another?

I encourage members to comment on this - why does this make sense? Why not? What are the challenges with such an indicator? What else could it mean? etc… Most of all, I encourage forum members to come up with other speculations as well and the idea of value betting indicators in general. Every idea is welcome, it does not have to be justified and proved - we are merely brainstorming looking through all kinds of possibilities.
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arbusers
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2019, 06:28:33 PM »

There is one delicate point when looking for value traps. This is to identify, when a bookmaker genuinely needs volumes in one leg of the market in order to balance it and minimise its risks, or maximise its profits (within a balanced market).
I would say the vast majority of arbs are a genuine effort to balance the market, or a mistake from their traders. Only a small percentage of arbs is a value trap set by the bookmaker.
The ability to identify the difference between looking for balance and setting a value trap will be obtained after a long period of observation, and probably through trial and error that some times comes with a lot of bleeding.
As I see it, value traps are not set during early lines. Quite the contrary. During early lines all bookmakers are looking at their competitors and especially in Asia to see where the market is. If a bookmaker makes a mistake during early lines, then expect a good generous arb when closing to the event. This is not a value trap, It is a genuine arb.
It is extremely rare to have a value trap in big markets like EPL, Bundesliga and likes. This is because these markets are scanned by thousands, if not millions of analysts, who are looking for the correct price and value. Even the last punter is an analyst, no matter how primitive his analysis is. In these markets, information flow is perfectly surveillanced and monitored.
So where to search for value traps? Search in smaller and suspicious markets, but avoid these well know dirty leagues. Search in times nearing the event. These are the times with the biggest volumes and action. These are the times that a bookmaker will choose to set the value trap.
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VidaBlue
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 11:17:16 AM »

Thank you so much for this answer arbusers.

Although it is unpleasant to dwell at failure, I will continue studying losing streaks to see if I can find something that indicates value traps taking the following into account:
  • bets made close to event start
  • minor leagues
Why do you think it would be wise to avoid well known dirty leagues as you mention? If I identity value traps there with the purpose of benefitting from this, I will be shop betting, so I don't really care about limitation.
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arbusers
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 07:38:47 PM »

The thing with dirty markets is, that they are dirty.
These markets are places where mean people exploit not dirty people.
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VidaBlue
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 11:08:36 PM »

The thing with dirty markets is, that they are dirty.
These markets are places where mean people exploit not dirty people.

When you mentioned "well known dirty leagues" I felt kind of naive, as I have no idea which leagues are dirty and how much betting I have been doing there. The focus has always been exclusively on value, patterns and trends in the data. Maybe I have been winning and been the exploiter or maybe I have lost and been exploited. Shops won't give the answer, as they don't limit or exclude.
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VidaBlue
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2019, 08:10:51 AM »

I have been doing two bets now based on these criteria that we have discussed. In both cases the bookie made a sudden adjustment in two steps before returning to the previous level, a graph that looks like a small staircase. I put bets on the other side at other bookmakers and won in both occasions, but this of course still doesn't prove a point.

What I think MIGHT have occured is explained via the following example: bookie has information on a market that is balanced 1.9/1.9 on each outcome. Bookie has exclusive information on this game and thinks that odds should be something like 3.0/1.4 instead. Bookie does not want a lot of bets on the 3.0 odds when it can get a better price, so it adjusts the line to 2.2/1.7 and gets some bets on 2.2. Still not satisfied with the turnover, the bookie adjusts further to 2.3/1.65 and gets some more on 2.3. When turnover reaches a certain size, the bookies risk management decides that this is enough and goes back to 1.9/1.9 where noone bets anymore.

The example above maybe just states the obvious that occurs all the time, but I think it is worth thinking about, instead of following strict rules of which has value and which hasn't.

Others, please contribute.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 08:13:55 AM by VidaBlue » Logged
arbusers
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2019, 03:44:31 PM »

The provided example could be the case. But somehow I believe when a bookmaker has solid information from tested sources, then he makes absolutely no calculation about the real odds. He simply offers something better than the competition.
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VidaBlue
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2019, 10:25:14 PM »

Sound likely that a bookmaker doesn't bother knowing the true odds - what matters is getting value quickly. Your belief is supported by my assumption that very few people within their organisation actually know how to calculate odds from scratch, which would be required when having an uncommon piece of information. Even fewer would be within reach in the weekends. Otherwise it would have to be done via their modelling software or via their relayed odds sources, which also seems too troublesome during a busy weekend. I have never been employed at a bookmaker so these are just assumptions.
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pythonic
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2019, 05:56:06 AM »

When turnover reaches a certain size, the bookies risk management decides that this is enough and goes back to 1.9/1.9 where noone bets anymore.
Or maybe the book was just very unbalanced before and risk management adjusted the odds to balance the book.
How could you tell the difference?
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VidaBlue
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Re: Value trap indicators
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 10:15:09 AM »

Or maybe the book was just very unbalanced before and risk management adjusted the odds to balance the book.
How could you tell the difference?

I'm unable to tell at this moment and if I could it would be awesome, maybe it is impossible. However, I am thinking that there might be identifiable patterns and signals in the market that are slightly different depending on whether:
  • the bookmaker consciously adjusts the odds temporarily from a baseline (value trap?)
  • the bookmaker calculates opening odds different from generel market value, real value (misjudgement)
  • the bookmaker makes adjustments based on other signals in the market (just trying to tag along)
In the first case, the bookmaker could be first mover in an already established market, in the second case the bookmaker just arrived with the opening odds, in the third case the bookmaker is a sheep that follows the shepherd.
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