What does +EV, 0EV and -EV mean?

I wanted to discuss what +EV, -EV and 0EV means for wagering purposes. On Saturday (September 3rd, 2022), Bowling Green was posted as a -EV alert…meaning the current +23.5 pregame price was considered “fair value” by the algorithm. “Fair value” means there is no edge either way at that price. Why post it if it is -EV?

First, let’s discuss what these labels mean?

“+EV” is short for positive expected value. A positive expected value means that angles labeled +EV have value at the current price and are expected to generate a long-term profit when used for wagering.

“0EV” is short for neutral expected value. A neutral expected value means that angles of this type show no value at the current price and will likely lose vig over the long-term.

“-EV” is short for negative expected value. A negative expected value means that angles of this type show negative value at the current price and will likely lose substantial money over the long term.

So, back to the main question, why post Bowling Green if the angle is -EV pregame? For starters, a lot of people chase steam. People will see that a team like Bowling Green opened at +31.5 and then see the current price is +23.5. The immediate thought in their head is “the public doesn’t move prices that much…that’s a big sharp move and I want to be part of it.” Well, the bettor in the previous sentence is correct about a few things…it is a sharp move, and it’s not a bad idea to want to be a part of a sharp move…but not at +23.5 when the opening line was +31.5…8 points away! There’s “negative value” (i.e. -EV). So, if a bettor were out there looking at that Bowling Green steam and thinking they should bet Bowling Green, the alert will hopefully hold them off by letting them know Bowling Green has NEGATIVE value at the current pregame price.

As I like to emphasize with my content…it’s not about blind following or fading. The vast majority of The Sharp Plays content is about INFORMING you, as a bettor, of the action going on in the markets. It’s then up to you what YOU do with it.

If a wager is -EV pregame…wouldn’t that make the opposite side of the wager +EV pregame?? The answer is sometimes, but not always. At certain prices, especially when dealing with moneylines…BOTH SIDES can be -EV. The book’s goal is to make both sides of a wager -EV. If both sides are -EV then nobody would win long-term…other than the book…just like playing craps, baccarat or slots.

In the case of the -EV and 0EV reported angles…nothing to do pregame. However, when it comes to in-play, you can look to fade, follow, or sometimes you can do both in-play….setting up a SWEET middle! Of course, you can also see a -EV or 0EV angle and maybe all it does is keep you away from chasing the steam you saw in that game…and nothing more. Avoiding a loss is almost as good as grabbing a win! If you wonder why a 0EV or -EV report gets posted to Twitter or Telegram pregame, realize there is still a font of information within such a report. Don’t miss the forest for the trees when betting…or the forest will swallow you up.

Good luck!