If you’re a sports bettor and want to make money at it then you’ll need to commit to betting for the long term, and with that in mind, proper money management. The professional sports bettor who chases losses and takes unwarranted risks is doomed to go into the hole. It may not happen immediately, but sports bettors who know how to survive and thrive through sound cash management are good businessmen.
Unlike casino games and slot machines, sports betting involves actual analysis, skill and strategy. Sports handicapping is a science and an art. Betting on sports and winning real money also requires a bankroll. The larger your bankroll is the better for your purposes. As an example, if you’re going to wager on the entire 17-week NFL season a bank of $5,000 is extremely helpful. If you break that into units of $100 (with each unit being 2% of your bank), that will give you a total of 50 units. A unit should never be more than 3% of your bankroll. This will help you control how much you wager on each game.
This is a good number of units that can carry you through five to seven weeks of sports betting. That is if you don’t win one bet. We are going to assume that by the second or third week, you will have won some bets and even had a winning week or two.
At $100 per unit, in your first week you’ll commit from five to eight units. You want to find one game where you’ll commit two to three units and then one unit to each of the other games. With eight units in play, you would be betting five to six games through Sunday. If you are up or even after that, then use some of your winnings, one to three units, on one of the opening week’s Monday night games. Or split them between the two, placing two bets.
As your bankroll grows you may want to expand the number of units you bet. Never wager more than 5% of your bankroll on any one game and never more than 20% over the course of the week’s games. Take into consideration wins and loses when determining these percentages and making your next wagers.
In other words, if your bankroll is at $5,000, then 20% would be $1,000 but if it’s at $6,000, then 20% would be equal to $1,200. If your roll goes down to $3,000, then 20% would be $600. Your fortunes or lack of such will be the determining factor in deciding how much you can spend in a given week.
By the way, if you make your betting units too large, you won’t have any room for error and you can easily see your bankroll evaporate in a week or two. Thus, before making one wager be sure to divide up your bankroll in an appropriate manner.
Consistency is important in sports betting. If you increase the size of your unit bet, then do so by taking 2% of your expanded bankroll. You may also want to use more units on wagers that are better bets and fewer, just one or two units, on those that are a bit more doubtful. During a week of NFL games, you want to find five to seven games on which to wager. Be sure to set limits before the season begins and stick with them.
If $5,000 is your bankroll for the season, then plan accordingly. If you’d prefer to be very conservative, then make your unit bet $50, $20 or $10. Doing so will ensure that you can make it through the entire season. Or you can start with $100 per unit and if you find that you’re leaking cash, reduce the cost of a unit and try to slowly recoup your loses.
It’s very important to shop for the best point spreads or moneylines and to learn from your wins and losses. It’s a 17-week regular season in the NFL and a lot can happen in that time. Make smart bets based on stats, facts and analysis. Don’t start betting out of frustration. Keeping a cool head is very important.
Although the NFL was used as an example, the ideas discussed here can be applied to any sport on which you’re betting. Put a fiscal plan in place, be sure that you can afford it and stay true to it. Above all be realistic.
If you have a $100 bankroll, you’re not going to turn that into $500 in one or two weeks. A $20 to $30 gain in one week would be impressive. Always be realistic when it comes to your bankroll and betting. Also, be sure to make adjustments as your bankroll expands or shrinks. Flexibility is key when it comes to sports betting and money management.