Nobody places a bet on anything with the intention to lose, but unfortunately for sports bettors even the best professional gamblers are wrong about 40 percent of the time with their picks. If proper money management is not a big part of your overall sports betting strategy, there is a good chance that even a healthy sport betting bankroll will quickly be depleted.
Interestingly enough, the first step to proper money management for betting on sports is to establish your betting bankroll. It should always consist of discretionary funds that are not earmarked for anything else. If the money is lost, it should never have an impact on any of your existing financial obligations.
Once you have established your betting bankroll, it is then time to create your betting budget. The easiest way to do this is by setting a specific unit value for each of your bets. If you are strictly a recreational bettor looking to add some action and excitement to the games you watch on TV, the unit value might only be five or 10 dollars. If you are an avid sports bettor with a sizable amount of money in the bankroll, this value might move to $50 or $100. The main thing at play here is consistency. Your unit value should never vary from one bet to the next.
One general rule of thumb for setting a proper unit value is one to three percent of your total betting bankroll. For example, if you are starting out with a betting budget of $500, your individual unit size should be somewhere in that $5 to $15 range.
With a specific amount in place for each unit bet, you can then use a unit betting system for each of the wagers you place. The best way to think about a unit betting system is your confidence factor. If you really like a pick, then a one to three unit play might make sense. If happen to really love a certain play, then you might want to up your actual bet to a five or six unit play.
Many professional handicapping services will advertise a seven to eight unit play as the “lock of the week” or even the “lock of the year.” There are two very important takeaways here. The first is that high unit plays are one of the easiest ways to rapidly deplete a sports betting bankroll. Even more important, there are no such things as “locks”. Let us go back to the earlier discussion of how even the best professional handicappers are shooting for a consistent winning percentage of 60 percent.
Using your confidence factor based on your breakdown of any matchup is still the best way to bet on the games. You should avoid any outside influences that may have an impact on your own handicapping efforts. Betting with the consensus or against the betting public are two common betting strategies that you might read about. Every matchup needs to be evaluated on its own merits. Sometimes the favorites win with ease to cover the spread and sometimes they lose the game straight-up.
You should get into the habit of doing your own homework and coming up with your own predicted outcome. If your confidence level is high, increase your units bet accordingly. If your confidence level is low, do not bet the game.
The biggest part of an effective money management system is only betting the games that make the most sense to you. You never want to get into the habit of betting on sports just to have some action on the board. There is nothing wrong with taking the day off and waiting for the next to find some solid value in the betting lines or betting odds.