Successfully handicapping games and being able to consistently pick winners is obviously important. But in the long run, the most important aspect to making money in sports betting is money management.
Over the course of a year, long winning and losing streaks are bound to happen. While winning streaks are a blast, losing streaks are very frustrating. Bettors that have a solid grasp on money management will be able to survive cold streaks, while reckless bettors often see their bankrolls severely depleted or in some cases completely wiped out by them.
So what are the keys to proper money management?
1. Establish a Bankroll
The first thing you should do is set aside a bankroll that will be used exclusively for sports betting. Constantly adding and taking out money makes it more difficult to keep track of your funds and build a betting structure around them.
2. Create a Unit Size
Now that you have established what amount you would like to use as your sports betting bankroll, the next step is deciding on a unit size. For larger bankrolls, consider a unit size in the range of 1-3% of your bankroll, with 1% being a bit more conservative and 3% being a bit more aggressive. For smaller bankrolls in which 1-3% isn’t a realistic bet size, consider the 5-8% range.
3. Straight Bet and Stick To Your Unit Size!
When you see a matchup you love it is sometimes tempting to bet a large amount of your bankroll on it, but it is important to resist this urge. Stick to betting your unit size on every game. Keep an eye on your bankroll; if it increases or decreases by a substantial amount, re-calculate your unit size based on the current status of your bankroll.
Professional sports bettors win 58-60% of the time, which means that even the best lose 40% of the time. Winning at a 60% rate over the long run is more than enough to make a long-term profit, but betting too much on a single game puts your bankroll in harm’s way with just a few bad bounces. Stay focused and disciplined!