Sports Betting – Money Management 101


Money management is arguably the most important aspect of sportsbetting. Many otherwise good handicappers can watch their funds drained very quickly as a result of bad money management techniques.

Here are the basics of money management… variation of the details within these parameters are ok, as long as the fundamental principles are understood and adhered to.

1) Bankroll: Your “bankroll” is the amount of money that you determine (prior to the season) that you will be working with for the entire year. This represents your acceptable loss… an amount you are willing to risk in order to make profit, but if things go badly, you are able to lose this amount and not have some guy named Lou draining the fluid from the brake line of your SUV.

2) Units: At the beginning of a given sports season (like college football) you should determine a “unit” amount that is between 5% and 10% of your bankroll. Remember, your bankroll is a fixed amount determined at the start of the season, and not an amount that fluctuates depending on your wins and losses. Thus, your unit amount also does not fluctuate. It can be OK to occasionally make a 2 unit play, but you shouldn’t get crazy with 5 and 10 unit plays.. sports handicapper picks this defeats the purpose. So, if your bankroll to start the season is $1000, then your unit amount should be set between $50 to $100. This will remain your unit amount for the entire season. People often increase their unit size based on their success… but don’t realize they are setting themselves up to kill profits, despite having a longterm success rate on their picks. If you start with $1000 and go 10-0 with $50 plays, you will have $1500. The following week, if you up your units to $75 (based on 5%), and then go 2-8, you will lose $510 (using 10% vig)… so you just went 12-8 and dropped from $1000 to $990 on your bankroll. As I frequently like to say, the player who increases their bankroll based on early success will eventually lose the largest bet he makes.

3) Risk: You should only “risk” between 25% and 50% of your total bankroll in a given day/weekend/week… essentially any given rotation should not expose more than 50% of your bankroll. For a $1000 bankroll, with %5 units ($50), you would only want to bet a maximum of 10 games on a single card. Bad weeks happen, and you don’t want all of your funds to go bye bye in one bad outing.

If you follow these guidelines you will make sportsbetting all about making strong bets, and can eliminate the land mines that many undisciplined handicappers fall into…

Written by Alex Shepherd – Expert Handicapper for

Alex Shepherd is an expert handicapper for is your online source for sports gambling commentary, handicapping advice and free picks for all the major sports including NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAAF, NCAAB, and N

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