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June 02, 2020

Sports Betting Bankroll Management Tips


One of the major differences between successful, professional sports bettors and amateurs is how they manage their money. Amateurs won’t spend too much time thinking about a budget or how much to risk on each wager. Instead, they’ll just wing it. Meanwhile, professionals will be very detail-oriented, knowing that this is crucial to their success.

With that in mind, we want to enlighten you with three critical points about bankroll management. Follow these tips and you’re bound to have more success betting on sports.

Set A Betting Budget

The first step in bankroll management is to set up a budget. That not only means setting aside a specific amount to start with, but also determining how much you’re going to bet per game. Let’s say you start off with $1,000 as your bankroll, you can’t afford to be wagering $200 per game because you’ll get wiped out by one losing streak.

That’s why you have to think about lasting power, which usually means going with anywhere from 3%-5% per bet. So if you’re starting off with $1,000, then your one-unit bet should probably be $30-$50.

The other factor here is to consider how many units you want to have on your scale. For example, you might have a one-unit bet, a two-unit bet and a three-unit bet, the latter of which resembles picks that you’re extremely confident in.

Some people like to have a scale from 1-10 and others just go up to five. Determine what works best for you, but keep in mind that you’ll need to weather the storm during losing streaks. Make sure your per-unit bet is small enough so that you can take those hits when necessary and still survive.

Don’t Chase Losses

One of the worst things you can do for your bankroll is chase losses. This is when you let emotions set in and simply decide to double-up or triple-up in hopes of recovering your losses.

The key to being a successful handicapper is to make calculated decisions. You know that there are times where luck won’t go your way or something unforeseen happens. The best you can do is handicap the games and put yourself in position to succeed as much as possible so that you can gain an edge when you feel you have one.

When it comes to chase, this is usually where you start to veer off course and make bad decisions. Chasing usually involves betting whatever is left on the board (like the late-night Hawaii game), and the decisions are less calculated. Chasers are just usually thinking about one thing: getting their money back.

Always try to take emotion out of it. That means avoiding betting just because a game is on TV, avoiding betting on a team just because they’re your favorite and avoiding chasing bets to recover losses. This will clean out your bankroll very quickly.

Keep Track of Your Bets

The last important aspect of bankroll management is to keep track of your bets. You want to have a running history of your action that’s easy to dissect. Sure, it sounds like a lot of work, but this is what the professionals do.

If you can have an active spreadsheet (excel or other) where you can see all of your bets across all of your sports, that becomes very useful. You might discover that you’re winning money betting on baseball but are losing money betting on hockey. Or that you’re winning your big bets but wasting a lot of money on small bets that you throw around.

All of this data is useful for not only protecting your bankroll, but building success and a solid sports betting strategy over the long run.