Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sports Betting - Money Management

I wrote up a little something sometime ago on money management for sports betting to help me determine what kind of system would work for me. I put this together after reading a lot about sports betting money management and a few real life hard knocks. I often come back to this to help myself in my sports betting ways and to try to reinforce my practices. No matter how smart you are, a lack of discipline with your money can always kill you when it comes to betting sports.

Anyway, here it is:

One unit is equal to a percentage of your bankroll, say 2%. This percentage can vary based on the sports bettor and the amount of his bankroll. So say you have a bankroll of $5,000 and you decide on a unit size of 1% of your bankroll, one unit would be $50.

When betting a play, only bet 1 unit, no matter how strong a play may be. The first reason for this is that even your strongest bets will not always win. The real reason for this is that if you get into a habit of fluctuating your bet size, you will continue to do so. This lends way to bad money management practices, such as chasing loses and un-proportionally increasing your bets when winning. If you are a good handicapper, bad money management is what makes you lose.

Once you begin winning, you may adjust the size of your bets on a monthly or weekly basis to the set percentage of your bankroll. So if after 1 month, if your bankroll is $6,000, you should adjust the size of your unit to $60. Likewise, if you are now betting with $4,000, your unit size should be $40.


Currently, I am betting by risking 1 unit. For the example above, if a bet were -110, I would risk $50 to win $45.45. Many sports bettors betting -110, would 11 to win 10. For the same example, a bettor would lay $55 to win $50. If one is doing this, it is fine. My system errs on the side on conservancy, and I know this. Even though, my action is sufficient, I’m currently re-evaluating my use of “at risk” unit bets vs. “to win” unit bets.

I am also considering increasing my bet sizes by my vig lost. By this I mean, if I lose a play where I bet $50 to win $45.45, and win, $4.55 is the tax paid to the sportsbook. If I lose this bet, I will lose the whole $50, but I lose $4.55 to the sportsbook either way. I have realized that by increasing by current bets by this amount lost to the sportsbooks that I can play with no juice… It’s rather complicated, but if I decide to do this going forward, I will write it up here.

Something I will say every week:
It is important to have several online sportsbooks, in order to line shop, so that you might always get the best line for your bets.

Okay, enough for now. I have been betting some college football today, but since I’m on “vacation”, I have to go to a coffee shop to use the internet. Yes, I’m here right now. Anyway, I can’t update the site with these plays as they happen, so I’m not posting these bets at all.

You have my NFL for this week anyway :O)

- The Online Sports Bettor