One of the most worthwhile things you can do when betting on sports is learning how to manage your money. Countless bettors have gone bust by not having a good grasp of how to bet their bankroll, and they blame a team or a game rather than turning their focus inward. Many of those bettors only have themselves to blame, so don’t follow them down that same pernicious rabbit hole. If you follow these steps, they will help you become a more financially sound sports bettor.
Track Your Bets
It may seem pointless or time-consuming to track your bets, but it’s a great idea to use your betting history to influence your decision making. While online sportsbooks do keep a record of your betting history, the savvy bettor knows that it’s best to use multiple sportsbooks in order to get the most bang for your buck. Additionally, your betting history might expire after 90 days or a year at some online sportsbooks, and you would lose all that valuable information. Data is one of the most important things weapons to have in your arsenal as a sports bettor.
The best way to track your bets is by creating an Excel spreadsheet. With this program you can easily use graphs and pivot tables to chart your progress, and you can see if there is anything you might need to change in your betting habits. For example, if you think you are best at handicapping football but turn out to have a better winning percentage in baseball, you might want to focus your attention on that sport instead. Additionally, if there is a sport you are just not winning at long term, you could see that on your spreadsheet, and you could either avoid that sport completely or significantly adjust your bet size.
Be Cognizant of Sample Sizes
This piece of advice works both ways. If you think you have devised a way to consistently win while betting basketball, you want to give your system room to breathe. You might see that your system is 6-14 ATS over the span of 20 games and start to doubt yourself or look to back out, but that’s not enough of a sample size to determine whether you were right or not. If you were confident in your system at the outset, don’t let a bad run dissuade you or cause you to abandon a potentially profitable idea.
Conversely, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. If it’s become apparent that what you are doing is not working, it’s time to change it up. If you are 45-55 ATS after 100 games while betting a certain system, it’s unlikely that this system will become profitable in the long run. There is enough of a sample size to see that this system probably isn’t a winning one, so swallow your pride and move on. Don’t throw good money after bad.
Pick a Unit System to Use
It’s a good idea to use a unit system when betting on sports for multiple reasons. First, by using a unit system, you are no longer thinking about your bets in terms of cash. Too many bettors get scared or worried when they only look at the dollar signs, and scared money doesn’t make money in investing or sports betting.
Additionally, units help give you a semblance of stability. If you don’t use a unit system, you are likely to be a more undisciplined bettor, and that can really hurt in the long run. Depending on your mood or what has happened earlier in the day, you might bet $10 instead of $100 or $50 instead of $5, as you aren’t tethering your bets to any kind of confidence system.
With unit betting, you typically make a unit equal one percent of your bankroll. That means someone with $100 in their account would be betting increments of $1 on each game, and someone with a bankroll of $5,000 would be wagering in increments of $50. Your maximum wager is usually capped at five units, ensuring that you don’t eat through most of your bankroll in one bad day, as happens so many times with novice bettors.
Discipline is the key with unit betting. You have to stick to your confidence intervals and make every wager between one and five units depending on how strongly you feel about the outcome. You can’t change course midstream or else you stand to lose it all.