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Part 3: Money Management in Sports Betting

part 3

How to Become a Winning Sports Bettor

Part 3: Money Management in Sports Betting


Managing your money when betting sports is a lot easier said than done. Even the most experienced gamblers I know still remember that dreaded day they first went broke. Usually it started with a few bad breaks at the end of a Saturday morning session and ended with all their money on a big game (because they couldn’t keep losing all day). I know guys who hit 60% of their games that have ran into 0-15 streaks more than a handful of times. It happens. Just as we seem to get all of the breaks when we are on a roll, the ball tends to bounce the wrong way during the losing streaks

Since you are reading this, I will assume you started out like most everyone else did. You put $100 in an online account and started placing bets. You started betting $5 or $10 a game and broke even for a while. One day you got really hot and got up to $150, so you raised it up $20 on each game. Before you knew it all of your money was pretty much in play during an NFL Sunday. 3-4 games didn’t go your way, so you decided to put your last $75 on the Cowboys -7 in the Sunday Night game. Before you knew it, your account was sitting at $0.00 and you didn’t know what went wrong. It didn’t seem fair.

Well, all of us have been there. I still remember a bad day back in 2004 when I had just started gambling professionally. I was in college and had started watching all the NBA games online while I bet on them. I had a few friends over and we had a few beers. We started talking about gambling and the picks I took. We studied the lines for a couple of hours and figured out 4 games we really loved. Since my friends were over, I decided to bet $1500 a game on these games (2/3 my bankroll that I had built for 15 months in college). All 4 games should’ve probably covered but none did. My friends left after the games saying, “Damn dude, that sucks about all that money. You have plenty of money though, so you will turn it around quick.” But I didn’t. I spent the next couple of months steaming and making stupid plays, blaming myself for letting people that knew nothing about the NBA influence me into making dumb plays that cost me 6k.

I eventually sat down and decided new rules for managing money that have worked for me ever since. I started by beting 0.2% of my bankroll as one unit in every sport. I never bet more than 1% of my bankroll on any one game (0.2 X 5 = 1%). I also never have more than 15% of my bankroll at play at once. That means if you have $100 in an account, then you can only bet a maximum of $1 on a game and never have more than $15 in play. You also want to drop a lot of the variance in betting, so you cannot parlay games anymore (2 team ML parlays are okay). You can only place straight bets and smart teasers (no more 3-team 10’s). You cannot unit bet under any circumstance (which I think is a great rule in general), so you got to stick to flat-betting every game at the same amount. You also cannot take money out of your sports betting bankroll. The money isn’t for paying any bills; it is for building a roll that will help you continue to bet sports. Only after turning that initial $400-500 into over $30,000 should you even consider taking out 1/3 of the money for yourself.

When you are just starting out, it is okay to have 20% in play at one time. $5 bets should be the lowest you ever need to go to. If you follow these guidelines you will be successful. It may take a year or 2 to really start making good money, but at least you will not go broke gambling anymore. Besides, in 5 years you don’t want to still be losing your bankroll every month or so when you could easily have 25-50k built up in that time. Be smart, establish some guidelines, and stick with them. That is the only way you will ever be a successful gambler.


*Note that although I do advocate flat-betting only for beginners that I do give out unit plays on the site from time to time. Lots of pros or guys who feel comfortable betting units use the plays as well. I have 6 pro bettors working for the site and if they are betting units then the play will be given out like that. I personally only bet units when I feel the need to shake things up a bit or when the NBA playoffs are going on. I feel I have enough time to assign units to games since there are less games. If you have anymore questions then just hit me up on Twitter.


Next – Part 4: Dealing with Losses and Tailing Bettors


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