Money Management: Level One

There are multiple factors that determine whether you will become a successful sports bettor. During this session we will discuss two of the fundamental success factors required to have any chance of being successful and I promise you that you will NOT be successful unless you become adept at both.

First you must either have in your possession or be able to acquire, access to top tier data  from which to base you handicapping decisions OR you must have access to a professional handicapper who will provide you with solid  selections on a long term, consistent basis.

Once you have access to either good information or good selections, the second and arguably more important criteria is to understand and exercise fundamental money management protocols. This is not a skill that comes easily for a variety of reasons, most of which revolve around handling your emotions when you are betting without a specific plan in place.

Here are the money management steps I recommend for someone just beginning to bet sports:

  1. First and foremost, determine the amount of money you are comfortably able to allocate to your sports betting bankroll. This should not be money you will need next week or next month, not should it be an amount that will cause you to feel pressured about.

  1. Determine your base wager amount. This will become your wager size when you place a one unit wager.  A unit will vary from player to player but is a way to establish the base amount you will expose on an individual wager. As an example, if you have a bankroll of $2,000 and you elect to use 2% as your base wager size; when you wish to make a one unit wager you will wager $40 flat. By flat we mean that your total exposure would be $40 in this example. If the line is -125, you will thus be wagering $40 to win $32. You arrive at the win amount by dividing your $40 wager by 1.25. You would not multiple your base wager by 1.25 because you are now exposing more than 2%. Seemingly not a huge issue but over time this substantially increases your exposure, particularly if you fall into the pattern of playing heavy favorites. If you play a -150 favorite for ex. and do not do so on a flat basis, you are now exposing $60 to win $40, an aggressive 3% of your $2000 bankroll. Patience and consistent discipline is the key here. Be patient, this is NOT a get rich quick business. Exercise a little patience and stay the course; you will be rewarded. As your bankroll grows, you will be able to increase your unit size over time. Bet too much too early and you run the risk of going broke!

  1. Depending on your tolerance for risk, a Unit for you should be set at between 1-3% of your bankroll. 1% is appropriate if you are very conservative. Note this is the amount I suggest to my high net worth clients. You can raise your wager size per unit  to 2% of your bankroll if you would like a bit more risk and 3% if you are a high risk individual. Anything beyond 3% puts you on a path to incur a level of risk that will ultimately put your bankroll in jeopardy during an extended losing streak. Note that you do not need to raise or lower your wager size every single day based on your wins and losses. It is intended as a guide and in general terms should be adjusted up or down every few weeks. The most important elements are to stay within the 1-3% range per game in order to effectively manage risk and to be consistent in your wager size.

We will discuss money management in greater detail with our subscribers but this Level 1 session will get you started in the right direction.

Remember, set a plan that fits your personal budget and risk temperament and then stay disciplined. We’ll happily help you with the rest!

Good luck!


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