Sports Betting 101: Money Management

For all of you who are just getting into the sports betting world as well as you seasoned veterans who need an occasional reminder, this article will simplify the do’s and don’ts of money management and betting. There are many things that are required in order to be successful in such a tough game. In a world that has more ups and downs than a roller-coaster, it is vital to remember these key pointers if you want to keep afloat.

The first thing that you must know about money management and betting is that it is a marathon; not a sprint. This is the single most important thing to remember about money management. Everybody from the occasional $50 bettor to the $50,000 whales in Vegas will experience long winning streaks as well as weeks where they simply can’t win. The important thing is to make a plan and stick to it: through the good times and the bad.

What does it mean to stick to a plan? First off, if you want to survive in this world you must figure out what kind of bettor you are. How much are you willing to risk on an individual game? If you have a $500 bankroll, don’t put $200 on a single game. While you may win in the short run, eventually you will go on a skid. If you go on a skid with 20% or more of your bankroll in play on a given game, you will burn out of this industry faster than a match. A good suggestion is to assign about 2-4% of your bankroll to a given “unit” and bet one unit on a game. If you are very confident in a certain game, bet two units, but never exceed these units on a single game. In a business where the long run is so critical, it is impossible to consistently have a high percentage of your bankroll riding on a single game if you want to successfuly manage your money.

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The next thing about money management and betting, which tends to be the most difficult for many beginners (and veterans alike) is not to “chase” your losses. Chasing a bet is when you try to get back what you lost on a previous game or previous night all at one time. For example, if you are playing $100 units, and you go 0-3 on Tuesday and lose $300, it is very easy to bet more than you usually would on Wednesdays games to try to quickly make back what you lost on Tuesday. This is a sign of desperation. When you chase bets you are heaving up a shot from half court and hoping it falls. You are throwing a ball fifty yards and hoping your receiver comes down with it. The fact is, chasing a bet is no different that a heave from half-court or a “Hail Mary” in football. While it is the most difficult rule to remember, it is one of the most critical. Again you must remember: money management and betting disciplined is a marathon, not a race. Everybody is going to have losing streaks, it goes with the job. In order to be successful, you must learn from your mistakes and stay disciplined with your bankroll.

One very important thing to remember is that the oddsmakers’ job is to come up with a point spread that will even out the action the game. The oddsmakers are not necessarily putting out a line that they thing is the most accurate, but one that they feel will get close to 50% of the public on each side. For this reason, it is important to watch where the public is laying their money. If 70% of the public is on one side of the line, then the line will be adjusted to meet these standards. This could be a very good opportunity to bet on the other side, and get an extra point or point and a half on a game. Every point makes a difference in the long run!

Another thing to remember is that many times if a line looks good to be true it probably is. The oddsmakers are well as the Vegas “sharps” analyze every single detail, and in order to compete with them, you must too. So don’t jump on a line just because it looks like a can’t miss. Why is the #15th ranked team in the country only a one point favorite versus a team who is only 3 games above .500. Is it because they just played a tough game? Are they struggling away from home? Is it a rivalry game? Every detail is considered by the sharps and must be considered by you as well. This is what money management and betting disciplined is all about.

There is one final thing to considered when wagering on sports: the betting public. It is very obvious to tell what games are too good to be true by looking at where the betting public’s money is. If 80% of the betting public is on one side of a game, and there isn’t much a line move, this should tell you that most likely the betting public will be wrong. The betting public usually loses, and anytime you see a huge percentage of the public on one side of a match up it should tell you to stay away from it or to bet the other side. For all your beginners, this article should provide you with a solid foundation on how to make your wagering profitable. For all you veterans, it never hurts to remind yourself the do’s and don’ts on being successful in money management. Good luck and thanks for visiting cappersinfo.

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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