4 Tips for Managing Your Sports Betting Bankroll

No matter if you are a professional bettor or a weekend warrior who likes throwing money down at one of Colorado’s many sportsbooks, bankroll management is crucial. For the uninitiated, bankroll management is about keeping your betting account flush with smart decision making and discipline. In the end, you want to make sure your losses don’t sink your dreams of making it big in Vegas.

Wherever you bet, whether it be DraftKings, FanDuel, or FoxBet, you need a plan to enjoy the successes and insulate yourself from going broke at your failures.

Let’s take a look at four proven bankroll management strategies that will keep you betting for many years to come.

Keeping Account of Your Bets

Before you even begin to set up a system, you must first make sure you plan to collect data. Accounting for every bet allows you to assess where you are winning and losing. By knowing what bets are working, you can discover patterns in what games to avoid.

It may seem easy on the surface, but honest assessment of your losses will keep your bankroll healthy. The only way to do that is by making sure you set up a detailed spreadsheet that provides a complete history of your betting record. Put everything about the game and your bet on the sheet. From spread to point total, no information is unnecessary.

This strategy for data collection works best for those just starting their betting journey. Over time, you can pair back what you input on the spreadsheet. Yes, it will be time-consuming, but no successful bettor flies blindly with their bankroll.

Play Using the Unit Strategy

One of the best ways to control your betting is by dividing your bankroll into units. This disciplined approach allows you to focus on the games and not dollars.

Let’s say that your bankroll is $10,000. You will divide that number by 100 to determine the amount of one unit. Under this scenario, one unit is worth $100. Although some advanced bettors use an escalating scale for how they bet their units, it is wise for the beginner to start with just one unit per bet.

If you like Notre Dame +7 against Clemson, you make a one unit bet of $100 on the Fighting Irish. The point of the unit system is to never deviate from the plan. Your bet is always $100, or one unit.

The next step in the unit system is to set a threshold where you change the amount of a unit. Let’s say you lose your first ten bets for a total loss of $1000. Now, your bankroll has $9000. If you put a threshold of $1000 limit in your system, now it’s time to change your dollar per-unit amount.

If you are up $1000, then perhaps you change your unit to $110 per bet. The same method applies if your bankroll has dipped to $9000, and you move to $90 per wager.

By remaining successful with the new unit amount, you’ll see a slight rise in your winnings. But the system also keeps you from losing too much, buying you time to figure out why you are losing.

Avoid the Parlay

One of the worst things that inexperienced bettors do with their bankroll is to chase imaginary jackpots. Those fantasies usually come in the form of the parlay bet.

Every March Madness, ESPN will report on college friends that win a magical 14-team parlay for $500,000. What the site won’t tell you is how many groups go home empty-handed due to their delusions of grandeur.

A parlay bet does offer higher payouts, but those come at a price. Parlays have astronomical odds for a reason. Because they are longshots, at best. Even two-game parlays are a poor way to grow your bankroll.

Stay away from parlays and focus on slow and steady growth. Understand that making money in sports betting is incredibly hard for the best bettors, let alone regular sports fans. It takes time, understanding, and patience to build your bankroll.

Shop For The Best Price

When you are shopping for a place to make your bet, compare odds with all the major and minor sportsbooks.

Placing a bet at +125, when you could have had +145, costs you money. Understanding how lines move and knowing when to pull the trigger on a bet is vital to maintaining success. But that expertise only comes with the routine of making hundreds of controlled bets.

The best advice for any bettor is to go slow, create an informational foundation to not only assess the game but manage your money. As you continue to gain understanding and confidence with betting, always monitor your bankroll.

Through proper management, you can enjoy a long life at the betting window.

About the Author

Derek Worlow

Derek Worlow is a freelance writer that has covered the expansion of legal sports betting in America for several well-known industry websites. During his writing career, he has written profiles on dozens of athletes and contributed work on the collision of sports and politics. Derek has also published two acclaimed biographies about Texas quarterbacks; Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III.