The main reason sports bettors lose money is because they don’t manage their bankroll properly. At the start of every season you need to determine how much you’re willing to lose betting on the sport.
Once you determine how much your bankroll will be for the season you can determine how much you should be betting on each game. Ideally you want to bet roughly 2% of your bankroll on each game although we’ll talk about this more in detail throughout our bankroll management guide.
Most sports bettors have no idea what managing a bankroll even is. You need to think of sports betting like an investment, as bettors that don’t take their money seriously will always end up going broke within time. When you place a bet it’s like you’re making an investment and you need to consider how much you’re willing to lose. Most sports bettors will wager 10%+ of their bankroll on a single game and wonder why they end up going broke in a few weeks.
Ideally sports bettors should hit about 55% of their bets or else you need to find a new hobby. If you are hitting 55% of your bets or higher and you’re losing money it’s because you’re not managing your bankroll. You may have a good run where you hit 75% of your bets for a few weeks, but you may also run into streaks where you can’t win anything. If you’re betting 10%+ of your bankroll on a single bet you can see how you can lose your bankroll when variance starts kicking in.
Managing Your Sports Betting Bankroll
A lot of sports handicappers will use a unit system to manage their bankroll. Ideally you should use a 1-5 unit system where each unit is equal to 1% of your bankroll. Most of your bets should be 1-2 units and the odd time you’ll be 3-5 units on a game that you really think has a high percentage chance of winning. You should never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on a game because nothing is guaranteed in sports betting and if you risk more you’ll end up getting into bad habits that are unprofitable.
Even if you start with a small bankroll of $1000 you should make sure you stick to the bankroll management unit system. 2% of $1000 is only $20, but once you start building your bankroll the 2% will increase and so will your bet size. Sports betting is a slow and steady race that takes patience, skill and the ability to follow certain rules. If you can hit 60% of your bets and you follow a bankroll management system it won’t be long before you’re betting $100+ per game.
I’ve watched lots of good sports bettors pick games consistently, but lose their money at the same time. Bettors always want to get greedy and increase their bets when they’re hitting or they want to “take a shot” on a team to win by betting big. This is how the sportsbooks win so much money and why so many sports bettors don’t make money. Sports betting isn’t as exciting as it sounds once you treat it like an investment, but at the end of the day all anyone wants in sports betting is to make money.