The Importance of Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

The Importance of Bankroll Management in Sports Betting article feature image
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Suchat Pederson/The News Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK

When it comes to being a successful long-term sports bettor, bankroll management can be just as important as picking winners.

One of the most common mistakes new bettors can make is being reckless with their bankrolls. If they love a game, they’ll bet more on it. If not, they’ll bet less. In turn, when they’re winning big they’ll double down because they’re overconfident. When they’re cold, they’ll start chasing with the hopes of winning it all back in one fell swoop.

This strategy is dangerous, unsustainable and one of the quickest ways to bankrupt your bankroll.

Instead, we suggest embracing a flat-betting approach.

Flat betting means betting the same amount on every game (one unit) and only risking 1% to 5% of your bankroll per play, regardless of your confidence level. A good medium is 3% per play.

For example, if you’re starting with a bankroll of $100, you should risk $3 on every bet. If you’re starting with $1000, you should risk $30 on every bet. Your unit size would be $3 or $30, respectively.

Being consistent and disciplined with your unit size will help you ride out the inevitable ups and downs that come with sports betting. When you encounter a losing streak, it will save you from going broke. But when you’re winning, it will provide a positive Return on Investment (ROI).

Flat betting also means betting games individually and avoiding parlays. As we’ve detailed previously, parlays are the penny slots of sports betting: incredibly attractive, but at the same time increasingly dangerous.

Flat betting may not provide the type of massive one-time payment that some desire, but it’s a smart, long-term strategy that helps bettors remain disciplined throughout the unavoidable hot-and-cold streaks in sports betting.


For more sports betting tips and strategies, visit our Betting Education page. Also learn how to use The Action Network’s data to fade the public, follow sharp action and pinpoint profitable wagering opportunities.

For daily betting updates, follow us on twitter @ActionNetworkHQ.

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