There are certain “rules” that must be followed when betting on sports, especially if you’re in it for the long-term and not simply betting on the Superbowl because all of the prop bets keep you interested in a game that you’d otherwise have no interest in.
Whenever placing a bet, there are three basic rules to adhere to:
1. Respect Your Bankroll
One of the biggest threats to your success and longevity as a bettor is mismanagement of your funds. In other words, its a marathon not a sprint. The majority of people tend to overstress their bankroll and bet too much on a particular wager.
The rule of thumb when attempting to maximize long-term success is to never bet more than 5%-10% of your bankroll on a given wager.
While this may not lead to that huge one time payout that every gambler so eagerly chases, it will ensure that when that “sure thing” loses by half of a point your bankroll will still be intact to place that next bet.
The key here is establishing a good form of money management. If you are going to follow another person’s bets and advice, then you should probably set up a system of units as to not over bet.
For example if the person you’ve chosen to follow bets $100 per game on average, that is their unit. And let’s say your bankroll only allows you to average a $20 bet per game, $20 would become your basic unit.
Therefore, for every $100 that your “source” bets, you would personally bet $20. I would recommend creating a system where your units are approximately 2%-4% of your bankroll so that you’re average bet comes in around 2 units.
This allows for the occasional 1 unit or 3+ unit bet.
2. Leave Emotion Out of It
Let’s face it, those of us who bet on sports are almost always sports fans on some level or another.
One of the greatest risks to sabotaging your bankroll is betting with your heart. We don’t see our preferred teams through the unbiased eyes that are necessary when analyzing a particular spread. Betting needs to be done with an analytical mind, not with your heart.
3. Learn to Handle Wins and Losses
Nobody has ever won every bet they placed, plain and simple. The key is to remember that the goal is not to win every single bet, but to win more bets than you lose. Adversely winning streaks are awesome, but don’t let them throw you off your plan.
Stick to your system of unit betting. A winning streak can lead to false confidence and in turn result in greater losses than wins in the end.