Flat Betting v. Rating System

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I have been encouraging people who are new to the site to send in their questions on sports betting and while I am answering each one personally I decided to take some of the more popular inquiries and turn them into articles for everyone to read.  Remember that if you have any questions or comments on this article or handicapping in general, you can reply in the commenting section below or shoot me an email via the contact us page.

Since I am currenlty on such a great run in basketball, winning 10 straight free picks and going on a 12-1 run with basketball BEST BETS the subject I want to bring up today is unit size.  The last thing I want anyone to do is to jump on board at this point and double down there bankroll simply because we are on such a great run.  That’s a sure fire way to going broke and losing your bankroll.  So what should you do?

Flat Betting

I believe that 75% of the gamblers out there should use flat betting.  That means they should ignore star ratings and play every game the same, and by same I mean put a number in your head at the beginning of the season and stick with it.  Why is this good for most bettors out there?  Too often I find players putting a low rating on a play simply because they want to have action and don’t see any real advantage.  They are just betting to bet which will lead to losing in the long run.  If a player goes on tilt, then you will definitely see him making a case for a higher rating on plays that don’t deserve it.  Why? Because they are down and have a serious case of wanting their money back.

Another reason for recreational bettors to use flat betting is the amount of work that goes into finding the percentage edge.  It’s a lot easier for a player to handicap a game and say that there is an edge, but it takes a lot more work to determine what that edge is.  A good practice would be to set your own lines on the games before looking at the books.  If you see a game is two points off it’s worth a play, but five points off might be a BEST BET (or you missed something important.)

Rating System

Personally I use the star rating with 15* and 20* meaning 3% and 4% of my bankroll.  Very rarely will I release a 25* that would translate into 5% of my bankroll on the play.  This works because I’m disciplined and have been doing this long enough to know I am patient enough to ride out the cold streaks without pressing.

Why is the rating system better?  The best analogy I can think of is card counting in blackjack.  If you know the cards are in your favor you should bet more of your stack on each hand than if you know the deck is full of small cards, which would favor the dealer.  This makes sense right?  Well it’s the same for sports betting.  If I think a game is more in my favor, I bet slightly more on it than other games.

I do like what Ryan Moss had to say in his money management article though about how he plays all bets the same.  This is because he is only betting on top plays or BEST BETS.  If that is your strategy then I would also recommend flat betting.  However, there are going to be times when you see an exception, and while those cares are rare those are the games that you really want to load up on!

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