When it comes to sports betting not only is it important to pick winners, which is where our handicappers can help, but you also have to make sure that you are handling your bankroll properly in order to stay in the game for the long run. We get plenty of questions from clients and prospective clients on what they should do. So I’m going to open the email vault and post some common questions and give my thoughts on each.
One of the most common questions is what percentage of a bankroll should you bet on each game. There are some people who want to be conservative and play 2% on each play, while others get aggressive and up it to 5%-10%. The best answer to this is what are you comfortable with? You should never bet more than that. I personally think that 2% is a good number for those of you who want to be conservative, and there is nothing wrong with that approach at all. There are going to be losing streaks and playing 2% protects you from a long stretch of bad luck. I wouldn’t mind going up to 3% or even 4% if you know what you are doing, or if you are riding the tails of one of our handicappers who has been doing well with their sports picks. You won’t see a long term losing streak in football where you lose that many games in a row to drain your bankroll.
One thing that we strongly suggest is that all players open up accounts with at least two different books, but in reality you should go up to four. This way you can shop around for the best numbers and take advantage of soft lines. Now, one problem that this poses is that you split your bankroll up. Some players are unsure whether they should then bet 2% of their bankroll at each book are 2% of their total bankroll, even if that means 8% or more of their bankroll at that book. Again, you have to do what you are comfortable with, but I go with 2% of my total bankroll, and don’t consider the amounts at each book. You really don’t want to bet 2% at each because that starts to water down your advantages attained from line shopping.
One final note is when to adjust your bets. Do you stick with 2% of your original bankroll or 2% of what you have that day? If you keep adjusting then you should be betting more when you are hot and less when you are losing anyway, thus further protecting your bankroll and taking advantage of hot streaks. Then again I like to keep it flat all season long. I know from personal experience that I’m going to win more over the long run than lose, and I don’t want streaks playing into the equation more than I have to.