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The Most Important Concept to Understand Before Sports Betting

In this article, we will uncover the most important concept to understand prior to becoming a sports bettor. Not only will these tips help you obtain edges on your bets, but they will also allow you to best manage your risk. 


Whether you are looking for MLB picks today, NBA betting, or really any type of sports betting, you must consider the following tips and tricks to optimally bet. 


Before we talk more about the most important tip, you must first learn the basics of sports betting. Now, what do I mean by the basics? Well, can you explain what spreads, money lines, parlays, “juice”, favorite, underdog, and futures are? If you had trouble understanding or explaining any of these topics to yourself, I highly recommend you learn more about those prior to placing any money on sports. Those are the most basic types of bets or betting concepts that must be known. 


Now moving on to the most important tip that a sports bettor should know and implement into their betting habits is bankroll management. This topic, explained in further detail below, will allow you to bet more optimally and safely. 


Bankroll Management - What is it? Why Do I need it? How Do I Do It? 


When considering the average -110 sports bet, bettors must predict sporting outcomes correctly at 52.4% to absolutely break even. Sports betting is not an easy gig nor is it one that most find profitable. Despite this, millions around the world engage in sports betting. Furthermore, only around 3 to 5 percent of bettors across the millions who bet end up profitable. 


Although these facts sound daunting and horrid, there is a way for you to manage your risk and not throw away your entire bank account while betting. Understandably, most bet for the thrill of it rather than seeking profits. And they must implement a strategy known as bankroll management. 

Begin by deciding what your “bankroll” is. Now you may be wondering how do I do that? Well, considering the volatility of sports betting, your bankroll should be how much money in total you are comfortable losing. No, we are not setting ourselves up for failure, rather we are setting ourselves up for safety in case we do lose it all. 


Now suppose the amount I am comfortable losing is $500 in total. Then the amount of money I put on each bet should be roughly 2%. This is considered a “unit.” Units are not universal, your billionaire friend may have a higher unit size than you, and you may have a higher unit size than your other friend. For the $500 bankroll, your unit would be $10. 


Now a question may arise regarding betting confidence. And what I have to say is… the units placed on a bet should reflect your degree of confidence. Consider you are a sports bettor that is on a book and runs across a betting line where the Nuggets vs. Mavericks game total line is set at 125. 


Considering the fact that you know the NBA average game total is roughly 220 points… you would be very confident in betting the over. Therefore, you would put a larger number of units on the bet. Maybe even a “max” which is a preset number of units you would put on your most confident play. 


Sports betting is not for the faint of heart and those who lack discipline. After a series of very hot or very cold betting days, one could be tempted to bump up the unit size because they are “on fire” or they “need to recoup losses.” This is a dangerous idea because you never know when your streak will end. Sticking to a pre-set unit size will ensure that you do not overreach your bankroll and are betting with a healthy amount of money.



If you are simply looking for sports betting to be a hobby or pass time, then bankroll management is key to understanding so it remains a hobby and does not bankrupt you.

If you witness yourself constantly straying away from your unit size or total bankroll, consider taking a break from sports betting. Gambling addictions are often stemmed from a lack of discipline. If you are able to successfully stick to your wager size or unit, then you are betting healthily!