How To Bet SportsJohn Hyslop

Bankroll Management – Sports Betting Edition

bankroll management sports betting

Bankroll management is by far the most important aspect of sports betting. I’m serious, how much you bet is more important than who you actually bet on. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of Dan Katz and Dave Portnoy talk about the Seahawks/Vikings game on 12-2-19. Dave is the one on the right who speaks of his impending “break” from sports betting. He is truly a broken man in this video and you can tell he hates the position he is in. It is hard to watch if you like the guy.

To understand the power of bankroll management in sports betting, you have to understand who Dave Portnoy is as a man. I have never met him and will probably never meet him, but from the outside looking in, I would describe him as relentless. He has taken (with help) what was literally a random sports blog and turned it into a runaway locomotive that is Barstool Sports. That’s not all. He is as smart as he is ruthless. If you don’t believe me, do a google search on some of the beefs he has had over the years. The guy is unstoppable. Last spring he brought an offshore sportsbook to their knees and literally took their best employee from them all because a guy got slick with him in a tweet. He doesn’t just settle for getting even, he burns everything to the ground. Literally.

It is hard to believe the guy in the video that is taking a “break” from sports betting is Dave Portnoy, the man I just described but it is. The guy in the video looks beaten, weak and scared to make another wager. The exact opposite of who Portnoy is as a guy. We’ve all been there before and it does not matter who you are, sports betting will take your balls from you if you don’t manage your bankroll responsibly. Taking one “big” shot at Tyson sounds fun until you miss. Just ask Portnoy.

So how do you manage your bankroll “responsibly?” There are a million ways to do it depending on how you approach sports betting. To me, sports betting is entertainment. I view it the same way I see going to a movie or a play or some other form of entertainment like that. My goal is to stretch my entertainment dollar as far as I can. I’m cheap. A rule of thumb is that no one should know I have money on any game that I am watching unless I just tell them. I’m not screaming at the television or yelling about bad calls. I don’t kick my dog or embarrass myself in front of my kids. If I win, I win and if I lose, I lose. The key is, less money.

Less money means I take my entire bankroll and divide it by 100. Every bet I make is to win 1% of my bankroll on (-) bets and risking on (+) bets. For example, the Patriots -7 -110 would be 1.1% to win 1% and the Patriots +110 would be 1% to win 1.1%. You will never be a professional sports bettor with this approach but you will never be a professional sports bettor anyway so there is that to consider. The important part is, you will have a healthy betting habit which will free you from having to take “breaks” from  sports betting or quitting all together. I would never advise betting on credit so whatever you consider to be your bankroll, you should have in a savings account earmarked for sports betting.

When you tell your buddies that you are betting sports like this, they are going to laugh at you. Guys are stupid like that. They say stuff like, “I can’t get out of bed for a $300 bet” or “you have no balls”. Keep in mind, every single person who has told me these exact words or something similar has either quit betting sports all together or adopted a very similar approach to mine. It is literally the only reason I am still betting sports after taking multiple swings at Tyson and missing in my 20’s. I didn’t invent this method and I am sure there are different ways you can tweak it. Just don’t do anything stupid like bet 25% or more on a single game. That’s the fastest way to end up at an art museum on Sunday’s while the NFL is on. Nobody wants that.

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