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Bankrolls & Units. What are they and why are they important?

Bankrolls & Units. What are they and why are they important?


Dave Carney 8/30/2021      

What’s on the table today?: Bankroll and UNIT (s): What are they and why are they so important

With the NFL and college football season right on top of us now, the fervor and excitement around the sports and their betting angles are getting hotter and hotter. So hot in fact that even Wisconsin is getting poised to legalize some form of sports betting when the prevailing thought was that it would be something you’d “never” see in Wisconsin. 

As a matter of fact all around the nation states that previously said that sports gaming was “bad business” are now all-in on sports betting and for good reason…the money to be made from a taxable revenue standpoint is way too much to ignore. As states face even deeper budget crises sports gambling is being looked at as an easy way for said states to cash in big-time.

That, in many cases, is the same way the average “Joe” or “Jane” public is feeling about the coming football season and with that I thought it was important to once again stress responsible betting, with smart limitations and thresholds that will save the average “Joe” or “Jane” public from going bust in the first week of the season and possibly have them digging into “Timmy’s” college fund.

The name of the game is all about Bankroll management and finding out where you’re at with risk factors and what your level of comfort is in taking risks. Always remember that it’s called GAMBLING for a reason.

Why is bankroll management so important? (Bettingpros.com)

Bankroll management is all about ensuring that you’ll be a profitable sports bettor if you’re making good picks. If you do not have a system in place and tend to put an arbitrary amount on each and every bet, you could end up losing money despite a solid winning percentage. This happens when the bets you’re putting more money into end up losing more often than the bets you end up putting less money into.

What is a UNIT and why is that so important to know? (Bettingpros.com)

A Unit is the baseline amount of money you’ll be wagering on a bet-to-bet basis. Beyond this, units are the best way to track your profitability, as it goes beyond just the amount of money you’ve won/lost and gives you an easy way to compare yourself to other sports bettors. Generally speaking, a Unit should be one, maybe two percent of your total bankroll. Any more than this and a losing streak can do some real damage to your total bankroll.

In my opinion, and this is strictly MY opinion, a new bettor shouldn’t start off his or her bankroll with anything more than they’d be willing to SPEND (or lose) on a night of entertainment with your wife/husband/significant other. The bankroll figure should always be something you’re comfortable with parting ways with as an entertainment expense.

Next I would suggest making your UNIT no more than 1% of your bankroll as you get started. Yes, according to BettingPros.com referenced above that figure could be 1 or 2 percent, but I’ve seen too may 2 percenters talk themselves into the big-time FIVE UNIT plays some of the “touts” throw out there. 

Which leads us to this….what is a tout and how should you approach them? (Sportshandle.com)

A modern-day tout or sports handicapper functions in a manner similar to a financial advisor, who recommends stock purchases for a percentage of the buy or for a set fee. However, in the sports betting environment, a consumer normally pays a set fee for information or a selection or package of picks. Payment is made at the time of purchase and only rarely in the form of a percentage of a winning wager(s).

Unfortunately for the many reputable purveyors of legitimate sports wagering information, the demarcation between the transparent information by legitimate analysts, and the less than transparent and honest, is somewhat blurred. Some of those who market and sell sports wagering picks have long been suspected of giving out both sides of a game in a manner reminiscent of the horse touts of decades ago.

However, such a practice is less probable in the sports betting realm because it would guarantee that half of your customers lose on each game. Even the most aggressive marketing would not be sufficient to resupply such a handicapping service with new customers. A digital trail also makes it much easier these days to get caught in such a scheme. Above all, successful handicappers stay in business by picking winners. Those that are better marketers than handicappers disappear sooner rather than later.

In Nevada, sports bettors are subjected to a seemingly endless onslaught of bombast from all kinds of information providers. Conveniently, there are many websites that track how these public selections released on local radio and over the Internet fare in the marketplace. Many individuals, usually sports bettors themselves, provide a most useful roadmap on how to invest the wagering dollar, and which information provider to pay attention to.

In conclusion I’d leave you with this: know your limits, don’t bet over your head, and if you do use a “tout” unless you’re REALLY comfortable with them.


**For more info on TOTAL plays, OVER/UNDER, and PLUS/MINUS plays, TEASER cards and more, check back through some previous columns for detailed information**

REMEMBER – don’t bet based upon my recommendations. Do your research. Stay in your lane

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