Sports Betting Money Management Strategies - What Do You Need to Know?

There is a popular movie trope where the main characters have reached a dead end and the only solution to their problems appears as a final all-or-nothing bet, usually on horse racing. This seems like the script for a fun movie, but it is a terrible sports betting strategy. Actually, it lacks any strategy at all.

Sports betting on football is not a “get rich or die trying” activity, and all risks are usually well calculated. If done right, punting involves a lot of planning, research, patience, and dedication. An instrumental part of gambling is instituting some form of sports betting money management strategy. Importantly, all these activities are fun because we love football.

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What Are the Foundations of Sports Betting Management Money Systems?

While bankroll management does involve some math and technical terminology, it’s far from rocket science. However, before we get into the different money management systems, we need to define the important terms involved in describing them.

What Exactly Is the Bankroll?

This is the amount of money currently available for betting. It is prudent to set both a monthly and a “seasonal” limit for your bankroll. The monthly limit is the sum you are comfortable with losing in betting. It is usually a percentage of your disposable monthly income.

However, you should also define a seasonal limit for a specific period. This period can be the duration of the Champions League, the Premier League, or the calendar year. The seasonal bankroll should be no more than the sum of your monthly bankrolls within the specified period.

Think of the seasonal bankroll as your cash box. If you spend it all, you are done with gambling for the period. However, if you save more than the seasonal amount, you keep the extra money for yourself, not for gambling.

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The Importance of Stakes as a Betting Tool

Another important part of money management betting is the amount you stake with each bet. While picking the winner is the most significant aspect of placing a wager, deciding on how big of a stake to use comes second in importance.

The bet size can be a flat monetary amount, such as £5. However, mathematic models show it is better to use stakes that are a certain percentage of your bankroll. Moreover, some betting systems change the bet amount depending on whether the previous bet was successful.

What is drawdon risk in sports betting?

What Is Drawdown Risk, and How Does It Relate to Sports Betting?

Drawdown risk is a term from stock trading, but it can be easily applied to sports betting as well because punting is not that different from investing. In sports betting, drawdown risk reflects the cost of recovering from a bad bet.

Let’s say Jim’s bankroll is £100, and he lost £10 on his last bet on 1/1 odds. This is 10% of his bankroll. In order to win back what he has just lost, Jim will have to stake 11% of his £90 bankroll on the same odds. However, if in the first bet he had staked 50%, he would have to bet 100% of his bankroll next. In the first case, Jim's risk was acceptable, but in the second, Jim was starring in an early Guy Ritchie film and is now in trouble.

In general, it is a good idea to stake between 2–5% on each bet, where 3% marks the boundary between conservative and aggressive gambling. Anything above 5% is a good recipe for adrenaline rushes but not a sound betting strategy.

None of This Matters without Discipline

Bankroll management relies on rational evaluation and action. However, we all know sports betting can get emotional. Losses can have a noticeable impact on decision-making, and some people may decide to make another bet without proper due diligence. This is known as ‘chasing losses’.

Chasing losses occurs when punters continue gambling in the hopes of winning back what they have just lost. They usually try to rationalise this purely emotional behaviour, but to any spectator, it is clear the person has lost control over their gambling. Or maybe the punter really will ‘win it all back this time’, and if they don’t, they ‘can stop gambling anytime they want’.

Losing is a part of football betting, just like winning is. However, the way punters react to both plays a huge role in how successful they are. Winning can make bettors overconfident, and losing can lead to desperation – both result in bad decisions and poor money management. Therefore, it is imperative for bettors to keep a clear head and not succumb to emotions.

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How to Evaluate Sports Betting Money Management Systems

Before you continue studying popular sports betting systems, it is a good idea to consider that they all come with pros and cons regarding money management. Here is a quick sneak peek of the advantages and disadvantages of different betting systems:

Betting System Advantages Disadvantages
Fixed/ Flat Betting Simplest strategy
Low risk
You could be losing profit, if you are good at predicting winners.
Proportionate Betting Each successive win is bigger than the previous.
Each successive loss is smaller than the previous.
It takes longer to recover from losing streaks compared to more aggressive systems
Martingale Fast growth of winnings.
Fast recovery from losses
Super aggressive and risky
Can burn quickly through the bankroll
Kelly Criterion Low risk if done properly
Factors probability and odds
Takes research
Comparatively complex

Bankroll Management Is Essential for Long-Term Football Betting

Your bankroll is the gas in your football-betting car. Therefore, you should constantly check the tank and make sure you are loading the car with your winnings instead of your own cash. Moreover, to ensure maximum mileage, you should avoid speeding at all costs.

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