What are Sports Betting Units?

Sports betting units are the measure by which serious bettors monitor their success. Instead of using wins and losses or dollars wagered, units are a standard way of measuring how profitable a bettor has been. If you prefer to play a lot of underdogs on the moneyline in hockey or baseball, you are likely to have a poor win percentage, but you may be very profitable based on those underdog prices.

The opposite can be true for those that prefer betting on favorites on the moneyline. By betting on favorites, you could win 60-percent of your games and still lose money because of the prices that you are laying. Managing units is important to maintaining a consistent bankroll.

Betting Units Explained

Betting units are a way to measure the size of a customer’s bets in sports gambling. The concept of betting units is important because it helps a customer manage their bankroll and makes sure they are sports betting in a responsible manner and not taking on too much risk.

A betting unit is simply a standardized measure of the size of a customer’s bets. For example, a customer might decide that one betting unit is equal to $100. This means that if they want to bet $100 on a particular game, that customer would be placing one betting unit. If a customer wants to bet $200, the customer would be placing two betting units, and so on.

How do You Calculate Units?

Money management is the most important part of becoming a successful sports bettor, and it’s often the least talked-about. Come up with your starting bankroll. That’s the money that you have put aside specifically for sports betting and nothing else.

Your betting bankroll should not be tied into any other activities. Now divide that bankroll by 100. That number should be your starting unit size.

At WagerTalk, we use a percentage of bankroll when wagering. A standard play is three-percent of our bankroll. A “game of the week” type of a bet is four-percent of our bankroll. Our strongest plays are five-percent of our bankroll.

When you win and your bankroll increases, your unit size should increase with it. Conversely, if you lose, your unit size should decrease to reflect your smaller bankroll. It should be a fluctuating process.

Betting Units Size

The size of anyone’s betting units will depend on their overall bankroll and risk tolerance. If a customer has a large bankroll and are willing to take on more risk, their betting units will be larger than someone treating sports betting as a casual hobby.

On the other hand, if a customer has a smaller bankroll or are more risk-averse, they may choose to have smaller betting units.

One important factor to consider when deciding on the size of betting units is a customer’s betting strategy. Some betting strategies, such as money line betting, parlay betting or teaser betting, involve taking on more risk in exchange for the potential for higher payouts. In these cases, it may be appropriate to have larger betting units to maximize your potential returns.

Why Do Sports Bettors Use Units?

Because no two bettors have the same bankroll. If you recommend a $200 play to someone, you have no idea if $200 represents a drop in the pan to them, or their entire bankroll. If you recommend a two-unit play to someone, they can easily figure out what that means to them and how they should appropriately wager based on their bankroll size.

Betting Units to Track History

Betting units are a useful tool for measuring the size of bets and keeping track of a customer’s own history. This allows customers to be accountable for how much they are risking and not betting more than they can afford to lose. By carefully managing betting units, customers can increase their chances of success in sports gambling and enjoy the excitement of the game.

How Should Wins and Losses be Calculated?

This is a matter of personal preference and you will likely get different answers from different bettors. In the world of point spread betting with -110 odds, it is customary to wager $110 to win $100. You are betting the juice up-front to win a unit (in this case, $100). It is less common to wager a unit ($100) to win $90 and change. So for a one-unit point spread bet with -110 odds, you would risk 1.1u to profit 1u. If you bet one unit on a +120 baseball underdog, you would be risking 1u to profit 1.2u. Some bettors prefer to play a flat unit regardless of the juice. So a 1u bet for them on a point spread with -110 odds would return 0.9u because they didn’t lay the juice up front.


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