Here at Byeweekpicks.com we see sports betting as investing not gambling. Outlined below is a simple strategy to follow so you will be prosperous.
What percentage do you have to pick to make money?
Assuming that the "juice" (the interest or vig) is 10% (i.e. you must wager $110 to win $100) you must win 11 out of 21 bets to break even, or 52.4%. This gives the house an edge of 4.5%. Hitting 11 out of 21 bets may sound easy to do, but if you have been wagering for some time now you know this is not. The average bettor actually picks below 50%. The difference between 50% and 55% does not sound extreme, but over a year this is thousands of dollars and the difference between losing money and making a profit. Many handicappers claim to be "hitting 80% this season" but I can guarantee that they can not do this on a consistent basis and if you could consistently pick 55% you will significantly increase your original investment. Consistently picking 60% is like batting .400 in Major League Baseball.
Establish a bankroll
Ask yourself how much you can afford to lose (if you follow my money management and plays there is less than a 1% chance that you will lose your entire bankroll). Do not go over your head. Remember, this is an investment opportunity and you must be willing to take a risk. If you think that losing $5,000 will put you in the hole, by all means set your budget lower. If you follow Byeweekpicks' methods of wagering you will come out on top in the long run but on a week to week basis there may be times where you are down. You have to be able to afford these swings without panicking and trust your wagering skills.
So how much should you bet on each game? This depends on how well you plan to do in the upcoming year and how often you wager.
The bigger advantage, the more you should wager. The kelly criterion is a good guide (click here for calculator http://www.albionresearch.com/kelly/default.php ).
We use a star system ranging from 1-5* to grade our plays . In general Below is a guide to follow:
In General, 1 unit=2% of total bankroll.
Here's an example if your budget is $5,000:
1* = 2/3 unit= = $70
2* = 1 unit = $100
3* = 1.3-1.5 unit = $130-150
4* = 1.5-1.66 unit = $150-175
5* = 2+ = $200+
Discipline: Do not push, do not chase
This is the most important aspect of money management and is the difference between the casual bettor and the person who views sports betting as an investment. Once you have established the amount you are going to bet (based on above) this is how much you should wager regardless of what happens in the earlier games. If you think that this may be difficult for you, the best thing to do is to wager on all of your games before the 1 o'clock EST kick off on Sunday. The later games that you wager on should not be dependent on the earlier. By doing this you avoid chasing losses and pushing wins. You must have discipline to win money!
Get the best line/Beat the closing line
Very often it is WHEN and WHERE you bet that determines the outcome. You have to gauge which way the line is going to move and take advantage when it is best for you. I will try to do this on my website/twitter and recommend when to play a game. Also, having multiple places (3+) to bet is an integral part of winning at sports betting. I recommend a place that caters to "square" bettors (the general public) because often the lines are 0.5-1.5 points higher. I also recommend having a "sharper" out (takes big money bets) to use when you do bet favorites (often the lines are lower in these shops).