Most bettors don’t know whether they are winners or losers, or at least can’t calculate exactly what return they are getting on their betting. They bet different amounts and keep no records.

The basis of knowing how well you are doing, and knowing how well any pundits are doing is to reduce the complexity of the calculation and rely on Betting Units Won.

Betting Units Won is the most important number when evaluating a betting system or handicapper’s true worth. Units Won is the amount of money a group of bets won or lost after factoring in the vig. It is a simple way to compare a series of bets regardless bet size or bankroll.

To determine the Betting Units Won on different vigs you can use the formula below (where x = odds.)

• if x > 0 use, (x/100)
• if x < 0 use, (-100/x)

If Virginia is a 3-point favorite over Duke with the odds at -115, then you would use -115 for x in the in the second formula.

(-100/-115) = 0.8696

If Virginia covered the spread, you would have won +0.87 “units” for that play. If Virginia doesn’t cover, you would lose one unit or -1 “units”—representing the mount you bet.

Our goal At ExpertPicks is to help sports fans make more-informed decisions and have more fun. We make it simple to follow plays and try to be as transparent as possible with our results. We bet a single “unit” on each of our recommended plays factoring in the juice to calculate the amount won or lost on each play. 

At ExpertPicks, we recommend using a standard bet amount for all of your plays. We suggest using 2% of your bankroll for each selection. If you are happy with risk you can use up to 5%. Be consistent throughout the season. 

If you are doing well you may be tempted to increase your unit amount. Our advice is if you really want to and your bankroll can stand it, then do so, but only once during the season.

This discipline lets you spread your risk and ignore the short-term highs and lows of sports betting.