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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, September 24, 2012 at 4:20 PM

We're a few weeks into the new football season now. So, this is a good time to review the fundamentals of money management. Most of what I talk about in our coursework in the College of Advanced Handicapping involves how to pick winners. But, if you don't know how to properly bet your portfolio, you won't be able to maximize your edge.

You've probably all heard stories (or lived the tale yourself) regarding bettors who had a nice run over several picks only to lose it all back by over-betting one big play. Nothing's worse than turning a 5-1 record and a nice profit into a 5-2 record where you broke even or lost a little money. And, of course, Vegas is full of horror stories about bettors who went into a little everything they had figuring they couldn't possibly keep losing...and lost everything because they don't understand the laws of math.

Honestly, there just aren't that many public stories about gamblers who've been smart their whole lives because of money management. They do exist, I can assure you. But, for every success story (I'm honored to be considered one myself), there are hundreds of failures. The city of Vegas exists because there are hundreds of losers for every winner in terms of career plus/minus.

Here are the keys to proper money management within the Advanced Handicapping Approach.

  • Make sure you have a legitimate starting bankroll rather than an imaginary one. It amazes me how many bettors in Las Vegas assume they have enough to cover a bad streak...only to find out that you have to pay REAL money at the windows. Bankrolls are not theoretical. Cash on hand. Create a legitimate bankroll that you can look at, touch, and feel.

  • Be picky about who you bet, and how many bets you make per week. What we're doing here doesn't yield a couple dozen leans each weekend. It isolates the very best options so you can play them seriously.

There are certainly grinders who manage a profit at 53% trying to bet any little edge they can find. We're looking for a higher percentage over a handful of options per day...keeping in mind that a handful of options per day adds up to a lot of bets over a 365-day year.

  • Use a responsible percentage of your bankroll each weekend. The classic advice in this industry is to use 2% of your bankroll on a normal play, and up to 5% on your biggest plays. I'm personally more aggressive than that, as you can tell from the Unit ratings of the plays I release to customers. If I have a truly great play...I want more than 5% of my bankroll on that game. I will leave it up to you to determine your personal comfort level with the games you find yourself, or the games you purchase from me. If you're relatively new to sports betting, then stick with that 2-5% range because it insolates you from occasional stretches of bad luck. If you're more experienced and confident, then consider pushing your max play to 10% or 15% of your bankroll within the Advanced Handicapping format.

  • Don't overreact to good or bad streaks. You definitely want to press up when things are going well because you're playing with house money. And, you definitely want to cut back when bad breaks are hitting you left and right. The percentage method automatically forces this on you. If you're too lazy to figure the percentages each week, then at least follow the fundamental of kicking things up a notch during the best of times (not enough to erase the benefits of a 5-1 run with an unlucky loss...but enough to make 6-1 even better than it would have been). The important thing is to not lose your discipline. It's the nature of gambling that things get streaky. Don't give up and quit after a negative run. The principals of Advanced Handicapping will come out ahead over time. Don't get delusions of grandeur if you've hit a few in a row. Advanced Handicapping doesn't win 100% of the time because there are too many variables in play to allow for that.

Please be responsible this year with your money and your betting style. Sportsbooks thrive because human nature gets so many bettors in trouble. I want YOU to thrive!

To help you with that, I'll have daily baseball through the regular season and playoffs available for you right here at this website. You can also use your major credit card every football day to get my strongest releases. I can assure you that some VERY big plays are coming up in both sports over the next few weeks.

I'll be back with you on Friday for our next class here in my College of Advanced Handicapping. I'll be talking about the transition from non-conference action into conference games in college football at that time. The season's been fun already, but it's about to get even more intense! Thanks again for all the hard work you're doing between sessions. I'm humbled and appreciative that so many of you are embracing my principals of Advanced Handicapping.

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