Sports Betting Strategy: The Importance Of Betting Units Won



Every sports bettor remembers whether they win or lose a wager. The problem is that a lot of them don’t remember an even more important number, which is the Betting Units Won. The Betting Units Won is the amount of money a group of plays won or lost after factoring in the juice. It is essentially the margin of profit or loss recorded for any set of wagers. Winning percentage is undoubtedly important but the only reason players bet is to win money and Betting Units Won is the best way to analyze not just if but how much the sports bettor has won.

The calculation for Betting Units Won is simple when you use the following formula. Considering that X represents the odds of the bet, the calculation is X divided by 100 if the betting odds are greater than 0 or -100 divided by X if the betting odds are lesser than 0. For example, if the Pittsburgh Steelers are a three-point favorite over the Baltimore Ravens and the juice is set at -115, then you would use the -115 as the betting odds. Since it is a negative you plug in the calculation as -100/-115, which equals 0.8696. If Pittsburgh wins and covers the spread, you will have won +0.87 units by betting on them. If the Steelers don’t cover, then you will lose one unit.

The equation listed above isn’t difficult to understand but its importance can often be underrated. The majority of public sports bettors will bet blindly without keeping track of the amount of money they wager as well as the amount of money they win or lose. That can be a major problem because the reality is that in order to make a profit by betting on sports you have to win more often than you lose. Consider the example above. If that bet wins five times, then the number of units won will be 4.348. If that bet loses five times, then the number of units lost will be 5.0. Therefore, if you make that wager 10 times and win only five then you will end up with a negative margin. According to this example, you would have to win six of the 10 wagers in order to make a profit on the wagers and even then it would only be a 0.2158 percent margin.

Many bettors like to stay away from money line based sports because they understand that the more the juice is raised by the sports books the tougher it is to make a profit. The sports books can make a favorite -130, -150 or even -300 if they really want to raise the juice and the reality is that the profit margin when these teams win doesn’t outweigh when they lose. For example, the Kansas City Royals finished with the best record in the American League last season at 95-67. Pretend that they were a -160 favorite for each of their 162 games. If a sports bettor were to bet $100 on them to win on the money line for every single one of their 162 games, they would actually emerge with a -1,220 deficit despite the fact that the Royals won 28 more games than they lost. This is the perfect example of why it is so important to calculate the Betting Units Won as the key measure for sports wagering.