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When you hear your fellow bettors discussing units, they are describing the size of their wagers. Using the term is more accurate than you’re talking about betting as a whole because everyone has a different sized bankroll. It is a way to talk about your profits and losses in a general way.

Let’s say Kathy put $10 000 down Against the Spread when the NBA season kicked off last October and she was up to $18 000 this April when the final game ended in April this year. This isn’t nearly as impressive as Joe, who wagered only $10 Against the Spread but was up to $180 by the end of it!

Using units gives you a tool to keep track of your profit and loss without the currency value.

Basic Sports Betting Strategy says that you should be wagering between 1% and 5% of your bankroll on each bet. So, usually, a unit is 1% of the total you have available for betting. This rule is not written in stone, but it’s the easiest way to quantify a single unit.

Using the example of Kathy and Joe, someone with a bankroll of $10 000 would be wagering $100 per unit, and someone with $10 would be betting just 10 cents. So, it’s easy to see that Joe had a much better return than Kathy.

Sports Handicapper Lingo

Many sports forecasters release their plays with units and you’ll often see 1-5 units or 1-7 units coming up. The 1-, 2-, and 3-unit plays are more moderate risk and the 6- and 7-unit plays are the big ones. It’s how the handicapper indicates that they’ve discovered a lot of value.

If a tipster released a 5-unit play and you had a $1 000 bankroll available, you would be staking 5%, or 5 units, or $50 on it.

What Does +35 Units on the Year Mean?

This is a measurement of someone’s success on the season so far. The plus before the number indicates how much profit has been seen, so in the case of Kathy, +35 would mean her returns have been $3 500 on the $100 wagers she’s made. For Joe, +35 would mean she’s won $3,50.

What About a 25-32 Record With +15 Units?

 It’s possible to have a sub 500 record but still see an increase in units if you’re wagering on Plus Money or Underdog selections. Choosing only underdogs on the Money Line, for example, could see you ending up with a negative record but profits on the season anyhow.

Is it Even Possible to Be +2657 Units?

 People will always find a way to inflate their numbers to make themselves sound a little better! A unit being equal to just 1% of a bankroll is just a general guideline, of course, and everyone has their own way of doing things. The bettor boasting about being +2657 may well be telling the truth but only because, to them, a unit is 0.001% of their bankroll!