Sports Betting: The Importance Of Betting Units Won

One of the biggest mistakes that casual sports bettors make is focusing too much on win percentage and too little on the actual amount of money that is moving as a result of wins and losses. While you undoubtedly want to win more wagers than you lose, it doesn’t matter nearly as much if the amount of money that you are winning isn’t greater than the amount of money that you lose. This is why it is so important to count betting units and making sure you win more than you lose. Here is a look at the importance of betting units won.

The Formula

There is a simple formula that you can use to determine the betting units won on different juices. Here is the formula:

- If x > 0 use, (x/100)
- If x < 0 use, (-100/x)

Therefore is the New England Patriots are listed as minus-three point favorites over the New York Jets with the juice at -115 then the you would use the -115 as the x in the second formula. The odds would look like this:

- (-100/-115) = 0.8696

If New England covered the spread then you would have won +0.87 units for that play. If the Patriots didn’t cover, then you would lose one unit, or -1 unit.

The Importance Of Counting Units

The key reason why you would use the betting units formula is to make sure that you are winning more than you are losing. This formula will help you better understand the value of a wager that you make. If you put a small amount of money on three favorites to win and they all cover and then you put a large amount of money on a fourth favorite and they lose then there is a good chance you will end up breaking even or perhaps even worse you will lose money. The point is that even if you are winning more often than you are losing in terms of correct picks, it doesn’t matter unless you are winning more units than you are losing.

Money Line Sports vs. Point Spread Sports

Most bettors like to stay away from the money line based sports such as baseball and hockey due to the extreme winning percentages. However, they can end up being very profitable. Betting on the underdog in money line sports will likely give you a losing record but since the odds are so good you could end up making more money than you lose. This is one more example of why it is so important to keep an eye on the betting units won and understand the difference when it comes to truly making money.


While most casual bettors will overlook the importance of counting betting units, the professional handicappers will keep track of their wins and losses using the formula listed above in order to make sure they are winning more than they are losing. It is definitely important to be able to correctly pick winners when it comes to sports betting. However, it doesn’t mean nearly as much unless you are winning more units than you are losing in the long run.