What is a Unit in Sports Betting?

Sports betting is growing more popular every single year. Millions of people bet on sports on a regular basis, yet many are still unfamiliar with some of the activity’s most basic terminologies. Today, our experts will answer the common question: what is a unit in sports betting?

This may seem like a complicated question to betting newcomers. In reality, units are easy to understand, and knowing how these work may help with your betting journey.

Here’s what you need to know!

Why Sports Betting Units Are Used

The amount of money that bettors have to throw around varies. High-rollers are able to wager huge amounts of money on a regular basis. Most casual bettors choose to wager smaller amounts of money far more infrequently.

Units are what help bettors to compare winning and losses, regardless of the amount of money that is being wagered. Essentially, it’s a way to determine a bettor’s skill.

Simply comparing the amount of money being won between bettors does not always tell a real story. For example, $500 could be almost nothing to one bettor, while it’s a massive amount of money to another. Units help to really show the success that bettors are having in as honest of a way as possible.

How Are Sports Betting Units Established?

Some may still have questions about how exactly sports betting units are created. No problem! A betting unit is simply the amount of money being wagered compared to an entire bankroll. One percentage of that bankroll is generally one unit.


Someone with $500 in a betting account. They decided that 1 unit should be 1% of their account.

1 unit = 1% of $1,000

Meaning that 1 unit is $10

Creating unit sizes based on odds requires a little more knowledge. This is where odds come into play. Someone taking a -160 NFL team with a $10 bet will win $6.25 in profit (Payout = $16.25) . It’s important to keep this in mind when tracking sports betting unit wins and losses.

Unit Size Bet Amount Odds Win (in units) Win or Payout (in $)
0.25 $2.5 +400 1.25 $12.50
0.5 $5 +250 1.75 $17.50
1 $10 +130 2.3 $23.00
2 $20 -110 3.81 $38.18

How Many Betting Units Should Be Wagered?

Experts love to debate the best sports betting strategies. Generally speaking, betting no more than 3 units is smart on individual matches. This can vary, though. Experienced bettors with a successful track record may choose to wager 5 units or more.

It all comes down to what you are comfortable betting.

The majority of bettors will not even need to track units, as they are not keeping specific tracks of their bankroll. Those looking for clear examples of their wins and losses may find sports betting units to be a valuable tool, though.

Sports Gambling Units: The Truth

Bettors seem torn as to the benefits of sports gambling units. There is no doubt that these can be beneficial to hardcore sports gamblers. The vast majority of sports bettors do so as a casual form of entertainment, however, and in that case, these may not be completely necessary.

Sports betting units are not ways of tracking funds.

Someone may tell you they are up 30 units over the year. That simply means they are up 30x what a single betting unit is to them, based on their bankroll. That could be $10,000 and that could be $100.

The fact is these sports gambling units will only be beneficial to the most extreme bettors. That means those consistently tracking their performance. That may apply to some of those asking: “what are units in betting?” That doesn’t mean everyone.

Sports Betting Units FAQ

It’s easy to get confused when tracking wins and losses with sports betting. Units serve as an easier way to track these profits and losses. They should allow bettors to easily see how well they are doing betting on sports with a specific bankroll.

One of the most common issues in sports betting is failing to realize how many winning and losing bets have taken place. Units for sports betting help many bettors more clearly track their betting performance.

There is really no way to calculate this. As we mentioned earlier, one unit can actually refer to any percentage of a total bankroll. Even 0.001%! That means it is possible for a bettor to be up 500 units while experiencing almost no real profit. With that in mind, it’s possible to bet as many units for sports gambling as you would like.

Sports betting is more widely accepted today than ever before in history. Of course, individual laws for this form of gambling vary from country to country and state to state. If sports betting is legal in your location, then so is using units for sports betting.

Some will argue that sports betting units are some of the most effective tools available to track wins and losses. Others might disagree, claiming it does not help to determine the amount of money one has lost effectively. Feel free to try using units during your betting process to determine if it helps you.