Dull or not, money management is one of the most important aspects of successful sports betting. The fundamental problem with betting on sports is the following: if one doesn't bother seeking out some sort of hidden value to secure a positive EV on the bet, the negative EV that comes with regular betting will kill your bankroll anyway.
If you do act on positive EV, variance will still hit you, despite the fact that in the long-run you'll probably do just fine. Therefore, what you need to focus on (if all other aspects of your handicapping and hidden value tracking are ok), is that your bankroll should last long enough for the effects of the positive EV to be felt.
For that, you need bankroll management.
Most specialists will tell you that betting 2-3% of your entire bankroll on any single match-up is the way to go about it. They also add that if you truly feel strongly about one particular game, you might go as high as 5% on it, but never more.
That way, you'll make sure your bankroll lasts long enough even if a losing streak happens to hit you.
Take losing streaks into account and don't let them set you off-balance psychologically. There's nothing worse than chasing after losses and over-betting games when on a winning run.
Surviving the grind and being successful at locating value is what it's all about. Why did I say that plain square betting was a negative EV affair? For that, you first need to understand what EV (expected value), also known as mathematical expectation is.
If you and I both bet $1 on a coin-flip (which is a 50-50 event) we'd be facing 0 EV. If I bet $2 against your $1 on the same coin flip, you'd have a net profit of $1 on every pair of bets, which means you'd have a mathematical expectation of $0.5 on every bet we make. That's your positive EV right there. While it doesn't guarantee you that I will not win 10 bets in a row, it does guarantee that over the long-run you'll take all my money away.
That's how square betting works too. The bookmaker always balances his lines to get an equal number of bettors on both its sides (so that he can make money risk-free). In the process though, he induces negative EV (for the bettor that is) into most of his lines. The spread makes sure the game is pretty much turned into a coin-flip (after all, that's why they take points away from the favorite and add them to the underdog: to even things up). While in practice it's impossible to attain, a perfectly balanced match-up is a coin-flip indeed. If you win, you'll get the money you wagered, plus the money some other unlucky loser wagered minus the wig. That means you'll always be laying the line, betting a certain amount of money to win a little bit less.
If you bet on the money-line, the spread won't be there to even things up. Well, guess what, the bookmaker will still turn it into a coin-flip by offering you miserable returns on the fav, and fabulous ones on the underdog.
Every match-up needs to be turned into something close to a coin-flip, otherwise the industry won't be able to function anymore.
Locating positive EV is still possible though. Even though the mechanisms the bookmaker uses to balance his match-ups seem flawless, they sometimes backfire. Let's consider the following scenario: a very hot team plays a powerful underdog on the road. In this situation, square money will often flow in on the favorite in a disproportional manner. That tips the balance the bookie's created, and he'll rush to right things. He'll most probably do that by shifting his lines around a bit to make the other side look more attractive, and thus to bring in money on the other side too.
Sure, sometimes he will decide to cover the square bets himself, but you need to look for the situation when he decides the risk isn't worth it. In that case, hidden value appears on the side of the underdog (which in this situation is a pretty good choice statistically-speaking). Because the negative EV is really small, it only takes that much to tip the scales in the sharp bettors' favor. The conclusion is, you need to take advantage of your fellow bettors to secure some EV+ for yourself, and that's exactly what sharps are so good at. Poker rakeback is one factor that can provide you increased EV+ in poker. Sign up for a rakeback deal and make it work for you. Downloading some MMA torrent and video is one of the best ways to handicap upcoming MMA matchups.