Unit Calculations Explained

in this article...

  • Units defined
  • How unit wins/losses are calculated
  • How I rate picks
  • How my guarantee works

What are Units?

Wonder what a "unit" is? Wondering how I calculate my unit wins/losses? I explain it here.

I make my picks based on units. I report my performance based wins and losses (and win percentage) as well as units won and lost.

A "unit" is simply a standard measure of profit/loss. Since each person bets different amounts, we use the term "unit" to describe a single bet. For some people, a unit may be $20. For others, it may be $1,000. It all depends on the size of your bankroll. You simply need to pick a unit size that fits your bankroll.

A general rule of thumb that I use is to make one unit = 1% of your bankroll. So, if you have $5,000 to wager, your unit size would be $50. So, for a 2-unit play, you'd risk $100.

How units won/lost are calculated

For picks against the money line (used for baseball and hockey and sometimes in other sports), wins, losses, winning percentage and net wins are calculated the same as those played against the spread. But, units must be accounted for differently because money-line picks are typically not $110 to win $100 as described above.

Money-line picks are picks in which you are betting games straight-up without a spread. The money-line can be played in any sport but is most often used in baseball and hockey. In a nutshell, by betting the money-line, you are simply picking a team to win or lose. The spread or line does not apply. If your team wins (by any amount), you win. If your team loses (by any amount), you lose. You must risk more to win less on favorites. Conversely, on underdogs you can risk less to win more.

When calculating units won/lost for money-line bets, we need to account for the money-line offered. If a team is -$150 for $100 and we bet it for 2 units and it wins, we count a 1.33-unit win. If it loses, we count it as a 2unit loss. If a 2-unit +150 underdog wins, it counts as a +3-unit win and if it loses, it's a 2-unit loss.

We always RISK a certain number of units. The amount we win is determined by the odds offered on that wager.

Rating the Picks - Units

I rate each pick as a 1 to 2.5 unit-play:

  • 0.5 unit = 0.5% of bankroll
  • 1 unit = 1% of bankroll
  • 1.5 units = 1.5% of bankroll
  • 2 units = 2% of bankroll
  • 2.5 units = 2.5% of bankroll

Read my article on bankroll management to understand how to bet based on the unit-ratings of each game.

How Much Can I Win?

How much can you expect to win using my picks? Check out what you can expect.


For my guarantee, I measure the total profit or loss (i.e. net units won or lost). If I provide positive net units (i.e. a profit), it's considered a winning package. If the picks result in negative net units, it's considered a losing package and you get another equal package free. It's that simple.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Good luck!