For those who are new to the Gambling Twitter world, there are some keywords and concepts used that may be foreign to them. I would say the most common two phrases that I will mention this season are “SU” & “ATS”, and I often get asked “what they hell do they mean?”
SU – Straight Up
This term simply refers to which team won the sporting event. For example, if Adelaide beat Essendon in this Friday night’s match, they are deemed to win “straight up”.
ATS – Against the Spread
Admittedly this term is most likely derived from the United States as they use the term “spread” the same as us Australians do for “line”, but Against the Spread is a very common term in the sports gambling world. Against the spread is simply a tally of how many times a team have covered the pre-game closing line. For example, if a team is favourite by 25.5 points and they win by 26+, they covered the line, if they don’t win by 26 points or more, they failed to cover the line. ATS can be a better reflection of how a team is truly performing compared to public expectation. An example of this were Melbourne’s performances at the MCG in 2017. Even though Melbourne were 6-6 SU at the MCG in 2017, they were only 2-10 ATS, meaning that they performed below the public’s expectation.
An example of a team winning SU but not ATS
St Kilda are -26.5 favourites against Brisbane on Saturday and they win SU by 20 points, but fail to cover the spread/line by 6.5 points.
An example of a team losing SU but win ATS
West Coast are +16.5 underdogs against Sydney on Sunday and they lose SU by 5 points, but cover the spread/line by 11.5 points.
A universal method of staking and keeping track of bets is using “units” as some sort of currency. In the past I have bet on a maximum-of-5 unit scale. 5 being my maximum and 0.5 units being my lowest stake. With this scale, last season I had 94 winning and 76 losing bets in the 2017 AFL season, recording a +35.54 unit profit. But how much is a 35.54 unit profit? Good question, but it’s really up to you.
Everyone has their own personal way of determining how much actual money is in a “unit”. For example, if a recreational bettor likes putting on $10-$20 a week on the footy, they may dictate that $2 = 1 unit. If that is the case, this person would’ve made $71.08 in the 2017 season following my suggested bets. Some people determine a unit to be well over $100, and let’s say in this case that one unit for this particular customer is $100, he would’ve made a $3554 profit following my suggested bets in 2017. Assuming that both of these customers are strict in their bankroll management, although they have walked away with a different level of profits in terms of $, they should walk away with the same return on investment %. A common way as to how you should determine how much a unit is, is by setting a pre-season bank roll – a limit, if you will. If you say prior to the season, “no matter what happens this season, I will not lose more than $1000 for the year”, $1000 is your bank roll. What people commonly do then is say that 1 units represents 1% of your bank roll, therefore 1 units = $10.
This season I am going away from my usual 5-unit scale, and minimising it to a 3-unit maximum. One of the main reasons why I am doing this is due to the fact that I like having a bet and try to find value in almost all AFL matches.
With 9 games of footy on most weekends, it is sometimes unrealistic to expect to bet 15-20% of their bank roll. Limiting these limits ensures a sense of quality over quantity when staking on bets.
Feel free to hit up myself (@TheTrendBettor) and @Oddy_Oddy_Oddy on twitter, we are always up for a chat and always open to feedback.