Masaniello Betting Strategy

Written by: Alex Windsor
Fact checked by Brian Webb  
Updated: July 9, 2024

Good handicapping skills and the ability to pick more winners than losers are not the only prerequisites to showing a profit from sports betting. As many inexperienced bettors learn the hard way, sound money management is equally important. This article will introduce you to a money management method called the Masaniello Betting Strategy. It was originally developed for roulette, but it can also be applied to sports betting.

What is the Masaniello Betting Strategy?

The Masaniello betting method offers an alternative to flat betting by adjusting bet size based on previous outcomes. The percentage of your bankroll (i.e., 5%) that you risk on each bet remains constant, but the amount of the bet increases after a win and decreases after a loss. In this sense, the Masaniello betting method is the opposite of the Martingale system which is a progressive betting system calling for increasing your bet after a loss. Instead, you raise your bet only after a win and bet less after a loss. The rationale, according to the authors, is to help you minimize losses while capitalizing on winning streaks. However, the method is far from infallible. You must still have more winners than losers to show a profit. The system will also not work with choppy results.

The Masaniello betting strategy was developed by two Italians, Ciro Masaniello and Massimo Modo. It was initially designed for casino games of chance offering alternative bets with close to 50-50 probabilities such as red or black or odd or even in roulette. However, the Masaniello method can also be applied to sports betting. By the way, the reason betting on red or black or odd or even in roulette falls short of being a 50-50 proposition is that the wheel could land on 0 or 00, in which case all of these other bets are losers. Presumably, the authors did not consider these possibilities.

In sports betting, as long as you are making a simple moneyline or point spread bet on one team or the other, there is no way both sides could lose, so you do not have to worry about that possibility. However, even money odds are the exception rather than the rule. With moneyline bets, depending on whether you are taking the favorite or the underdog, you will be offered either negative odds (the return on your investment if you win is less than your risk) or positive odds (the return on your investment if you win is more than your risk). With point spread betting, the odds are usually -110 rather than even money.

How the Masaniello Betting Strategy Works

The objective of the Masaniello betting strategy is twofold: to conserve your bankroll and to capitalize on winning streaks to increase your profit potential. Keep reading for our easy-to-follow step-by-step guide outlining what you need to do to get started.

Using the Masaniello Method for Sports Betting Step-by-Step

  1. Determine your sports betting bankroll: the amount of money you can afford and are willing to risk over a given limited time frame (i.e., a week, but not more than a month).
  2. Decide how many bets you plan to make. For example, if your bankroll is for a week of NFL betting, five bets seem reasonable. For two weeks, you could increase the total to nine bets.
  3. Determine how many bets you expect to win. Be realistic. No one wins 100% of the time, and even expert handicappers rarely sustain a long-term winning percentage of more than 60-65%. That does not mean that short-term more impressive winning streaks are impossible. I have gone 5-0 against the spread in a single day’s NFL picks many times, and once I had a 17-0 documented point spread record in a single week in the NBA. However, there have been other days when the majority or all of my selections lost.

Because you will probably be charged a vig on your bets, 50% accuracy won’t cut it; you need to do better than that to make a profit. For example, if you are making point spread bets with the standard -110 vig, the minimum winning percentage to show a profit (barely) is 52.4%.

When applying the Masaniello method, I recommend basing your winning expectations on your sports handicapping skills. If you realistically think you can achieve 60% winners, go for it. Otherwise, set your sights a little lower (i.e.,55%).

  1. Calculate the average odds for your bets. Add the anticipated odds for each separate bet and divide by the total number of bets.
  2. Use a Masaniello calculator (available online) to determine the amount of each bet based on the above criteria for your first bet and each subsequent bet.

Masaniello Betting Example

Here is an example to show how to apply the Masaniello betting strategy in practice. Let’s say your bankroll for one week of NFL betting is $500 and you intend to make five bets at average odds of -110 and expect to win three of them (60%). Based on the recommended maximum bet size of 5% of your bankroll, your first bet should be $25. If you win, your bankroll will grow to $525, so you can afford to bet a dollar or two more. If you lose, your bankroll will be down to $472.50 ($500-$27.50), so to keep from exceeding 5% of your bankroll on your next bet, you will need to reduce your bet size to about $23. Then, depending on whether your next bet wins or loses, you would adjust your new bet size up or down accordingly.

The suggestion to use betting units of 5% of your bankroll is not written in stone. If you are new to sports betting you might prefer to be more cautious and start with a smaller percentage to test the waters. Remember that one of the main objectives of this betting method is bankroll conservation, so even if you are fairly confident of your ability to pick winning selections, overbetting your bankroll (using betting units of more than 5% of your stake) could be a costly error.

Another important caveat is that the math can get quite messy and lead to recommendations for very awkward bet sizes. When that happens, use your best judgment and round the bet to the closest whole dollar amount.

Masaniello Betting Pros and Cons

The Masaniello betting strategy, like other money management systems that have been proposed for sports betting, has both advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to consider both to help you evaluate if it is an appropriate method for your bankroll and betting style.

Pros

Two common money management mistakes that prove to be the downfall of many inexperienced sports bettors and even seasoned sports bettors who should know better are the following.

One is getting overconfident after a win or a series of wins and greatly increasing one’s bet size. Another is panicking after a loss or series of losses and doubling or tripling up in an attempt to get even. Either tactic is a recipe for potential disaster. One of the main advantages of the Masaniello betting method is that it helps deal with the inevitable fluctuations in your bankroll in a much more responsible manner. It is specifically designed to help you simultaneously make money by capitalizing on your winning streaks and conserve your funds so you can continue making your desired bets without going broke prematurely.

Another advantage that Masaniello betting offers is flexibility. You can use the method to bet on different sports with varying odds.

Cons

Despite the above-mentioned advantages, I would be remiss not to mention this method’s multiple limitations, including all of the following:

  • Inexperienced bettors would have difficulty accurately assessing their expected winning percentage. They may be prone to overestimate their probability of winning due to wishful thinking.
  • The method can only be used for very short windows of time like 1-2 weeks. It would not work for a whole betting season since there are too many unknowns. Even during a very short period, betting odds are subject to change.
  • The math can get quite messy, so to avoid mistakes, one would need a Masaniello calculator.
  • The recommendations would call for betting unusual amounts. Most bettors prefer popular, easy-to-track bet sizes like $25, $50, $100, etc.

If you found this strategy useful, check out our other handy betting guides.

The Bottom Line

No betting system, including the Masaniello system, is infallible. Also because the Masaniello system also has many limitations, it might be better in theory than in practice, particularly if you are new to sports betting. While the underlying concept of modestly increasing your bet when you are winning and betting less when losing makes sense, when trying this method for the first time, your best bet is to stay disciplined and start small.

Alex, a ten-year iGaming industry veteran and Managing Editor at BettingTools specializes in sports betting and betting tools. He also provides insightful reviews, ensures the accuracy of all offers, and maintains content quality helping you make informed choices. Combining professional expertise with a passion for football and soccer, Alex ensures we offer you a reliable resource, focusing on betting tools to assist with odds, accas, and other betting strategies.