Anyone who takes their sports betting seriously should appreciate the value of studying. The basics of sport betting are relatively straightforward, and it’s easy to start placing wagers with just a little bit of knowledge, but there’s a lot more to learn if the ultimate goal is to consistently make money. It’s not possible to learn the necessary information, such as all the strategy involved, without dedicating some considerable time to studying sports betting in detail.
It’s not just the subject of sports betting itself that needs to be studied either. To stand any chance of making accurate predictions on the outcome of sports events, it’s necessary to study the actual sports too. No one is going to be a successful football bettor, for example, without a fundamental understanding of the game. It also helps to know as much as possible about the participants. This means studying the teams and players, looking at their strengths and weaknesses, their playing styles, and their recent form.
Most bettors understand the importance of this kind of study, even if many of them don’t actually spend anywhere near enough time on it. What many bettors don’t understand, however, is that it’s also important to study their own performance. Bettors should really be constantly analyzing what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and the associated results. Only then can they determine the best possible strategies to use, and when to use them.
This is why you should keep betting records. You should keep accurate financial records as an absolute minimum, even if just betting for fun, as this at least enables you to keep track of whether you’re winning or losing. Ideally you should keep more detailed records, so that you can properly analyze your performance.
In this article, we explain more about record keeping and performance analysis. We strongly recommend following the advice featured here, as it will almost certainly help you to improve your results in the long run.
Keeping financial records is, as we’ve already explained, the minimum you should do when betting on sports. Even if betting purely for the purposes of entertainment, it’s advisable to have a clear idea of how much you’re winning or losing. It’s quite possible that you’re losing more than you think, in which case you may wish to reduce the number of wagers placed and the amount of money staked. It’s also possible that you’re winning MORE than you think, in which case it might be time to start taking betting more seriously.
It’s super easy to keep some straightforward financial records. You can do one of two things.
The first option is only viable when betting online, and involves simply recording some numbers every time you make a deposit or withdrawal at any of the sites you use. This can be done using just a pen and a notepad, but it’s better to use a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. This will do all the necessary calculations, making it easy to keep track of a running total. Obviously you also need to take into account any balances you have at sites too.
The second option is the better of the two in our opinion. Again, we recommend using a spreadsheet. You should set up something like the following, and just fill in the relevant details for every wager placed and settled.
We’d suggest making a note of the relevant total at the end of each month, and recording that in another spreadsheet, and then starting again for the following month. This way you can easily keep track of the total win/loss for each month, and the overall amounts as well. You might just be surprised at the sums of money involved.
Keeping some simple financial records to track overall results is significantly better than keeping no records at all, as it’s important to know how much you’re winning or losing. They’re no use for analyzing your performance to any great extent though, which is why we advise keeping much more detailed records.
Here’s a list of all the factual information we recommend recording for each wager placed.
Covering all of these points is not much more time consuming than keeping basic financial records. What will take a little longer is recording all of the following too.
This is obviously a lot more information to record, although it doesn’t take as long you might think to note it all. You don’t need to go into great detail, but you do want to cover each point mentioned. The idea here is to essentially provide a subjective narrative as to why you decided to place each wager. It’s this information that allows for in-depth analysis of your betting performance.
Once you have maintained detailed betting records as suggested above, you can then start carrying out periodic reviews of these records. There are no set rules about how frequently you should do this, but we feel that a monthly review is about right.
There are two main stages to reviewing betting records. The first is assessing which betting markets you’re most successful in, and the second is assessing the effectiveness of your strategies.
Determining which markets give you the best results is very straightforward. It’s a simple case of reviewing your records to see where you perform the best. Specifically, you’re trying to gauge the following.
For example, let’s say the majority of your betting activity is on tennis, football and soccer. After reviewing your records, you notice that you consistently win money from betting on soccer and tennis. Your football betting, however, is resulting in a loss. This gives you something to think about. You could stop betting on football entirely and focus on tennis and soccer, or you could look more closely at your football betting to see where the losses are coming from.
Let’s say that your football betting is split across the NFL and college games, and most wagers placed are either point spreads, totals or moneylines. A quick review of your records might indicate that you do very well betting point spreads on NFL games, but very poorly when betting totals on college games. By simply sticking to NFL point spreads, you might be able to turn negative football results into positive ones.
Of course, you might actually prefer to look for ways to improve results when betting on college football. That’s where the next stage comes in.
This stage is not quite so straightforward as the previous one. It involves looking at your processes for making selections, and determining which aspects of those processes are effective and which are not. Basically, you’re looking to answer the following two questions.
For example, you might be evaluating a wide range of different factors when trying to pick the winner of a soccer match. If your results when doing this are positive, then it’s clear that this approach is working. You can look to fine-tune the approach to make it even more effective, but you don’t want to mess with too many things.
On the other hand, you might be applying a simple formula to estimate the total number of points scored when betting college football totals. If you’re not getting good results from these wagers, then it should be clear that this approach is not working. So, if you want to improve these results, you’ll need to start factoring in some other considerations.
Now, these are some very simplified examples. In reality, analyzing your betting performance is much more complex. There’s a key point to bear in mind though.
Ultimately, all that matters is that you DO keep records and you DO analyze your betting performance. Beyond that, there are no rights and wrongs. You should ideally try to develop your own system for recording your bets and evaluating what you’re doing. This will take some time to perfect, but it’s important to use methods that suit you.
Just remember to be patient. Performance analysis can be very effective in the long run, but don’t expect to see immediate improvements in your results. Also, please note that sample size is very important. Although we recommend doing monthly reviews, a month’s worth of data is rarely enough to gain any meaningful information from by itself. You’ll need to look back over a longer period than that to gain any useful insight into where you’re performing well and where there is room for improvement.