This an in-depth guide to betting guides.
You’ll learn why they are so important to making a success from sports betting and how to do it yourself.
Ready to find out?
Why Keep Betting Records
In short, the main reasons why you must track every bet are as follows:
- Bankroll management
- Working to your strengths
- Identify your weaknesses
Let’s explore these in more detail.
We’ve covered this topic a lot in many of our posts.
Bankroll management ensures that you never put too much on a single bet.
In essence, BM means that you will never go broke.
It also allows you scale.
As you consistently profit, you can increase your unit sizes without worrying that you’re betting too much.
The same goes for losing streaks.
|$1,000||$10 - $20|
|$10,000||$100 - $200|
|$100,000||$1,000 - $2,000|
|$1m||$10,000 - $20,000|
Things don’t always go to plan, so if/when this happens, bankroll management ensures that you don’t lose everything.
Keeping betting records is a natural part of bankroll management.
It’s a reflection of how you’re managing your bankroll.
If things are going well, you’ll have no problem scaling.
If not, you can quickly spot the problem and fix things.
Work To Your Strengths
Sports betting is fun, but it should not be treated as a source of entertainment.
Sports betting is about making money.
Betting records ensure you can track which markets are making you the most money and those that are not as profitable.
For example, you may be crushing NFL spread betting, but the profits from betting on college football seem to be lacking.
They’re both the same sport, yet the reasons why one is proving to be more lucrative than the other rarely come down to just pure luck.
Assuming this trend continues, unless you keep a record of your bets, you may not actually realize how much college football is really costing you.
As time goes on, you’ll be able to analyze the records in even more detail.
The more detail you collect, the more reliable your analysis.
Anything that can help you make more money from betting should be high on your list of priorities.
Go bigger on your best sports and reduce/cut out the weaker ones.
Identify Your Weaknesses
The same applies to your weaknesses.
Betting records allow you to find and eliminate mistakes.
For example, you may find that your bets placed on weekend evenings end up chasing the afternoon’s losses.
Noticing these ‘chasing’ bets should provide enough motivation to change things up or stop making them altogether.
At the end of the day, it’s so much easier to see things when they’re written down in black and white.
So, with all these things in mind, here’s how you can start making betting records yourself.
How To Track Sports Bets
There are several parts to consider.
The first is what you need to keep a record of.
Second is how you actually keep betting records.
Finally is how to analyze what you’ve recorded.
Let’s get into it.
What You Need To Track
Here are the absolute essentials (there’s no excuse for not tracking them):
- Event date
- Who you’re betting on
- How much you bet
- The odds
- The outcome
- Point differential
Here’s an example to illustrate.
Let’s say we were interested in this NFL game:
Then let’s say we wanted to bet on the Rams to cover the spread.
Here’s what we would record:
|Date||September 20, 2020|
Once the game finishes, we would then record the outcome and the point differential between the final score and the spread.
Now, you may be wondering, what’s so important about these particular notes?
|Data||Why Record It|
|Date||Understand when the game took place so you can spot and analyze trends|
|Who And The Market||You'll struggle to come up with solid conclusions from such trends|
|Amount Wagered||Understand if you're up or down money after the bet|
|Odds, Outcome and Differential||See how close you were to winning or losing|
But this is the bare minimum you should be tracking…
Other Notes To Track
Before going any further, if you’ve come this far and thought to yourself that this seems a bit much already, you may want to reconsider your goals.
Successful sports betting is not easy.
You need to put the work in to beat the bookmakers and sportsbooks.
So, with that said, let’s talk about what else you should be considering.
The list above outlined the essentials.
These next points are what we’d recommend to help you make sense of the data.
As a result, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to treat the strategies making you money and strategies that must be adjusted.
They are as follows:
- Confidence in that play on a scale of 1-10
- Why you chose that event
- Context of the bet
- Particular reasons why it won or lost
These require more than just one-word answers.
Be Honest With Yourself
This is just as important as everything else discussed in this article.
Record every bet you make.
By every bet, we mean every bet.
Some people like to make excuses with themselves, such as they were drunk, or they didn’t put much thought into it, resulting in them saying ‘it doesn’t count’.
Here’s the deal.
You must still include these bets in your betting records.
Because you made them and they cost or won you money.
Just because you made a lazy bet doesn’t excuse you from recording it.
Can a stockbroker erase a trade just because they’ve had a few drinks?
They must live with their decision.
The same goes for sports investing.
Lying to yourself to make your stats look better on paper doesn’t do you any favors.
Stay honest with yourself.
You’ll be a bettor sports bettor for it.
Ways To Track Sports Bets
There multiple ways to keep betting records.
The most old-school of them is the classic pen and paper.
Now, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend you use this option, but it’s there if you need it.
The drawbacks are pretty obvious.
If you lose it, you’re done.
All that data is gone forever.
Next, there’s no way to tell if you’re making mistakes.
You also can’t run any programs or functions to analyze the data.
This is the biggest drawback to this method, but if it’s the only thing you have available, then it’s better than nothing.
So, what would we recommend instead?
Either in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
Enter and sort through your data easily.
Both programs are easy to use and there are so many materials online that can teach you extra tricks to get the most from them.
The other option is a dedicated sports betting app.
These work quite well because you can take them on the go on your phone, but they can lack the flexibility to track certain elements of the bet.
Plus, if you swap phones, you may risk losing the data and having to start all over again.
How To Analyze Sports Betting Records
So now you have the data, but what do you actually have to do with it?
Here are a few things to help you get the most out of the data.
You must have a decent sample size before you draw conclusions from the data.
A handful of bets won’t tell the whole truth.
There’s an element of variance in sports betting that impacts on short-term results.
Take a coin flip for example.
If you flip it ten times and it lands on heads eight of those times, does that mean it’s more likely to land on heads?
The chance remains at 50%.
But because you have a small sample size, the results may cause you to think differently about what’s really going on.
More is always better.
You need at least 100 bets within the same sports and markets before you can start drawing meaningful conclusions.
Comparing the results of 100 bets across different sports and markets is like comparing apples and oranges.
It goes back to what we mentioned towards the beginning.
What if you are crushing the NFL with half your bets, but getting destroyed on college football with the other half?
You’re not getting the full picture.
Win/Loss Record Vs ROI
How you measure success is also important.
Looking at wins and losses is a mistake.
And lots of people make this error.
You can have an overall losing record in sports betting but still make a profit.
Similarly, you can have an overall winning record and still be haemorrhaging money.
You should be looking at your return on investment (ROI) instead.
ROI shows how much money you’re making from a bet based on how much you are wagering.
ROI is calculated as follows:
For example, if bet $110 on a point spread and you made $100 profit, then your ROI looks like this:
ROI = (Net Profit / Total Investment) * 100% = ($100 / $110) * 100% = 90.91%
In other words, for every $110 wagered, you should expect a 90.91% return, or $90.91.
ROI should be the only way you measure the success of sports betting.
Sorting By Sport
This helps to see what sports are making you money and those that are holding you back.
But just because you may not be doing well in one sport, doesn’t mean you have to stop betting it.
Look at why you’re losing.
The other pieces of information we told you to record (confidence, context, etc) goes a long way here.
For example, you may find out you’re losing because you’re betting a lot of away favorites.
In this case, you may want to work this Eureka moment into your sports betting strategy.
After a while, if you’re still struggling and can’t find rational reasons, then it may time to start backing off these bets and create a new strategy in its place.
Sort By Bet Type
Just as you would sort by each individual sport, you should also sort by bet type.
Use the same process; look for winning or losing trends and find out why that is.
What To Do With Your Betting Records
You’ve found some interesting trends that may be useful.
Well, that depends on if they’re positive or negative.
If you’re doing very well in one area, you may want to consider betting more on that.
But only do it if it’ll make you more money.
Sometimes increasing volume can have the opposite effect, so it’s up to you on how you proceed.
On the other hand, if you’re struggling in another area, you need to work out if you’re losing due to variance or you’ve made a mistake(s) in your strategy.
When you find the cause, make the adjustment and continue tracking bets to see if you plugged the hole(s).
Betting records are the less-glamorous side to sports betting.
But they’re vital.
Betting records are partly behind our ability to generate 120% ROI from sports betting.
Record every bet, be honest with yourself and put the work in to analyze the data properly.
Your wallet be more than thankful.