Sports Betting 101: Bankroll Management, Track Your Bets

April 8, 2020 10:23 AM

Read the first six parts of Bankroll Management and the rest of the Sports Betting 101 series.

The final and most crucial step to bankroll management is tracking every single bet you make. It is one of the smartest moves you can make as a bettor. Unfortunately, many new or casual bettors never think to do this. Maybe they consider it too tedious, time consuming or don't see the benefit of it. 

Sure, tracking your bets would be fun if you're winning. You can sit back, smile and pat yourself on the back for all the "W's" you've posted. But what's the point of tracking your bets if you're losing? Public bettors want to forget about their losses and move on. Seeing all of those "L's" stare you in the face makes you feel worse. It's depressing and feels like someone is rubbing it in. 

Most casual bettors track their performance based on their bank account. If it's higher than yesterday, or last week, or last month, that's a good thing because it means they are winning most of their bets. If it's lower, that's a bad thing because it means they're losing. But there is so much more that goes into betting than just wins and losses. If you brush aside a win or a loss without analyzing the context behind it, you are forfeiting a crucial opportunity to get better.

By keeping a running record of all of your bets, you can not only keep a closer eye on your performance, but more importantly you can learn about who you are as a bettor. 

If you're computer savvy, file every bet you make on an excel sheet or spread sheet. If you're more old school, keep a notebook. There are also countless bet tracking apps that bettors can use on their smart phone. The methodology doesn't matter. The only requirement is that you document every bet you make.

By documenting your bets, you can learn your strengths and weaknesses as a bettor. This is critically important because it will open your eyes to what aspects of betting you are doing well at and other aspects you're struggling with. By knowing your strengths, you can focus on them and lean on them. By knowing your weaknesses, you can learn exactly where you blind spots are and work harder on them to improve.

For example, maybe after documenting your plays for a few months you find out you are doing great betting on underdogs or road teams, but doing poorly with home teams and favorites. Or maybe you are doing much better with overs instead of unders. 

More importantly, you will learn which sports and bet types you are best at. 

Maybe you are dead even overall in terms of wins and losses. But a closer look at your documented plays shows that you did well in the NFL, particularly when it comes to NFL unders. You knew you were hitting a lot of unders, but then you realize it was closer to 60 percent! 

Or maybe you did decent in college football, but terrible in the NBA. Or maybe, the NBA wasn't actually that bad. You broke even with your spread bets but the totals were your downfall. Or maybe you did great with NHL moneyline favorites, but never knew it until after analyzing your spreadsheet. Maybe in MLB you realize that you're winning a lot of bets on short moneyline underdogs between + 110 to and + 140, but you keep losing all of your bets on bigger underdogs + 150 or more.

This information is power. Now you can focus on NFL unders and NHL favorites moving forward because that's what you are best at. In turn, maybe you would want to limit your NBA totals because that's your biggest struggle. Reassess your thought process and find out why you're doing so poorly.a

Long story short, none of these realizations would be possible if you hadn't documented all of your bets. Stick with what you're good at. Be more cautious with sports and bet types you have trouble with. Learn your blind sports and where you need to improve. By tracking your bets, you can audit your performance, learn your strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to your benefit moving forward.

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