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The importance of Recordkeeping

October 12, 2010 by  
Filed under General Information

If the mere mention of keeping sportsbetting records conjures up images of a pointy headed geek pushing a pencil amidst mountains of data, you are not alone. Few bettors are capable of keeping from yawning when a discussion about tracking your betting results begins. But it is a given that anyone who bets on sports in a rational manner designed to earn profits regularly must have a method of measuring their success. Tracking the results of your wagers is the only approach that really makes sense.

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Keeping track of your bets may be boring, but without doing it you will have no concept of which types of bets are your strongest winners. And without that information, opportunities that could boost your winning percentage will simply pass you by.

You can always find websites out there that give you simulations of sportsbook sites but these can be rather limiting. You may not be able to enter the bet sizes that you usually use and you may not even be able to list the types of bets you are most used to placing. The real value will come only from a system that accurately reflects every single bet you make and there are several important ways that your data must be arranged in order to give you a clear picture of your accomplishments.

The first category to be tracked is the bet type. Straight bets, totals, Over/Under bets, Parlays and Teasers should all be defined in your database so you can sort your bets accordingly. It is critical that you get a handle on whether you are winning or losing at each of these types of wagers. You may find halfway through the season that you are losing on totals and parlays on a regular basis. The obvious fix is to drop those types of wagers from your routine. After that you should probably see improvement in your overall winning percentage using all other types of bets.

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Advice such as eliminating losing betting types is simple common sense but it escapes many sports bettors, some of whom fail to track even basic numbers like wins vs losses. But keeping track only of your wins and losses is just the beginning of good data management. Are you betting way too many underdogs on the road when your success rate on home favorites deserves more action? Or maybe you are winning handily when taking price with low point spreads but you miss the mark when the spread hits double digits. Ideally you should be breaking down your betting results into many more categories to get the full story on the trends in your own wagering history.

Another important area to focus on is your record with particular teams. Most sports bettors have good instincts when it comes to certain teams and may not even be aware of this fact. Tracking your success by team and adjusting your betting to accommodate it is one of the easiest ways to improve your bankroll. And it doesn’t matter whether the team of interest actually wins or not. You may find that you are winning at a very high percentage when betting either for or against the Pittsburgh Steelers for example. It’s an indication that for some reason you have a good read on how the Steelers will perform on a weekly basis. The right move in that case is naturally to place more wagers on games involving Pittsburgh whether they are favored or not. By the same token, think about reducing the number of bets on games with teams that you have had a difficult time getting a read on according to your tracker.

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In short, you need to pay attention to the trends and warnings showing up in your own betting records in order to improve them. As misleading as statistics can sometimes be, the successes you have had with different betting types, teams and situations are a different story. They are most often the best reference points when looking to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. Even the minimal amount of effort required to update your tracker each week will ultimately pay off. You may need to track your progress for several weeks before you start to see patterns that are useful. But certainly by midseason you should have a much clearer picture of how you are doing with various moneyline odds for example or with NCAA versus NFL teams. Keep a sharp eye on this valuable data and let it help you earn the best possible return on your sports wagers.