Six Reasons to Track Your Sports Bets

Chris Copeland@@TracktheBetAnalyst IMay 13, 2010

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  A man places a bet on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival on March 16 2010, in Cheltenham, England. Approximately 200,000 racing enthusiasts are expected at the four-day festival which ends on Friday  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Bet tracking software has sprung up online over the past couple of years and now is the time to take advantage if you are a sports bettor.

Back in the day, players used good old fashioned pencil and paper to track their games; Wins on the left, Losses on the right and a tally to keep track of how much you were up or down. Then came Excel and players took their tracking to the next level, using equations and algorithms to update their Profit and Overall Record. The bettor might have used columns to separate Teams, Bet Placed, Amount Risked and Profit.

Nowadays sports bettors have applications and software to assist with their sports bets and most don’t take advantage. Stock brokers have feeds and piles of data that allow them to choose the right stocks. Consumers login at banking websites and receive statements based on their spending.

What’s the difference between those users and a sports bettor trying to gain an edge? All three are managing money, but for some reason, analyzing sports wagers seems to be a daunting task or a waste of time in the minds of some bettors.

Now, we still may be years away from having online gambling legalized and regulated, but players should still understand where their money is going and how it’s being invested. Below I have highlighted six reasons why tracking your sports bets can be beneficial to you and to your bankroll.

1. Less time updating and verifying records

This one is pretty simple. The more time you fiddle with your Excel sheet or add up your profits with a calculator, the less time you have to analyze games. Most online tracking software auto-grade each game, so updating your record is now as easy as logging in and viewing your stats.

2. Pinpoint misconceptions in gaming arsenal

Ever had a football weekend where you went 7-3, but ended up losing money? Don’t worry; it’s happened to most sports bettors at one point or another. But with a tracking system, you can analyze Straight bets compared to other types of high risk, high reward wagers such as Parlays, Teasers and Futures.

Sure, every once in while you might get lucky and hit that five-team parlay, but are those wagers really paying off and increasing your ROI in the long run? Stay on top of the numbers and understand what percentage of bets are Straight wagers verse other, perhaps, more enticing types of bets.

3. Document money management habits

Having a strong handle on your money management skills is crucial in defeating the books year in and year out. Just like Parlay and Teasers bets can destroy your bankroll, going overboard on the ‘Lock of the Year’ wager is just as bad.

Looking at past wagers and identifying places where you can improve from a monetary standpoint is very important and can have a serious impact on your long term profits if certain tendencies are not accounted for and adjusted.

4. Detailed bankroll and account balances

Make sure you have a running overall balance that's updated after each night of betting. What’s your overall Net Profit or Net Loss? How much are you paying in juice? How much are you betting per game? You should know these answers off the top of your head. Having an automated system updating those metrics in real-time can be a time saver and allow you to focus on other aspects of your betting portfolio.

5. Identify irregular betting patterns

There are types of bets that, over the long run, are detrimental to your bankroll. But what about chasing games after a not-so-hot day? While those bets may be few and far between, I’m guessing they still exist. Isolating those patterns and understanding why you bet certain games or on certain teams can go a long way in determining the kind of sports bettor you are and will become in the future.

6. Manage performance

Looking at overall stats, including Record, Profit, ROI and Bankroll should play an important part of your bet routine and should be looked at frequently. If certain stats are more important to you than others, highlight and take notice if those numbers start to shift severely in one direction or the other.

Overall, make sure to review as much data as you can, either on your own, or with the help of a bet tracking software. Analyzing data points will give you an in-depth understanding of what type of sports bettor you are.

Figure out your tendencies. Are you a dog or favorite bettor? Do you prefer home teams or away? Any advantage you can muster is a significant one and already puts you in the upper echelon of sports bettors, even before a bet is placed.

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