If you are serious about sports betting, then you need to keep scrupulous records. Otherwise, how will you know how you’re doing? It’s important that you understand how much you are spending, how much you are winning or losing, and how many games you are getting right. Record keeping will give you a wealth of information that you can analyze and utilize to sharpen your perspective and help you determine what adjustments you need to make to win more cash.
Establish Your Bankroll
The first thing that you need to do is establish your sports betting bankroll for the season. This is your starting point, whether it’s $50, $500, $5,000, or some other number. Record it. You may use a basic ledger in which you handwrite your entries or some record keeping software such as Excel. It’s up to you.
Record Sports Betting Expenses
You’ll record any expenses associated with your sports betting. Include any money spent on preview publications, subscriptions to betting and sports information websites, and pick services. Any business expense should be deducted from your bank.
Determine Your Units
As mentioned in the article on “Sports Betting and Bankroll Management,” it’s important to divide the money into units. These smaller amounts of cash allow for easy record keeping and make it simple for you to understand exactly how much you are wagering on one game and for the entire week. Units will be in a specific dollar amount, such as $5, $10, $20, or even higher. The size of the unit you decide to go with will be determined partly by how large your bank is and how much flexibility you’d like to have with your cash. Generally speaking, the smaller the unit and the larger the bank, the more flexibility for the bettor.
Amount Wagered, Won and Vig
Again, everything should be recorded, including every sports bet that you make. Write out the game, including the teams, odds, game date, and amount wagered. When the game is over, record whether you won or lost and how much cash was involved.
Remember to deduct any vig that was charged upfront. Many sports bettors don’t do this, and they get a skewed vision of how well they did. As an example, if you wager $11 on a game that’s listed at -110 and you win, how much did you end up with when all was said and done?
Your bet was $11 and you won $10, so that means you’re now at $21, right? No, you have to deduct the juice, which was $1. That means you are at $20 and you have realized a profit of $9.
This may seem like a fine point, but it’s not. Let’s say you make four $10 wagers with each having $1 in vig. You lose three and win one. Rough math will tell you that you are down $30; however, you are really at minus $34, as you must include the vig spent on all four bets.
Types of Bets Won and Lost
It’s also important to record what types of wagers you made on which games. Were they all point spread and over/under bets, or did you also wager on parlays and props? What about your money line bets? Did you pay for a teaser?
The reason that you want to be clear about what types of sports bets you made and the outcome of each is this will give you a good picture of what kinds of wagers work best for you. Are you doing well in spread bets on college football, but finding that you’re off the mark with your NFL spreads? Have you played parlays and won any of them?
Every week, it is important to review your wagers and how you did. Analyze each aspect, including how much you wagered, what your average unit bet was, and your winning percentage. Assess how you’re doing overall in terms of the season.
The whole point of keeping accurate records is to make sure that you treat sports betting like a business, and are able to make cash in doing so. Remember, write down each item when you are engaged in the activity. Eventually, this will help you become a winner.