Bet tracking is the the most important step to really understand sports betting and improve your handicapping. As you place your bets, you are going to have to enter them in a spreadsheet, then evaluate and track their outcome. Unfortunately bet tracking can be difficult for the impatient , BUT it is one of the only ways to truly understand sports betting and almost definitely required to be a long term successful sports bettor. There are a few principals that make bet tracking vital:
Recent Events Seem More Important
Recency bias is a problem that plagues sports bettors. Every time you hear a gambler say he is on a “hot streak”, or breaks his record down based like “16-7 in the last 23!” you are seeing recency bias. It is part of the human condition that we see recent incidents as more important than former ones. If you aren’t bet tracking, you will almost certainly fall into this trap. You need to try to consider all you bets when deciding to place every future bet.
Large/Small Numbers Prevent You From Understanding Risk
Not good at math? Really good at math? It is another part of the human condition that when exposed to large and small numbers, our comprehension breaks down. I deal with stupid numbers daily: 1.3 billion web pages served versus conversion rates of 0.0004…. One thing I can’t emphasize enough is that it is very very hard to keep track of risk hidden in numbers over tens of thousands of bets for hundreds of thousands of dollars and fractional win percentages. To understand the very large and very small numbers, we need to see them written out and compared to each other.
Sports Betting Odds Are Designed To Confuse You
The sportsbook isn’t a charity. Sports betting is deliberately designed to confuse bettors into underestimating the risk. That is where my Basics of Sports Betting articles come in, but also where you have to take the time understanding odds on your own. The good news is the sports betting is much more fun than calculus was.
How easy is Bet Tracking?
You could enter your bets into a basic spreadsheet with the game, your pick, the odds, bet amount and the outcome. That would be enough to start spotting trends and identifying your successful strategies and start eliminating those that aren’t successful. That said: here is the spreadsheet I use for bet tracking. It actually is about the same amount of work, but it slices, dices, and graphs all your information that makes it easier to spot your bet tracking insights:
Watch the Bet Tracking Spreadsheet video to see how to set up the sheet. I have been using this sheet for years and it tracks every statistic that you might need to identify trends in your betting.