How to keep track of your bets
It’s that time of year when things are really about to get busy. We are now 19 days away from kicking off college football and 31 days into the NFL season. Rather than scrambling to get things done for Week 1, now is a great time to settle in, prepare, and get organized. That way, when the kick-off comes, you’re ready to shoot.
I’m talking about setting yourself up for success by creating your betting ledger, aka “tracking your bets”.
Why it’s important to keep a record
There are so many betting options week in and week out during football season that if you’re just using the dollar amount in your account as a gauge to determine how you’re doing, then you’re doing it wrong. Speaking of football alone, you can bet against the spread (ATS), money line, game totals (over/under), player props, teasers and, of course, parlays.
Even if you only bet a handful of things each week or have a long list of NFL Saturday and Sunday college football bets, it’s extremely important that you keep track of everything. Why? Knowing how much you win and how much you lose is one thing, but keeping track of every bet will help you find your strengths and weaknesses over the course of a season.
Let’s take last year as an example. At the start of the season, I was 16-8-1. Of the eight losses I’ve recorded, six were from double-digit underdog bets, both ATS and moneyline. That 16-8-1 could have been 16-2-1 if I hadn’t been cocky and taken that big dog. On the other hand, that 16-8-1 mark could have gotten worse had I not realized early on that double-digit dogs were a weakness.
Midway through the season, I also realized that my strength was in college football totals. In Week 7 I was 9-1 and finished 32-13 (71%) over/under BFC.
Neither my strength nor my weakness would have been realized had I not been diligent in tracking every bet – everything.
I promise you that making this small change is a step towards becoming a better sports bettor.
How to keep track of your bets
There are plenty of apps you can download for iPhone or Android that make data entry as easy as possible. For me, however, I like to create my own spreadsheet because I break my bets down into tabs, then league, then bet type.
This is how I manage my spreadsheet:
1. Start a spreadsheet through some of the notable brands offered.
2. Create a tab for each league (NFL, NCAAF, ATP, PGA, etc.) Here I will focus on football.
3. Create a column for each type of bet (ATS, OVER/UNDER, parlays, etc.).
4. Update this spreadsheet daily! If you miss a day, it becomes easier to stop tracking. The second a bet is made, it must be entered into your journal.
5. Review your data. See where you should focus or where you should let off the gas.
I even like to add notes as a reminder. Last year I typed in “stop betting on double digit dogs” before the new week. It was the Sharpie on the forehead I needed. I also use highlight function and color code. Green when my bets are on a positive trend and red when they are down.
Whether you use an app or your own computer spreadsheet, use whichever you think will be easiest to manage. We spend half the year only betting on football and things can get quite chaotic. But that will only help, and once you have a full season of data, you’ll know exactly what to focus on for the following year.
Bookmark my personal soccer betting spreadsheet
If you want an example, you can always use my personal profile. I have 2021 and 2022 combined for reference. This file is always accessible, so be sure to bookmark it. As a punter and content creator, you’ll find that mine is a bit more specific and tailored to my role. I have two tabs, one for predictions and another for bets. I make predictions almost daily, but only bet a fraction of that. If you follow me on Twitter, that’s where what I play comes in. It’s my way of pushing a bet from content.
So why should you keep track of your bets? Because in the end, it is always a question of having the same objective: to collect tickets. It might help with that.