When the college football season ends most sports bettors just move on to the next sport. If you really want to be successful with your betting, though, you need to take a little time to look at what happened last season, and what you can do next season to improve your bottom line. Here are five quick ways you can look back at the bets you made to learn from them and see what mistakes to avoid. Most of them rely on you having records of the bets you made and how they turned out to look back at. If you aren’t keeping records of each bet you make as a college football handicapper - something as simple as a spreadsheet or even an old fashioned notebook – then you absolutely need to start. Now.
Isolate the real bets – The first thing I like to do is look back at all the sports bets and separate the ones I made after real handicapping and careful decision making from the ones I made for some different reason – because I was watching the game anyway, because I had a hunch or a theory, and so on. By separating the two types of bets out you can get a better idea of how effective your handicapping really is. You can also see how much money you are tossing away on ill-advised bets. If you find that you are making too many bets based on anything other than real handicapping then you need to decide if that makes sense or if it is getting in the way of what you want to accomplish.
Break down types of bets – With your sports bgetting, did you make all of your bets against the point spread, or did you favor the moneyline? Were your moneyline bets mostly on the favorites, or were they on the underdogs. Did you play the totals? Were you mostly betting on single games, or did you make multi-game bets? How about props? By breaking down the bets by type you can see what types of bets you are good at, and what kinds are consistently costing you money. You can also tell if you have tendencies that you don’t even realize – like always betting the over. By understanding the types of bets you made and the results you can learn where you should be focusing on next season.
Look at bets by odds – I break my bets down into four different groups based on the potential payoff they offered – small favorites, small underdogs, heavy favorites, and big underdogs. I consider a heavy favorite as anything over -150, and a big underdog below +150. I’m interested in seeing two things – are there types of bets I tend to make more often, and are there types of bets I am not profitable at? I have learned over the years with myself that my strength is in the big underdogs, and that I am particularly unprofitable on the heavy favorites. I have used that knowledge to build on my strengths and grow my bankroll, but I wouldn’t have realized how significant those trends were if I didn’t take the time to look closely at them.
Break down bets by conference – A few years ago I realized that I was lousy at betting on the ACC. For three seasons in a row I had nicely profitable seasons overall but I had lost money on the ACC. Eventually I realized what the issue was – I hate the ACC. I don’t care about the teams, they are rarely on TV where I live, and the style of football just isn’t interesting to me. As a result I wasn’t bringing the passion to ACC handicapping that I was to the Big Ten or the MAC – two conferences I have done very well in – and my biases were probably affecting my decisions too much. Now I almost never bet the ACC. Breaking down your sports bets and your results by conference might help you spot similar leaks in your game.
Look at bets by week – If you break down your bets and your results by week you might learn something about your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you start out strong because you are good at non-conference games with mismatches, but you weaken when non-conference action starts. Or maybe you’re just throwing away money for the first few weeks until you get meaningful current stats to base your decisions on. Maybe you make a lot of bets every weekend early in the season when you are excited, but slow down your pace as the season progresses. If you understand the timing of your success as a college football handicapper you have one more means of adjusting your bets to maximize your success – either by focusing your efforts in the areas where you succeed, or by consciously working to improve the areas where you struggle.