Spring is the time when we clean our house, our yards, and our offices, so it only makes sense that we do a little spring cleaning on our handicapping as well. Spring is a good time for most bettors to do it as well – hockey and basketball are winding down, football is a long way off, and baseball is in a stable period. Even if you have had a successful year your handicapping can always use a little polishing, and a few parts can be replaced and a few bolts tightened. If you aren’t spending time at least once a year looking at what is working and what isn’t in your handicapping then you simply aren’t maximizing your potential. Here are seven things you should consider when you are cleaning up your handicapping for spring.
How is your bankroll? – Is your bankroll big enough to justify the size of bets you are making without risking ruin? Has it grown enough that you can comfortably and responsibly consider a jump in your bet size? Is it big enough for you to accomplish the goals you want to accomplish? Bankroll management is the cornerstone to long term betting success regardless of the sports you play or the approach you take.
What sports are you betting on? – Are you focusing on too many sports and spreading your money and attention too thin? Are you focusing entirely on one sport and missing out on other opportunities? Are there sports that you are betting that you aren’t profitable betting? Is it worth improving your approach to those sports, or are you better off not betting on them? Are there sports you want to focus on more, or want to start betting on?
What types of bets do you make? – Are you consistently making the same types of bets, or do you jump around? Are you using the best bets in different situations, or choosing seemingly randomly? Are there some bet types that you are very good at and others that are a leak – strong at runline but unsuccessful at moneyline, for example? Unless you really look closely at this it can be easy to think you are better at a type of bet than you are. By blindly continuing to make those bets you are throwing away profit.
Where do you bet? – Does the sportsbook you use regularly provide the best opportunities for you? Could you consistently get better odds on your preferred types of bets at a different book? Should you spread your bankroll out over a couple of books so you can easily shop for the best odds? Can you get a bonus or reward plan from a new book that will be attractive and profitable?
How is your record keeping? – One thing that good long term bettors all have in common is that they keep good records. If you don’t keep records then you can’t know what is working and what isn’t, so you have no way of improving and learning from the past. If you aren’t keeping records at all then this is absolutely the time to start. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a simple spreadsheet is more than sufficient, and if you are really old school a notebook and a pencil will work fine. If you do keep records then this is a time to figure out how you could improve them. Is there information you wish you had but don’t? Is there a format that would be easier and more efficient?
What are your goals for the next year? – If you don’t have goals then you have nothing to aim for. Different people prefer different types of goals. Some want to win a specific number of bets or amount of money. Others want to have a successful, profitable season in a given sport, or to do better than they have done in the past. It doesn’t matter what your goals are as long as they work for you. In my experience, though, you are more likely to achieve a goal if they are concrete and realistic, and if you write them down so you can see them and be motivated by them.
What are you going to do to improve? – You can always get better – unless you win every single bet you make, that is. If you don’t want to get better than you should just quit now. So how are you going to improve? Are you going to read more? Test more? Watch more sports? This is the perfect time to look at where you need to get better and figure out how you are going to improve your bottom line.