New Year Resolutions for Sports Bettors

Happy New Year sports bettors! With the end of the year the time has come to make your resolutions – the ways you promise to change your life in the coming year. If you are like most sports bettors then you probably thinks about sports all of the time. It only makes sense, then, that at least some of your resolutions should be about sports betting. At the very least they will be less predictable than the normal ones – losing weight, spending more time with family, and so on. Here are five resolutions that you as a sports betoor are welcome to steal and embrace as your own:

I will keep better records – This is a strong statement, but it is absolutely true – there is no single thing that can improve your sports betting more than improving your record keeping. All it takes is a simple spreadsheet or even a notebook, and a few minutes every day to write down the bets you made and how they turned out. Keeping records gives you so much powerful information. It lets you know exactly the status of your bankroll. A surprising number of people just guess about how they are doing, and make overly optimistic assumptions and decisions based on those assumptions. It allows you to go back and look at the bets you make that win regularly and those that lose more often than they should. Once you know that you can avoid costly mistakes and leverage edges that you have. Looking over your records can also remind you that losing streaks always end, and that even the hottest win streak can’t last forever.

I will not waste bets – The difference between being a very successful bettor and a losing bettor really just boils down to a couple of bets here and there. Winning sports bettors may be a bit better than losers at spotting winners, but where they really excel is at knowing games that shouldn’t be bet. How often have you made a bet even though it didn’t feel quite right? Or you bet on a game because it was on TV? Or you bet on a game because you were craving action? Or you made a bet on a game you hadn’t properly and fully handicapped? If you eliminate just a few of those ill-advised games this year your bankroll will thank you.

I will learn a new statistic – There are standard stats that people know and embrace for every sport – ERA and batting average in baseball, sacks and QB rating in football, points and assists in basketball, and goals and goals against average in hockey, for example. In every one of those cases, though, those statistics are far from the best way to understand how a team or player is performing, and how they may perform in the future. There are other, far more useful stats that are widely available, easy to understand, and far more powerful as an indicator and predictor. The new year would be a great time to understand one or more and build them into your handicapping routine. Maybe you want to use yards per attempt in football. Or efficiency in basketball. Pythagorean expectation in baseball. Corsi rating in hockey. It doesn’t matter what you choose. Just pick a new stat, understand it, and figure out if and how it can help you be a better winner as a sports handicapper. If nothing else, doing this will help you see what the problems are with the widely used stats.

I won’t bet emotionally – I like to bet on hockey. The other day I had one of those wildly frustrating losses. I had bet an underdog on the moneyline. Heading into the third period I was up 2-0. Halfway through the period the gap had widened to 4-1. I ended up losing in a shootout. It was a total and utter nightmare, and I was furious. I sat down to make my picks for the next day, but I quickly and luckily realized that I was too emotional to be making good decisions. I was letting what had happened color my decisions, and it was going to cost me. I took the rest of the night off and was in a much better state by the next day when I did my handicapping. I haven’t always done a good job of removing emotion from my sports betting equation, but I know that I am certainly more successful when I do.

I will win more – Ultimately what we want to do as sports bettors is win more an lose less. We might as well resolve to do so, then – the power of positive thinking and all that.

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