Last Updated: 2017-03-29
With New Year’s just a few days away a number of people are busy jotting down their different New Year’s resolutions, most of which are going to be broken before the end of January. But it’s also a good opportunity to take a look at your sports betting activities the past year and see how you fared. Be honest with yourself, something which is a bit easier when you’re using online sportsbooks, as you can quickly scan your beginning balances and your ending balances, as well as see how many deposits you made over the course of the year.
If you came out ahead over the course of the year the first thing you need to do is give yourself a pat on the back, because you’ve accomplished something very few sports bettors actually do. The common number is that 90% of sports bettors will lose money over the course of the year, although I’d guess that number is most likely too low. But if you are in that 10% or so, I wouldn’t change anything, as you’re obviously doing something right.
If you’re in the larger group, it’s time for a closer examination of the previous year, something that doesn’t hurt even if you came out ahead for the year. The best thing to do is look at each sport individually as see how you did. Did you win in baseball and lose in the NBA, etc.?
One common mistake bettors make is to bet a sport solely because the “experts” say it can be beaten, such as college basketball. For one, nobody who has bet for than 20 years will deny that today’s lines are sharper than they were 20 years ago, primarily due to the available information in the Internet age, and a sport like college basketball is probably the most time consuming sport to handicap there is, which is another problem area for many bettors, who have a tendency to spread themselves too thin by handicapping every sport, or at least football, basketball and baseball.
Here is where bettors should have a plan going into the New Year based on their available time each day to devote to sports betting, as well as what their goal is for the upcoming year. If you merely want to bet most of the TV games each day there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you realize you’re most likely going to end up in the red at the end of the season.
Choosing to specialize is never a bad idea, whether it is a couple of college basketball conferences, the American League or National League or something like NBA totals. Not only does it cut down on the needed time to handicap, it allows you to get a better feel of the teams than you would get by trying to analyze the entire league.
Although it will be a bit different for each individual, my recommendation would be for bettors to focus on NBA totals, so that their plan at the beginning of the year would look something like:
January: Football playoffs and NBA totals
February: NBA totals
March: NBA totals and college basketball tournaments
April: NBA totals
May: NBA totals
June: NBA totals through NBA Finals
July: Relax and take a break
August: Preseason football and football study time
November: Football and NBA totals
December: Football and NBA totals
As you can see, NBA totals will keep you busy for nearly eight months and football can keep you going for another six, so you’ll have plenty of action during the year and roughly six weeks of down time to recharge your batteries and get ready for the next 10 months. I omitted baseball and college basketball, except for the tournaments, where an anti-public approach tends to work best, as those two sports are simply too time-consuming for the majority of bettors.
Entering the new year with a plan will give you an advantage over your fellow bettors, who are likely to plod their way through the year, and that’s the first step towards coming out ahead when the year is over.