Objectively Evaluating Your Own Results in Betting

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How to Tell Whether Your Run of Winning Bets Down to Luck or Skill?

Evaluating Your Own Results in BettingIt’s very easy at times to make long term assumptions about a particular betting idea or betting system based upon just a few short term results. You might have had a great winning start using some system or other and immediately presumed it was a good one, only to be burnt further down the line. Conversely, you might have given up on a system which was actually a winner after a bad run at the start.

In this article you’ll find out how to objectively evaluate your betting results. First below, you’ll find information on how to perform back-testing, along with the importance of sample sizes. I have then covered common mistakes that bettors will make, before suggesting a good solid base for evaluating your results.

The starting point for this piece is that you have developed a system of picking winners in your chosen sport. This could be horse racing, NFL, soccer, motor racing or any other sport. Obviously this does not apply if you are simply betting on your home team. If you are not yet at the stage where you have the skills to develop winning systems, then check out my Sports Betting Strategy page for a lot of in-depth articles on this topic.

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Objectively Evaluating Your Results in Betting – Back Testing

If you have come across and idea or a system that you think might make you a profit in sports betting one of the best ways to find out if it really works is to test it against historical results.

Using sites such as http://www.oddsportal.com you’ll be able to find a host of historical odds on a wide range of sports, so the testing can be done over the long term, before you even place your first bet. This is a great way to find out if a system really works before laying out your hard earned cash. Obviously, if you find you would have made a profit in the long term, fantastic, but if it’s a losing system then it’s back to the drawing board.

You should exercise a little caution however, as historical results may not always reflect what is actually happening now, as small changes in a sport can have an impact. For example, in the NFL the overtime rules have changed and the format of doubles matches in tennis have undergone big changes in recent years, meaning any historical results might be misleading. Although seemingly insignificant, these changes might be enough to render a winning system a breakeven one or even a losing one, as even a winning system will only win by small margins.

Evaluating Your Results in Betting – Sample Sizes

Quoting a number as an ideal sample size to find out if a system really works is difficult, as this will actually depend on what type of betting you are actually doing. However, it’s clear that placing 10 bets and coming to a conclusion based on this number is actually meaningless, as you’ll really have no idea at this point, even if all 10 bets win or all 10 bets lose.

Any number less than 100 will probably not be too significant either and it’s only when you move into the 100’s and 1000’s that you’ll really be able to tell if a system is actually working (this is where once again, back testing can be useful, as you’ll have a host of historical data to try out).

When looking at sample sizes, working with sports where there are indeed many opportunities can give you an advantage. Sports like soccer, tennis and baseball are ideal as they offer a large number of games/matches on an annual basis.

Evaluating Results in Betting – Common Mistakes

Psychology and Gambling LossesThe biggest mistakes people make in betting are normally due to insignificant sample sizes. For example, you might have decided upon a system or strategy that you think has an edge. In the first couple of weeks you’ve done well and are looking at a 25% return on investment and you’re feeling pretty confident.

At this point, feeling a little bolder and more confident you decide to double your stake – why not? It’s a winning system! If the sample size is too small, this is a big mistake, as you won’t actually know that it is a winning system yet and you might simply have had a good run. On the other side of the coin the same system might have had a dire first couple of weeks and your bankroll has been reduced by 35%. Once again the sample size isn’t large enough to tell you if the system is a good one or not, but in this situation many people will deem it a failure and walk away – potentially missing out on a long term winning system.

Evaluating Results in Betting – Planning and Evaluating

Before you start out on any system, especially if you cannot do any back testing, you should have a plan of action in your mind. For example, you might have come up with a system where you would expect a 3% profit on each bet in the long term. Here, you should set a realistic sample size and stick to it. Here, you might set a sample size of 300 bets. Within these 300 bets you’ll have both good runs and bad runs, but only at the end will you have an idea if the system works. So here, if you were to place 300 bets of $10, you would hope at the end that your profit would be $90. Ideally you’ll want to paper trade when testing a new system, but if you do want to invest real money into testing, you’ll need to have a bankroll that is large enough to cope with the swings.

Objectively Evaluating Your Own Results in Betting – Conclusion

Finding a system or a strategy that you think might be able to beat the sportsbooks can be hugely exciting, but you have to put in the work to make sure that the system will indeed produce a profit. Back testing can be an ideal way to see if it works, while if this isn’t possible, make sure the sample sizes are large enough to give a realistic and meaningful result.

Remember, whatever system you employ, bonuses, free bets and loyalty rewards offered by the sportsbooks will give you a welcome boost. I recommend you check out my page which covers the current best sportsbook bonuses now for the latest top deals!

BEST SPORTS BETTING SITES 2019
Titan Bet
  • Super-Smart Betting Interface Including Current Scores
  • Big Choice of Markets for Football, Racing, US Sports, Golf and more
  • Long List of Player Promotions (always worth keeping an eye on!)
Play NowReview
Ladbrokes Sports
  • Online Arm of Trusted Online Bookie
  • Football Coupons, as well as Individual Bets
  • Always Coming up with New Promotions
Play NowReview
Unibet Sports
  • Mobile + Live Betting Specialists (Unibet TV!)
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Play NowReview
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Titan Bet
  • Super-Smart Betting Interface Including Current Scores
  • Big Choice of Markets for Football, Racing, US Sports, Golf and more
  • Long List of Player Promotions (always worth keeping an eye on!)
Play NowReview
Ladbrokes Sports
  • Online Arm of Trusted Online Bookie
  • Football Coupons, as well as Individual Bets
  • Always Coming up with New Promotions
Play NowReview
Unibet Sports
  • Mobile + Live Betting Specialists (Unibet TV!)
  • Massive Choice of Bets and Different Sports
  • Refund Promos, Cash-in Betting and Regular Reload Bonuses
Play NowReview
BEST US SPORTS BETTING SITES 2019
BetOnline Sportsbetting
  • 10 Year+ Brand with Easy Deposit Options
  • 25% Bonus on Every Deposit for Life
  • Wide Selection of Lines, Many Niche Sports / Leagues Covered
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Bovada Sportsbetting
  • Biggest and Best Offshore US Sportsbook
  • Long and Trusted Track Record (part of the Bodog Group)
  • Best Player Promos, Especially for Major Sporting Events
Play NowReview
5 Dimes Bet
  • Famous for Reduced Juice Lines
  • Huge Sports Coverage + Range of Markets
  • Popular with Pro Bettors
Play NowReview

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