It took me nearly 40 years of professional handicapping before I landed on a wagering method that compliments both my strategy for picking winners and quest to maximize profits. Not only that, but I didn’t uncover this gold mine during a football campaign, but rather during last year’s basketball season.
Long before I became a professional handicapper in 1981, and even before I worked in the front office of the Oakland Raiders beginning in 1973, I had developed charts to show that motivation is the most important factor in reliably identifying point spread winners. Talent is already reflected in the posted point spreads and public opinion, but the factors that tip the spread advantages to the favorite or underdog are tied to the motivation of the teams entering the contest.
This strategy most often lands me on selections that by most accounts would be on the inferior team in the contest based on talent alone, but get the edge that is driven by the motivational factors. For 38 years, I had taken the brunt of occasional tough losses with underdogs that jumped ahead, led at halftime, but didn’t have the horses to finish the game on top.
Few things are more disappointing than making a point spread selection that jumps ahead of a more talented opponent and leads the game into the fourth quarter only to have the real talent in the battle prevail in the end and cover the line on the game.
While the primary focus of Qoxhi Picks has always been the National Football League, we have offered season clients selections on the NCAA Basketball Tournament and NBA Playoffs. While the ball is a different shape than we handicap in the NFL, the motivation that dictates results is the same.
The most consistent factor is that the more motivated teams have the ability to jump ahead while the final result can sometimes land with the more talented team and occasionally that is enough to cover the point spread. With this in mind, in last year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, we recommended to our clients that they wager each game twice, once on the first half and again on the final score.