If there is a single truth in life, it is this; Not everyone wins when I give them point spread winners, and nobody wins when I give them point spread losers.
That is the bookmakers edge. They are playing with an unlimited budget to slowly separate you from your money. It is their job, and they do it well.
My job is to give you point spread winners, and when I first opened Qoxhi Picks in 1981, I operated on the assumption that those results would equate into bottom line profits for clients.
It often doesn’t.
Between my picks and the books money is you, the gambler, and you are a tough lot to pull into line. I understand the lure of betting on football games in primetime or involving your favorite or hometown team. Problem is, that is gambling, and that is why the books make money even while I’m delivering you point spread winners.
Doing it for fun is a bad idea, but preferable to most over having to work football with the same disciplines you would employ in your business life. In other words, if you want to bet on football for entertainment, have the bottom line more tied to Sunday afternoon wagers made from the corner of the bar, have at it.
But, if you want to turn wagering on football into a predictable money making activity, you need to treat your wagers with the same respect and diligence that the books do on setting a point spread. Respecting the books knowledge and edges is paramount to beating them at their game.
The books don’t gamble. If they don’t have all the information necessary to make an informed decision on what a point spread should be, they won’t set a line on a contest until they have all the facts. Example this week is the game on Sunday in Detroit, where the Lions host the Dallas Cowboys. The books haven’t posted a line on this game, why? Because the availability of Detroit Quarterback Matthew Stafford is unknown.
Fighting an injury that prevented him from playing in last week’s loss to Chicago, we will know Stafford’s status long before Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia announces it through injury reports or otherwise. The resources the books utilize will give solid info on his availability when it is available, and his status will be revealed by the point spread the books set on this contest.
The books have more resources that you or I, and they only release point spreads based on the most accurate information available. Their only dog in the fight is setting a line that actually reflects the realities of the game, while coaches in the NFL will toy with injury information in an attempt to get a competitive advantage over their opponent.
If the books know everything there is to know about their business, how do we expect to beat them at their game?
By taking our cues from their leads, not by trying to find them in some mythical idea that they post bad lines and we can seize opportunities on those numbers.
Many would consider the Miami Dolphins the worst team in the NFL this season, and with that prevalent public perception the books have shifted wagers on Miami games to where betting the Dolphins is the percentage side of the proposition. The Dolphins have won only two games this season, but they have won their last five point spread decisions, the longest current point spread winning streak in the league.
This week, the Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills, a team that beat them four weeks ago by ten points in Buffalo. In that game, the Dolphins were getting 17 points on the spread. This Sunday, in the return meeting of these two AFC East Division rivals, the Dolphins opened as a 7½ point underdog, and that line was quickly cut to 5½ points even while more than 57% of the public wagers were taking the road favorites.
The books didn’t take their lead from the public, but rather their shift in the spread reflected the money they more fear; wiseguy bets.
Now, the spread has crept back up to the Bills giving 6½ points in Miami. That reflects the public money on Buffalo while the wise guys, who began betting when they got more than a touchdown on the spread, wait for the public bets to force the books to move the line back up while adding value to a Dolphins wager.
I suggest we wait too, see where the books move this line on game day to gauge whether they are fishing for public money or welcoming wise guy bets on the Dolphins.
They’ll tell us if we wait and allow their move to offer proper direction, while early moves tell us one thing, the wise guys like Miami.
So do I.
Qoxhi Picks: Miami Dolphins (+6½) over Buffalo Bills