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.
How did that work out?
Even better than we expected.
The college basketball teams we identified with a significant motivational edge beat the spread 19 times in 32 games, a 59% winning margin. That was all well and fine, but those same 32 selections in the first half compiled a point spread record of 23-9, a bankroll growing winning percentage of 72%. Those results sent us into the NBA playoffs with both confidence and a new element in our wagering strategy, three wagers on each selection. The first quarter, halftime and final scores were all available for wagering.
When the Toronto Raptors ended the postseason with a win over the Golden State Warriors, Qoxhi clients had experienced a playoff run of 31 wins and 22 losses with our 53 playoff selections. More profits were gained from first quarter and first half results, 36-16-1 in both categories. The NBA winning percentages were in line with what occurred in the NCAA Tournament, 58% winners on final results and 69% winners on both the first quarter and first half scores.
Those findings sent me to my workbooks on NFL results from recent seasons to see how the method, which we call Triple Play, did with our selections. Turns out that in every season we reviewed the results on first quarter and first half results were nearly as good or better than our results on final scores, which we were proud of on their own merits.
Still, my experience in professional handicapping throws caution to records that are backfitted on past results. The proof is whether strategies generate profits in real time, in the only games that matter, the ones that have not yet been played and still offer an opportunity to be wagered.
So, with that in mind, we introduced our Triple Play method this year without much promotion, but with an accurate representation of how it did. While the Account Manager on the Qoxhi site always charts NFL results based on the most common closing line on a game, we took advantage of our knowledge on the Triple Play results by posting the point spreads at the time we released our Triple Play selections.
Our first weekend was like a cold shower. Two of our three selections won on the final score, but all six first quarter and first half results lost against the spread. The opening weekend generated a 2-7 mark on our Triple Play, but what was to follow confirmed our study on this strategy.
Between the second and sixth weekends of NFL action, the Triple Play wagers were 48-20-1 against the point spread. The success of this strategy continued throughout the 2019 campaign. In the NFL Championship Games, our picks on the Titans and 49ers were 1-1 on final scores against the line, while the first quarter and first half results on those same teams generated a 4-0 mark. In bottom line returns, that shifts a 1-1 week to a 5-1 winner.
The Triple Play money management strategy dictated a wager amount of 2% of a client’s opening account balance on the first quarter, first half and final score. As illustrated in the Account Manager, after the Kansas City Chiefs won the game and first quarter against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, the season record was 49-38, 48-38-1 and 46-38-3 for the first quarter, first half and final score respectfully. Using a standard 10% vig on each game, while acknowledging NFL first quarters often had wager prices far from this standard, the bottom line result for the Triple Play, or the affectionately called Show, Place, Win strategy, ended the 2019 NFL season with a 143-114-4 point spread mark. That season long record generated a bottom line profit of 35%, a winning margin that fit between the 38% gain with the Top Pick Double money management strategy, and 32% profit margin utilizing the Top Pick Exclusive method. A recommended opening account balance of $35,000 would have resulted in a $12,320 profit, generating a closing account balance of $47,320.
Motivated teams often jump ahead, and with the Triple Play strategy we can now take advantage of those results to turn a contest like the AFC Championship Game pick of the Tennessee Titans versus the Kansas City Chiefs, from a single loser to a 2-1 profit margin.