Choke Pressure Index

One of the reasons we love college sports and find value betting on them every week is we see huge upsets, which alter the college football landscape. As I write this, we are deep into the 2018 college football season and have already watched Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Ohio State, just to name a few, go down as big favorites. Who’s next? Who knows! But we can at least try to forecast the next big upset. Afterall, there is money to be made at this!

A lot of people call this the Upset Alert. But it tends to be a lot more involved than just one team beating another for an Upset. Remember, we are talking about young men who have the weight of the world on their shoulders, being coached by guys who, in some cases, aren’t the best at what they do. These players, coaches, administration and fan bases begin to believe all the accolades they read in the newspapers and hear from the talking heads on social media. This often makes them ripe for an upset.

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth
– Mike Tyson

Well, fear not my friends! Spike Thomas and I have come up with a proprietary formula we use to try to predict upcoming upsets, which we fondly call the Spike Choke Pressure Index. I will not reveal the formula but will say there is a little bit of math, a little bit of hocus-pocus and a whole lot of intuition built into it.

Since it is an Index, we weight it and try to give a realistic percentage of the Choke (Upset) happening. A Choke Pressure Index of 50% is pretty meaningless and we won’t tend to report it. However, Choke Pressure Indexes exceeding 75% should be strongly considered as possible, even likely, to happen. Since we are always getting plus money and value on the moneylines for these Chokes, the betting value is built-in.

Some of the factors we consider include Strength of Schedule, Lookahead and Sandwich Games, coaching, relative record of the opponent, home and away games, the point spread and corresponding movement, moneyline and public perception.

We also utilize a betting procedure that works to get us paid when the underdog covers the spread, but the favorite does not Choke. This betting procedure is very profitable when our Choke Index predicts the actual Choke.

Let’s first consider the point spread and moneyline bet approach we take. Typically, we will bet 2 units on the spread and a half unit on the moneyline. This approach gets us paid for our hard work when the dog covers but does not win outright. This approach gets us paid very well when the Choke occurs, and we get paid on both our bets (spread and moneyline).

A real-world example from the Ohio State and Purdue game broke down like this: Purdue was +12.5 on the point spread and +400 on the moneyline, as home dogs. We put 2 units on the spread and a half unit on the moneyline. Using a $100 unit as an example, we won $200 covering the spread and another $200 on the moneyline, for a $400 profit on an investment of $270. This is typically how we recommend betting using the Spike Choke Pressure Index.

Now let’s consider the likelihood of the Choke actually happening. We do this every day, so we know what a team has done against the competition a team has faced. We also know the past and upcoming schedules and know who the head coaches are. Some coaches are excellent under pressure, others are not. Some teams face adversity every week, some just coast through their schedule. Some college football stadiums (and arenas in basketball) enjoy a home field advantage that far exceeds the standard advantage. And sometimes teams just play their best and play over their heads and take care of business. Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” A team without any pressure on them playing a team with lots of pressure, or believes all the accolades they have heard about themselves, often cannot recover from that first punch in the mouth!

So, that’s an introduction to the Spike Choke Pressure Index. We will look at the weekly slate of college sports, even professional sports when the opportunity arises, and forecast what we think. Be sure to check this website, Twitter and Facebook for our forecasts!

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