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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The last time we were together, back on Tuesday, I outlined some very important advice for handicapping the first week of a college football season. There are literally BLOWOUTS all over the card every year because of harmonic convergences where very well prepared teams are facing overmatched and unprepared opponents who have no chance of being competitive. If you missed that report, please check the archives because it might be the single most important thing you’ll read anywhere in cyberspace this week. In it are the true keys to finding the biggest edges on the Week One college card.

Today, I’m going to focus on keys for handicapping the big TV games. If you’re like most football bettors, you bet the following:

*Your alma mater

*The big TV games

*A few other games that you love for handicapping reasons, or were recommended to you

Personally, I prefer you turn that upside down. If you’re serious about MAKING MONEY…if you’re truly serious about embracing the principals of Advanced Handicapping…you need to do it this way:

*Be aggressive with your biggest handicapping edges and the best bets from trusted advisors

*Pass the TV games unless you can find true value

*Root hard for your alma mater, but don’t invest in them unless there are good handicapping reasons

I know you’ll feel disloyal if you’re not betting on your school. I’m not running a class called “Square Handicapping 101.” This is Advanced Handicapping. It’s about value and profit. Write out a check to your school’s alumni fund while you sing the alma mater if you have to. Better they get the money than the Las Vegas sportsbooks. Only bet on your alma mater if real value is there.

How do you find value in the biggest TV games? Don’t most big name teams have PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS in a way that cancels out?

Here’s my guidance for handling the marquee TV matchups, like those you’ll see this week with Boise State-Michigan State, Clemson-Auburn, and Michigan-Alabama.

*First, back off the goal of finding BLOWOUTS and focus on value. It’s relatively rare for Advanced Handicapping to find a 100-Unit or better play in a TV game. These are more common in one-sided mismatches where oddsmakers haven’t recognized the true reality of what’s going to happen. You’re looking for 5-Unit, 10-Unit, and 25-Unit Vegas bets in these kinds of games. Those are still worth your time because they grind out a profit over a season or a lifetime of betting. Just be sure you keep your head on straight.

*Next, look for edges of 2-1, 3-2 or 4-3 in terms of PLAYMAKERS. In some talent mismatches, it’s more like 3-0 or 4-0. In the big TV games, we’re looking at hockey scores. Which team is going to make that extra play to win the game and get the money? It still comes down to GAMEBREAKERS.

*Games like this are often LOST rather than won. Try to discover the team that’s going to implode at a critical time. Which quarterback is likely to make more mistakes? Which head coach has a history of making poor decisions under pressure. TV networks love to celebrate “winners.” A very important theme in Advanced Handicapping involves isolating overrated teams and betting against them.

It struck me as I typed that sentence that this is a fundamental element for handicapping the top dozen or so bowl games. Early season college TV is basically just another form of bowl action. Boise State-Michigan State would be a great bowl game. Florida-Texas A&M next week is going to feel like a bowl game even though it’s now actually an SEC game! The main difference in September is that everyone’s fired up. Some teams come in flat for their bowls because they had been hoping for something better. Nobody’s flat for a big September TV game. This is why you must focus on personnel and execution so heavily. The motivation factor cancels out because everyone’s so fired up when a season starts.

*The final factor I want to mention is depth. It’s become an annual tradition in September TV games that players come down with leg cramps! Weather is warmer now than it will be later in the season, and players haven’t found their regular season conditioning yet. Big TV games are typically won in the fourth quarter. This gives deeper teams an important and meaningful edge in terms of pointspread probabilities. Be sure you’re looking at returning starters and returning lettermen as you size up this week’s TV matchups.

I’ll be back with you on Tuesday for our next class here in my College of Advanced Handicapping. That is currently scheduled to be an NFL report because the Dallas Cowboys visit the NY Giants Wednesday Night in the official kickoff to the regular season. But, you regulars know I like to read-and-react once a season is underway. It’s possible that an important development in this weekend’s college action will necessitate a special discussion on a college topic.

If you’re having trouble finding strong gradings on the college card this weekend, my top plays can be purchased for a very affordable price right here at the website with your major credit card. I have reasonable rates for the full season too.

Thanks again for being such an active student here in our coursework. You should have worked this hard back when you were in college! Isn’t it great to have regular season football to handicap? We have an exciting few months ahead of us on the gridiron. I’m sure you’re looking forward to it as much as I am. See you again next time.

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