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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 10:17 PM

This week in my “College of Advanced Handicapping” series, I’m going to talk about the importance of finding “balance” on the football teams you invest your hard earned dollars with. Possibly the biggest mistake I see gamblers make out here in Las Vegas is that they fall in love with one element of a team, without realizing the weaknesses that are present elsewhere.

Here are some examples:

*Vegas gamblers love betting on great quarterbacks…because they really run up the score when everything is clicking. That’s great. What happens when the quarterback is having an off day…the quarterback gets hurt…or the quarterback runs into a defense that knows how to take away his preferences? I’ll tell you what happens…YOU LOSE! Your team won’t score enough points to cover what was probably an inflated pointspread to begin with. Balanced teams can make adjustments when a strength is taken away by a quality opponent. One dimensional teams led by a great quarterback are in trouble when that one dimension is taken away.

*Some of the best handicappers and professional wagerers in the business will often make the mistake of falling in love with a great defense. They have contempt for public bettors who bet on offense. But, these guys will go overboard in the other direction. They’ll figure getting +7 points, or +10 points with a great defense is a steal. Sometimes it is. Sometimes you’re shut out on the scoreboard, though, because there’s no offense to go along with the defense. Losing a bet 17-3 or 24-6 doesn’t earn you any bonus points because you bet on a great defense. It’s still a loss.

You longtime readers and followers of my videos know that I rate every college and pro team in a wide variety of categories. That helps me find balanced teams and profit from them.

On offense: I want a productive quarterback AND a running game that will break big plays and close out a fourth quarter lead.

On defense: I want a strong front line that shuts down the run and scares the quarterback…AS WELL AS a back seven that will be disruptive whatever comes their way.

Think about how many bets you’ve placed when you’ve only had one or two of those? Sure you won some in impressive fashion. Did you really show a profit over the long haul? For every two games where you were high fiving your buddies, weren’t there three where you were cursing the TV at the top of your lungs?  Imagine how much more successful you’d be if you were disciplined enough with your betting to truly find the teams MOST capable to win money for you.

As you handicap the busy college and pro cards this weekend, I strongly encourage you to look for teams who offer up balance. They can be hard to find at first because the mainstream media tends to celebrate the extremes. You know who the Heisman Trophy candidates are. You’re less familiar with fundamentally solid teams who worry more about wins than headlines. You know which NFL stars are doing the most in fantasy leagues. Quarterbacks who don’t worry so much about stats can provide great value as dogs and cheap favorites.

I’ve been doing this a long time. Balance was important back when Bear Bryant was a head coach…back when Johnny Unitas was calling signals for the Colts…it’s always been a fundamental of football success. Therefore, it’s automatically a fundamental for success in football handicapping. Ask yourself before each bet you place at the window whether or not your money is being invested on a balanced team. If it isn’t…you’re really just giving your money away over the course of a long season.

From the first game Saturday morning, to the last football game of the weekend Monday Night…think very carefully about each and every bet you make. That’s a hallmark of advanced handicapping.

See you again early next week for my next written entry for the “College of Advanced Handicapping.” Be sure to check out my online videos here at the website where I can talk to you directly. I have a big weekend planned. Complete details will be available in those videos.

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